Sighting in your rifle and practising shooting are two essential pre-season steps for hunters, and a stable rest is vital to accurate shooting. While commercial bags are available, you can quickly and simply make your own.
A shooting sock under the rear of your stock gives greater stability than simply holding it, whether shooting from a bench or prone. Adjust the height of the rear stock by squeezing the bag with your support hand to raise it (lowering the barrel) or press the stock down into it to lower it (raising the barrel), or stand the sock on end for greater height. You can also place a shooting sock under the forend when shooting from a bench or prone. Sit it on top of a backpack or block, allowing you some adjustment for height and protection for your rifle.
To make a rear bag, take a sock (a light but durable, hole-free, tall sock) and fill it, preferably with airsoft pellets or plastic beads.
If you choose a filler that will take on moisture, like rice, barley, popcorn kernels, or sand, put it in a baggie first. Fill the sock about halfway, and, after you’ve compressed it to roughly the size of a large grapefruit, tie it in a knot. Then fold the sock back over the filled portion, and you’re done.
Originally published in the Ontario OUT of DOORS magazine 2019 August issue.