On a business trip down to Texas, I hooked up with my shooting
buddies Eric Henderson and Mark Bolson for a varminting session.
They have a large farm that they provide pest control for, and it was
heavily populated with raccoons, possum, skunks, and I heard we
might even run into some feral hogs.

Eric picked me up at my hotel and we drove out to meet Mark at the
farm, and after a 45 minute drive rolled up to find him waiting for us
at the gate. We loaded up our gear, guns and lights into the Big Bore
Productions truck and started back onto the property. The two guns
we had along were distinctly different; Mark brought his Gladi8tor
and Eric brought his .497 caliber Big Bore Bob tuned Quackenbush
Ubermagnum. Our plan was to use the .22 Gladi8tor for the small
stuff, and if we came across a hog we’d break out the

After a half hour or so we glassed a skunk out in a harvested corn
field scooting along, and I lined up a fifty yard shot …. Which
missed, then another ….. that missed again. Not knowing if the gun
or the shooter was a problem, I handed the gun back to Mark. He
lined up his shot …. And missed, then missed again as we watched
the striped backed stinker dive into the bush. That was it; the gun
had to be messed up! Eric walked a milk jug out into the field, and at
forty some yards Mark put two shots dead center. He handed the
rifle over to me and my offhand shot went a little high and to the
right of his, but would still have been on the noggin. OK so it was
not the gun …. Must have been a couple of bad pellets…. off we
headed again.

Our luck got better and we came across many raccoons and skunks,
at the end of the night having put away a half dozen of each. My
best shot of the night was a sixty yard head shot that dumped a coon
out of a tree DOA. At one point we spotted a skunk motoring across
the field, and I was unable to snap off a shot that hit him in the back
of the head rolling him……. Not all my shots were so good though,
and I must admit I had my share of misses. Actually Mark and Eric
were kind enough to let me do the bulk of the shooting though Mark
did put away a couple critters as well.

Eric had been telling me that if/when I shot the Ubermagnum it was
important that I rested the forestock on my hand but did not grip it.
As we rolled around an outcropping of trees, Eric said “over
there… a pigâ€�!  Sure enough, seventy yards out was a hundred
pound boar offering me a broad side. I lined up the shot and fired
only to hear Mark and Eric groan “tooooo low�. I lined up the
second shot and …. To low again! Of course I’d ignored Erics
advice and had a death grip on the rifles forestock which resulted in
my shots being online, but low. I watched in disgust as the pig
ranoff into the bush, which is when I noticed the blood trickling
down my face. I did manage to give myself a Weatherby kiss, the
third time this gun has drawn my blood instead of  that of my quarry.

Anyway, a great trip and a lot of fun … always good to see Eric and
Mark and I enjoyed having a chance to at last shoot the Gladi8tor.
A Texas Varminting Trip
Jim Chapman
A quick pic of me with the first raccoon of the evening. I liked Marks
Gladi8tor, the power was obviously there and after getting used to it was
able to get very good accuracy.
The first three coons of the evening, I've never seen so many in one
area. The middle one was the largest I've ever seen.
I hit this skunk in the back of the head as he ran away. The skunk
population was also very high. We probably saw 15 - 20 over the
course of the evening.
Many raccoons and skunks fell to the
Gladi8tor on our evening  pest control shoot
on a Texas farm. I also missed the chance
to score the first feral hog with Erics
Ubermagnum, but still had a great outing
with Eric Henderson and Mark Bolson