Best Shooting Sticks: Elevate Your Hunting Game
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While U.S. hunting participation has declined by almost half since the 50s, more than 11 million Americans participate in hunting activities today — taking more than 147 million trips annually — so hunting remains a very popular sport. While often not the first piece of kit that comes to mind when building out your bag, one decidedly useful piece of gear is a high-quality shooting stick.
Range shooting is a great way to get familiar with your rifle, zero your scope, and train, whether off a bench or standing. Shooting in the field, often unsupported, is usually a lot more challenging.
Hunting, be it with a firearm or crossbow, has a primary ethical responsibility to deliver a clean shot. This can be difficult under stress or after a long trek along uneven ground.
That’s why I recommend shooting sticks: these relatively simple shooting supports make for a more stable shot that keeps your rifle locked into position. Since the colonial period, they’ve been in use in the US and have been helping people maintain a good shooting position ever since. Today, we’re going to look at the best shooting sticks to give you a solid rest for your hunting tool in the field.
Shooting sticks come in various systems, from monopods to bipods and tripods, all of which deliver support for shooting from standing, which keeps you from ending up prone in the mud to make a good shot. The market has various options, with different degrees of adjustment and lots of options to accommodate all kinds of shooting positions and shooters.
In This Article
Comparison of the Best Shooting Sticks
Best Single-Pole Stick
Best Travel Stick
Best Rotating Bipod
Best Rotating Tripod
Best Aluminum Tripod
Best Short Tripod
Why Listen to Us?
First and foremost, we’re hunters, too, and have tried shooting from various positions, sitting, standing, and prone. Having done all of it, it’s clear that a tool that keeps the rifle stable, and keeps shots on target, is well worth the money.
All of my suggestions come from that perspective. Each model of shooting sticks that I recommend is one that we’ve explored, will work well in a variety of terrain, and give fellow hunters the flexibility needed for making quick, accurate shots regardless of the terrain. Thus, we’ve combed the market and compiled a list of the best shooting sticks to support your weapon & keep it on target from multiple shooting positions.
Shooting Stick Reviews
1. Primos Bipod Trigger Stick
The Primos Hunting Trigger Stick Gen 3 aluminum bipod by Primos, a company that makes quality shooting gear for serious hunters, comes with their updated, contoured non-slip grip.
In addition to the grip, which helps keep things stable, the other controls on each leg let you dial in the height and balance of the bipod, which makes for a superbly stable two legged shooting platform.
In terms of height adjustment, the bipod shooting sticks have a functional range from 24 to 62 inches, making them an excellent choice for those looking for a comfortable bipod that can be adjusted for nearly any shooting situation where you want a solid rest for your weapon.
2. Vanguard VEO 2 CM-234TU Shooting Stick
While it’s technically a single leg monopod, the Vanguard VEO 2 Carbon Fiber Shooting Stick has few legs but is made for those who want incredible shooting stability, light weight, and a shooting stick that’s versatile. Vanguard makes excellent camera gear, and when it comes to stable camera shots, much of the same technology and ideas carry over well to the hunting world with their shooting sticks.
Weighing under two pounds, this is currently the lightest fully-featured monopod that I could find on the market. With a rifle, the wider foot on this stick would be excellent for follow-up shots. But, if you take advantage of the quick-detach feature of the yoke and pop on a spotting scope, it could serve very well as a way to watch game animals at long range without having to hold the scope yourself.
3. Hunter Specialties Shooting Sticks
Hunter’s Specialties is a company that makes affordable, well-thought hunting products for folks who simply want gear that performs well. Their Hunter’s Specialities Shooting Stick monopod features a u-shaped yoke, enabling it to provide a steady shooting platform for various firearms. It’s also short enough that you might be able to use it prone in a pinch, but you can get it up to 36” in height using the leg locks.
The feature that makes this one stand out to us, aside from the affordable price, is the wrist strap that locks the stick to your arm, making it one of my top picks. Shooting sticks can be decidedly affordable, but you will be giving up some of the fancier features at the lower price points, some of which some hunters simply don’t want when they’re in the market for something as simple as a stick.
