I think you are talking about one style of hunting here and some of us do other styles.
You spoke of 1 or 2 seconds to get the shot off or finding a better rangefinder if it takes longer then that on one of your items to consider.
In your style, a by-pod and belly shooting would be the order of the day. In ours we don't ever rush a shot as the rifle is normally bench mounted, the rifle is not canting, it is set to go in the return to battery set-up we use on the shooting table. On the side of my big rifle I have a protractor and level set-up that gives me the angle up and down I am shooting once the scope is put on the animal. I also have four drop charts to 2500 meters of each 10 degree verticle angle taped on the side of the rifle. As soon as the target is ranged (with a military Laser) and the rifle has been set on the target, the angle is looked at, the drop chart range is looked at, the clicks are put on the scope and the rifle set on the target the final time.
As has been said, we are in no hurry what so ever. Haste makes waste and we don't want to wound an animal by not being totally ready to take the shot.
We are so far away the animal is either laying down in his bed or slowly feeding across the far mountain. An animal does not move very much when feeding, especially a browsing deer. Knowing that the bullet will arrive at extremerange in less then 1 to 1 1/2 seconds, the animal won't move enough to miss the vital area.
To judge the wind, we normally look for a tree trunk or bare area of ground on the same level as the animal and 100 yrds in front or behind him. We take a spotter shot and then make our scope corrections and then go back to the animsl and kill it.
This is done when the ranges are much further then 1000 yards.
Competition shooting at 1000 yds has taught us how many windage clicks to put on by the feel and what you see in the scope at the target area. If the wind is really gusting inside of 1000 yds we do the spotter shot then too.
We are slow and patient and don't have to hurry ever.
As for bi-pods, when we use them, we make sure we do not shoot off a hard surface. Soft ground,leaves on the ground, a coat helps keep the verticle stringing from happening.
If a rifle shoots verticle from a good bag it usually means to much or not enough powder charge.
The bi-pod rifle can be checked by putting it in a good bag rest with the by-pod off of it and shooting for group. If you have stringing it may be corrected by adding or subtracting some of the powder in the case if that's the reason.
I tell everyone who use's a bi-pod to put it on a soft surface NEVER A BENCH.
I like to use my hand under the rear of the rifle when using a bi-pod and either make a fist and let the rifle rest on it or a flat hand. Whichever is needed. An empty shot bag filled with kitty litter works fine for the rear also. It's light and easy to carry in your back pack to your shooting spot out on the mountain. I use to have two of the shot bags that were attached to each other with a piece of twine that I put around my neck when we were back packing our lighter equipment in to some isolated spots.
Just thought I would give a little different angle of the styles of shooting there are on this forum. I think all your items listed were covered here.
In somewhat rare form, I am going to take umbrage with both Darryl and S1.
First, Darryl's point regarding shooting off a bipod from a hard surface. In my experience over the last 9 months shooting an average of 3 days a week at 75 rounds per sitting, I am routinely able to hold around .5 MOA 5 shot groups from a bipod on concrete in the prone position, without a rear bag, with both a Model 700 VLS in 6mm Remington and a Bushmaster Varminter AR-15 in .223.
Now, I have owned and shot various 30 cals over the years in 30/06 and 300 Win. Mag, but have never gotten serious with long range 30 caliber boomers until I received the Wolf.
As I've stated before, the Wolf is a pleasant suprise for a monster rifle and is two or three orders of magnitude more inherently accurate than the aforementioned shootin' irons...
With regard to S1's comment about that group being half its size if he or Darryl had shot it, well... Let's be realistic - his three shot group at 100 yards was .112 MOA - you've seen a picture of it in my gallery. My first 3 shots at 600 yards, you'll note, were .118 MOA.
So I reckon I shot that rifle about as well as it could be shot. But I concede that S1, being the Jedi Master that he is, would have tuned out the background jabber-jawing and caught the lull in the wind that I did not - so that 5th shot might've ended up with the rest of them...
So, in conclusion, I believe that the groups I've posted for your enjoyment are not luck, but rather are the result of:
- lots of practice
- paying attention to consistency in the fundamentals of trigger control, grip, sight alignment, etc.
- many years of competitive archery which taught me the absolute criticality of follow-through and being in an almost meditative mental state when breaking a shot
- and last but not least, an absolutely fantastic rifle created for me by S1
S1, honestly, could you imagine having to build him another rifle like that, outa pocket?
He's showing alot of promise there, never underestimate a man that has mastered the bow.
He does have a point there too.
I think he's hot on your heels.
My brother bought my old PSE Fireflight 3D and within a year and a half was shooting competition for Highcountry Archery with a Machine Supreme and 3D with an Excaliber, at 16yrs old too. He is a super shot with a rifle OR a pistol. Concentration, focus, control and the attention to every slightest detail he picked up in competition no doubt. He almost routinly out shot all the adults at the local level and MANY at state at the junior level, half the time using his short axle Excaliber too
I shoot instinctive, so I've never compared to his shaft splitting accuracy level.