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A Great Air Rifle Weekend!


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#1 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 03:02 PM

Well, I'l warn you that this post is going to have quite a few photos and be a little long since it spans Friday afternoon, Saturday (all day) and Sunday Morning. Anyway, now that you are forewarned as to this post's length, onto the story:


This past weekend (Friday, Saturday & Sunday) I house sat a relatives house. This is the lone private property I have so far that I get to hunt cottontails on, so I knew even if my days were slow that I would be able to relax and have some fun while I was there. I arrived at the property around 1pm on Friday afternoon and unpacked all my gear and other items. I then went through the process of making sure all of my air rifles were zeroed in properly (there's nothing like going to shoot and missing because you weren't zeroed in correctly). I made sure all were zeroed to their "Far Zero" or "Second Zero" for accuracy (I did this to my .22 and .25 Benjamin Marauder Rifles and my .22 Marauder Pistol Carbine). It was dang hot and humid outside, so I was glad I was able to sit in the garage and shoot out to where I was placing my zeroing targets. Once all of the gun scopes were zeroed in, I had a few beers and went inside to cool down before the bunnies typically start coming out.

Around 5pm I grabbed my .25 Marauder, shooting sticks, range finder and an extra mag of pellets, and I headed out to the two spots I know the rabbits like to hang out for their morning and evening munchies. Within minutes of looking out at my first location I spotted one munching on some green plants in the field. It was at around 39 yards. I lined it up, fired and watched the bunny go down. I looked around to see if there were any others roaming about, and upon confirming that there weren't any others in sight I went to claim my prize. A clean head shot on this one. I headed over to the other spot I usually see some bunnies and spotted two. I ranged the closest one at 40 yards, lined it up in the crosshairs and fired. Another clean head shot and the rabbit went right down. The second rabbit decided he'd seen enough and ran into the nearest hedge. I waited for another 10 minutes to see if any others would pop out and when none did, I went down to grab the bunny. With two rabbits down I headed back to the first spot and I saw two more rabbits had come out. I had to stalk in about 50 yards because they were at the far end of the property. When I finally got a clean shot I took the closest one with a head shot at 40 yards and it went right down. It's buddy didn't move and so I lined up on it and fired. Down it went too at 42 yards with a head shot. So now within about 40 minutes I'd bagged four cottontails and was feeling pretty stoked. I figured I wouldn't see anymore because of the commotion I'd created. However, about 15 minutes later as I was preparing to clean the four rabbits I had I looked out and saw another one a good distance away. So I ran and grabbed the rifle and came back. The rabbit was at around 50 yards, so I moved around 3 yards closer without spooking it, steadied the rifle on the shooting sticks, lined up and fired. Thwap! Number five for the day went right down with a text book head shot. At that point in time I was feeling really stoked! I had bagged 5 rabbits, my daily limit, in an hour. At that point the sun was slowly starting to go down and so I began cleaning them up. When I got to the last one (which was the last rabbit I shot) I noticed some fur missing from it's belly, like mange. I began to clean it, but upon removing the pelt where the skin condition on the rabbit was I noticed the flesh on the belly looked odd. So before I went any further I cut it open to find it's insides were rather messed up (oozing stuff and it's intenstines were extremely discolored. Since it had been shot with a head shot I know I hadn't damaged the internals of the rabbit, but something was clearly wrong with it. Not wanting to contract any nasty diseases I decided to toss it in the trash bag with the remains of the others. Below is a photo of the five rabbits from Friday afternoon:

Five Rabbits on Friday:
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On Saturday I woke up around 6am, but didn't actually get up until around 6:30am. I threw on my shoes and grabbed the bag of the rabbit remains from the night before that I had set outside and began the long walk down the drive way to where the trash cans are kept to dispose of the remains. On my way back I noticed some movement in an area I don't usually look. Upon closer inspection I notice two cottontails chomping on some greenery in amongst some large juniper bushes. I walked past slowly, acting as though I didn't care and ignored the rabbits. They stayed still and seemed to not mind me as long as I was ignoring them. I had my keys in my pocket and when I got to my truck I unlocked it, pulled out my .22 Marauder Pistol Carbine, inserted a mag and loaded the pellet. Once I was ready I slowly walked back down the driveway to see if the rabbits were still clueless as to their predicatment. Sure enough, one of them was still visible. I carefully stalked back to within 15 yards, lined it up in the scope and fired. Down it went with a head shot. My P-Rods first cottontail. I grabbed the rabbit and walked back to the house. I looked around at my other usual spots, but didn't see any rabbit activity so I cleaned up the rabbit and made myself some breakfast.

