Shooting using sticks

One of the benefits of having over 2,000 YouTube subscribers is that from time to time someone asks a valid question or seeks my advice. I do not consider myself an expert in hunting, but I have been doing this for the last 15 years or so and learned a few things, so I try to pass what I have learned over to less experienced hunting colleagues.
One of the questions I received recently was about accuracy when shooting using different types of sticks and what are the best sticks, benefits and drawbacks of single, twin, triple and quad types.
I replied to the guy to the best of my knowledge, but I realised it might be a good idea to carry out a simple experiment just to verify what I thought was true.

Shooting using a single stick

I am not a fan of shooting off a single stick. I used to make a nice stick with a piece of forked antler at the top and it was a nice piece of kit, but I was never good at shooting off it. I shot a couple of wild boar using that single stick, mainly in summer in high vegetation such as wheat, oats and oilseed rape where I could get very close to the pigs and head shoot them. The range was always below 40-50m and a head was usually the only visible part of a boar.
So I set up a target at about 100m and tried shooting off a single stick and a group of 3 shots was about 5″… Not enough really to insure a humane kill on a roe deer. From my experience 40m is the top range I am capable of shooting using a single stick and I find it hardly any improvement over free hand shooting. Maybe I should practice shooting off this position more… 🙄

Accuracy shooting off twin sticks

My father-in-law introduced me to shooting using twin sticks. He had a pair of very well used  hazel sticks that he considered lucky and he and his clients shot 100s of deer and wild boar. Twin sticks are in my opinion a vast improvement over a single stick. With a bit of practice 100m is easily achievable in the field conditions and they are light and easy to use. They can be set in a second with one hand and I guess they are most popular choice among the deer stalkers I know.
Majority of my shots are from twin sticks so I knew I could shoot ok from that position. I also learned one more thing from my father-in-law. If you rest your back against a tree you can basically double the range. It is very stable position and 150m is easily achievable, 200m is possible with a bit of practice.

Quad sticks for ultimate stability

You probably noticed I skipped triple sticks… this is because I don’t own any 😆 I tried them at one point any didn’t like them. They are bulky, noisy and more problematic to carry. I also found they offer little improvement over twin sticks in terms of shooting accuracy.
On the other hand quad sticks in opinion are worth invested in. I was not sure about that and I saw some hand made quad sticks made from B&Q plastic garden canes and they were not nice. However, I saw a friend using different quad sticks and I bought a pair from Tony (search for user Limulus at Stalking Directory forum or email me for his email address) at Deerstalking Fair in Kelso this year. They are wooden and very light. They are in fact lighter than my Sealand twin sticks. I had to learn how to use them and I am still not 100% sure how to set them up when I am in a hurry, but they offer great stability. They can be pain on uneven ground or in high heather, but on a forest track or farmland they are the business. I neck shot a buck using these sticks and they were rock solid. I often put the rifle on these quad sticks and rest it on my shoulder and wait for a while in an interesting place for a deer to show up.
They are accurate enough to 150m and the range can be easily extended with my back against the tree. They can also be used as single or twin sticks which is an added bonus. I still often take twin sticks with me if I know I may sit somewhere in an ambush as these quad sticks are not good for sitting or kneeling shots, but for stalking these quad sticks are now my first choice.

All shooting positions – video

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