Today was my first day back at work, and it was hectic trying to catch up after a week away. But that week was worth it! I had the chance to do a squirrel hunt up in the mountains, then I came down to a dairy farm to shoot pest birds, then I spent the rest of the week at the 2019 EBR at the Rio Salado shooting range right outside of Mesa.
The gun I used for both was the Brocock Bantam Sniper in .25 caliber. The rifle had been give a custom tune and sported a very cool red diamondback dip. I used this gun to shoot birds at the dairy farm, and therefor had time to get a bit of shooting in with it before the EBR. I was hunting with my buddies Scott and Chuck, who I hadn’t seen in a year, and was looking forward to meeting up for breakfast before the birds started to fall.
I spent a decent amount of time on my birding day at the farm, arriving a 9:30 and shooting until 1:00, shooting about 150 doves, pigeons, starlings, and black birds. The gun hit hard and dropped these birds at a distance. I am always careful; on these shoots, but especially on this one. Many of the dairies are closing to airgunners because they have been inundated with, I am sorry to say, shooters they claim have been rude, damage their property, and basically wearing out the welcome for all airgunners. This place still lets a few of us on, and I want to be very protective of that. It may all end soon anyways, as the land these dairies sits on is becoming valuable for development so many are selling out and moving.
We walked the roads and took birds off the roofs, the ground, fences, and trees scattered around the property. I started off with a few blackbirds grackles, then started in on the doves and pigeons. I have to say the Brocock was a pleasure to shoot, ergonomic, compact and light, cycled smoothly, was accurate and hit like a sledge hammer.
Afterwards I went over to AOA and registered for the competition. It was a packed house with guys coming in from as far as Patagonia and Europe, not to mention a contingent from several clubs and individual shooters from around the states. I’m not a competition shooter, and the level of precision these guys chase is mind blowing!
I won’t write a lot about the event, because there are several reports already coming out. I will say that this event is a blast, is very well organized and runs smoothly! If you ever get a chance, I would encourage you to attend whether you want to shoot or move the the group watching and talking to some great shooters.
As I expected, I did better with the birds than I did with the targets. But watching these competitors using wind flags, weighing and sorting pellets, timing shots, using rests and rifles that have evolved into paper punching machines (in the pro class) is something to see.
I’ll spend this week around my business hours catching up: might get a squirrel hunt in Friday morning before work, get some target shooting in and catch up on some airgun maintenance and setup chores. The it’s off for several days in Texas to hunt deer, hogs, predators, and small game.
BTW: for those of you following my YouTube channel, I got my Abert’s squirrel at the beginning of the week, with the fastest completion of the grand slam I’ve done…. less than four weeks to get the gray, fox, black, and Abert’s!