Collecting a few rock and banded pigeons shot as they came
into the animal feeders.
I really enjoyed shooting the BSA .22 SuperTen. Very
accurate, powerful ..... and quiet!
Crows were a real challange. I shot this one as it was
trying to peck the eyes on a newborn lamb. They both died.
A grand slam; the red wing, pied, glossy, and European
(not seen) starlings.
South African Small Game and
On a recent trip over to South Africa, I
had the opportunity to spend the downtime
when not big game hunting, wandering the
bush and working areas of a huge sheep
ranch with a collection of airguns to get in
some pest control shooting. The two
primary guns used were a BSA Superten in
.22, and a Quackenbush Exile in .25.
In the BSA a number of pellets were used,
including the Predator Polymer Tips, RWS
SuperDomes, Beeman Kodiaks, and Crow
magnums. In the .25 I used RWS
SuperDomes and Field Trophy roundnose
and pointed pellets. We performed a lot of
bench testing with these pellets before
hitting the field, and all were known to be
accurate out of the guns being used. Both
guns had silencers, which are legal on
airguns in South Africa . These were a
very effective piece of equipment in the
field, allowing multiple shots before
spooking other animals in the region.
The animals identified as pest that I was
asked to remove on sight included a
variety of starlings, crows and ravens, a
several species of pigeons, hares,
springhares, hyrax, and if possible, any
jackal I came across. We shot the pigeons
around the animal feeders where they
would literally fill the sky at times, coming
in and eating vast quantities of feed. This
was fun shooting,,, sitting beside a big tree
and waiting for the doves to land first. We
didnâ€™t shoot these, but after a few
minutes the pigeons would land, and weâ
€™d target in on a couple or few of these
until they flew off. After a short wait the
doves would return followed by the
pigeons, and weâ€™d repeat the process.
These birds were collected and the
workers stocked their larders with them
for future meals.
The crows, ravens and starlings (pied,
glossy, red wing, and European) are purely
viewed as pest species. The starlings come
in large numbers to raid the feeders, and
leave piles of guano as a thank you. The
pied glossy, and red wing share all the
traits and characteristics of their European
brethren, which as in the States are also an
environmental nightmare in Africa. The .22
was a blast to pick these vermin off as
they worked their way through the fence
lines and out buildings. It became great
sport to go after a â€œgrand slamâ€� of
starlings on each outing.
The ultimate winged game on this trip was
without doubt the Guinea Fowl, these
birds are wary requiring careful stalking to
get into shooting range. I found the .25
very effective on the birds, which actually
were one of my favorite airgun quarries,
big game included. I took a few of the
Guineas which were rendered into an
outstanding stew. These birds travel in
flocks as small as ten and I saw as many
as 50 birds running along.