Insight: The Five Key Elements for your Rifle on a Western Hunt

September 28, 2022.

Insight: The Five Key Elements for your Rifle on a Western Hunt

by: Walker Schearer

If you’re heading out West this fall, you’re in for a treat! The diversity of game, terrain, and adventure that becomes right at one’s fingertips is something special. Whether you’re a seasoned veteran of western hunting or if it’s your first time venturing past the Mississippi this fall, these five components of your rifle speak for themselves.


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1. Optics

A veteran Montana guide I’ve worked with my entire career has always said this to his clients, “Buy the best optics you can afford, and once you do, pair it with quality rings and bases.” Having a scope with a wide objective that performs well in low light conditions and a moderate variation of magnification is just what you need to notch that tag.


2. A Solid Rest

Your adrenaline is rushing. All of the planning, preparation, and time invested has come to this moment. As you settle in on that animal, the last thing you want is to be unsteady. Take the time to find what rest you are most solid with before you head out afield. Ideally, having a good bipod and being set up for a prone shot will ensure optimum steadiness, but you should be prepared for all situations. Many times the grass is too tall to lay down when hunting on the prairie. Consider picking up a set of shooting sticks. Personally I prefer a set that is configured as a tripod, as the third point of contact increases stability and makes for a solid shot.



3. Ammunition

Find the right load for your gun. You can take the same model rifle chambered in the same caliber from the same factory, and each gun will individually have a load that it performs best with. Take the time to find the sweet recipe your rifle likes. If you’re buying factory ammunition, research the loads and find a bullet that best suits the species you’re hunting.



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4. Carrying Your Rifle

Most likely you won’t find yourself sitting in a blind or hanging in a tree stand on your western hunt. That being said, you’ll be putting on miles day in and day out. Be prepared to have a comfortable sling that will hold up to the elements. Be mindful of what material your sling is made of. Especially if you end up in rugged terrain, you don’t want your rifle continuously sliding off your shoulder.



5. Cases

You’re all packed up, you have your gear selected, and you’re ready to go. When it comes to hauling your rifle out west, make sure you get a quality built case. If you’re traveling via the airlines, keep in mind that even if the pilot gets you to your destination with a smooth landing, the ground crew may not always treat your firearm with such service. That’s when a well built rugged gun case pays dividends.



Let us know your keys to to success when hunting out west by tagging @Bergara_Rifles on instagram.


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