Well, this week’s blog post is going to cover several topics; I had a hunt in Texas last week where I had the chance to shoot predators using the Wolverine, and next week I’m off to Arizona where I’ll get to meet up with my buddies from AoA, Kip and I are going to take some different (for me) guns out to shoot prairie dogs, rabbits, rockchuck, and then circle back to a big dairy farm for some good old fashion pest control work. I reckon we’ll get lots of shooting in. Which is a great aspect to airgunning right now, no problems getting ammo. I don’t know if you tried to by any .22 rimfire ammo lately, but it is dry! I’ve gone to 3 different Cabelas, Bass pro, several Walmarts, Fleets, Dicks, Gander Mountain…. And there is not a box of .22 LR to be found. I’ve been able to pick up some .17 HMR, but no .17 Mach II anywhere, but to make matters worse nobody has an idea when any will become available. I’ve also been told at several stores that if I do happen to catch it when it comes in, my purchase will be limited to 2 fifty round boxes!! Nice to know I have many thousands of .22 pellets, I’ll never be blocked from small game hunting or pest control.
I’ve been using a new call, the Primos Alpha Dogg, and being a confirmed FoxPro guy am really impressed by the quality and volume of sound coming out of this digital caller. There is a library of 75 sounds and that can be extended, but what I’m real interested in working more with are the “Expert Hunts” that mix multiple sounds into a set, that focuses on specific situations like denning, mating, territorial calls…… these sets let you leverage the experts to both call in predators and improve your calling technique. I also like the big easy to use controls and menu selections, as I have the tendency to fat finger the smaller keyboards and mess up my sets. I’ll be working up the crow calls when I get back, as I’m seeing a lot of corvid activity around the local farms I have permission to hunt.
I’ve been setting up my office/airgun room in the new house, and have a closet that’s being converted into a gun and equipment locker. I’ve got calls, scopes, guns, pellets, daypack, shooting sticks and all manner of gear crammed in and am trying to design a storage system that gives me room for 40-50 guns (the ones I use most out of my collection) and easy access to all the other stuff I need. A few posts back a reader asked to see my collection and I’ll include some pictures here. It’s all coming together, however I don’t have the wall space that was available in my old house ……. Two of my three kids are gone to college so we took the opportunity to downsize when we made this move, which works great except for my gun room! I’ve got a basement of my mounts which represent some of the first legal deer taken with airgun in the USA, and several trophies from several of my airgun hunts in Africa…… will have to find a new home for them!
I don’t know if you read the British Airgun press, but one of the writers from Airgun Shooter, which is a magazine I do an “occasional series” for (which means a feature every other month), has just come out with an excellent little tome on the British airgun hunting experience. The hunter/writers name is Ian Barnett and the book is AIRGUN FIELDCRAFT A lifetime’s hunting advice. It’s a very good read, and though the quarry is limited and the environment does not offer a great deal of variety compared to what we have in North America, Mr. Barnett definitely knows his stuff and even a hunter with a lot of experience will take something away from the read. One thing I appreciate about the British airgunners is that very often airguns comprise their whole hunting world, and they approach it with the same seriousness and thoughtfulness as any whitetail or turkey addict on this side of the pond.
As long as I’m talking about the press, I have an article in Fur Fish and Game this month on predator hunting with .30 caliber airguns, which is a theme that keeps coming up if you follow my writing. I really like this caliber for a predator gun and have a lot more to come on the subject. Over in Predator Xtreme I have an interview with Dennis Quackenbush who I think it is fair to say is the father of the modern big bore airgun, and a feature article in the Passport to Adventure series on setting up a semi-guided prairie dog hunt in Kansas. I’ll be adding to this series with a number of hunting opportunities for airgunners at destinations around the country. Not to be too self-serving, but there are not many publications on our shores that have material on airguns, and when they do include an article it’s typically written by an author that is not very airgun savvy…… support those magazines that support our sport.
The blog post might be a bit late next week, as I won’t break from hunting to write!! Call me a slacker, but that’s the way I roll….. But when I come back on line I should have some good material, with some interesting guns. Talk to you then!