Do I need to check zero every time I hunt?

ALL CAPS WITH TEXT

ALL CAPS WITH TEXT - Credit: Archant

Expert advice from our airgun guru Barry on whether you need to check zero EVERY time you go out hunting...

Q: Do you check your rifle’s zero before each hunt? I’d like to do this but there’s nowhere for me to do it before I get to my shoot, and once I’m there, even though I use a silenced PCP, I don’t really want to shoot at a target to check my zero, in case I spook my quarry.

Barry replies: Chris, the short answer is yes, I always check my zero before I shoot at quarry, because unknown knocks, even with the rifle in its case, can affect zero. I completely understand your concerns, but I’d place the importance of knowing your rifle is shooting where it’s supposed to, over any fears of spooking quarry. Personally, I check zero as soon as I’m installed in my hide, or if I’m stalking, I’ll get under cover and take one zeroing shot as discreetly as I can. In the grand scheme of what goes on in the countryside, a silenced shot from an air rifle is highly unlikely to be a major event to our quarry, so check that zero and shoot with confidence, OK?