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A surprising number of hunters fail to take advantage of natural rests found in the field. Using a fencepost, rock, tree limb, downed log, or other sturdy object to rest your firearm over or against can improve your shot dramatically.

If you rest your rifle directly on said sturdy object, however, your firearm will bounce slightly away from the rest, throwing your shot. Remember to always pad the rest with something. Your hand often works perfectly. A hat, glove, article of clothing; all will suit nicely.

In-the-field practice will hone your skills for the hunt. Take your rifle for a walk (empty), and pick random objects to aim at (safely). Now quickly assess your immediate area for suitable objects to rest your firearm over. Get rapidly into position using the best available rest and lock your sights/crosshairs onto the target. Repeat this practice often, and it’ll soon become second nature.

Next time you are hunting and a tough shot opportunity presents itself, you’ll automatically find the best natural rest available and get into position. Wait till the barrel steadies and then squeeze the trigger. Just don’t be too cocky when you show that big buck to your friends and tell them about the tough shot you pulled off.