Sawtooth Rifles High Angle Hunters Clinic
Please see the expanded course description below and select from the dates and payment options available.
Class fee: $1750
When using the deposit option, a balance of $1350 is due two weeks ahead of the class. The final payment is preferred as a check by mail. An invoice for the balance will be sent via email showing a due date. Payment by card by phone is allowed.
This course combines targets at long range (100-1000 yards) with steep slopes and conditions often encountered in western high country big game hunting. The High Angle Course starts with rifle set up and the mechanics of long range shooting and quickly moves through the intricacies of shooting up and down steep slopes. Shooters will also discuss the ethics of shooting game in these conditions and quickly learn their capabilities at long distances in extreme country. Shooters will hone skills for shooting long distance targets at high angles which also serve to increase shooter confidence in less extreme hunting conditions. On the third day of instruction shooters will test their skills on the steel safari course where targets acquisition and identification are combined with forming a shooting solution and building a position to engage the target. Shots will replicate big game hunting scenarios in steep country, providing the ultimate tune up for the high-angle hunter. Topics presented in the course cross over into law enforcement and tactical scenarios with observation techniques, target identification, position building, ballistic solutions, and engagement techniques applicable and just as relevant in a mountain environment as an urban scenario.
We strongly advise that course attendees have a basic understanding of the mechanics of long range shooting prior to this course (Sawtooth Rifles Long Range Hunters Clinic or equivalent experience). Additionally, course attendees need to bring a rifle and optics capable of 1000 yard engagements to participate the course. A 6mm cartridge with an appropriate bullet can be effective in this course. More details are presented below in the expanded course description.
This secluded private facility hangs on the edge of Idaho's desolate and dramatic River of No Return and offers the rare opportunity to match you skills against a combination of long range and high angle shooting. Under the guidance of our elite training staff you will rise to the grand occasion of shooting in this formidable terrain. Our Hat Creek training site is where extreme hunters learn to make bullets fly. Classes offered here utilize the high angle terrain to impart the knowledge needed to pull off extreme shots during a hunt. Goat and Sheep hunters take note!
Lodging at Hat Creek will be in the newly built bunk house adjacent to the lodge. A full class will necessitate shared rooms and bathrooms with up to four students per room.
- April 23-25 - arrival afternoon/evening of April 22 is authorized
- August 27-29 - arrival afternoon/evening of August 26 is authorized
Class Duration: 3 days
Class Hours: 0800-1700 (approximately) with a lunch break
Class Size: 12 students
Class Cost: $1750 with lodging and meals provided
Lead: Scott Satterlee
Assistants: Matt Yore
Skill level prerequisite
This course builds on a preexisting understanding of long range ballistics (Sawtooth Rifles Long Range Hunters Clinic or equivalent). It is assumed that the shooter has the ability to determine the distance to a target and estimate wind conditions to solve for a shooting solution, then engage the target using the method of adjusting scope turrets using either the Milrad or Minute of Angle units of angular measurements. These topics will be reviewed quickly on the first day of instruction before building on to the shooter's skillset with advanced topics.
Rifle system requirements to participate in the course
Make sure that your equipment is up to the challenge of this course. In general, you need to compare your riflescope's usable mechanical adjustment range to your cartridge's ballistics and ensure you have the ability to adjust turrets to compensate for the distances at which we will be shooting. Not all projectiles and optics are capable of effective use at these ranges. We have provided a reference article for prospective attendees at the link below to verify their equipment's mechanical capabilities prior to registration. Please inquire about rental equipment that may be available for use in the course if needed. We recommend a 6 mm or heavier caliber rifle and variable magnification scope with turret adjustments. High ballistic coefficient bullets are necessary to be effective at these ranges. The rifle and ammunition should be capable of MOA accuracy on 100 yard targets. The riflescope should have a magnification range of approximately 3-18x with up to 35x on the high end. Most shooting will be done around 10-15x to provide ample field of view to help acquire targets. For this class, cartridges such as the 7mm Rem Mag or .300 Win Mag offer a good balance between ballistic performance and recoil. A cartridge such as the 6.5 Creedmoor in a heavier weight match rifle can be highly effective with gained shooter comfort over the magnums. Consider bringing both a heavy weight, light-recoiling rifle and a lighter weight hunting rifle in order to gain confidence and skill with the fun rifle, while learning to apply the new skillset to the hunting rifle. We will include time to confirm trajectories and gain experience with the second rifle.
Ballistics calculations will be taught using the Shooter ® ballistics app. Please preload this app and familiarize yourself with it using the provided material at the link below to set up a profile for your rifle and ammunition. These calculations will allow the shooter to determine if their equipment and projectile choice are mechanically capable of shooting the distances we will be working at in the class.
- Class introduction, expectations, and safety brief
- Rifle System and Components Setup - riflescope, laser rangefinder, ballistics computer, ammunition,
- Eight fundamentals of shooting and building prone position
- 100 yard dot drills and adjust for zeros
- Obtain velocities and confirm other inputs for ballistics calculations
- Truing bar test
- Discuss shooter/spotter communications, elevation adjustment/wind hold methodology
- Data confirmation at long range
- Discuss high angle shooting and the effects of the look angle on ballistics
- Begin to shoot at distance with high angles and confirm trajectories/note discrepancies
- Discuss advanced ballistics and determine when to true ballistics
- Discuss wind reading and geographic influences due to rugged terrain and cross canyon influences
- Shooting session at high angles
- Discuss custom ballistic curves and tune ballistics if needed
- Continue shooting at extended distances
- Discussion of effectiveness on big game in steep conditions
- Discuss terminal ballistics
- Scope and rifle manipulation
- Confirm and true ballistics on hunting rifles
- Introduce new concepts: dialing vs holding, moving targets, multiple target engagements, alternate supported positions
- Discuss glassing techniques and pre-shot hunt planning
- Walk through Steel Safari course finding, identifying, and engaging targets under time constraints
Required gear, including the rifle system mentioned above
- Rifle capable of MOA accuracy
- mounted riflescope with target turrets (with mechanical capability to adjust for your bullet drop at 1000 yds)
- bubble level mounted on your rifle or scope
- Eye protection (clear and tinted)
- Ear protection
- Shooter ballistics calculator pre-loaded on device
- Rear squeeze bag
- Range finder
- At least 200 cartridges
- Appropriate seasonal hunting clothing & boots
- Backup phone charging system
- Calculator, paper, pen
- Binoculars (10x40 recommended)
Recommended gear and personal items
- Padded shooting mat
- Trekking Poles
- Insect repellent
- Hat that provides sun protection
- Rain gear
Instructors will have an array of bipods, bags, tripods, and slings to test out. Feel free to bring other gear with which you would like to gain experience.
Breakfast, some lunches and dinner will be served at the lodge. These family style meals will give you something to dream about when you are eating re-hydrated meals in the back country.
During the days, we may be away from the lodge. A sandwich lunch will be provided along with snacks and water.
Additional Notes for Hat Creek Ranch
Training at Hat Creek involves hiking in steep terrain and navigating through challenging obstacles. A degree of physical fitness is required and assumed. If this is of concern, please contact us before registering for a course to discuss possible accommodations.