If I told you there was a product out there that allowed you to increase your shooting accuracy by 10% would you buy it? What if I said 30%? Better yet 50%?
Over the past 10 years the hunting industry has seen technological advancement at a pace never recorded before. Today’s riflescopes provide the average consumer superior performance at an affordable price. The release of range finders into the hunting community further stretched our ability to make clean ethical shots that were only available to the military a short time ago. The internet provides endless how-to videos to fine tune your bullet through annealing brass, bullet seating, custom loads, etc.…
With today’s technology at times it gives us a false sense of confidence in our ability to perform extraordinary acts. All of these advancements are great for the hunting enthusiast and if done right will increase your odds of harvesting an animal with a clean ethical shot. However, there is one more tool that is available to everyone and does not cost you a penny and it will significantly improve your ability to shoot more accurately, and that is your hunting partner.
I have completed three long range shooting classes and have had the privilege of being mentored by Mike Perkins who owns and runs Cross-Hairs Long Range Hunting School. Mike’s background is second to none. His 27 years of experience as a sniper or sniper instructor brings a high level of expertise to his classes. If you are ever looking for a great long-range shooting school, I would highly recommend his classes. One of the areas that Mike drove home was the need to use your hunting partner to provide you more points of contact which then steadies your shot. This is something the military has been doing forever and for some reason you rarely see it being used in the hunting community. Next time you are watching your favorite hunting show look to see if they use their hunting partner. You will quickly see that it rarely, if ever, happens. There is nothing less “macho” about taking advantage and using all the tools at your disposal to give the best chance of success.
Here are a few examples of ways to use your hunting partner:
- Sitting ShotSitting back to back provides the shooter increased stability which in turn allows them to steady their shot. You can also push on the shooters back with your hands or put your knees in their back. This will also give the shooter increased stability while allowing the hunting partner to watch the shot.
- Standing ShotA standing shot is extremely difficult and one that I try to avoid. There are times however, when the only option is to take a standing shot. In this situation have your hunting partner act as a table, using their back to rest your elbow on. This needs to be practiced as the hunting partner will need to time their breathing so that when the shooter is ready to fire they are not moving under the shooters elbow. Another option in this situation is for the hunting partner to lean on hiking poles which then adds to the stability.
- Kneeling shot
This is similar to the standing shot mentioned above however in the shooting position the shooter is kneeling. The hunting partner will need to get on the ground on all 4’s providing a solid table using their back as a point of contact for the shooter.
As with all things, you must practice these shooting positions with your hunting partner. I am confident that the next time you have your cross-hairs on that bull or buck your chance of success will have increased.
Great article Joe, a team approach to the actual shot is often overlooked. We use partners for the scouting, stalking, wind call, hit call, the pack out and the BBQ, so why not for the shot?
Practicing these techniques is a good idea.
Another great point is taking the shooting course instruction. Most of us spend so much $$ on gear, but overlook the instruction part.