When we first started hunting with big bore airguns back in the early 2000’s, there were limited opportunities when it came to larger quarry we could legally take with them. We could hunt feral pigs in a couple states, and predators in a few, but at the time there was nowhere to hunt deer, let alone any other native big game. To circumvent this, we started mixing it up a bit by hunting exotic species, but for the most part these hunts were conducted behind high fence. In the Midwest the size of these properties was usually only a few hundred acres at most. But with the limited range of Airguns, a challenging hunt could be made, and I shot quite a few rams, hogs, and deer in Michigan, Ohio, and other states. But I started loosing interest, because on these smaller properties with high turn over the animals were too accustomed to humans, and just not wary enough. The place that was different though, was Texas. With huge properties and a history of free range exotics, Texas generally provided more of a challange on their exotic hunts than anywhere else I’d experienced. JMany people, especially those who have never tried it, equate an exotic hunt to a canned hunt. But it is anything but in most places I’ve hunted in the lone star state. I’ve hunted free ranging feral goats, aoudad, blackbuck, and exotic species of deer that have been every bit as challenging as native whitetail hunts, moreRead More →

I’ve been frenetically working to get a bit of breathing space so that I can take a few days off to go hunting in a couple weeks. I was in Texas two weeks ago for a few days, but since returning home have been putting in 10 hour days for my primary job, so that I can use some saved vacation time. A lot of people think that I do this airgun hunting as a full time job, and sometimes it feels that way, but I have a busy professional life as well. In that role, I also travel a lot, going to Europe and/or Japan every month. But, I have a good amount of vacation time accrued, and by adding a day or two to a weekend and traveling at night or very early in the morning, am able to get quite a few hunting trips in every year. One of my main destination spots is West Texas, for several reasons. Texas has always been a draw for airgun hunting because of hogs, predators, small game, and exotics….. but now with airgun big game on the ticket it’s even better. I have a lot of friends down there with a lot of places to hunt. So tomorrow morning I board a plane for Denmark for about 10 days, but a few days after returning will pack up and fly out again, this time to Dallas. There I’ll pick up a rental truck (Texas is the only place I knowRead More →

I’ve just posted a video over on the American Airgun Hunter YouTube channel, that shows my recent hunt down in Texas for the first season in which javalina could be legally taken with an air rifle. I’ll embed the video below in case you haven’t seen it yet, but I wanted to give a little more information on the rifle I was using: the AirForce Texan .357, but my rifle has had a bit of work done to it. Nothing dramatic, but it does make a difference. Edwin over at Airguns of Texas in Abilene cut about 8″ off the barrel and recrowned it. Then he fabricated a suppressor that adds the length right back, but man it does a great job of quieting the gun down. The shop is now home of manufacturing for the AeroMagnum bullets, that are purpose designed for the Texan, and Edwin also dialed in the power to find the optimal balance of power and accuracy. The setup of the gun was generating about 900 fps with the 128 grain Devastator hollow points, generating 5 shots above 215 fpe, which is the legal limit for big game with an air rifle. At 50 yards the rifle will print 5 shot sub inch groups consistently, which gives me a lot of confidence in this gun. I’ve already taken a javalina, whitetail, turkey, and hog with it this season, it’s done a great job for me in terms of performance. Take a look a couple posts backRead More →

In this video I answer the question, how do you hunt predators with an air rifle? I journey back down to West Texas to hunt with my buddy Chacho, and plan to pursue javalina during the day and call predators at night. The requirement for my hunting rifle on these outings is that it’s pinpoint accurate, powerful, flat shooting, and reliable… and (spoiler alert) the FX Crown exceeded expectations. My rifle has a synthetic stock with a camo finish by Utah Airguns, and is absolutely beautiful! The Crown is a multi-caliber platform, and mine is equipped with a .25 caliber, .30 caliber, and an arrow barrel For this hunt I opted for the .30 caliber, shooting JSB 44.75 gr Exact Diabolo roundnose pellets. We called in a number of fox, of which I shot two, and a couple of marauding raccoons by the feeders. A big bobcat came in that Chacho could see, but which was hidden behind a bush from my perspective. I will have more night time hunts coming up, with a variety of lights and night vision gear, but this first hunt we went old school using a red filtered spotlight.Read 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 →