P-Rods First Cottontail on Saturday Morning:
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After breakfast I called a friend of my relatives that wanted me to come over to do some Ground Squirrel pesting. They said the squirrels were out and to come on over. So I loaded up my gear and got to the friends house at around 9:30am. It was nice that they had a patio cover that shaded most of the back porch, so I was able to set up a chair in the shade and look out over the orange trees on their property where the squirrels frequented. The first squirrel went down right around 9:45am with a 60 yard shot using my .22 Marauder Rifle. To keep the story fairly short, I hung out for about 4 1/2 hours, relaxing and enjoying my quiet time with the squirrels. I missed a few shots, but managed to take down around 27 to 30 squirrels. Most shots were anywhere from 45 to 65 yards with the average shot distance being around 55 yards. I wasn't able to recover three of them, but I did take photos of 27 of the ones I could recover. The 13 ground squirrels in the first photo were shot in the morning (between 9:45 and 12pm and the other photos of the squirrels were taken during the time between 12pm and 1:30PM. It was a nice way to spend a few hours and get rid of some pesky squirrels.

Saturday Morning's Squirrels:
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Saturday Afternoon's Squirrels:
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I got back to the house I was staying at around 2pm, ate lunch and took a short nap. At around 4pm I decided to pump up my airguns so that all would be ready to go and wouldn't you know it... the pump decided to take a dump and wouldn't work. It's a good thing I had my 17CF guppy tank handy and I used it to fill my rifles back to their optimal fill pressures. At 5pm I made my rounds at my two spots and saw a few, but they wouldn't stay in sight for long so I didn't get any shots off for a while. Then around 6pm I see some movement in a bush around 60 yards away, so I grab my binos and take a look. Sure enough, there is a rabbit making it's way through some heavy brush, trying to stay out of sight. I got the .25 Marauder set up on the sticks and focused the reticle on the bunny. I must have sat there for 25 minutes waiting for the rabbit to give me a clear shot. Finally I squeeked it and it stood up at around 50 yards. I fired, but I didn't hear an impact. Dang! After waiting 25 minutes for a clear shot I had blown it! I hadn't seen the rabbit run off though, so I patiently kept looking through the scope for any signs of movement. After another 10 minutes or so I see something moving. It's a pair of ears and one of the ears has a little bloody notch in it where my pellet aparently had gone. So I must have pulled my shot in my haste for fire the shot and ended up shooting about 2" high. I wasn't going to do that again so I waited about another 4 minutes and the rabbit gave me a clean shot through some branches. At 44 yards I threaded the pellet through with a gratifying "Thwap!" It went down with one leg kick and that was it. I went down to grab it and brought it back up. The sun was starting to go down, but it was still legal shooting time, so I ran over to my other spot. Once I got close I slowed myself down, caught my breath and pulled out the binoculars. I spotted another bunny at around 85 yards away. A doable shot, but I wanted to make sure I didn't miss, so I stalked in to around 53 yards, set up the rifle and fired. Another bunny down with a great head shot! After that I ran down and got the bunny and took it back to where I had the other. I then cleaned them and got ready for dinner.

Saturday Afternoon/Evening's Bunnies:
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That brings me to this morning (Sunday). For some reason I woke up around 4:30am and couldn't sleep. Maybe because I knew I was leaving today, or perhaps because I knew I had a few things to clean up before I left. Anyway, I got up around 5am and went out with the binoculars. I didn't see anything so I went back to the house and did a few chores, tidied up everything and got my stuff ready to go. I put almost everything in my truck except for my .25 Marauder. I walked out to my favorite spot and sat there for about 45 minutes until 7am rolled around. Nothing came out, so I headed back to the house to get some more coffee and rest for a bit. After another 25 minutes I grabbed the P-Rod and walked to the other spot. Nothing... so back to where I had left my .25 Marauder. When I got back to my spot I saw something that didn't look like it was there before. I eased up behind a row of tall juniper trees and poked my head around to take a look. Yep. There was a cottontail munching away. I figured it was at around 30 yards and raised the P-Rod for an offhand shot. My arms were a little shakey, but I managed to get it pretty still and fired. Bam! The bunny went right down and didn't twitch. It was a perfect headshot. After that I did see another rabbit about 75 yards away, but the morning hours were quickly passing and so I told that rabbit I'd see it next time around and went to clean the one I had and got ready to go.

Sunday Morning's Bunny Taken with my P-Rod:
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So my weekend was relaxing, fun and as far as the shooting went... very satisfying. I bagged nine rabbits in total of which I was able to prepare eight for future meals, and I had ridded a friends property of 30 Ground Squirrels. I wish every weekend was that much fun. :)

#2 rws fan

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:03 PM

Wow nice shooting. :good: You make me want to get out and do some shooting but it has been too hot, humid and windy at my 2 locations :(

I'm goin out when I get my new LW polygon barrel back from getting it machined for my .25 Mrod for sure !

Henry

#3 Hotchkiss

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:09 PM

Looks fun and sounds like a good advanture. !!

#4 Brant

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:42 PM

What a hunt!!! The P-Rod may be the best airgun tool for small game hunting.

#5 Yateswell

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 04:48 PM

That's an eventful weekend, good shooting.

#6 True2ThySelf

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:15 PM

Great shooting. Thanks for sharing.

#7 screwwork

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 05:53 PM

You had one Hare of a weekend ARH :yahoo: sorry I couldn't pass it up.
Great post, pics and shooting.
NIce of you to help out with those nasty G squirrels too, wow what a good weekend for ya.

