WHAT KIT WILL I NEED?
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.