VarmintAir

Mac1 Prepped .25 Cal Marauder - Maiden Voyage Hunting Prairie Dogs

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If you would like to see this story complete with high Resolution video, please go to my blog here: http://varmintair.typepad.com/varmintairs_...airie-dogs.htmlWide open prairie dog country.P6170016-1.jpgFirst prairie dog taken with .25 cal Marauder.P6180002.jpgI've had my .25 caliber Mac1 prepped Marauder for about six weeks or so, and this was going to be her first hunt. The ammo of choice would be the Beeman Kodiak pellet. I weight sort my hunting ammo, and the batch of Kodiaks I would be hunting with weighed 30.7 grains. This rifle shoots them into a bug hole at 65 yards. I'm shooting it at the factory settings, which with this pellet, generate 46 fpe at the muzzle. Shot count is 16, with an extreme spread of 22 fps, and the middle 12 shots have a spread of only 13 fps. Hunting these local prairie dogs is not a high volume shooting affair, so shot count on any of my guns is never an issue. If I'm getting four or five shots an hour, I'm having a good hunt. I Also plan my hunts so that I'm back by my vehicle every couple of hours or so, to grab a cold drink or lunch, and if needed I top off the air at that time. I was on the road at 4:30 AM. I like to get to the ranch early. If I'm lucky I'll get maybe an hour of fairly light winds. Meaning, in the 5 to 8 mph range. It isn't usually very long before it's running at its usual 15 to 20 mph, and today wouldn't be an exception. It didn't take long to get everything ready to go. I mounted up the video camera, topped off the air in the Marauder, popped the airtube mounted wind flag on the end of the tube, loaded a mag in the rifle, and started to hunt. One of the things I've learned about hunting prairie dogs on this ranch with airguns is, you have to get out away from the road. The ranch owners son, and friends road hunt these prairie dogs with powder burners, and the dogs along the roads, learn very quickly that a vehicle can be bad news. I've found that if I get three to four hundred yards away from the road, the hunting with airguns greatly improves. At that distance, they evidently don't get much attention from the guys hunting with powder burners. The first dog I had a shot on was at a lasered 62 yards. It was sitting partially obscured behind a small plant. I have the rifle sighted in dead on at 60 yards. The flag was indicating a very light breeze running left to right. I held a little left of center on the shoulder, and touched off the shot. The prairie dog instantly dropped out of sight. When I got up to the area it was in, I found it laying in the mouth of the burrow, dead right there. About twenty minutes of slow hunting, and intense glassing later, I spotted a young dog looking at me from behind a small sage plant. These guys love to dig their burrows under a sage bush. It gives them protection from the sun, and makes them more difficult to see from the air by the ever present hawks that also hunt these dog towns. At 58 yards, the range wasn't long, but the target was small and challenging. When the shot broke, I saw the pup drop out of sight, and instantly, another prairie dog appeared about a foot away on the other side of the same bush. Using the same hold, I sent another pellet down range with the same result. At this point the .25 Marauder is making me smile. This rifle can shoot. A pair taken from the same mound. P6180004.jpgI hunted around that area for a couple of hours and had some very good success. As usual, the wind had really picked up as the morning wore on. It was running 15 to 20 mph, with gusts to 25. It's just one of those things you learn to shoot in, or forget about hunting prairie dogs.P6180011.jpgThe airtube mounted wind flag really helped. The wind is constantly swirling and switching directions, and for example, knowing whether it's coming from 12:30, or 2:30 is a big help when making a shot. I had a couple of back to back shots in the high winds, that pretty much made my day. The first was at 70 yards, and the second was a few yards to the left of the first one at 68 yards. On the guy at 68 yards, a Kodiak literally knocked him ass over end. You'll see both shots in the video clips. The pair taken at 68 and 70 yards. P6180007.jpgThe .25 caliber Marauder is an excellent hunting rifle. The accuracy is superb, the trigger excellent, and there is power to spare. I am really impressed with this rifles performance out in the dog towns. I'm hoping to catch a calm day here soon, and stretch her legs out to 100 yards. I'm going to do a four day hunt next week, and will be hunting my .25 caliber Marauder exclusively. Again, I will be shooting video of the action as it happens. Should be a lot of fun. Film at eleven.

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Great post & good shooting.The video on the BLOG is also worth watching. :smiley-innocent-halo-yellow:

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As always, nice shooting. I really enjoy your videos and this one is no exception. That .25 looks like it hits a lot harder than a .22. I am starting to think I may need to get on the .25 bandwagon with my next air gun purchase!

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Very impressive. And that stock on your Marauder is beautiful.

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Great post! I also liked the video and wind flag you built out of the old video tape.

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As always, nice shooting. I really enjoy your videos and this one is no exception. That .25 looks like it hits a lot harder than a .22. I am starting to think I may need to get on the .25 bandwagon with my next air gun purchase!
My usual goto prairie dog rifle is my .22 cal FX 2000 shooting the 18 grain JSB's. Those deliver 30 fpe at the muzzle. The .25 cal Marauder is shooting the Kodiak 31 grain pellets at 46 fpe at the muzzle. So yes it is a serious increase in power. This was first time I've had a chance to hunt it, and I'm very favorably impressed with its performance.

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Very impressive. And that stock on your Marauder is beautiful.
Thanks. I really like the stock, unfortunately, the guy I got it from isn't somebody I will be doing business with again.

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Great post! I also liked the video and wind flag you built out of the old video tape.
Glad you enjoyed it. The wind flag really made a difference. For once I could tell exactly what direction the wind was coming from. Sometimes, believe it not, it can be difficult to get an accurate read.

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Great post Cliff. In one of the shots, you can see the effect of the pellet's impact just as the the APD gets struck by the pellet.When ethics and "responsibilty" is the bottom line of hunting with an airgun, the work you are doing will be good examples of why airgun hunters are setting the stage for the future of hunting.Thanks for all that you are doing. It must be real rough, but I'm sure you're making it through some how. Don't hesitsate to call on me if you need anyone to do the shooting for you if need be !!! :pirashoot:

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Great video as always. That .25 sure does buck the wind and put the critters down with authority.

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Great post Cliff. In one of the shots, you can see the effect of the pellet's impact just as the the APD gets struck by the pellet.When ethics and "responsibilty" is the bottom line of hunting with an airgun, the work you are doing will be good examples of why airgun hunters are setting the stage for the future of hunting.Thanks for all that you are doing. It must be real rough, but I'm sure you're making it through some how. Don't hesitsate to call on me if you need anyone to do the shooting for you if need be !!! :lol:
It is a terrible job, but I'm a tough old coot and will manage somehow. :pirashoot:

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Great video as always. That .25 sure does buck the wind and put the critters down with authority.
This gun is turning out to be exactly what I was looking for to use in these windy dog towns. I'm thrilled with the performance so far. :pirashoot:

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