It started as a squirrel hunt on a very early fall morning a few years back. I was hunting my friends place in central Indiana, but when I rolled up the drive, my friend came out to meet me. This was unusual, I hunted the property often but almost never saw anybody when I arrived before daylight, this was a hobby farm after all….. no early rising farmers here. Any said, hey Jim do me a favor, if you can take out some raccoons we’d appreciate. They got into the chickens last night and killed a bunch before we got out to see what was going on.
Shifting gears was not a problem, I had a baby squirrel distress call that didn’t work all that often, but when it did to could be impressive. Normally I would use my Fox Pro with some raccoon fight sequences, but didn’t have that packed in my gear bag for this trip. Shouldering my Benjamin Marauder .25, I hiked back into a woodlot in a somewhat saturated area and got ready to call. This was not a pure guess, I’d found a tree with a lot of coon droppings around it on an earlier trip, and always suspected it to be den tree and had intended to call it. I figured that I’d start for raccoon, but if I saw one of the big bushytail fox squirrels I’d revert to plan A for at least long enough to put one in the bag.
I sat for a few minutes looking around then pulled my distress call out. It was nothing much, the bellows style Knight and Hall call. It can also be flipped over and blown into, emitting a high pitch baby squirrel squeal. I blew it for a few minutes with no luck, then took a break. I watched a young doe pass by, then started up again.
This time I did see something, and all of the sudden the action cranked up fast. A coon was charging right towards me, the only problem I started with the call before I got myself into position and had the rifle laying on my lap. If I moved I was busted. Then he stepped behind a tree, and I raised the rifle, but nothing. I figured maybe he busted me, but gave the call another try letting loose a sorrowful squeal. Next thing I knew he stepped out from behind a tree a few yards from where I thought he was and looked right at me.
The gun was up and ready this time, and I was watching through the scope with the crosshairs right between the eyes. I squeezed the trigger and the pellet impacted with a “thwack” right where it had been intended to go, producing a clean headshot. The coon rolled over and was DOA. I tried a few more sets but didn’t have any further luck, still my buddy and (more importantly) his wife felt that I had avenged their chicken and gotten rid of one pest that was living close to their poultry.
The .25 is a solid raccoon caliber, out of a medium to high power PCP it will do the job with either a headshot or a body shot, though head is better on these tenacious animals. I’ve taken scores of the masked bandit with the .25, and find a heavy round nose pellet is a consistent performer. That’s one of the things I really like about the caliber, great for small stuff but is ready for bigger quarry when needed.
I want to wish you all a very happy Easter, a time for family and reflection, and hope you and yours have a great day. I am off on Monday morning for South Dakota for a couple days, and hoping for an early start to my P-dog hunts. It is kind of iffy though, I’ve been struggling with weather my last few outings. I am dying to get the Daystate Pulsar out for some long range field work, and hopefully will have a video coming your way soon.