Transitioning From The Bench To The Field

Many of us become comfortable shooting from our stationary bench. It’s steady and the seat is just the right height. It’s perfect for zeroing your rifle, but in the field you can bet you won’t find a nice table to shoot from. Maybe there will be a good steady stump or log to use as a rest, but what do you do if there isn’t?

Practice shooting positions

  • Standing: Standing is a position that a hunter may be afforded most often when hunting. It allows a shooter to see over sticks, bushes and other obstructions. Practice your control by reflecting on form, sighting, breathing, trigger squeeze and follow through.

  • Kneeling: Provided there is a clear line of fire, you can quickly drop from a standing to kneeling position. It adds a point of contact to support your elbow and will help steady your shot.

  • Sitting: The sitting position allows both of your elbows to be supported on your knees. You should practice this position in a spread-leg position as well as cross-leg to see which will be comfortable for you. Support your elbows on your knees, acquire your target and shoot. It’s personal preference as to which method is best.

  • Prone: The prone position is by far the steadiest shooting position but may not be of use in deep grass, sage or thick treed areas. While you are at the range you should practice safely getting into a prone position. Lay flat on your belly with your legs comfortably spread behind you for stability. Bend your elbows and support your upper body on them. The upper body and arms will support the weight of your rifle.

If you practice these positions at the range, you will be able to safely and quickly get into them in the field without spooking animals away.


For more info on NSSF's Project Child Safe go to ProjectChildSafe.org.

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