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 →

Hunting in South Africa with a unique new hunting projectile, the Air Venturi AirBolt! – Jim Chapman Airgun hunting has been gaining popularity in recent years, and along with advances in rifle technology, there have been concurrent advances in ammunition development. The Air Bolt is one such example, an arrow that can be launched from a conventional air rifle with great accuracy and power. Earlier airguns that shot arrows utilized a hollow arrow slipped over a thin purpose designed barrel, with the volume of pressurized air released inside the arrow to drive it forward. Air Venturi took a different approach, the Air Bolt is a caliber specific arrow that is muzzle-loaded into a standard big bore air rifle. Currently, the Air Bolt is available in .50 caliber, but there are other calibers on the way. The carbon fiber shaft has a nock with an o-ring and a synthetic fletching at the proximal end, and is matched to the caliber dimensions. The distal end has a teardrop shaped head that is threaded to accept standard broad heads, and fits snugly into the muzzle of the rifle. This design permits any rifle of the corresponding caliber to be used to shoot the Air Bolt, as well as the ammunition the rifle was originally designed for. The result is a platform that transforms a marginally powered big bore hunting airgun into the most powerful arrow launching system in existence! In my Air Venturi .50 caliber air rifle, a 425 grain Air Bolt tippedRead More →

I woke up early and dressed quickly so that I could get out to the woods before sunrise. It really isn’t necassary to get to your hunting site before first light when hunting fox squirrels, but I love to be in place and set up to watch the woods coming alive as the morning breaks. This morning was cold with a light drizzel falling to earth as I parked my jeep and started the hike to a spot I’d found on an earlier outing. My shoot was nestled in a flat area containing several large mast producing trees, with acorns and hazel nuts strewn about in profusion. There was a small stream to my back, and about 150 yards ahead the woods were broken by a Powerline right of way before continuing for many acres on the other side. It was a great find, and contains a large number of squirrels; unfortunately it’s slated to be plowed under for a new housing development and shops, so this will be my last season here. Making my way down to a space nestled between a falling log and a still standing tree, I settled in as daylight started to filter through the trees. I placed a comouflaged backpacking seat on the ground with the back against the standing tree’s trunk, pulled down my face mask and waited. A few minutes later I heard a branch snap to my right, and slowly looking up saw a doe stepping out from behind a treeRead More →

When, why, and how to use an air powered gun to effectively hunt North American predators. Airgunning for Predators As more hunters are becoming familiar with the use of airguns for small game and varmint hunting, I am frequently asked if they can be used for larger predators. The short answer is yes, but with some qualification. It depends; on the gun, the quarry, and conditions under which they will be used. Many raccoons, fox, bobcats, and coyote have been cleanly taken with airguns. Many animals have also been lost when a guns terminal performance is not up to the task, or the shot is taken at an inappropriate range and the proper shot placement is either not selected or not achieved. In this article I’d like to present my world view on predator hunting with airguns, though you’ll find others with different outlooks. The basis of this discussion for me is that I believe no matter what you hunt the gun and the ammunition used must be able to cleanly kill the quarry. This is especially true with predators, as a poorly hit coyote has more potential to be a problem animal if wounded, and at any rate wounded once he’ll be a lot smarter second time around. So if you are going to use smaller calibers or lower power because the situation mandates it, the hunter has to compensate by being that much more selective about distance and shot placement. Raccoons and Fox Smaller predators such as raccoonsRead More →

This hunt can be seen on American Airgunner broadcast on Pursuit Network and on you tube post season. I was wedged into position so that if I even took a deep breath I’d get poked by a sharp spine. So I carefully held my position and waited, spending my time glassing the distant ridges for traces of pigs moving in for water. This was my next to last day before boarding the plane for the 32 hour trip home, and things didn’t look very good. I always shoot a couple of warthogs when I go out to the Eastern Cape, but they are so plentiful most of the time I’d passed on several opportunities early on. As I dropped my glasses I spotted first one hog that had slipped in from my right side followed by a second. These pigs were identical in size, so of course I dropped the crosshairs on the one standing in the water, which would prove the most difficult to retrieve, The gun I was shooting was a .457 XP Ranger shooting Mr Hollowpoint 250 grain bullets. The gun was charged to 3600 psi and was putting out about 500 fpe. When I pulled the trigger, the gun roared (it is not a quiet airgun) and knocked the pig over in the water. He thrashed and kicked a bit, and while he ended up a bout five feet further out in the water/mud, he didn’t get up again. I’ve take many warthogs, Russian boar andRead More →