Here's an update on what I've been doing to improve my skills since I earned my patch. I spent a little time shooting out to 325 yards on a friend's farm and worked up some loads and ballistics cards and headed out to Wyoming to hunt antelope. A Wyoming antelope hunt provides plenty of real world long range field experience and plenty of practice on the other rifleman skills (target identification and ranging) as well as taking the shot, of course. I think Wheeler44 is right--hunters are nuts for not using a good sling (for the most part). I rigged a hasty sling alongside a nice comfortable hunting sling so I'd have the best setup for both carrying and shooting.
I came back with 5 antelope in the coolers--one buck and four does. All of my shots were over 200 yards and my two longest shots were over 400 yards. Those critters sure get flightly after opening day and 200 yards seems short to me now.
Both of the 400+ shots were from prone position but I had to take some shorter shots from a kneeling position because the grass was too long for prone. I've adopted kneeling rather than a sitting position now, because, like Earl says, kneeling provides a good quick-shot position. The speed more than compensates for the slight loss of stability of the platform. I think it worked well for me on the AQT and it works equally well for quick shots on a hunt.
Here's where I got the ballistics cards for the loads I was using. The holdover numbers were essential for the ranges and winds I encountered:http://www.jbmballistics.com/cgi-bin/jbmcard-5.1.cgi
The whole experience completely validated the goals of the Appleseed program and I proved to myself that I'm an effective rifleman at 400 and 500 yards.
Here are a couple of pics. I used my Winchester Winlite M70 in .30-06 on the buck (130 grain Barnes handloads) and my new Oly Gamestalker AR upper in 243 WSSM (Winchester 95 grain Supreme) on the doe.
Thanks to Earl and Wheeler for all the instruction and training.