A good hunter is an accurate shooter. Sure, your skill with a rifle isn’t the only thing that will put more meat in the fridge. But when hunting season begins and you’re in the right position at the right time, you must be able to put that bullet where it needs to go.

Precise shooting skills can ensure a clean kill by a good shot to the vital areas. You save time, get to hunt more game, and spare any badly hit animals an agonizing death.

Here’s the catch. If you’re new to hunting, you’ll quickly discover that shooting isn’t as easy as it seems in the movies. It takes a ton of discipline and focuses to improve your marksmanship. And of course, having great hunting gear like bipod shooting sticks doesn’t hurt!

That said, how do you become a better rifle shooter? We’ve got answers.

5 Ways to Improve Your Rifle Shooting Skills

Most hunters grasp the basics of shooting a few weeks into training for their first game. Yet too many of us stop at the basics, not realizing that small faults and bad habits are magnified by distance.

Fortunately, a little practice can go a long way. Here are five tips to upgrade your rifle shooting skills.

1. Pick a Suitable Rifle

Of all the rifle shooting tips, the most important is to pick a weapon that fits you. You might have difficulty firing a gun that’s too heavy, complicated, or powerful.

A misfit rifle does more than mess with your aim. It can also increase your chances of getting hurt or accidentally hurting others.

When picking a rifle, consider:

  • Your experience level
  • What you’re going to use the weapon for
  • Your body size and strength

Once you determine all these criteria, you’ll have no trouble figuring out what kind of rifle you should be looking for and using.

2. Practice Pulling the Trigger

By the time you’ve climbed a hill, forded rivers, and crawled on your belly to get into position, you’d think pulling the trigger would be the least of your concerns. However, that’s not the case. Tugging at the trigger or pulling back too quickly can drag the rifle off aim when the shot breaks.

To shoot accurately, you must focus on how you pull the trigger instead of just squeezing and praying your shot hits home. You’ll never be able to shoot with any consistent precision unless you improve your trigger control.

So, here’s a quick guide on how to get a proper trigger pull every time. 

  • As mentioned before, pull the trigger slowly and smoothly. New shooters often yank the trigger to counter the recoil and loud noise of their rifles going off.
  • Pull the trigger straight back to the rear. Be sure to minimize any jerks.
  • Place your finger on the trigger in a comfortable position.

3. Stabilize Your Rifle

Unsupported or offhand shooting can be a nightmare for new shooters. It’s incredibly important to stabilize your rifle if you hope to shoot with speed and accuracy.

That’s where bipod shooting sticks come in!

Bipod shooting sticks enable you to steady your rifle before aiming. They are most suited for long-range shots where you can lie prone and deploy quickly. These make for the most stable shooting position and add very little bulk to your hunting gear.

Finding the best shooting bipod sticks can be overwhelming, especially with the options out there. But you can quit your search with Snakelook. We offer a high-quality universal system suited to multiple scenarios. 

Perfect for thrill-seekers, our unique shooting sticks bipods are designed to work from a standing, kneeling, sitting, or prone position. Plus, the Loop Lock and Pinch Lock methods allow these sticks to function for any tool you want to be stabilized, so you can save money. Get yours today!

4. Get Comfortable

Building a proper shooting platform is vital to taking a confident shot. The goal is to be able to sit/stand/kneel in an optimal position, engaging as few muscles as possible. This is because engaged muscles lead to fatigue, which results in shaky shots.

Use lightweight shooting bags, jackets, packs, or rocks to wedge beneath your knees, between the elbows and core, and at the small of your back if you’re leaning backward. Once you have your wedges in place, you should feel comfortable enough to sit for hours without any limbs falling asleep.

5. Improve Your Stance and Breath Control

You’ve heard it before; you’ll hear it again: you cannot master rifle shooting without working on your stance and breathing first.

Your feet should be on solid ground, about shoulder-width apart. Lean slightly forward to relieve any tension. A tight grip can help control the recoil and get your muzzle back on target.

Here’s the best part: you don’t have to fire your gun to improve your marksmanship. Try ‘dry-firing’ instead. Dry-fire is shooting without live ammo. Doing this can help you expect trigger-pull instead of recoil and eliminate flinch (or avoid developing one).

That’s not all. Breathing while you shoot can decrease precision since any chest movement causes the sights to move while on target. Fortunately, you can control it.

For most shooters, the best time to control breathing is during the natural pause at the end of each exhales. Pushing the air out of the lungs relaxes your chest muscles, making it easier to hold your breath. However, this is not a cut-and-dried solution. Remember to experiment and find a way that works best for you.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, rifle shooting takes patience and practice. Use the off-season to improve your skills, and you’ll be in good shape once it's time to pick up your weapon again. Putting these tips into action can help you become a competent shooter who makes accurate shots on demand.

Every hunter needs some good hunting gear in their arsenal. And Snakelook is here to give you just that. Choose from our wide range of hunting equipment- from bipod shooting sticks to rifle scopes- to get your hunting game on point. Contact us to place an order or browse through our inventory of reliable and high-quality outdoor equipment today!

April 10, 2023 — Mike Butler