Small Game Hunting with Air Rifles
Squeaky the squirrel is trespassing again, this
time gnawing on a brand-new extension cord. Once again, it's time to get
out the air rifles and take care of some business.
Air rifles are perfect for this kind of task, as long as you use one
powerful enough to get the job done quickly and humanely. Now Squeaky
has learned his lesson for the last time, and the neighbors are still
sound asleep. I don't know what we'd do without the quiet efficiency
of our air rifle.
small birds and squirrels with an air rifle is rewarding in many ways. As a kid, it was always fun
to shoot tin cans, paper targets, and the like, but nothing compared to the thrill of the
hunt. Especially if the game was a bothersome pest that would
not take the hint. Sometimes bagging the varmint took me well
into the woods surrounding our home, but that was part of the fun.
I think I gained a lot from hunting small game
in my younger years. Not the least were patience, concentration, and
wilderness skills. It's incredibly easy to shoot air rifles and
bb guns, but it's a lot more difficult to hit a target. More difficult
is hitting a moving target. Even more difficult, still, is killing a
moving target without making it suffer. Now that takes a lot of
practice and a steady aim.
But it also takes the right kind of
air rifle. Squirrels, in particular, are notoriously tough.
It's easy - even with a good shot - to merely injure a squirrel.
No one wants that. The best way to
ensure a clean kill is to buy a .22 caliber air rifle that produces a
muzzle velocity of at least 750 ft/sec, and to use a good scope.
The higher caliber puts killing force behind every shot,
and the scope helps improve aiming accuracy. Those are the keys
when trying to take out small game.
Beyond the physical skills of shooting, I learned
to have respect for the power of air guns growing up. Even small air rifles are
powerful enough to kill at close range. My friends often
considered our air rifles to be
toys, but I knew early on that they were to be taken seriously and
used with extreme caution. They could do real damage to a human
being - and I tried my best to convince my friends to use their air
guns carefully. Sometimes it worked, sometimes not.
Nowadays, whenever an acquaintance
is trying to decide what to get their teenager for Christmas or a
birthday, I always suggest looking at some good air rifles. I
can only hope that more children get to grow up with the experience
and knowledge that can be imparted by an adult who understands and
teaches respect for any kind of air gun.
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