By Glen Wunderlich
Any Michigander knows all too well that fair-weather activities are limited, and with firearms deer season on hand in five weeks,there’s no better time to sight in the big guns than now.
Most shooters know that a steady rest is a good place to start to minimize human error. Benchrest sand bags under the forearm and butt stock can minimize movement and are a must for determining the accuracy potential of any round. But, repeating this accuracy afield can be problematic.
Obviously, pin-point accuracy is not as important at closer ranges, but when stretching the limits of a firearm across a field or through the woods, every bit of precision is required to minimize the risk of bad shots.
Here’s a tip for those that shoot from any type of box blind, where typically only some form of front rest is used. First, place a sandbag-type rest on the window sill opening. If your blind has only window cut-outs and no window sills, consider purchasing a commercial rest designed for this specific purpose or add window sills.
Second, get a quality bipod that will adjust from 24 inches and up. (Get one that will extend to 60 inches or more so that it can be used for field use, as well.) Place the bipod under the shoulder stock of your firearm directly in front of the rear swivel stud and angle the legs forward slightly.
Once you get the firearm at the proper height by adjusting the bipod legs, you’ll be able to fine tune elevation quickly by moving the firearm back and forth across the front rest. This system is so stable, it will actually hold the gun in place hands free.
If your budget doesn’t allow for the expense of store-bought shooting sticks, make your own. Cut any suitable sticks at the proper height for your blind and wrap the upper ends with electrical tape to keep them from damaging the gun’s stock. Next, tape the sticks together using lots of tape approximately two inches from the top to form a joint. Drive nails into the bottom of the legs and cut them off leaving about a half inch protruding. This will keep them from slipping while in use.
The same system can be used in conjunction with handguns by simply placing your wrists in the sticks rather than the gun itself.
If you have more than one blind, make a set for each one and leave them there. That way you won’t have to carry them with you each time, and if a thief comes along, he’ll probably leave them alone; if they disappear, they are simple to replace.
Make sure to get some 6-inch targets, and as long as you can place 9 out of 10 shots within the circle, you qualify as a sportsman for that distance.