This is an interesting topic that I have dealt with recently. You see alot of the hunting shows today where guys will not put a round in the chamber until they are ready to shoot. However, when i grew up in Vermont, and learned gun safety, nothing was ever mentioned about that. Nobody ever thought about doing that. If you were in the woods, you were essentially ready to shoot.
I am wondering where this idea started. Is it a west coast thing? Maybe because the terrain allows you to see animals from a further distance, so you can safely rack a round in without being heard? Is it only when hunting with others, like guides or partners, so that you don't have an A.D.? I am supremely confident in where I point my weapon and where my finger is in relation to the trigger. I can understand that if you are traversing terrain that might cause you to stumble, it might be a good thing to do. But in my experience, a big game animal is not really going to wait around until you load your rifle.
I had it happen recently to me. We were planning on SITTING for deer, not even walking, and I was told to not load a round till I saw a deer. I laughed and told him I would indeed have a round in the chamber. That's why there is a safety, and why I am taught proper gun handling. I told him I wouldn't have one while hiking in, but once we stopped, I was going "hot". We left it at that, and nothing more was said.
What do you guys think?