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 Quackenbush.

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 pig�! 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 runoff 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

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

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