Shooting sticks require practice! It takes a bit of work to become comfortable and familiar with shooting sticks. The two primary secrets are:
- Learn the right height for you! Usually, it’s about the level of the top shirt button, so you can lean slightly forward into the sticks.
- Placement of your supporting hand. Never rest the barrel directly on the junction of the sticks (or anything else). The ideal is to grasp both the fore-end of your rifle and the sticks, tying them together. Not everyone has large enough hands to do this, so you have to find what works for you. This is another exam you can’t cram for! Don’t let range day be the first time you’ve ever used sticks. Make your own or get a commercial set, and practice with it on your own range. Then you can not only demonstrate your ability but also show your PH and your trackers exactly how you like the sticks set up.
Practice does make perfect! Sticks are not a perfect solution; slight horizontal wobble is almost unavoidable. However, with practice, most shooters can become adequately steady for perhaps 150-yard shots, which cover the vast majority of African shooting in most areas.