Is it necessary to sit in the lap of luxury when in a hide?
PUBLISHED: 10:31 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 16:51 09 January 2020
In association with Streamlight, our Guest Guru, Barry Hearn, asks the hunters out there - 'are you sitting comfortably?'
Reader, James Golding, asks: 'Was Barry Hearn really serious when he installed a bench in his hunting hide in last month's issue? Whatever happened to using the materials available from nature? Also, is it really necessary to sit in the lap of luxury in a hide? Barry appears to make this a priority - he even listens to the radio! - and it seems like overkill to me.'
Barry replies: Thanks for the questions, James, and first let me assure you that the bench I made for that hide was built from bits of timber I found nearby, where I also found a swivel chair, which I've used in another hide! The simple fact is, I'll use whatever I have that works, including my beloved radio.
More importantly, although I don't actually 'sit in the lap of luxury', I always try to make myself as comfortable as possible, because I shoot better that way, plus I enjoy my time in the hide more. There's no point in roughing it if I don't have to, and if the sport is good, I'll be in a hide for hours, so it makes sense to make myself comfortable, surely?
More comfort means less movement
At a basic level, being comfortable, with everything I need to hand, means my movements inside the hide are kept to an absolute minimum, and that applies to the time between shots and while taking them. A well-designed hide will allow a smooth transition between spotting a target and shooting it, with the absolute minimum in terms of messing about to get the rifle on aim.
Tailored hides - easy shooting
That's why I put serious thought into the 'internal ergonomics' of every hide I build, and I'll go to great lengths to make my shooting as efficient and as clinical as possible. Experience has shown me time and again, the preparation work I put in to my hides is never, ever wasted.
I see the actual shot as no more than the last piece of a satisfying jigsaw, and by no means the most skilful piece, either. For me, shooting from a hide is a means of 'switching off' my quarry in an instant, and if a shot doesn't represent just that, I don't take it.
James, there can be no 'overkill', when it comes to building a hide to work as efficiently and comfortably as possible - because these are one and the same.
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