Between April and September last year, I killed 38 rats that were running through our back yard. Even though we live in a nice area, they come in from the neighboring greenbelts in the planned community where we live to eat my neighbor's vegetables, bird seed and what have you. I got the first few with traps but that started getting expensive. So most were sniped with my Beeman R7 wearing a Bushnell Trophy 4-12x40 and JSB Predators using the dim light above my back porch. On 7x, the Trophy still lets in plenty of light with sufficient magnification for precise shot placement. The "Rat Radar," as I'm fond of calling it, is an inexpensive infrared wireless alarm unit called Driveway Patrol that SJ and some other CPC members told me about, and it notifies me whenever a rat comes into the Kill Zone, a baited area under our bird feeder in the backyard. When you hear that ding-dong chime go off at night, your heart starts pounding as your reach for your rifle and load a pellet. The most amazing shot last year was one rat that I nailed in the head, only to see it run off. What the heck happened, I thought. I knew I hit it in the head. But it ran all over the place like it had been electric shocked, then disappeared. The next day, I searched for it but to no avail. Figured it had gotten over the wall and died in the greenbelt. To my surprise, the next night it came back and I shot it again. This time, it didn't get away. Upon closer examination, I found my first shot from the other night had struck it right on the tip of the jaw, slowing the pellet sufficiently so that it careened up the jaw line and embedded in the cheek. Unbelievable that the rat survived that first shot. Even more unbelievable that it returned the next night to the very place it had been shot before! Guess it never knew what hit him.Anyhow, after Rat No. 38 was shot last September, I saw no rats for months. Fine with me. Guess the word got out that our back yard wasn't such a great place to visit. Then they started showing up again in late May. Rat No. 39 died in a trap I'd set out front where I'd seen sign. But the next 5 went to rat heaven courtesy of my R7. This year, I've decided to try for neck or boiler room shots more than head shots because for some reason they don't tend to run as far. When they take a lethal shot to the neck or heart, they usually just roll around a bit swiftly bleeding out. If I can, I want to limit the area they'll run because I'd rather not lose them and have to find them by the telltale smell a few days later. (Or worse, have my wife find one by the telltale smell. Fortunately, that hasn't happened.) So far, I've shot 5 this year and none have gone very far. It's been quiet now for the last week or so. But I have no doubt more will come. In the immortal words of Agent Smith, "It's inevitable, Mr. Anderson." Rat No. 40 took one in the neck. Yup, the R7's still zeroed.
Rat No. 41. You can see the point of impact of the pellet just above the right shoulder.
Rat No. 42. Shot back a little farther than I'd like, but it still did the trick.
Two-fer! Rats No. 43 (bottom) and 44 (top).
Rat No. 43 took a head/neck shot. That one just keeled over dead right there, with hardly a twitch. Must have hit the brain stem or spine.
Rat No. 44. Shot him in the head while it was trying to mate with the dead one. (Yes, folks, rats ARE truly disgusting.) But I couldn't find the impact or exit point.