In recent months a big debate has been going on in the shooting community here in the UK, in my own opinion a needless one but it has gotten to a point where I feel I need to comment.

Some feel that camouflage when hunting is a big sin and tactical stocks are the devil. That tweed is the only path to righteousness and if Jesus was around today he would have a good non scary wood stock. Black guns with handles, floating barrels, light polymer, bi pods and big scary bits should only be for the military.

However, I disagree.

Allow me to address the camouflage point first, I wear camo when I hunt and I exclusively hunt only 3 things. I hunt Magpie as they steal my hens eggs and kill chicks, I hunt rabbit as I like the taste and they are a major pest here – and I hunt squirrel as again they are an invasive species and taste very good.

Due to my arthritis I have adopted a sniper method of shooting. I like to wait, hidden and camouflaged with as little movement as possible that way I don’t hurt myself. I lure them to me with food and take one very careful shot with my 10/22 so they don’t know what hit them. Quick and as painless as possible.

The camouflage allows me to get very comfortable and well hidden in undergrowth you see. And the method works for my style of shooting and to accommodate my disability. I have even had people walk right past me at 3 feet.

Now on to the “tactical” stocks. I also use one.

“But why!” I hear the pitchfork brigade shout, well I will tell you why…….. they are bloody comfortable that’s why, a floating barrel is more accurate, I like the pistol grip, I enjoy the fact I can accessorise it with useful things like my bipod easily, its aesthetics please me greatly, its light, I appreciate less reloading with my 25 round mag at the range, a moderator saves my hearing……….it’s evolution.

Shooting has progressed, we’ve made some advancements gentlemen (and ladies) in rifle technology that benefits the shooter since the old musket. I imagine rifling was a scary advancement once upon a time too. It’s ok to think a tactical stock looks scary, that’s fine. If you like a good hard wood stock then go right ahead and use one, I won’t judge you.

However the argument of “public perception” is not a valid one. In the day and age of the internet there is no excuse for stupidity on a subject, literally anything you need to know is at the tips of your fingers……so when the public are wrong you correct them, you educate them on the reality rather than the propaganda.

You open up your community and welcome in new members, you spread the sport. You show what these advancements are, why the rifles look the way they do.

You don’t throw your community to the wolves in order to quieten the uneducated in the hopes you get left alone.

But the posts picture is how I look when I hunt, I’m not trying to be “Rambo” I’m actually trying not to get attention. That’s the point of Camo after all, right?

Just my opinion. I’m sure however this debate will continue for a long time.

-Mike Lindsay

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