There is lots of useful gear that can prove invaluable on a hunting trip – Mat Manning lists ten of his top kitbag items.
1. Laser Rangefinder
Most airgun shooters understand the rise and fall of their pellet and where to aim to ensure a clean kill over various ranges. But that counts for nothing unless you know exactly how far away the target is – a laser rangefinder does the job quickly and precisely.
2. Pocket knife
A small knife has many uses, from prepping shot quarry to cutting pegs to mount decoys or fasten a hide net. Whether you opt for a fixed or folding blade is down to personal preference, but make sure it has a good edge.
3. Shooting permission
When you secure a shooting permission get it in writing and keep it on you. Having a copy safely folded away in your jacket pocket can quickly save any confusion if anyone questions your right to be there.
4. Insurance card
Insurance from a reputable shooting organisation like BASC gives you access to a wealth of advice and information as well as cover. Keep your card on you and you’ll always have your insurer’s contact details to hand.
5. Get a head net
Covering your face is a great way to avoid detection by sharp-eyed quarry. Quick concealment will always be on hand if you keep a camo head net stuffed in your pocket.
6. Grippy gloves
The pale skin on your hands can be as conspicuous as your face, but it’s easily hidden with a pair of gloves. Most shooters opt for a lightweight pair in the summer and something warmer for the winter – just make sure that you go for a grippy pair that gives plenty of trigger feel.
7. Take a seat
Even if you head out on a roving shoot, you will often find a promising area that lends itself to an ambush. A beanbag seat is easy to carry, but even a simple carrier bag will help to keep your backside dry during a stakeout.
8. Quarry calls
Woodpigeons, crows, magpies and even grey squirrels can all be lured in closer with the clever use of calls. Thankfully, most quarry callers are very compact so it’s easy to stow them in a kitbag or pocket.
9. Food and drink
You can’t shoot to your optimum if you feel hungry or thirsty. Stashing a water bottle and snacks in your kitbag will keep you sharp and prevent hunger or thirst from forcing you to head home early.
10. Phone connection
A mobile phone has become an essential item of shooting equipment, enabling you to check weather apps, access a light source at night and ring ahead when you’re heading home for dinner. It’s also reassuring to know that you can contact the outside world if you encounter a problem.