Caution is needed through a long day in the field, the editor says
Make sure you take precautions when out in the field on a hot day, the editor advises
I t seems a little odd to say that we need to worry about getting too hot in the UK. We’re mostly busy complaining about being cold, but summer heat can be serious, most especially for those of us not so used to it. In the past, I’ve sat in a hide decoying pigeons for far too long, and come home feeling a little sick and with a pounding headache – common symptoms of over- heating and dehydration.
It makes good sense to use shade from a stealth point of view, and also to keep the sun’s power off our skin. We need to be covered up for camouflage, so areas that usually let heat escape such as our head and hands can no longer do their job. Clearly, we need to wear the lightest weight clothing possible, and Jack Pyke makes some excellent longsleeve cotton T- shirts and trousers in summer camo patterns that are just right. They also offer light gloves and hats that work well, too. Eddie Jones can be seen wearing them on page 42.
It’s vital to keep properly hydrated on long, hot days and I use a trick taught to me by a friend who was born in South Africa. He takes an old plastic drink bottle, three- quarter fills it with water and then puts it in the freezer overnight. He then fills a second large water bottle and puts it in the fridge. As he sets off in the morning he puts both bottles in an insulated bag. The frozen one keeps the liquid water cool for a very long time and then later in the day you can drink the frozen one as it melts. Voila! Really cold drinks on tap all day long. If you feel at all unwell, please stop shooting and go home. If you have a headache, dizziness, confusion, a loss of appetite or feel sick, have cramps or an intense thirst you’re better off at home in a cool shower, where your family can keep an eye on you. These can all be signs of heatstroke and must be taken seriously. As with all forms of shooting, it’s better to hunt with a friend whenever possible so that you can look out for each other and call for help in an emergency if something really bad happens. Let’s be careful out there!
ABOVE: Ensure that you have plenty of water for you and your dog
BELOW: Sometimes it’s just too hot to hunt