Waking up before dawn is easy when you don’t sleep the night before in anticipation of the hunt you’ve been waiting for all year long. The steaming coffee, hot and strong, steadily awakens the excitement inside you and in hushed tones, everyone at deer camp expresses how much they’ve been looking forward to this moment. Big bucks from previous hunts are remembered with pride and remorse is expressed for the trophies that got away.
There are plenty of reasons why hunters miss game—distance, positioning…nerves. Many a buck gets away because of poor shots. Even the most seasoned hunter experiences these nerves, which are called “buck fever.”
What is Buck Fever and What Causes it?
Buck fever is the physical manifestation of symptoms that hunters experience when game is spotted in their field of view or in range. Characterized by shaking and sweaty hands, increased heart rate and shortness of breath, buck fever can cause loss of coordination, resulting in a very inaccurate and poorly-placed shot. Buck fever is caused by the adrenaline dump when we get excited during the hunt.
Not every hunter experiences buck fever; however, it is very common. You might never get it, or you could experience it with every single hunt. Some hunters only experience buck fever when hunting deer, while others get buck fever when hunting elk, turkey or any other species.
Overcoming Buck Fever
There are many techniques you can incorporate into your hunt to help you combat buck fever. One is to train and practice during the offseason. This will give you the confidence to recognize your abilities and pulling the trigger will be more natural. Many hunters use breathing exercises to steady their breath. Having the right hunting equipment helps, too.
Professional hunters know that a stable shooting platform is essential to increasing accuracy, extending your shooting distance, as well as aiding in taking an ethical shot. Shooting off-hand can be challenging even when there is no pressure. Tripods, monopods, bipods and shooting sticks provide the hunter with a steady gun rest so no more trophies are missed.
Bipods are good for prone shooting, while tripods and monopods are adjustable for sitting, kneeling and standing positions—the positions hunters are most likely in when hunting any game. The tripod shooting sticks are favored with dangerous game hunters in Africa, which many hunters have brought the tradition back to the U.S. However, the monopod is easier to carry and deploy.
Benefits of using a monopod:
- Extend your shooting range
- Holds your rifle steady for longer periods
- Remain solid and steady on rocky and uneven terrain
- Provides a natural shooting stance
- Increases accuracy
- Supports your rifle
- Steadies your shot
The Firefield monopod shooting stick is a versatile and easy to use accessory essential for a successful hunt. It’s particularly advantageous when hunting in heavy brush, open fields and grasslands, rocky terrain, mountainous areas and prairies due to the included carbide tip and trekking basket which convert the shooting stick to a steady walking stick.
Firefield Monopod Features
The Firefield shooting stick is constructed of durable, lightweight aluminum weighing only 12 ounces. It is adjustable for height from 31.7 to 64.7 inches. A rubber, v-shaped yoke won’t scratch your firearm surfaces and holds the rifle steady. It has a non-slip cork grip and includes a carbide tip, rubber boot and trekking basket. With a standard bolt, it is compatible with a camera or spotting scope. Its adaptable for any terrain, including snow.
How to Use a Monopod
Adjusting the Height of the Shooting Stick:
There are two adjustment points on the shooting stick to adjust.
- Pull lever to release lock
- Fully extend lower part of leg to the point just before the stop marking and re-engage locking lever
- Extend upper section to desired height and lock in place