4. Hammers 39-Inch Collapsible Shooting Sticks
This aluminum shooting stick by Hammers, the Bungee Corded Collapsible Shooting Stick, first and foremost, extremely lightweight. While it’s a fixed 39” tall, the main feature here is that it folds down into a small pouch. That leaves you able to go hands-free to carry other gear or, for instance, climb up rougher terrain without having to deal with larger sticks and bipods.
When you need it, all you have to do is pull it out of the pouch and follow the easy controls. This is one of the most straightforward items on the list, and its ability to fold down into essentially nothing makes it one of my top choices for people who plan on going far into the field.
5. Mossy Oak Compact Shooting Stick
Mossy Oak has long been known as a company that makes gear meant to get people out into the field. Their Compact Shooter’s Stick monopod has a foam grip and, like all monopods, allows you to rotate the weapon 360 degrees, making it easier to track targets when you only have to swivel one leg.
While a monopod is a little less stable, it still allows you to extend the range of your shots when standing. This one features three locks, meaning it’s exceptionally adjustable. While I would prefer that the user attach the weapon more securely, the support offered by a monopod makes them a more than viable option for someone who wants to shoot better outdoors. Additionally, the rubber on the inside of the yoke is especially thick, keeping you from scratching the underside of your weapon.
6. Hunters Johnny Steward Wood Predator Shooting Sticks
Early shooting sticks were, as the name implies, simply sticks. This one goes back to the basics and does so very well. The Johnny Stewart Quik-Shot Predator Shooting Stick, by Hunter’s Specialities, is two oak sticks, a bolt joins them to create the bipod, and some rubber tubing to keep you from scratching the gun.
The elegance of this design is in its simplicity. It’s lightweight, sets up fast, and would be perfect for taking into deer blinds. This is especially true considering the price: it’s cheap enough that if you forget it in your deer blind or pull away having left it in the woods, it won’t ruin your day of hunting.
7. Vanguard Scout B62 Bi Pod Shooting Stick
For those looking for a slightly more affordable bipod option that’s still feature-rich, the Vanguard Scout B62 Bipod is an excellent choice. This aluminum bipod extends from 22 to 62 inches, making it usable by people of various heights and in multiple situations.
Two features stand out to us on this one. The first is that it can swivel 360 degrees, meaning that you can follow targets more easily. Secondly, there’s a strap that goes between the legs: this gives the user the ability to tilt the bipod and their weapon without the legs collapsing, making it an exceptionally flexible bipod.
8. Hammers Telescopic Shooting Stick
Moving from bipods to tripods, take a look at this well-featured option from Hammers, the Hammer Telescopic Shooting Tripod. Made out of three aluminum tubes, this tripod provides an exceptionally stable base. Each of the legs can be adjustable from 25 to 68 inches: that level of adjustability gives you the possibility of using this tripod from standing, kneeling, or sitting.
Tripods are generally heavier than monopods or bipods. Still, if overall accuracy is the main objective for you, then any of the tripods on this list will help you achieve that. The Y-yoke on this model will keep your weapon stable while also giving you the ability to cant the gun slightly if you need to.
9. Leaders Accessories Lightweight Shooting Sticks
Leader Accessories has been making outdoor products for years, and now they’re making an entry into the shooting sticks space. Their Lightweight Aluminum Alloy Shooting Stick is an incredibly flexible one: with just a few screws, it can be converted from a monopod to a bipod or a tripod.
That flexibility paired with the rubber grips and Y-yoke gives the shooter a wide variety of options for picking shooing positions. While it might be a little of a hassle to change screws in a shooting stick, being able to do so in preparation for a specific hunt is a unique option that gives this tripod a spot on my list.
10. Primos Trigger Stick Gen 3 Short Tripod
For my final pick, I decided to go with something a little bit different. The Primos Trigger Stick Gen 3 Short Tripod, which has the same quick-detach Y-yoke as the bipod shooting sticks, is explicitly meant for people who want to shoot from sitting or kneeling.
While everything else on this is intended for standing, sometimes you know you don’t want to shoot from a standing position. If that’s the case, the extra ounces that come from longer legs are unnecessary. Thus, miniature tripod shooting sticks, which range from 18 to 36 inches, an excellent choice for folks with a more specific mission in mind.
