In African hunting, three-legged shooting sticks are almost universal. There are several reasons for this.
- They get you up off the ground. Low vegetation often precludes shooting positions commonly used elsewhere (such as prone, sitting, and kneeling) because the animal is often obscured.
- Even when a low position is possible, everything in Africa has thorns, and biting ants are a common pest in many areas. Shooting standing off sticks solves the problem.
- Sticks are ideal in the African situation. The lead tracker often carries them. During a deliberate stalk, the PH usually takes the sticks and the lead. But if an animal is suddenly spotted or encountered within shooting range, the lead tracker will customarily set up the sticks and fade to one side. The PH comes up to the other side to evaluate the animal. Your job as the hunter is to step forward, avoiding sudden movements, get the rifle on the sticks, and be prepared to shoot if the PH gives the go-ahead.