Sporting Shooter - - Weather Watch -

If you are go­ing stalk­ing in wet weather, you’ll need to con­sider what kit you take and how you pro­tect it. Don’t take a ri­fle that has a Grade 7 wal­nut stock – it will get ru­ined pretty fast if you do. It’s bet­ter to bor­row an es­tate ri­fle. And take some gloves – your hands will get cold and a de­cent pair will give you a bit of grip.

In terms of op­tics, you’ll need to pro­tect your scope in par­tic­u­lar from get­ting too much wa­ter on it as oth­er­wise you sim­ply won’t be able to make a shot. Don’t put your binoc­u­lars in your coat to keep dry as they’ll just fog up. Many man­u­fac­tur­ers of op­tics now have spe­cial coat­ings on the lenses for rain. Le­ica’s Aquadura coat­ing re­pels not only wa­ter but also dirt. The coat­ing means that wa­ter droplets roll off the lens, and helps to keep your view clear in ad­verse con­di­tions and, best of all, the op­tics are truly wa­ter­proof. Bush­nell’s Rain­guard coat­ing works slightly dif­fer­ently, caus­ing wa­ter to bead-up into smaller droplets and scat­ter, but the re­sults are the same: a de­cent im­age even in wet weather.

Make sure you take a proper lens cloth with you, rather than just us­ing a handkerchief or tis­sue, which can dam­age your op­tics. Best of all, have lens caps or a har­ness that will pro­tect your op­tics from rain.

When you re­turn from your hunt in the rain, you’ll want to make sure the ri­fle is prop­erly dried out be­fore stor­ing it, but it’s worth putting a few sil­ica gel bags in your gun cab­i­net, as these will ab­sorb any ex­cess mois­ture.

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