Interested in peoples views. When woodland / farm stalking I tend to laod up when I leave the car and start stalking down the field edges even if I have n't spied a beast. Inevitably I will sling the rifle on occasion to use binoculars etc. but muzzle will be pointing down and forwards.
This is in the guidelines of Hugh Rose and DSC 1 - indeed I recall he even said to laod up and put rifle back in slip if on the hill.
Or should we only load at last minute, ie as part of the process of taking sight on a beast.
I am not sure there is a right way or wrong way.
As far as I am concerned ALL RIFLES ARE ALWAYS LOADED, and thus handling must always keep muzzle pointing in safe direction.