How to Build Shooting Sticks

Explore America's Campgrounds

Hunters of all skill levels will tell you that they never go hunting or take a shot without their shooting sticks. The ages-old tool provides outdoorsmen and marksmen the stability and balance they need to make that much coveted one-shot kill. Although many can and do buy a set from a store, it is often cheaper and more rewarding to assemble a custom set of your own. Most importantly, it's not very difficult.

Items you will need

  • Two bamboo sticks

  • Saw

  • Sandpaper

  • 3/4-inch plumbing O-rings

  • 1 inch to 2 inch leather strips

  • Roll of nylon sinew

Cut your selected bamboo sticks with a saw to meet your shooting height. For example, if you're six feet tall, you will probably want to ensure that your stick heights do not exceed six feet or you'll be on the balls of your feet trying to shoot. Find a height that you find fitting as not to affect your marksmanship.

Sand your bamboo thoroughly. You'll want to smooth our your bamboo where cuts were made or jagged edges exist. Bamboo is very strong and has the potential to cause injury if it isn't smoothed.

Find the pivot point, the point where your bamboo sticks will cross when they are folded out. Again, take careful consideration into where you prefer this pivot point to be. If it is too low, your weapon of choice will rest too low for your sight level; if it is too high, there may be not enough distance between the pivot for your weapon to rest.

Slide your O-rings over your selected pivot point. This will form the hinge by which your shoot sticks will fold open and closed. You can also use leather straps for this same function: simply wrap leather strips several times around the sticks, then tie the wrap in a finishing knot and reinforce it again by wrapping around another leather tie several times with nylon sinew.

Apply your resting pad. Start by opening your sticks so that the pivot and distance between tips is at its longest. Take your widest leather strip and cut it so that it is at least two inches wider than the open-ended sticks, which will ensure the sticks will still spread far enough apart once you have tied the rest pad to the ends.

To secure your rest pad to the end of the stick, you will want to wrap the ends of the leather strip around the outer edges of the bamboo. Next, wrap sinew around each side, pinching the leather between the wrap--do this several times.

Bamboo has a tendency to splinter when the ends are left open and bare to the elements, so wrap some leather patches around the foot ends of each stick. Secure these strips with more sinew knots. If you feel leather will not be tough enough, you can always run to the hardware store and secure some rubber feet instead.


  • Make sure your newly assembled shooting sticks function properly before using them in the wild.