Tips & Tactics

No Rail Pad? No Problem!

No Rail Pad? No Problem!

By Marcus Bolick

Photo: Venison is a prized commodity in the area of North Carolina where Marcus Bolick hunts. The hunter proudly hunts with the same model rifle used by Milo Hanson — a Winchester Model 88 chambered in .308.

My tip isn’t anything fancy, and I may not be the first Buckmasters fan to come up with the idea, but I’ve decided to share it anyway.

The idea came to me this past deer season as I hunted with my son and his friends.

On one particular property, the primary method of hunting was from ladder stands. I had never tried hunting from a ladder stand, and I thoroughly enjoyed it — with one exception: the fold-down shooting rails were bare metal.

Most modern ladder stand manufacturers today will supply padding for shooting rails, but this brand did not.

I found the metal rail to be cold, and it was difficult to keep from making noise each time I repositioned my rifle. This is not a good scenario when a smart old buck shows up!

The next time I hunted this property, I put my idea into action and brought along a few 1-inch diameter sections of foam pipe insulation. These sections are about 10 to 12 inches long.

When I got to my stand, I simply slipped the padding over the metal shooting rail and, wow, what a difference!

The foam muted sound from my rifle’s movement, and my hands didn’t freeze when I rested them against the rail.

The insulation will slide left to right on the rail, so I could reposition my rifle without the need to cover the entire rail.

When I got ready to leave that morning, I simply pulled the pipe insulation off the shooting rail, folded it and put it in my backpack. Since I often hunt from a different stand location in the afternoon, it was easy to take it with me to the next ladder stand.

Like I said, my tip is simple. Hopefully, it will help others who hunt from homemade ladder stands that did not come with a padded shooting rail or have rails that have decomposed rail padding

– Editor’s Note by Tim H. Martin

Marcus’ tip is simple, but a goodie. We are happy he decided to send it and share with his fellow Buckmasters fans!

Email your tips, too, no matter how simple. If selected, you will receive a cap signed by Jackie Bushman, as well as a hunting knife.

We especially love receiving tips that are unique and original. If you have a tactic or idea that makes your hunting better, we’d love to hear about it — even the simple, strange or unusual stuff!

Send your tips to:

– Photo Courtesy of Marcus Bolick

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Copyright 2018 by Buckmasters, Ltd.

Copyright 2017 by Buckmasters, Ltd