18:25 TRAVELLING LIGHT
MAT FAILS TO spot any rabbits while scanning the first field but that’s not a problem. It is early in the evening, so there is plenty of time for them to emerge while there is still light to shoot by and Mat has other paddocks to investigate.
Because Mat is going to be on the move, he is travelling much lighter than usual. Apart from creating excess weight to carry around, unessential kit can also make a lot of noise as it bumps around in your bag, so accessories like hide poles and nets, decoys, seats and callers have no place here.
Apart from his gun, which is a compact and lightweight BSA Ultra, and a pocketful of pellets, Mat is carrying minimal gear. He is taking a rangefinder and a small, sharp knife, which will come in handy for paunching any rabbits that he manages to shoot. He also has a small backpack to carry shot rabbits, but the binoculars are left in the car as they would just be an unnecessary burden.
Mat’s clothing is also lighter than the all-weather gear he was wearing through the winter. His thick lined trousers have been replaced with a lighter pair that give him more freedom of movement, and he has swapped his welly boots for a bashed-up old pair of trainers that will enable him to move far more stealthily.