Important Shooting Stick Components
Many folks who like to hunt are also avid photographers. At the very least, many of us also want to have a spotting scope or other optics on hand for longer shots. In those cases, the best shooting sticks will fill almost every need, and thus looking into extra attachment options is wise. The yoke is your shooting rest — it’s critical that is fits your rifle well and provides the support you need.
Range Of Motion
The big difference between shooting paper at the range and shooting animals in the field is that the latter move. Thus, the best shooting sticks are able to swivel, tilt, and track targets. Range of motion is one of the most critical features in a shooting stick, regardless of the number of legs. Monopods are naturally good for this, but bipods and tripods often include features for this.
Degree of Rotation
One way to track targets is to rotate. Again, monopods can do this by virtue of having a single point of contact. Bipods and tripod shooting sticks, on the other hand, often have features that allow them to rotate. If they’re done well, these can be features that make a hunting stick an excellent shooting tool in the field.
The yoke is where the firearm or other weapon sits. Generally, these come in Y or U shapes. The former is better for slimmer weapons, whereas the former is better for wider rifles. Another thing to watch for when it comes to the best shooting sticks is padding: some folks like hard rubber to project their firearm finishes.
Some folks prefer the simplicity of shooting sticks that are, in fact, sticks of wood. For other folks, adjusting the height and configuration of the legs, especially with bipods and tripods, can help shooters change their shooting setups for a variety of conditions and terrain.
What to Look for When Buying a Shooting Stick
Remember, every ounce of shooting stick is an ounce that you have to carry around in the field. Thus, I recommend going for a balance of weight and stability, especially when planning for long range shooting in the field.
While adjustable parts are a potential source of issues, being able to set your bipod up for shooting in varying situations and your desired shooting position is deeply important to getting off a good shot, and something that separates the best shooting sticks from the rest. Long range target shooters in particular should make sure their shooting stick will accommodate their needs.
Most of the sticks on this list are made out of aluminum: it’s an excellent choice for being light, relatively affordable, and strong. Other materials, such as carbon fiber, are great as well.
When picking a shooting stick, I recommend thinking about what kind of shooting and hunting you plan on doing. If you plan on doing a lot of walking, for example, a relatively large tripod might not do the job well, so opt for a monopod which has only a single leg.
Making sure that the shooting stick fits you, and your weapon, well, is critical. A good fit should be secure and feel natural, which will keep you from having much, if any, slop in your setup.
What to Avoid
For this one, keep a lookout for customer reviews. These are pieces of kit meant for hard use outdoors, and using them over time is the best way to get a feel for what’s good. If these pieces don’t live up to expectations, hunters are going to let you know. Nobody likes to haul garbage into the field — especially if it causes you to miss a shot.
Why Use a Shooting Stick?
Fundamentally, a shooting stick is an aid to help a person tackle long range shooting while standing or when deep in the country, where few shooting rests may be available. We like that they’re separate from the gun, unlike mounted bipods, which give you the flexibility to use them when you want.
Shooting Stick Price Ranges
- Under $50. You can expect simple but sturdy examples of monopods and bipods that will work. You may not get much in the way of camo, head attachments, or ergonomic features, but for the budget-minded there are plenty of shooting sticks available in this range. Over the $50 price point, you add features and can get into shooting tripods.
- Over $100. Priced at a premium, you’re looking at the best bipods and tripods in terms of durability and variety of features. These shooting sticks have higher quality materials and are often designed for use in inclement weather or harsh climates.
How We Selected Our Recommendations
Of course, hands-on experience is the best, but without having all ten in my hands, I go based on existing reviews and the thinking of experts in the field. As much as I would love to put all these shooting sticks to the test there are times when certain products or categories are a real challenge — be it availability, cost, or simply a lack of resources — I can get stymied going hands-on with all the potential candidates. Rather than present a never-ending list of all the shooting sticks on the planet, I selected those which I felt best represent the price points laid out above — giving you a solid representational list to serve as a jumping-off point for your own research (you are going to do you own research, right?)
To avoid disappointment or steering you in the wrong direction, I bolster my own experience with conversations with experts, comb through reviews on retailer sites & sales data, review industry publications, other blogs, and otherwise surface the best information available.
We aim for all thriller, no filler, as they say
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