Want the opportunity to do a LOT of shooting? This week I’ll take you along on a dairy farm pigeon shoot!
This week I was in Phoenix on business, and was able to take an early morning pest shooting excursion with my hunting buddy Kip Perow of AOA. Early one morning well before daybreak, before my meeting started, I jumped in my rental car and dropped down from Scottsdale to meet up with Kip at the shop. He met me as the sun was just starting to peek over the horizon, and I moved over to his truck for the drive out to a local dairy farm that has an enormous concentration of pest birds; pigeons, Eurasian doves, and starlings in the hundreds if not thousands. The rifles we had selected for this outing were a Daystate Huntsman Classic that Kip was using and for me it was an FX Whisper, both guns in .22 caliber. Both guns were shooting JSB 18 grain pellets, and were dialed in at 5o yards.
In a two hour shoot we nailed about 75 pigeons between the two of us (I didn’t count the starlings and Eurasian doves), and could have done a lot more if we hadn’t gotten so selective about the shots we were taking. Only birds at 50 yards, facing left, had the right color pattern, etc… I have only seen this many birds on one or two other occasions in my life! The guns we were shooting performed brilliantly; the Whisper besides living up to its name with quiet deadliness, offered spot on accuracy. I could cycle and fire the gun quickly, at one point knocking 7 Eurasians off a roof in rapid succession before the others decided to move on. And Chip was knocking them down left and right with the Huntsman as well.
This was my first field experience with the Whisper, and it shares many attributes with its FX stablemate the Monsoon, solid feel, very nice trigger, ergonomic and (for me) great fitting stock. This is another gun I’ll have to consider for my collection, I’ve really been enjoying the FX guns lately. It has to be something special to move me a way from the Huntsman Classic for any length of time as I still think this is one of (if not) the most beautifully designed hunting guns ever built. As a matter of fact, I’m going squirrel hunting tomorrow and after talking about this gun, decided its the one going with!
Quick outing with a springer!
I also got out for a short ground squirrel shoot with the Weilrauch HW 50 spring piston rifle, and managed to knock over a couple of the little round tail ground squirrels that resemble miniature prairie dogs. With all the PCP rifles I have in my personal collection or have access to, I still love to get out with the springers and this little gun was a blast to shoot! I took it out with open sights, and the low cocking effort, nice trigger, and outstanding accuracy make this a very nice small game gun. The only thing I’d do differently next time is scope the rifle, I could have done a lot better but my eyesight in low light and shadows is less good than it used to be …. and much, much enhanced with some good glass.
The other thing I did before leaving town was swing over the the AOA shop for a visit with the guys, and they were very busy. The shop is undergoing an expansion and owner Robert Buchanan has taken over more floor space effectively doubling their current square footage. They have built a new conference room, photo studio, offices, warehouse, an additional indoor test range, and are expanding their shipping, repair and work space. They already have a very nice retail area, and I love wandering through the place. If you live in the area or are traveling through it’s well worth a visit. You’ll feel like the proverbial kid in candy store. There are of course the guns, plinkers, hunting guns, target guns and from some of the best builders in the world, but a ton of adjunct gear as well! I picked up some new mounts, several tins of JSB pellets, and a few other things I’ve needed to pick up.