Thinking of taking part in the increasingly popular sport of Hunter Field Target? Mark Camoccio runs through a check list of the essential gear to pack
1. Target Glove
The use of a target glove has become common in HFT, with an increasing number of competitors appreciating the benefits. Padding makes handling the gun more comfortable but there’s more to it than that. A glove offers added grip and support for those devilish standing and kneeling shots as well as adding strength to the fingers for really awkward attempts.
2. Pellet Pouch
There’s a plethora of pellet pouch designs available. Many competitors opt for a dedicated pellet box, featuring individual compartments, which stands on the floor. Visit a particularly dusty venue or endure an ultra-wet day, however, and those treasured sorted and sized projectiles are bound to get mistreated. Keeping them tucked away in a pouch will ensure they stay safely out of harm’s way.
3. Thermal Hat
I have a Thinsulate-style woollen hat which I keep in the pocket for cold days – a real insurance against inclement weather. This super-efficient thermal marvel has an uncanny way of maintaining body heat when the going gets particularly bleak.
4. Shooting Gloves
It’s stating the obvious, but shooting gloves need to be waterproof. I’ve shot in woollen gloves which quickly became a miserable, sodden affair in the rain. Get some modern pull-on stretch-neoprene gloves, however, and you’ll be forever warm and dry. Look out for those with small rubber dots on the palm for superb grip, and finger slits for assured pellet and trigger handling.
A waterproof jacket and trousers offering suitable weather protection are a must in any competitor’s wardrobe, particularly those offering a level of comfort and support conducive to good shooting along with several pockets.
6. Protective Case
I transport my gun to my competitions in a super-protective aluminium hard case. However, whilst actually shooting around the course I wouldn’t be without my highly portable, ultra-lightweight Bonart case.
Plenty of pockets and compartments are necessary, yet a case that’s effortless to carry and can keep the gun free of water and dirt is worth its weight in gold.
7. Shooting Mat
Some characters on the HFT circuit seem happy to throw themselves across a hard floor and get caked in mud. I, on the other hand, have long advocated the use of a top-quality, highly durable shooting mat – mine is from RangeSports. I have also used a bean bag, but the shooting mat can double up for kneeling duties too.