Hunting gear: Choosing the right gun rest

Christine Lee of Steamboat Springs likes this lightweight shooting stick from Primos. (Photo by John f. Russell).

Have you ever been hunting and spotted your dream bull only to realize that it’s a longer shot than you can take without a gun rest?  I know I have.  Yes, we all know those people who can take a long shot while freestanding but for the rest of us, we need options.  From gun-mounted bipods to freestanding tripods, there are many options to choose from. Location, hunting style and personal preference can all factor into the product you purchase.

While the basic principles of hunting apply to any type of hunting, location is important to consider when choosing your gun rest.  When hunting in areas where there are few obstacles in your line of site and you need to shoot from a lower position, a gun-mounted bipod can be ideal.  However, in tall grass or brush, something more adjustable may be for you. Another thing to consider is the ground surface. If you don’t have room in your hide, perhaps a bipod or monopod is right for you.

Do you like to take the time to hike or ride in to your preferred hunting location?  If you hike in, weight and portability can be the deciding factor and monopods or folding shooting sticks may be preferable over larger and heavier bipods and tripods.  If you ride ATVs, weight may not be a major factor, making the larger but more stable options more enticing.

Do you have a tremor and need the stability to make an accurate shot?  A tripod might be exactly what you need to avoid the hassle of tracking your game or, worse, losing it.  If you need something to steady your shot after a long hike, a monopod or folding shooting sticks, which are compact and lightweight, may be the option you are looking for.  Waiting at the top of the hill for the elk to come up the draw?  A gun-mounted bipod sounds pretty nice about now.

That perfect bull elk or buck is out there. If you want to increase your chances of an accurate shot, the ideal gun rest can make the difference.