CVC wrote: "hunting out west there isn't a need to chamber the round until you get into shooting distance."
I am going to have to disagree with you on that one. All of my hunting experience is here in the west. I have hunted mule deer above timberline, pronghorn on the plains and elk in the spruce and fir. I'll tell you right now... there is a need to chamber a round before getting into shooting range of your quarry. I always think its funny how people from out east tend to think that all western hunting is wide open. Sure we definitely have more open country than out east and shots tend to be longer but that does not mean that is the only terrain we have out here. And even in the wide open country, things can happen fast and an animal can appear and be gone in no time leaving the hunter that wasn't prepared with a round in the chamber to go home empty handed. I was never taught to hunt with an empty chamber, in fact this just seems crazy to me except in the situations that you all have already mentioned like CVC's situation.