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A Beautiful Morning of Hunting

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#1 Air Rifle Hunter

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:18 AM

First off, I have to apologize for the lack of photos for this posting. I only had about half a day to hunt and with all of the walking, field prepping and more walking I failed to take any photos while I was out this time around. :(

I went out early Sunday morning to my favorite spot for rabbits and arrive right at 6:05am, just in time to start firing away. While driving in to where I like to park I see a jack rabbit take off across the road. I immediately pulled over and shut off the engine to see if it would stop. It did. I decided to slowly get out of the truck and proceeded to get my .25 Marauder air rifle out of the back seat, load in a mag and slowly make my way around the truck. The jack was still there right next to some brush. I eased to the side of the road, and got within about 50 yards. I line up and fired. It was a hit, but the jack started to hop off. He was clearly injured and I didn't want him to get away like that, so I rushed off to see if I could find him. I spotted it hidding under a smaller bush about 15 yards off and made a text book head shot. Jack Rabbit down.

As I'm bringing the jack back to the truck, a cottontail jumps out from behind another bush and stops. It doesn't see me, so I slowly lower the jack to the ground and line up on the cottontail at about 35 yards out. Thwap! He goes down with a head shot. I retrieve it and pick up the jack and by now I'm feeling pretty good. A jack and a cottontail in less than 5 minutes. A nice start, though the first shot on the jack rabbit makes me wonder if my scope is zeroed in correctly or if my barrel might need cleaning (it has been a little while since I cleaned the barrel).

I gut the rabbits, put them in my cooler and proceed about 50 yards to where I was going to park and gear up with boots, pack, sticks and rifle, and proceed to hike on out into the countryside. I spot quite a few jack rabbits, but they as usual run or hop off before I can acquire them in my scope.

After about an hour plus of hiking and stalking around I finally get a shot at a cottontail at around 55 yards, but the shot goes wide. I reload and fire again. Another miss! I'm thinking "What is going on!" The cottontail runs off and a jack rabbit hops out onto the trail. I line up and take the shot. Another miss!! Crud! At that point I know something is wrong. :angry: However, being out where I was it is difficult to try and sight in with a limited air supply.

I decide to head back to the truck to see if the zero is off or if there is another issue. Fortunately I had my pony tank with me. Unfortunately, it only had 3200 PSI of air in it and my Marauder is tuned to start with a 3200PSI operating pressure. I refill the Marauder and take a few shots at a can lid I found at 18 yards. The zero seems off a few clicks so I adjust and refire. Now is seems to be on, so I refill and head back out.

As soon as I head back out I see a cottontail at around 25 yards. I line up and fire and hit it, but it is lower than where I was aiming. Fortunately the shot takes out the cottontails lungs and it goes down without a twitch. I'm still bugged that the Marauder's impact point seems off. This air rifle is always dependable for accuracy and I am typically very confident wit it. Now my confidence is slightly shaken. But not wanting to quit for the morning I gut the rabbit, go put it in the ice chest/cooler with the other rabbits and head on out again.

Right around 11:00am I start thinking about heading back to my truck to make the hour drive back home. Just about the time I'm turning around, I spot some movement. It is a jack rabbit and a nice big one :)! It is leisurely laying under a bush in the shade and I almost didn't see it because it is laying so low to the ground in it's scrape under this bush. If it hadn't twitched it's ears I probably would have never seen it. So I line up on the head and fire. I hear the impact, but the jack doesn't go right down. I move to get a better and closer line up for a follow up shot, but the jack hops off. Crud, not again. I've got to track down this jack since it has been wounded. Finally after about 10 minutes of searching I spot it on a trail about 40 yards out. I line up and fire and miss, the jack doesn't move so I line up again and fire. I hit it and this time it goes down. I gut it and put it in my pack and decide to head back to the truck.

On the way back to the truck I get another opportunity at a cottontail. This shot was at around 15 yards. Thwap! Down it went and didn't twitch. By the time I get back to the truck, pack up and change into my shoes it is around 12:15pm. I got (3) cottontails and (2) jack rabbits and had a great time... well great except for the issues with the marauder. Now I need to do a little maintenance on the .25 Marauder and re-zero it back in so that next time it will be spot on. Next time I'll try to slow myself down and take a few photos to post so I don't write such a long, drawn out post. :unsure:

#2 BeastSlayer



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Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:38 AM


And thanks for sharing these wonderful stories.

Admittedly I'm envious but got my blood pumping anyways.

#3 CBR400RR



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Posted 04 December 2012 - 10:43 AM

Nice job and great story.

#4 ratassassin


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Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:01 PM

Good hunt and write-up. Sorry you had problems with your zero, but you still cleaned up. I had that problem with my CZ 452 American .17 HMR on a hunt last April. Missed 5 or 6 shots between 60-75 yards that should have been DRT. The next weekend out at the range on paper, I found my POI was 3/4 inch high and right. I hadn't been shooting that rifle for a few months so I probably had been using different ammo earlier than the NTX lead free I needed to use on that particular hunt. That's what I get for not checking my zero again with the NTX before hunting with it.

#5 Runngun



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Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:31 PM

Hi everyone. I live in fontana and just got a new air gun. Would like to try hunting cotton tail or jacks. Just dont know where to go. Any legal locations? Or would like the company when weather gets better. Thanks.

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