Butt up butt down !
New to stalking but doing quite a bit this year .Carrying rifle /scope /moderator and the rest on hills all day as you will know tests the fitness .
What are the views / tips for the best method of carrying your gear ?
The real answer to your question is that both techniques are fine. The important factor is being aware of the direction the barrel is pointing at all times.
In Africa I carry the rifle on my shoulder barrel forward if I am leading and backward if following. There are no slings on my DG rifles.
I've recently fitted a Jetzed moderator and find that , at 5'9", it definitely catches on tufts etc when carried muzzle down.
Am also trying an American 'Nimrod' pack, which has a scabard mounted cross ways left hip to right shoulder. I don't think they are designed with a moderator and a Harris bipod in mind, because the rifle is a tight fit. Its a bit fiddly to continually get in and out. However, it could work well on the hill when you are only likely to take it out once after a couple of hours approach work.
The problem I find when carrying it muzzle up with the moderator on is that it keeps wanting to drop down and I am continually hoyking it upright.
A few years ago I bought a 'rifle holster', a belt with a hook fixed to it positioned in the middle of your back which you slip the stock into when carrying muzzle upright with the sling over your shoulder.
This was fine for a while, but then with the extra weight of the moderator, it still pulled the hook to the side except when the belt was so tight your eyes popped out, so not exactly satisfactory at all!
As regards the tape over the muzzle, I think that is really only useful to keep rain out when carrying muzzle up not to protect it when digging in the ground when carrying muzzle down!!
I think the only real answer is to get somebody to carry it for you and hand it to you when it is required!! lol
I wouldn't trust anyone else to carry my rifle, just in case they fell forward and 'popped a cap in my ass' as the Americans say.
I prefer to carry my rifle craddled across my body with the barrel pointing down, its comfortable over distance and doesn't get caught up as much. I've never had any safety issues with this method and you can get on to the target faster.
Its a technique adopted by the British Forces and they know a thing or two about bang sticks.
As requested some pics from Scotland last week. Saw a nice buck but F+M meant we counld not move the carcass into England.
The pics were taken with a 99p camera including film. Gives a nice 1970s feel to the pics.
As you can see there is plenty of space for the roe to hide especially with the bracken 5' high.