A Beautiful Morning of Hunting
Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:18 AM
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. 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.
Posted 03 December 2012 - 10:38 AM
And thanks for sharing these wonderful stories.
Admittedly I'm envious but got my blood pumping anyways.
Posted 04 December 2012 - 09:01 PM
Posted 29 December 2012 - 07:31 PM
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