Shooting Aids for the Field


by Jeff Quinn

photography by Jeff Quinn & Boge Quinn

October 6th, 2009




A lot of emphasis is placed upon the rifle or shotgun, as well as the scope and ammunition for the hunting field, along with premium bullets to do a perfect job upon impact, but little is written or spoken about help to accurately deliver that premium bullet on target.  A miss with a three-dollar bullet is still a miss. At the bench, where we determine just how well a rifle will shoot, we try to eliminate all human error, but in the field where we put that rifle to the real test, we usually stand upon our two hind legs and try to steady the rifle and make the shot. Sometimes using a hasty sling to help steady the rifle helps a lot, at least for me, but having a rifle that will shoot into one-half inch from the bench does no good when I have a four-inch wobble when standing up and shooting without that bench rest. There are various field shooting positions such as kneeling and sitting that help, when applicable. Personally, if I have to shoot other than standing, I really like a good Harris bipod, if the terrain and ground cover permit its use.  In my deer stands, I have incorporated a gun rest that pivots, allowing the swinging of the muzzle to cover the area out in front of the stand. My woods stands have no such rest, as shots are close, never past sixty yards, but covering the fields, the line of fire extends out to four hundred yards or so, and I need some type of rest to accurately shoot that far.

For hunting areas on foot, again depending upon the terrain, some type of shooting stick with a rifle rest on top is a good aid, and adds greatly to the steadiness of the hold. Most of these monopod or bipod type of shooting sticks have a V-block atop the stick in which to lay the rifle, and they work pretty well. A better idea is a new system from Do-All Outdoors called the Evopod which has a quick-attach block atop the monopod, bipod, and tripod that allows the rifle to quickly attach to the unit, effectively making a much more sturdy rest, unifying the rest with the rifle.  Each unit comes with two mount adaptors, one for a camera or spotting scope, and another that attaches to a standard sling swivel stud.  For hunting in wide open spaces where glassing with a spotting scope is the method, after spotting game, the spotting scope pops off and the rifle is quickly attached, using the same tripod for both. When using the bipod or monopod as a walking stick, the rifle can just as quickly be attached to either, greatly helping to steady the rifle for the shot. The sticks adjust from 22 to 61 inches, and have rubber covered swivel feet, to adapt to any terrain. These units really are a great aid, especially when hunting in vegetation that is too tall for the use of a traditional bipod. The monopod weighs in at only nine ounces, the bipod just over one pound, and the tripod weighs just one and one-half pounds, yet they are very sturdy.

Another interesting and useful device that I have recently started using is the Shotgun Rifle Bow rest from Carlson’s Choke Tubes. These consist of a U-shaped top section to hold the weapon, a short pole, and a steel socket with a ground spike. This device works very well for turkey hunters sitting against a tree or in a ground blind, where the weapon is laid down while calling. The SRB holds the weapon off the ground, and can also serve as a rifle or shotgun rest while waiting for the bird to come to the call. I have used a similar home made device for years, but the SRB is a much better tool.

There are many shooters who do real well from the bench when sighting in their rifle before opening day, but then are disappointed when they miss that big buck, or even worse, wound the animal to be lost and suffer a slow death. We owe it to ourselves and the animals that we hunt to do everything that we can to place our bullets precisely, and having a field rest handy only makes sense. If the opportunity presents itself for a quick shot at close range, the bipod or other rest need not be used, but if that buck of a lifetime appears on a ridge about two hundred yards out, I want something with me to help me be sure of that shot. Whether it be one of these tools shown here, or a home made walking stick that allows a bit steadier shot, taking something afield as a shooting aid just makes good sense.

Check out the products shown here at, or

Jeff Quinn


A good bipod, like this Harris model, is very handy and extremely steady where the terrain and ground cover allow its use.



The SRB from Carlson's Choke Tubes is very handy to keep the weapon off the ground and secure, and also serves as a rifle or shotgun rest when needed to steady the shot.

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The Evopods allow the quick transition from spotting scope to rifle. They have adjustable legs, swivel feet, and articulating head. They are lightweight, compact, and very versatile.