Hello everyone, as I recently posted several new ATN optics arrived and I’ll be using them a lot for hogs and predators in the upcoming season. As you probably know, I live in Minnesota but get down to Texas pretty much monthly, sometimes more, to hunt. I am really looking forward to getting on those night time hogs during the warmer months. But in the meanwhile, I want to get started on the predators closer to home, before heading out prairie dogging in South Dakota next month. I decided to put together the rig I want to use locally, more of a closer range urban predator rig. I have permissions on a couple farms and a pheasant hunting reserve near home and on the boundaries of city limits. The scope I’ll start off with is the ATN ThOR LT, which is the companies entry level thermal imaging scope (around $1100.00). On paper this looks like a pretty well spec’d scope: it compact and light weight (1.4 lb), has an integrated with very low power consumption and long battery life, has white hot/black hot displays at a display resolution of 1280×720. I also like the fact that it uses standard 30mm rings, I’m using a set of UTG Max Strength Picitinny/Weaver ring on my set up. The rifle I chose is a standby urban predator gun I’ve been using for years, my Evanix .357 sniper carbine. The gun gives me a solid 7 shots, using a sidle lever action to cycleRead More →

I am often asked what shooting positions I prefer when in the field when hunting. The easy answer is that prone is the most stable, followed by sitting, kneeling, and standing. As you move higher your center of gravity shifts and your anchor points to earth become more tenuous. I’m going to discuss this in terms of offhand shooting, though even if shooting of sticks, this holds true. The more relevant answer is that it depends on the situation. In many of the places I hunt, a prone position is not possible, and you need to pick the best position that will work in the terrain your hunting in. For instance, when hunting prairie dogs on the gently rolling hills of South Dakota in early spring, I’ll often go prone. But as spring progresses, the grass gets too long to see over so I shoot more from a sitting position. When spot and stalk hunting through a prairie dog town, every once in awhile a dog pops up close and offers a shot. Sometimes you might be able to take a knee, but more often it will require an offhand shot. For this reason its good for hunters to practice shots from these field positions, a bench is great for working up a rifle and getting sighted in, and it’s great as an end point if you’re into benchrest competitions, but it can throw you off if that the only way you practice. I frequently see guys that shoot theirRead More →

Airgun Hunt: Two headshots on feral hogs with the Hatsan Hercules .45 Air Rifle in Central Texas! These porkers go down hard. The American Airgun Hunter is the channel dedicated to airgun hunting, big game, small game, predators and pest species. This is one of my first hunts with the Hatsan Hercules .45 big bore airgun shooting Hornaday Roundball! After working out my travel plans, all that was left was to load up my airguns, hit the road and find some hogs! When I saw the wind turbines I knew I was close, this is a broad expanse of dry, but not barren, land. Lots of sage and cedar thickets to provide cover for a huge population of feral hogs. Reaching the ranch, I settled in at the range and checked zero on my rifle. Neglecting this step never turns out well. This rifle is dialed in, a bit high at 50 yards and dead on at 75. The Hatsan Hercules fills to 250 BAR off a high pressure air tank via a proprietary fill probe. This is a big rifle with two on board air storage tanks incorporated, and offers a high shot count. After being dropped at a blind, I doubled up taking two pigs, both with head shots!Read More →

Airgun Hunting: Pigs and Pigeons with a .22 Air Rifle I had the opportunity to take the Brocock Bantam PCP air rifle out on a break from big game hunting, to do some pest control work on pigeons, and turn what I’d originally intended as a predator hunt into a pig hunt. This rifle is the “bottle-in-the-front” flavor of the Compatto, which was the first joint development of the engineering groups at Daystate and Brocock. This semi-bullpup has the refinement of a Daystate along with the compact design that characterizes the Brocock rifles. First up is the hog hunt, I was set up over a water hole in a natural hide behind some fallen logs. I scattered some corn (always carry a bag in my pack when hunting out here) on the road about 35-50 yards in front of me. A sounder of pigs, mostly smaller ones, came trotting in and almost by me, until a few of them scented the corn and moved into noisily feed. You can hear them smacking away in the background. They were constantly moving, but when one broke away and settled in to eat, I had a clean shot. The pellet was dropped right down the hogs ear as he stood somewhere between a broadside and quartering position. On the pellet hitting, the pig simply rolled over with a twitch. Next up, I revisited the feedlot where I’d been just a few days before, knowing there was a never-ending supply of pest birds available.Read More →

In 2015, a group of writers was invited down to Puerto Rico on an interesting pest control shoot, to try to help reduce the iguana population on a farm that was being decimated by these feral lizards, and to try to gain visibility as a potential shooting destination…. much like prairie dogs in the plains regions of the mainland. Because of the gun laws in Puerto Rico, using a firearm outside of a controlled shooting range is not permitted, so airguns seemed like a reasonable approach. As a matter of fact, many of the locals had already started culling them with spring piston airguns and had formed local shooting clubs to dispatch iguanas. But on our trip we were being hosted by HatsanUSA and they had brought along several PCP rifles for us to use, in calibers ranging from the .22 on up to .35 caliber versions. We spent three days of pretty much nonstop shooting, and this was not only one of the most fun pest control shoots I’ve ever done, but it also provided both an economic and ecological service to the island. The people were great, the place was great, the sport was really outstanding, and I was planning my return trip almost as soon as the first day wrapped up. Come along and take a look, my guess is you’ll probably want to give it a try yourself.Read More →

I head back down to Puerto Rico to hunt iguana with Hatsan airguns. Part of my interest is field work with the Hatsan Bullboss .25, the FlashPup .25, and the AirMax .22….. But a bigger question was if steady airgun hunting pressure was reducing the number of the out of control pest. I really like Puerto Rico a lot, and it was a shock too me how much damage had been done by the hurricane Maria, which was the worst natural disaster on record. A year later and they are still struggling to recover and get back to normal. When we arrived at the farm, we found there were many iguanas, but far less than the truly pestilential numbers of three years ago. Over the course of two days shooting I shot 55 iguanas, and had to work for them. On the previous trip I shot more than that on one morning. The reduced numbers were a combination of shooting and the effects of the hurricane. I have been told by guys that hunt different areas, that many farms that were badly hit, but did not shoot iguanas, saw a less marked dip in the population. It sounds harsh, but the goal is to fully eliminate these lizards, however I don’t believe it is possible. If only a handful survive they will build up another unmanageable population in a decade or so. Continued hunting is the best method of keeping these animals in check. and as a side benefits thatRead More →

As I finished working on the second edition of The Practical Guide to Airgun Hunting, I thought back to why I sat down to write the book in the first place. My primary motivation was to help increase the awareness of the sport, and to provide some guidance for those that would like to give it a try. While the books have met with some degree of success, I wanted to reach a broader audience. And with this goal in mind, I decided to make the book available to all that want it, free of charge. If you’d like to get information on the guns, gear, game, and techniques used to hunt with airguns, this book will put you on the right path. The contents cover everything you need to get started, and if you’re already an experienced airgunner or hunter, there may still be some hints that will be useful. We’re very lucky in the USA, we don’t have many restrictions on airguns, we have a lot of species to hunt, and a lot of opportunities to take to the field. To make the download a bit more manageable the book has been split into two parts; the first focuses on general airgun information and the second part on field applications of this gear. This book will discuss pest control, small game hunting, predator hunting, and big game hunting with many different spring piston and precharged pneumatic airguns. Pass this link around, share it with your friends, and getRead More →