shooting your gun off hand or out of a tree stand (not so far distances)

Bigeclipse

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I wanted to bring this subject up since many on this forum are excellent marksmen. How do you go about shooting the best groups out of a treestand (off a rail if possibly) OR simply freehanding it? Or maybe you are stalking through the woods and you come upon a deer and there is no time to get prone on a bipod? What is your form? Where is your front hand on the stock? How hard are you gripping the rifle and how much force are you pulling into your shoulder?
 

Buttermilk

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Two years ago, I shot a buck from my tree stand with my rifle. I braced my arm against the tree truck and shot him at 82 yards. That rifle weighs 10.25 lbs (300 RUM built by Jon Beanland)

Last year, I used my XP-100 (Jon Beanland built 7 RSAUM that weighs just under 7 lbs.) and steadied the gun with a mono-pod (cut off broom handle) rested on the top of my right boot. I held the mono-pod broom handle with my off hand, and rested the XP-100 across my hand holding the mono-pod. It was very steady. Shot a buck at 72 yards with that method.

On both of those occasions, I did not grip the gun hard (very similar to what I do from a bench). Both have muzzle brakes, so I don't have to worry about recoil, just use hearing protection.
 

Creedmoor shooter

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I always shoot my deer without any rest with the exception of my knee or a tree trunk or something and sometimes just straight up off hand. Generally if I have a tree I'll press the rifle against the tree with my left hand and pull the rifle in tight on my shoulder. That's generally a pretty steady hold. Off my knee I dont give alot of pressure and just let the rifle rest on my hand. If I take a off hand shot the deer or bear has to be pretty close so it's pretty much just pull up and shoot.
 

Barrelnut

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I like to shoot from a tree trunk by standing and leaning into the tree a little with the palm of my left hand and my left elbow out almost horizontal. I then lay forearm of the rifle across the top of my left wrist. There is a natural little depression there. I don't hold the forearm of the rifle at all.
 

WildRose

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I wanted to bring this subject up since many on this forum are excellent marksmen. How do you go about shooting the best groups out of a treestand (off a rail if possibly) OR simply freehanding it? Or maybe you are stalking through the woods and you come upon a deer and there is no time to get prone on a bipod? What is your form? Where is your front hand on the stock? How hard are you gripping the rifle and how much force are you pulling into your shoulder?
I don't try to shoot groups offhand. I have limited uses and a lot of nerve damage in my left arm and what I find works best is instead of trying to get steady on target I keep the cross hairs moving until they hit the right spot and time my squeeze to coincide much like wing shooting but with a scope.

Whenever I possibly can I uses some sort of front rest or a tree/post to lean against to eliminate the up/down movement to the greatest extent possible.

If I can't get the right shot, I simply don't pull the trigger.
 

Canhunter35

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If I’m free forming it, I’ll reach as far up the forestock as possible and take a good grip on it while keeping my right elbow up pulling the rifle into my shoulder.
I use a sling whenever possible then crooking my elbow to pull it tight. If I have time I’ll stuff my rear bag between my left elbow and hip while using my sling
 
D

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Usually off my knee in my climber, sometimes I’ll tuck my elbow into my side and use my hand as a rest depending on location. These are usually shots within 150 ish yards and never had an issue with it.

As far as walking kills, usually snuggle up to a tree and lean into it. I can often easily find a head height when standing or kneeling branch to use as a rest.
 

eric1115

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Good sling technique is super helpful. Several hundred rounds out of a .17hmr at an 8" steel plate at 100 out to 200 yards offhand has been a great training tool for me as well for not much money. There will be crosshair movement, and learning to time your trigger break to the top or bottom of the wobble is important. Supported is better, so if you can find a tree, fence post, or trekking pole planted on a rock or log to steady on, do that (practice that too). Rimfire or .223 is ideal for this since it's so cheap to shoot and the ranges are so short.
 

carl1775

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In addition to Eric1115's post, with the up and down movement, there is side to side deflection. When shooting in an unsupported position, the muzzle will track in a figure 8. Points of contact increase your stability (in theory). I choose ladder stands with rails, for this particular reason. Strong side elbow on a side rail, off hand supporting the fore end on the front rail with the back side, grasping the sling, over the rail. I set with my bottom backed into the back rest (or tree depending on the stand design) and lean at the waist into the rifle. Any way, that's the most stable and comfortable position that I have found for myself in a stand. It's the most like shooting off a bench as I can replicate in a tree. I use two styles of the off-hand position for shooting while stalking. The first, I try to use a tree, fence post, out building, anything to stabilize part of the shot. The second, is simply a very high mounted hasty sling with my off hand slid as close to the magazine box as possible, even grabbing the magazine box on a drop mag set up and tucking the elbow into my gut. My strong side has a firm and natural grip with the tricep horizontal to the ground (elbow straight out). I tend to position the butt higher on the shoulder than I normally would. Recoil is absorbed through the off hand and sling positioning, so the higher shoulder mount seems to be OK. Left leg forward, right back, bent slightly forward, in a good "shotgun" shooting position. Around here, it is very rare that one is afforded the opportunity to shoot from the prone, sitting, low or high kneeling positions, without being in an ambush position. Grass is waste to head high, or the underbrush too thick in the timber.
 

