Steady your shot with shooting sticks

I finally had a chance to go hunting a little over a week ago, and I also got to try out my shooting sticks in the field. After that hunt, I’ll never go hunting without them again.

I have a set of Vanguard shooting sticks I picked up several years ago. I’ve used them at the shooting range when I’ve practiced with my hunting rifles, but about a week ago, I got to actually use them on a real-live hunt.

I had spotted a herd of antelope with a pretty good-sized buck about 800 yards out, and I tried to get closer to them. I got to about 650 yards, and the does didn’t seem to be too worried about me, but the buck was locked on to me from the moment I poked my head above the little hill I was using for cover. I edged back to where I couldn’t be seen again and started working my way around to get closer, when a smaller satellite buck jumped up out of the weeds. He was only about 300 yards away, but he was quite aware that I was there. I knew if I spooked him, all the goats would head for the next ZIP code, and I wasn’t out there for a trophy, anyway. So I switched my attention to this younger, smaller, most likely tastier buck.

And even though he started to run toward me, he was still about three football fields away. That’s much farther than I’m comfortable shooting off-handed, and the weeds were too tall to kneel, sit or lie down. It was the perfect test of the shooting sticks. I plunked the rifle on the sticks, gave the reticle about an inch of Kentucky windage, and squeezed the trigger. That buck dropped like a rock.

I highly recommend a good set of shooting sticks. They aren’t as steady as shooting from a bench, but they’re a lot more steady than shooting off-handed. The set I have is an older model made by Vanguard, but it’s similar to Vanguard’s Pro-B62 version.

Steady yourself up with a set of shooting sticks. It might mean the difference between meat in the freezer or a missed opportunity.

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