Accuracy is the most important element of hunting. Professional Hunters in Africa have long used “sticks” to assure their clients make accurate, lethal shots on even the largest of animals. Shooting a Cape buffalo or elephant at 50 yards is common, yet even at these close distances placing a round in exactly the right spot can be the difference between life and death. Today, traditional bipods have taken a giant step forward toward improved accuracy and if you aren’t taking advantage of these advancements, you may be missing the boat (or buck).
Hunters often wish they had three hands so they can hold their bow at the ready while working a box call for wild turkeys or banging antlers to rattle in a rutting buck. In calling situations, it’s common for a whitetail buck, bull elk, or coyote to suddenly appear after a silent approach. OMG! The hunter gets caught with his bow on the ground and a rattling horn in each hand. You may only have seconds to shoot and the calling allows the animal to pinpoint your location. A gripping tripod greatly reduces movement in these situations.
Tripod rests create such accuracy that you will need a multi-spot target for accuracy testing. If you try a 3-shot group from 20 yards with a modern crossbow and a gripping rest, you will frequently destroy arrows. I was testing my Grim Reaper broadheads on a new Morrell target yesterday and literally shot two arrows in the same hole while using a Ravin R26X crossbow and Final Rest.
Instant Shooting Table
This is my backyard shooting range. I used to have to set up a shooting table when testing crossbows, but now I use a gripping tripod rest which gives much greater mobility and flexibility when shooting. It only takes seconds to deploy the tripod and folding chair, yet the stability of the gripping rest greatly reduces “wiggle” in the sight picture. I can shoot uphill or down with a minimum of effort and be sure my arrows fly true.
Ideal for Youngsters
My 10-year-old grandson took this large doe with a perfect shot last fall. Although he couldn’t fit a tripod in a ladder tree stand along with his big brother, using a gripping tripod rest allowed him to develop the confidence to shoot accurately. He practiced on a 3-D deer target and when the time came, he made a perfectly placed shot at 20 yards.
Bonus Decoy Strategy
If you hunt from a blind for turkeys and use decoys, you can predict precisely where the shot will take place. This allows you the freedom to use both hands for calling and know that when a tom shows up, you need only move the safety. Decoys work well for whitetail deer during the pre-rut and the same holds true in that situation. Additionally, hunting from a blind usually takes great patience and it’s easy to have game slip into range undetected. Having to grab, raise, and shoot is a great opportunity to bump or tweak something that will make noise. Locking your bow at the ready makes you a much more lethal hunter.
A tripod gripping rest must be sturdy for the best accuracy, yet all fold up and easily deploy in a backpack or can be carried over the shoulder with a sling or piece of cord. In most cases, the gripping head unscrews from the tripod base allowing for easy transport in the field or when traveling out of state. I’ve flown mine as an airplane carry-on with no problem which helps reduce weight in my checked luggage. The tripod makes taking a practice shot each day in camp quick and easy. Knowing that your scope or sight is dead-on greatly increases confidence.
3 Great Choices
If you are a multi-season hunter, a quality rest is your best investment in accuracy because you can use them for a rifle, shotgun, muzzleloader, or crossbow. Three popular choices include the “Death Grip” which features a solid, folding tripod and a locking grip that turns easily and has two wide open jaws that grip the forend. Final Rest makes a similar model that is ultra-adjustable for shooting from a sitting or standing position. Primos Trigger Sticks offer a slightly different version with the same benefits. Instead of gripping the forend, their model uses a quick detachable yoke that allows the tripod to be quickly switched out for binoculars or a spotting scope. The above links to each of these products will help you make an informed decision. Once you try a solid shooting rest, your accuracy will instantly improve, guaranteed.