What's your Shooting Positions

Discussion in 'How To Hunt Big Game' started by prohuntersmind, Dec 3, 2017.

  1. prohuntersmind

    prohuntersmind Well-Known Member

    Aug 10, 2017
    Think back over your past hunts, what shooting position have you used the most?

    My guess is that it's a regional thing for how most people shoot due primarily to the type of land being hunted.

    Most of my hunting has been still hunting for deer in Pennsylvania and Ohio. Most of my shots have been off hand.

    I like to lean against a tree if I can but I really can't even think of any deer I shot while leaning on a tree. Lots of squirrel that way.

    I've shot at least two while kneeling. I've shot several prone while doing crop damage permits ( Prone on the edge of a field waiting for deer to come out to feed.) and probably 25 or so off hand.

    How do you like to shoot and how have most of your shots been taken?
  2. Havoc

    Havoc Well-Known Member

    Jun 16, 2017
    Every animal I’ve ever shot I’ve been standing, usually leaning against a tree or a vehicle. Longest shot was 518.
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  3. Riflehunter1776

    Riflehunter1776 Well-Known Member

    Nov 7, 2017
    If I'm in a treestand, I'll brace against the rail and loop up if I have time. The latest one was shot from a ground sitting position with no time to loop up. I have shot a few deer from a standing position, but it's not ideal.

    Groundhog - usually prone or sitting; rarely standing if the crops are tall or one runs out while I'm walking. Squirrel - standing, sometimes against a tree.
  4. Greyfox

    Greyfox Well-Known Member

    Jan 21, 2008
    West/Northwest ......prone(mostly), and sitting or stand/blind
    Northeast.....Sitting or standing with a natural rest, or stand/blind
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  5. wyowinchester

    wyowinchester Well-Known Member

    Jul 2, 2012
    Today it was prone. 378yds 20mph wind. If I have the time it will be prone. A month ago It was free standing. 80yds. Both elk died.
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  6. flowhnun63

    flowhnun63 Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2017
    I generally shoot unsupported from a seated position since I usually hunt from a tree stand or ground blind. When time permits I wrap the sling once around my arm to steady the gun. Always good to practice for what you expect to encounter.
  7. ssssnake529

    ssssnake529 Well-Known Member

    Sep 10, 2015
    Prone, or kneeling supported by trees or rocks.
  8. midnightmalloy

    midnightmalloy Well-Known Member

    Jun 25, 2010
    8 animals this year. 7 prone off a bipod and 1 sitting off of sticks. Colorado and Wyoming. If you learn how to stalk and pick a shooting position as part of your stalking strategy it’s easier to get in a super supported position. They better be VERY close for me to shoot unsupported.
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  9. PBramble

    PBramble Active Member

    Dec 14, 2017
    Where I hunt, you have to take seated (yes in a chair) or standing shots. I have about a 50/50 mix of both. Most of the time off of shooting sticks (a bipod trigger stick actually), but some off hand with the sling wrapped on my forearm. Prone shots are not the norm here as the areas we hunt tend to have waist to chest high grass and scrub brush with post oaks mixed in.
  10. RockyMtnMT

    RockyMtnMT Official LRH Sponsor

    Mar 25, 2007
    Prone, prone, or prone. I've shot a lot of close stuff in other positions but will get prone if at all possible regardless of the distance.

  11. Varmint Hunter

    Varmint Hunter Well-Known Member

    Dec 26, 2001
    Sitting while using a Harris Bi-pod will put me on the money out to 500yds without much difficulty. I sit low and rest my arms on my legs. Prone is steadier but it is often necessary it get the rifle/scope higher off the ground for an unobstructed sight picture.
    Guy M likes this.
  12. 7magcreedmoor

    7magcreedmoor Well-Known Member

    May 23, 2012
    Hunting whitetails at home in PA I am usually sitting, and use my trekking poles as shooting sticks. Chasing elk with my friends in MT may find me sitting (if we've been glassing for a while) or prone on bipod or over my pack, if on the move I'll drop to kneeling with sticks if at all possible, or if moving through timber my option of last resort is offhand- but I try really hard to avoid that last position. I practice all these at the club, including setting up and shooting against the clock.
  13. Hand Skills

