The Sitting Position

By Chuck Hawks

Sitting is the most useful of all field positions for the hunter. I have undoubtedly killed more game from sitting than from all other positions combined.

Prone is slightly steadier, but much less comfortable. And prone places the shooter's line of sight so low that it is usually impossible to see over even moderate height grass or brush. The sitting position gets the shooter's head high enough to avoid most such problems.

As an aside, I dislike the prone position so much that once, when qualifying with the .30 M1 Carbine while I was in the USAF, I shot the prone stage from the sitting position (with the permission of the range sergeant)--and still managed a perfect score.

The sitting position is easy to learn and can be assumed quickly. It is also relatively comfortable and quite steady, much more so than the slightly faster kneeling position. Accurate shooting from short to moderately long ranges can be accomplished from the sitting position. All in all, it is my favorite unsupported field position. (Shooting from a rest is the most accurate position of all.)

Here is how I assume the sitting position. I plant my butt on the ground at a slight angle to the target with my knees bent at almost a 45 degree angle and my feet splayed somewhat farther apart than shoulder width. The key is to lean well forward from the waist, placing the flat above each elbow against the flat below the kneecaps. On steep terrain you can dig your heels in to keep from sliding downhill, but it is better not to do so as this causes tremors in the legs. If you shoot with a rifle sling, the tight sling pulls your forend arm against the flat below the knee, further tightening and steadying the position.

One very important point: do not rest your elbows on top of your knees. This is very unsteady and defeats the whole purpose of the sitting position.

With a little practice, you will find the sitting position quick and easy to assume. It is also one of the most accurate positions from which to shoot in the field.

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Copyright 2004, 2007 by Chuck Hawks. All rights reserved.