Understanding the Upland Hunting Ready Position

Unlike waterfowl or big-game hunting, upland hunting involves smaller, fast-moving targets that require quick reaction times and excellent marksmanship. One of the most crucial aspects to mastering this form of hunting is understanding and mastering the upland hunting ready position. This position is the default stance that hunters should adopt to ensure they are ready to take a shot at a moment’s notice.

Upland hunting refers to the pursuit of small game birds such as grouse, pheasant, and quail in their natural habitats. This type of hunting requires a high degree of stamina, alertness, and precision, as the hunter has to spot, stalk, and shoot the birds which are known for their speed and unpredictability.

Proper positioning and posture play a significant role in upland hunting. The hunter needs to adopt a specific stance or position known as the upland hunting ready position to ensure that they can take a shot immediately, accurately, and safely when the opportunity arises. In the ready position, the butt of the gun stock is tucked right underĀ  the armpit, with feet shoulder-width apart. The lead foot is bent slightly at the knee for quick rotation to track the unpredictable flushing birds.

The Importance of the Ready Position in Upland Hunting

The ready position is critical for the success of upland hunting because it allows the hunter to react quickly and accurately to the bird’s sudden movements. The hunter needs to be in a state of readiness, with their firearm positioned correctly and their body aligned in such a way that they can swing and shoot at a moment’s notice.


The ready position also ensures that the hunter can maintain their balance and stability, even on uneven terrain. The sudden, unexpected movements of the upland birds often require the hunter to react quickly, potentially throwing them off-balance if they are not properly grounded.

The ready position contributes to the overall safety of the hunting experience. When correctly adopted, the ready position ensures that the firearm is handled safely and that the hunter is always aware of its orientation and their surroundings. It minimizes the risk of accidental discharges and injuries.

How to Adopt the Perfect Upland Hunting Ready Position

The perfect ready position starts with the correct handling of the gun. Your firearm should be pointed in a safe direction, usually towards the ground, with your finger off the trigger until you are ready to shoot. Your hands should be firmly gripping the gun, with your dominant hand on the trigger guard and your other hand supporting the firearm.

You should stand with your feet shoulder-width apart for balance, with your body slightly inclined forward (nose over toes). Your weight should be equally distributed on both feet, and your knees should be slightly bent to absorb any shocks or sudden movements.

Your eyes should be focused on the dog or the area where you expect the bird to appear. Your head should be upright, and your neck relaxed, allowing you to swiftly turn and adjust your aim as needed.

Common Mistakes to Avoid in the Upland Hunting Ready Position

One of the common mistakes hunters make is not keeping their gun ready. The firearm should be in a position where it can be quickly raised to shoot, not slung over your shoulder or held loosely by your side. Another mistake is standing too upright or rigidly, which can slow down your reaction time and make it difficult to pivot or change direction quickly.

Maintaining proper focus is crucial in upland hunting, and a common mistake is allowing your attention to drift from the task at hand. It’s essential to stay vigilant and keep your eyes on the dog or the area where the bird is likely to emerge.

The upland hunting ready position is a fundamental skill that every hunter needs to master. It facilitates swift and accurate shooting and ensures the safety of the hunter and others in the vicinity. By understanding and practicing the ready position, hunters can significantly improve their chances of success in upland hunting. So the next time you head out into the field, remember to adopt the ready position, stay focused, and handle your firearm safely. Your success in upland hunting depends on it.

# # #


    Leave a Reply

    XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

    Shotgun Life Newsletters

    Join an elite group of readers who receive their FREE e-letter every week from Shotgun Life. These readers gain a competitive advantage from the valuable advice delivered directly to their inbox. You'll discover ways to improve your shooting, learn about the best new products and how to easily maintain your shotgun so it's always reliable. If you strive to be a better shooter, then our FREE e-letters are for you.