    Hand Skills Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    I think geography plays a part to a degree. I grew up hunting in the foothills, and now I live on the plains. Most of my shooting at game is off hand, probably 50%, even now. I think a lot of this has to do with the way I hunt, which is typically on foot. Half my time practicing is 'offhand'... It's funny because whenever possible I will use an improvised rest. Whenever possible I will pick a better position. I enjoy the challenge of shooting offhand, but I don't like offhand shooting per se. The practice is tough and humbling. To be proficient demands not only solid shooting fundamentals, but also some degree of physical/cardio health. In reality most shots I encounter are under 200yd. If I have a chance at greater distance, with no solid tree or fence post available, my next choice is sitting. I realize prone is the most stable, and probably the position that lends itself best to shooting long range. In a hunting scenario, prone just doesn't happen often for me - I find i typically have to expose myself building the position. For me it's a lot easier to stand next to a tree or sit in a bush. Not showing movement, having a good field of view and holding my rifle ready has accounted for most of my successes. Last year I walked up to a herd of deer. I spotted them at 600yd, and it took me 30min -maybe a little more- keeping my legs together and moving slowly to close that to 250yd. They did not feel threatened and were walking slowly to get down wind of me to catch my scent. Had I knelt or sat I'm sure they would have spooked. I picked the one I wanted and let fly. I was literally standing in the middle of a field. This year I hid behind a fencepost for my whitetail. I knew their morning routine, and stationed myself for an ambush. Watched him from about 300yd out, as the group (of 4) came straight toward me. When they got to about 100yds I whistled, and they stopped, trying to find what/where the sound came from. I held low and broke the trigger. He was still trying to figure out where the shot came from as he turned around 270 degrees, trotted 3 paces, stopped and fell. I joined this forum in hopes of picking up some tricks to extend my game. I do get the odd LR opportunity; usually with predators, and sometimes /really/ big-for-their-species (read smart and wary) ungulates. For me it's an exception and more about challenging my marksmanship than my hunting abilities.

    Speaking generally, 'long range hunting' is a contradiction of terms. It only becomes meaningful at a personal level. To me, a long shot is anything over 300yds. I've been practicing out to 400 and 500 (seated with shooting sticks). I like the definition of luck; where preparation meets opportunity. It takes a heck of a lot of preparation to become consistently good at extended ranges. Even with the best gear and years of practice, we are all subject to environmental factors. The community here offers a depth of experience which I greatly respect and appreciate. Some guys here are literally pushing the limits of physics, in terms of what is ballistically possible.

    When seasons are short, game is scarce, and opportunities are far between, it seems worthwhile to prepare to the best of our abilities. That said, it's easy to get carried away in the theoretical realm in between seasons, I'm as guilty of this as any... It can be helpful to remember; as much as we like to tell stories about our longest (or shortest) shooting successes, most of the action happens somewhere in between... well, it does for me at least.

    My guess would be; 50% standing, 25% leaning (trees, trucks and things), 20% sitting, 5% prone

    There is a strong correlation between the positions and the distances I'm shooting. Probably 50% of my shots are <100yd, 25% 100-200yd, 20% 200-300, 5% 300+. Obviously there is some crossover - I may take a 250yd shot offhand, and 100yd prone. Bottom line, all of the positions (even rice patty prone) are valuable, and deserve practice.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2017
  14. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2007
    I like to practice regularly from standing, kneeling, sitting and prone - because I've used them all over the decades of hunting.

    Standing has usually been for quick shots at modest range. Though I also stood, and rested the rifle on a stout limb several years ago, taking a mule deer at 400 yards with the shot. That sturdy tree and stout limb were simply the perfect rest for standing! Photo shows me practicing standing at 300 yards with my 30-06, and I'm glad I do a fair bit of that. Shot my grizzly last spring, from standing. Several times!

    Kneeling literally hurts my knees/legs and I use it sparingly. However in 2014 I shot a pronghorn antelope from a quickly-assumed kneeling position, resting the rifle on a handy boulder. Shot was only about 160 yards or so.

    Sitting is a position I've used a LOT over the years. Often, on a steep hill, shooting down or across a canyon/ravine, it's the only position that really works. So, I practice a lot from sitting with my .22 rimfire, and also with my centerfire rifles. Sometimes I'll use a rest, but the traditional sling wrapped around my support arm works great from sitting. Took my most recent mule deer from sitting at just over 200 yards a couple of months ago. My son keeps a tall Harris bipod on his rifle, and routinely uses sitting with the bipod to make good shots on game. Photo is of me, practicing 300 yard sitting with my 375 H&H Ruger Number One and a 3x scope:

    Often I can't use prone because the grass, brush, fallen logs, rocks or whatever interferes.

    Prone is however, a very favored position, and if I can use it, I will! I prefer to use my backpack for a rest. Fall of 2016 I shot antelope, mule deer & elk from prone. A hunting buddy snapped this photo moments before I shot an elk about a year ago, at 338 yards with the ol' 30-06 rifle:

    I use them all, but end up using sitting most of the time. Stable, accurate, and high enough to avoid most of the intervening grass, rocks, brush, etc...

    Regards, Guy
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