#8 Frank

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Posted 15 July 2012 - 08:50 PM

Dxxn, did you leave any for "seed"? :D j.k.

:signgreatreport3kg: :smiley_kewlpics:

#9 ShooterJohn

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 06:16 AM

That's a haul, nice shooting Ray.

#10 rustygun

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 07:00 AM

What a great way to spend your weekend. Good shooting alla round.

#11 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 08:30 AM

Dxxn, did you leave any for "seed"? :D j.k.

:signgreatreport3kg: :smiley_kewlpics:


:roflmao3[1]:

Actually Frank, there were plenty of other rabbits that I saw on my way out that day so I know there will be enough around there for next time and for "seed". ;) I had seen another 3 or 4 rabbits on Sunday morning after I shot the one I took on Sunday, but decided I had plenty of rabbits to take home and my daughter would be happy with all of the hides that I had to tan for her rabbit fur collection.

Also, at the property with the ground squirrels there were so many that I know there will be too many the next time around. I just need to get in range of the many squirrels that were to far for me to shoot this last time around.

I also found out Sunday afternoon that my relatives know another friend of theirs that has a ground squirrel problem on her property and she is inviting me over to shoot some on there too. It will be nice if I can get 4 or 5 different properties (even though they are only around 5 to 15 acres) that I can rotate and shoot my "quiet" air rifles at. Perhaps it will lead to me getting a permission at a larger property in the future. I can only hope. :D

#12 Frank

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 10:17 AM

Wow, that's great having so many properties to hunt on. Pretty cool how one can lead to another also. Talk about a lot of fun times now and in the future. Way to go! :good:

#13 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 03:28 PM

Wow nice shooting. :good: You make me want to get out and do some shooting but it has been too hot, humid and windy at my 2 locations :(

I'm goin out when I get my new LW polygon barrel back from getting it machined for my .25 Mrod for sure !

Henry


Thanks Henry. I can't wait to hear how your new Polygon LW barrel works for you in your .25 Marauder. I know you have some cool spots to shoot squirrels. If your other buddy can't go with you sometime I'd love to tag along ;) .

Looks fun and sounds like a good advanture. !!


Thanks Hotchkiss. It was a fun time. :)

What a hunt!!! The P-Rod may be the best airgun tool for small game hunting.


Thanks Brant. I do love doing short range pesting and small game hunting with my P-Rod. It is a good small game air gun out to 40 yards for sure. Sometimes 50 yards for ground squirrels.

That's an eventful weekend, good shooting.


Thanks Yateswell. It was a great weekend for me and I hope to get a few more like that soon.

Great shooting. Thanks for sharing.


Thanks True2ThySelf. I wish I was able to get out more so I had more to share. ;)

You had one Hare of a weekend ARH :yahoo: sorry I couldn't pass it up.
Great post, pics and shooting.
NIce of you to help out with those nasty G squirrels too, wow what a good weekend for ya.


Thanks Screwwork. I do love hunting rabbits, both Cottontails and Jack Rabbits. For me, hunting the small game I can actually make meals out of is more gratifying than just shooting, but I do like shooting the ground squirrels too. Makes for good target practice. Shoot, I even got to use my modified 1322 with a 12" barrel on it on a ground squirrel on Saturday. When I went down to see if I could recover one it was still crawling around. So I got within about 12 yards, lined it up in my open sights and fired the 1322 pistol. Tagged him right in the noggin and he quit moving after that. All in all it was a great weekend.

That's a haul, nice shooting Ray.


Thanks ShooterJohn. I always like bring something back, especially when I see the smile on my daughter's face as she sees how many pelts I've brought back to tan for her. That always makes her happy. In fact, just today she asked me when I was going to take her rabbit hunting with me so that she could shoot one. I told her as soon as she shows me she can hit the bulls eye with her airgun at 20 yards a few times in a row that I will take her to an easy spot so that she can hunt some rabbits. She was all smiles after that. :)

What a great way to spend your weekend. Good shooting alla round.


Thanks Rustygun. I think we would all like some great weekends more often. ;)

Wow, that's great having so many properties to hunt on. Pretty cool how one can lead to another also. Talk about a lot of fun times now and in the future. Way to go! :good:


Thanks Frank. Yeah, as of right now I've only got the one private property that is on about 5 or 6 acres for rabbits and the other property that is about 5 acres where I shoot the ground squirrels (I need to talk to them about hunting rabbits on their property in the morning or afternoon too), but if this other friend of my relatives pans out it will be nice to have another small property to shoot the G-Squirrel pests and hopefully be able to bag a few bunnies while I'm at it. I am definitely hoping that by word of mouth I can get quite a few more, especially when I'm able to share my results with the owners of the properties and they see how effective I can be with my "quiet" air rifles. I'm really hoping for more fun times to come.

#14 CBR400RR

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Posted 30 October 2012 - 02:23 PM

WOW, what a fun and exciting weekend you had.

#15 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 31 October 2012 - 09:18 AM

Thanks! It was a fun one. When I get to watch their house for them I usually have a good time airgun hunting, but that time was one of the best I'd ever had! :)




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