Lonewolf74

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Seems I have a different philosophy then most of you. I learned how to shoot a rifle as well as a bow in much the same way.

I let the crosshairs float on the target and just let the shot happen. I don't try to keep the crosshair steady I'm just immersed in aiming (maybe better described as focused on the spot I want to hit) while my body subconsciously squeezes the trigger.

If I where to try and time the shot to where my crosshair crossed the exact spot it lead to a sure trigger slap and probable poor shot. It's very difficult to describe to someone that hasn't experienced it while shooting weather a bow or rifle or pistol it all works the same. Your body has a natural aiming mechanism so as long as you have practiced good form and have that muscle memory you can place that shot where it needed to go EVEN IF TO YOUR EYE THE CROSSHAIR, PIN, DOT OR WHATEVER DID NOT APPEAR TO BE WHERE IT NEEDED TO BE. The key is to execute the shot well and use that same good form you've practiced with.

I have a good friend that I shoot trad archery with so he understands the concept I just described. It still works the same there's just no aiming point with a trad bow, your simply burning a hole in the spot you wanna hit with your eye's. Anyway I was over with my Henry Golden Boy in 17hmr, of course you don't put optics on a gun like that so just the stock buckhorn sight. Well I pulled up and hammered a little 3" dinger plate that was about 40 yrds from us. Then my buddy went to try and he sprayed dirt around the dinger for the first 5 shots. So I told him shoot it just like the bow, let the sight float around the plate and focus on executing a clean shot, don't worry if the sight looks dead on target. Sure enough he drilled it the next 3 shots...so we put her away on a good note!

Now don't get me wrong you can absolutely shoot much tighter groups prone or off a bench with a good rest. But shooting the way I do I'm killing accurate offhand out to 300 yrds.
 

sable tireur

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I know there are lots of shooters who think they can hold steady while standing unassisted (unsupported) on their hind legs. But what a surprise I found when trying out a trace system for shooters:

upload_2018-7-27_9-41-48.png

This particular one is from the SCATT website but is representative of what happens to many of us when we try offhand shooting. This one in particular was sampled from a trained target shooter not an average hunter.
 

J E Custom

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I wanted to bring this subject up since many on this forum are excellent marksmen. How do you go about shooting the best groups out of a treestand (off a rail if possibly) OR simply freehanding it? Or maybe you are stalking through the woods and you come upon a deer and there is no time to get prone on a bipod? What is your form? Where is your front hand on the stock? How hard are you gripping the rifle and how much force are you pulling into your shoulder?


I was fortunate to have training in the military and go on to shoot NRA matches for many years, and the positions I was taught, was good information and very useful in hunting situations.

Like others, I try to find a tree or limb when I can Or or when stand hunting, use the sill. But when stalking or just walking, seldom are you afforded these luxuries and I have to resort to conditioned positions i was taught.

Here is some information on different positions that May help you to find the best way for your type of hunting using only your body with no available aid.

This link shows all of the recommended positions and hopefully you can use one of them.
http://www.petersenshunting.com/tips-tactics/basic-shooting-positions-every-hunter-should-master/

These are very good positions and with practice can be very accurate
And should be practiced if your terrain does not have many features that can help.

The longest distance I have fired off hand, is 500 meters at running Boar targets and these positions helped in the field.

J E CUSTOM
 

Canhunter35

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I know there are lots of shooters who think they can hold steady while standing unassisted (unsupported) on their hind legs. But what a surprise I found when trying out a trace system for shooters:

View attachment 102290
This particular one is from the SCATT website but is representative of what happens to many of us when we try offhand shooting. This one in particular was sampled from a trained target shooter not an average hunter.
I thought it looked like he held on the black well
 

sable tireur

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I thought it looked like he held on the black well

He did but this example is from a highly trained Olympic shooter at 10 meters. I was simply observing and mentioned that fact in my post. Most of us would be all over the paper unless we could build a good position to improve our steadiness.
 

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