Know-How: Put a Sock on It

posted on November 12, 2017

It’s no secret that a stable muzzle on the target increases the likelihood of hitting where we intend. In the field, where we aren’t likely to have a bench with sandbags or a mechanical rest, a hunter should utilize what is available to aid in stabilizing the gun. The idea is to find a rest that will give the shooter a reasonably steady position from which to shoot.

What objects are available for field-expedient use depends on the geography, cover and terrain in which the hunt is taking place. In areas with trees, there are usually deadfalls, stumps and low limbs that make great rests for taking standing, sitting or kneeling shots. Much the same applies to sizeable rocks.

However, there is a caveat to using any of the above as an improvised rest, which if not recognized and accounted for, may cause a miss. Guns rested directly on a hard object such as a rock, tree or even an unpadded treestand support tend to recoil away from the object, causing the shot to go astray.

It is important to have some sort of cushion to attenuate this condition. I have used a thick sock partially filled with plastic beads from the hobby store for years with success. It is lightweight, fits in a pocket for quick deployment and maintains its cushioning effect when wet. Plus, it’s a good use for that odd sock that somehow over the course of last season lost its partner.


2022 GBA AOTY Winchester 6.8 Western Lead
2022 GBA AOTY Winchester 6.8 Western Lead

2022 Ammo of the Year: Winchester 6.8 Western

Any way you cut it, this cartridge is a long-range winner. It maintains its energy at distance, and it’s plenty accurate, too.

Pioneering Wild Turkey Research Underway

The National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) is helping fund a new wild-turkey research project conducted by Mississippi State University and the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks.

2022 Optic of the Year: ATN ThOR 4 Thermal Riflescope

ATN Corp. sits at the cutting edge of consumer-based thermal technology, and its ThOR 4 Series 640x480 2.5-25x50mm is the best such riflescope it offers.

Federal Ammunition Raises $218,000 for Local Organizations

In celebration of Federal’s 100th Anniversary, Federal will be donating more than $218,000 dollars to local organizations in support of their critical missions.

Federal Duck Stamps for 2022-23 Season on Sale

The 2022-23 Federal Duck Stamp goes on sale Friday, June 24. The stamps, which cost $25 and raise about $40 million for conservation each year, are valid from July 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.

2022 Muzzleloader of the Year: CVA Paramount HTR .40-Caliber

With its hunting-style stock, adjustable comb and premium Bergara barrel, the .40-caliber CVA Paramount HTR is capable of producing centerfire velocities previously thought unattainable from a muzzleloader.


Get the best of American Hunter delivered to your inbox.