Target sticks/stalking sticks used (not only) for stalking
The temperature and weather have been checked, and the decision about suitable clothing and footwear has been made. Put on a stalking belt, put on a WBK, open the cupboard, take out the rifle, put on the silencer - and off you go outside. Something is missing: the shooting stick or stalking stick. Which one do I take with me?
When stalking, the hunt has its own dynamic. Locations, distances, obstacles, backstops are different in every situation, change constantly or can be changed within a certain range of movement. Whether in good light or when stalking at night: sometimes it feels like an eternity until a piece is addressed and eventually stands correctly. Sometimes the events will overturn and the game will suddenly stand in front of you at close range, face to face with little room to move. It doesn't matter which rifle you carry and how, in the end the reticle has to be on the target safely and steadily. As I said, this can take time, it can happen quickly. This would rarely be possible freehand - especially if the rifles are now extremely front-heavy due to silencers and attachments. You need something to paint or put on - a shooting stick.
Stalking without a shooting stick works, but not well
The aiming stick or shooting stick. Monopod, bipod, tripod, to unfold, to extend and retract telescopically - there is a lot on the market.
I started years ago with a Primos telescopic aluminum single-leg rifle. It is light, compact and easy to use. I wrapped the lower leg segment with fabric camo tape. For camouflage and soundproofing when accidentally hitting a rifle or other. The monopod can fully demonstrate its strengths over short to medium distances and in dynamic situations. It's easy to switch and adjust when you need to slightly adjust your position.
Monopod telescopic shooting stick at the ready
If it takes longer: two and three-legged
One disadvantage of the monopod came to bear, especially when stalking wild boars at night: you still need both hands to hold the rifle and shooting stick together. When I picked up the thermal imaging camera, I had to balance the rifle on the monopod. This works well until you have to look backwards over your shoulder - then it often starts to wobble and wobble.
Set up tripod shooting stick at the ready
I skipped the bipod, there was a trigger stick tripod from Primos. Now my Steyr Scout had a stable support, so longer observation and response phases were much more relaxed. This is accompanied by a significantly higher weight and less compact dimensions. This is negligible at first, because the trigger stick is still light due to the aluminum production and the dimensions only come into play during transport.
Tripod shooting stick as a monopod at the ready
When I go stalking, I always carry it with me, already adjusted to the right length. In 80% of the usage the tripod would be used as a monopod, it becomes a tripod when things get serious. The then stable shooting rest is then accompanied by a certain bulkiness: the individual telescopic legs can be moved independently of each other - sometimes they do it by themselves. So it is sometimes a bit fiddly until all three are in a good position.
Position correction Face to face with the game
15m before the group makes it more exciting. A position correction with three legs extended is also more demanding: everything must be raised significantly so that none of the legs are caught anywhere on the ground, which leads to unnecessary, dynamic movements. That's in the nature of things and you just have to practice. And at medium and long distances this is only relevant to a limited extent, here a tripod also plays its trump cards.
The tripod telescopic shooting stick is also quickly lowered when in position
What sets both trigger sticks apart is the simple and stepless height adjustment. Just switch to a kneeling position in order to be able to shoot through leaves runs smoothly in both directions - like! If, after two or three years of practical hunting use, it starts to run sluggishly or jam, then you have to disassemble the trigger sticks and clean them from the inside. There are instructions for this on Youtube (link below).
One, two, three... with the fourth it shoots better
I go to a hunting fair and come home with €160 less in my pocket. In the bag was a four-legged walking stick. For the four-legged friend, I first needed instructions for the setup. The height has to be set correctly, the distance between the rifle rests has to be right. Then everything fits.
Four-legged shooting stick as a monopod at the ready
The four-legged one carries itself on the stalk like the one- and the three-legged one. Here, too, the stalking stick is used 80% of the time (talking about and observing) as a monopod - but then it becomes different. When used as a monopod, I now have two options: I fold the quadruped forwards or backwards and have a rifle rest that, like a monopod, has only one pivot point. Super flexible and dynamic for short to medium distances. If you now fold your legs apart, then you have a super stable rifle rest for medium to long distances. In this version, the weapon lies as if cast in the four-legged base, so it's more for precise shots and long distances at standing game.
Four-legged shooting stick as a "single-legged rifle barrel"
The four-legged shooting stick is currently the measure of all things for me. It is simply the most versatile and offers the most stable rifle rest. In practice, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Quadruped shooting stick fully exposed
Shooting sticks in a nutshell
Monopod : compact, light, simple and fast in dynamic use for short to medium distances. Easy to implement in attack.
Bipods and tripods : heavier and less handy, less compact, unfolded for medium to long distances. Not easy to implement in the three-legged position.
Four-legged : light, fewer moving parts (quiet), length not easily/quickly adjustable, dynamic for short to medium distances or static for medium to long distances, depending on use. Easily implementable in attack.
Shooting sticks in transport lengths
My explanations are based on Primo's trigger sticks (one and three-legged) and the phJagt four-legged. Of course, other brands may have detailed solutions that simplify use - or not.
Primos Trigger Sticks: https://www.primos.com/shooting-sticks/trigger-sticks/
Disassemble trigger sticks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4dTjuZ08Vs&t=75s
PH Jagt shooting stick: https://ph-jagt.de/