Saturday, 2 May 2009

Fieldcraft: In Need of Support...

I was feeling quite pleased with myself yesterday because I'd come up with - what seemed to me, at least - a nifty way of supporting the rifle while I sat and peered from the cover of the orchard. I'd put an old fence post up against a tree a while back and this had provided some support - but I still had to hold the weight of the gun and stop it sliding to the right and down the post. Sitting there yesterday, it occurred to me to loop the strap from my gun slip over the top of the post and rest my hand and the rifle in the 'V' formed by the slope of the post and the hanging, rolled-up slip. This felt comfortable and it also felt as if I would still be allowing the rifle to move when it was fired. It's important, I gather, not to rest springers on a hard surface when you're firing or their recoil will bounce the gun up before the pellet leaves the barrel and cause the shot to go anywhere but where you would have liked.

What an resourceful chap I am, I thought, and, in celebration, fired off a couple of 'noble hunter' self-portraits with my camera phone.

But soft! What's this? A rabbit had appeared at the far end of the hedgerow and had started to hop, skip and jump towards me (I'm much obliged to them when they do this, it always makes me very happy). It stopped at a convenient thirty yards and then turned to look at the field and present me with its profile. I sighted up the shot - marvelling at the steadiness of the view through the scope and congratulating myself once more - squeezed in the first stage of the trigger, breathed out and, as I reached the steady point before breathing in again, increased the squeeze for the second stage of the trigger pull...

And realised that I'd forgotten to break the barrel and cock the rifle. Whoops! By the time I'd finally done this and stuck my head back round the tree again, the rabbit had scarpered.

A loudly-mooing herd of cows came into the field just then and - spotting me - came cheerfully towards me to say hello and moo some more. There was no more shooting to be done in that part of the field so, instead, I had a couple of refreshing, citrus-and-bergamot-flavoured sniffs of snuff, took a few more 'noble hunter' snaps for good measure - and then wandered home; empty-handed but, inexplicably, rather cheerful.


  1. HH,

    I'm glad you weren't particularly hungry today! Now I know why you would like a precharged.

    In your ambling about, check the hedgerows for a couple of 3/4 or 15mm or so saplings that you could fashion into convenient shooting sticks. For those times when your blind isn't convenient or productive.

    Best Regards,
    The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
    The Range Reviews: Tactical.
    Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit.

  2. Hiya Albert,

    I have an idea that snuff abuse is the cause of 1) my good spirits and 2) my lack of hunger.

    The shooting stick is a good idea. I'll think on it and keep an eye out for a good one.