|The Benjamin Rogue Coyote!|
| Article by: Jim Chapman
|Airgun Hunter BRIAN BECK is an expert on coyote, and used the Benjamin Rogue .357 to drop a nice late winter song dog on his first day hunting with the rifle!|
|I was talking to Brian Beck, one of my local hunting buddies up here in Central Indiana a couple days ago and was telling him that I had pile of guns to work through and not enough time in a schedule that was getting very busy….. didn’t get any sympathy but he did volunteer to take my rifle and do some of the shooting to help out.
For those that are familiar with my writing, you probably know that Brian and I have often hunted varmint and predators over the last couple or three seasons, and I consider him one of the most successful airgun hunters for coyote in the country. He competes in open competitions with an airgun, and wins, which is pretty mind blowing when you consider that guys with high power centerfires are reaching out 300 yards or more.!
I was getting ready to fly out to Germany for a week, and he was going to do the last predator hunt in our area for the season, before heading down to Mexico. I asked if he’d be willing to use my Rogue for the competition, then ship it out to Texas for me to use at LASSO on my return Stateside. He said yes, and as we live couple hours apart we decided to meet in a little town about midway between for lunch and to hand off the rifle.
|On the way I got a call from Brian telling me he was going to be late, as he’d been pulled over for speeding, then was left sitting at the roadside as the cop took off after another (worst) speeder carrying Brian’s license and registration with him. The cop eventually came back and returned the documents he’d run off with, and Brian was allowed to go on his way where we met up at this small town diner straight out of the Andy Griffith show. We ate, talked about a couple of big bores we’d each been shooting, then walked out and transferred the rifle from my vehicle to his before heading off in opposite directions.
I’d given Brian my Rogue along with a supply of the 145 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip eXTREME bulles. I had the gun sighted in at 75 yards (see side bar), and asked if he wouldn’t mind after the contest, re-sighting at 200 yards before shipping it down to Terry Tate’s farm in Texas, which would be the site of the 2012 LASSO.
The next morning I was sitting at my desk working my way through a schedule of conference calls and research data when the phone rang. It was Brian, and he said” what are you doing?”, so I told him and asked “how about you”? After a brief pause he said “just loading this coyote I shot with the Rogue into the back of the truck”. I asked for the details while thinking, “man he hasn’t even had the gun for 24 hours!!
He told me that he and his dad got up and headed out early that morning, and as they drove along spotted a coyote way out across a field trotting along. The winter in our neck of the woods has been very mild, and the coyote have been more nocturnal than normal, but you still can catch them moving early dawn. They pulled over and hiked out to a fence line where they settled in. After waiting a few minutes, Brian switched on his FoxPro Fury and started up with some howls. The coyote came back out into view, and started down the fence line in their direction, hanging up at about 200 yards. After the pause he started moving in again, coming to about 100 yards and before sitting down.
At this point Brian hit the whimper, and the dog started back in, pausing at about 65 yards where he offered up the shot and Brian took it. The Rogue was set at high, and the 145 grain bullet hit the coyote exactly where he’d placed the crosshair, smacking into the right shoulder and dropping the dog on the spot. The bullet passed through, and Brian told me the dog didn't go anywhere, just dropped.
So on the upside, in less than a day with my rifle he’d nailed a nice coyote. On the downside, it was the day before the contest so this dog was not going to count ….. but maybe it was a good omen for the coming days! The competition is Friday afternoon through Sunday night, so he could get several more opportunities if all the stars line up and the weather cooperates!
|Brian shot this yote on an early morning hunt. I expected him to do well with the gun, but didn't think he was going to walk out and tag a dog within the first half hour of hunting with it! He used a FoxPro call with howls and whimpers to get the dog into shooting range.|
|The gun was setup on high power shooting the 145 gr Benjamin/Nosler Ballistic Tip eXTREME. Sighted in at 75 yards, Brians shot was taken at 65 yards and completely passed through.|
|The Benjamin Rogue is a .357 pcp air rifle that was purpose designed as a predator hunting gun, and has many features I’ve wanted in a coyote gun for a long time. It is moderately powerful, a 6 round multishot, it is the quietest big bore airgun I’ve ever shot, and is accurate with little variation shot to shot.
I’m getting my Rogue ready for some predator hunts next week, and also to use at the upcoming LASSO long range shooting competition. I’ll work on setting up for the 100, 200, and 300 yard steel silhouettes that are used in the competition later, but today I wanted to get set up to hunt coyote later in the week. I zeroed the gun at 75 yards, as this is my optimal range for this type of hunting. I didn’t take my bench as I don’t hunt coyote off a bench, but shot off the Gorilla bipods I use in the field.
|.The six shot group seen in these photos was shot off sticks in a sitting position, with 145 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip eXTREME bullets in the rifles medium setting, and I was taking 6 shots off of a 2900 psi fill generating about 150 fpe. There was air remaining for a couple more shots, but I figured it would be a rare day when I took more than 6 shots between fills and wanted to mirror hunting conditions. The six shot group was fired in under I minute and I could cock the rifle and shoot without coming out of position.|
|Side Bar: I wrote this a couple days before I handed my Rogue off to Brian, and the only reason I post it now is to describe how I'd set up the gun for hunting|
|This is another 75 yard group, shot standing off sticks. Not as tight as benchrested group to be sure, but a dead predator under conditons we hunt.|
|I'll say again for the record, this session was meant only to confirm that I was sighted in and ready to hunt coyote at the intended ranges. I know for a fact that I can shoot much tighter groups off the bench, and what you see here are my limitations not the guns. When I get back from LASSO I'll take the gun out to the range and bench it, shooting for groups and velocities with several different bullets.|