NBS Outdoor Fall Issue 2020

frame. The more stable the stand, the less movement the rifle will make at the moment of truth. Self-climbers and ladder stands may have integral shooting rests. However, most are flimsy and unsuitable for shots over 100 yards. You should beef them up with additional bracing. One trick I use is tying a rope or cable to the corners of the integral rest and the tree overhead. While self-standing “shooting houses” are much more stable than anything attached to a tree, they can still wobble in strong wind. You can attach cables and turnbuckles to the stand and screw anchors in the ground to shore it up against wind movement . Rather than sticking it out in a swaying stand, why not climb down and hunt from the ground? The lower you get, the more accurate your shooting should be. One option is having a tent blind at the base of the stand. You can set it up in minutes and set up a folding chair and gun

Rain can throw off a bullet’s flight. I was surprised to learn this until I was a line judge for a benchrest rifle match. The shooters could see their bullets pushing the rain away from the flight path and commented quite negatively whenever a raindrop threw a bullet off-target. At close range, a bullet striking a raindrop won’t make any difference but at long range, it’s a gamble. Skills. Using a rangefinder is nice, but many shot opportunities do not allow time for a range reading. You should practice enough at long range to be able to judge the distance to a deer instantly. Shooting life-sized deer targets at various ranges can be helpful. Sighting in a rifle at the appropriate range is best. Long-range deer caliber bullets are capable of making hits on deer-sized targets at ranges exceeding 300 yards without holdover if they’re sighted in for the most effective range at the mid-point in their trajectories.

rest inside. The longest shots I’ve made were from prone position, with my left hand made into a fist holding the fore end and both hands and my elbows against the ground. The muzzle barely cleared the soil. The dust raised by the shot obscured the target until it cleared to reveal downed bucks. “ ...shooters could see their bullets pushing the rain away from the flight path and commented quite negatively whenever a raindrop threw a bullet off-target. ”

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32 • NBS OUTDOOR • Fall 2020

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