Pro Tip: SFC Michael McPhail – Stable Hunting Positions
I’m going to talk to you about how Olympic-style shooting can also help you in the deer woods. So the first position we’re going to talk about today is kneeling. It’s a little bit of an under-utilized position, but it’s almost as stable as prone and it allows you to get off the ground a little higher to clear some vegetation.
We’re going to start by taking our non-dominant foot, while at the same time dropping down to a knee on the dominant leg.
We’ll also wrap the sling around our wrist and forearm and lean slightly into the target and take the shot. So that was kneeling.
The next position I’d like to talk about is prone. In a hunting situation, we’re going to use prone-supported. In Olympic-style shooting it would be prone unsupported.
So in a hunting situation, when we’re shooting prone-supported, the two most important things we’re looking for is stability in the position and to minimize heartbeat, just like we would for Olympic-style shooting.
To do that we’ll put the backpack on the ground with the rifle on top, and that is the only thing that is stabilizing the rifle. We’re not using any muscles at this time.
Next, we’re going to bring our dominant leg up and bend at the knee to take pressure off the abdomen, to minimize heartbeat, and help with breathing.
The last position we’re going to talk about today is a stable position while shooting from a tree stand. I have two improvised positions where we shoot out of a tree stand. Obviously we don’t use tree stands in the Olympics, but down here in the Southeast, when we’re deer hunting, we use them a lot.
So the first position is how to utilize the crossbar.
Okay, it’s already on here, very stable position. In this particular tree stand it comes straight out. So, its not up and angled like most tree stands, but we’re going to use this crossbar and these sidebars to get a stable position.
We’ll start by putting our elbow just in front of the crossbar, and our dominant arm. I’m a right-handed shooter so I’m going to use my right arm. I’m going to kind of pull that in on the other side of the crossbar.
Take a solid position and fire when ready.
Now I have variation two, and I’ve kind of been saving the best for last and it involves your knee.
So you’re just going to bring your knee up onto the cross bar and basically keep everything else the same, with your forearm resting on your knee, this other elbow resting on the tree stand. And I think you’ll find this is the most stable position from your tree stand.
That’s shooting from a tree stand. You know the big theme I want to stress today is finding a stable position from any shooting platform. That will help you in the deer woods and in competition.