I’d had the chance to use the 2540 with a modified conventional valve on a rabbit hunt a few weeks ago, and a couple of dozen rabbits over a few days of hunting attested to the efficacy of this gun as a hunting arm. On returning home I found the new Biohazard valve which is described elsewhere on my site, which was used to modify the 2540 further into the 2550 configuration. I gained a couple hundred feet per second with this valve, and couldn’t wait to get it in the field. I was invited over to a friends farm the other day to help thin out an over-abundant squirrel population, and decided that this was just the venue to try out my newly tuned pistol as I’d be hunting at closer range around his shed and out buildings. I removed a few squirrels that day, but the first one was most telling. I had a fresh CO2 cartridge inserted, and saw a squirrel running around on the ground feeding at about 35 yards. I stalked in as close as I could, moving slowly and stopping often. At about 25 yards the squirrel towards and up a tree to a fork about 4 feet up where he stopped and looked around. When he presented me with a profile headshot I squeezed the trigger and tumbled him off his low lying perch. Squirrels can be tough to kill, but the 2550 DAQ / Biohazard was more than up to it. TheRead More →

Hunting Deer with a Muzzle Loading .50 Caliber Quackenbush Airgun One of my favorite hunting buddies is Randy Mitchell, but this year we’d not even had the opportunity to do a squirrel hunt. So I was really happy when I got the invite to come down for the muzzle loader season in Kentucky. Not only because we’d get to hunt together again, but also because I’d missed my opportunity on a couple of Indiana bucks and the season was over. If I was going to get a deer this year, it had to happen here. I had been on business up in Michigan, but hurried home to Carmel, kissed the wife and kid’s hello and goodbye, then took off on the three hour drive to Kentucky. When I’d left Ann Arbor there was a lot of snow on the ground, and a howling blizzard blowing …. However three hundred miles south I’d left the bitter cold and snow behind. I met up with Randy the following morning at 6: 00 am, it was dark and raining with a temperature in the twenties. We drove out to the clubhouse on his lease and signed in, then drove out to the eastern side of the property where Randy had set up a buddy blind. We hiked a couple hundred yards from the truck to his stand. If you’ve followed the hunting adventures on his website, it is the same spot where he’d taken a doe a few weeks earlier (the story isRead More →

Day I An opportunity came up to get a couple of short hunts in while away on a business trip out west, my problem would be a shortage of space as I had to carry a lot of clothes and a lot of equipment to fulfill my work obligations. But this is exactly what I had Dennis Quackenbush build my Outlaw .25 for, so the choice of guns was clear. I decided to take the Hill pump rather than the little pony bottle that I had recently purchased from Airhog, only because I had so little time that I could not afford even an hour to search for a place to have the tank filled when my flight arrived. My flight landed at 4:15 on a sunny Sunday afternoon, and my plan was to grab my bags, pick up the rental car (I’d reserved a SUV), and be out in the desert for a late afternoon jackrabbit shoot before evening fell. I knew the area well and was pretty sure I could pick up a couple of jacks quickly. That was my plan, but things headed south quickly…. my bags took forever to roll down the baggage claim. When they finally arrived I grabbed them and jumped on the shuttle Â… to the wrong rental company! After I begged a ride back to the correct one I found out they had lost my reservation, and when I went to get my confirmation number off my palm pilot found the batteriesRead More →

Squirrel Hunt with the Benjamin Trail NP (NitroPiston) As squirrel season got underway, I was hitting the woods for a quick hunt in the morning before work. On most mornings I found myself stalking though the woods with on of my high power PCPs, and was shooting lots of squirrels. One morning as I sat watching a den tree and waiting for the action to start, I started thinking back over the last decade of squirrel hunting since moving to the Midwest. A lot of those hunts, especially the earlier ones had been done with one of my trusty springers, often an old Beeman C1. But this year I’d not gone out once with a springer, and I decided then and there to fix this oversight the following morning! But which gun to use? I looked in my gun room and there were several to choose from, but finally I settled on a Crosman Benjamin Trail NP in .22 caliber. The gun is light, compact, accurate, moderately powerful, and easily capable of laying out the 35 yards bushytails I looked forward to encountering. I also like the ergonomic thumbhole stock and reckoned the digital camo would be spot on in the still heavy foliage of early fall. I worked my way into the woods as the first rays of day started to filter through the trees listening for nuts dropping out of the canopy while watching for the telltale cuttings raining down from above. I found an area that wasRead More →

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 theRead More →

Using a squirrel distress call to coax out a wary squirrel, I get a surprise visitor I received permission to hunt a little farm right outside of town, and got out to the woods a bit after day break. I worked my way back to an area in which I’d seen squirrels earlier in the year while on a pre-season scouting trip. There were several food trees and a big oak that looked like it might have a den, set in a flat area with undergrowth thinning in the early fall season. This was going to be a pleasant morning, it was a little overcast and about 60 degrees and I felt sure IÂ’d kick up a couple of bushytails before too long. I was set up under a tree with a couple of thick vines running down in front of me, offering a little bit more cover and further breaking my outline. After about twenty minutes I saw the first squirrel of the morning up in the canopy moving around, but I could not get a clear shot before I lost him in the foliage. I waited another ten minutes and saw nothing, so decided to break out a call and give it a try. I am getting better with calling as every season passes, finding that when I know thereÂ’s a squirrel in the vicinity a call will sometimes bring him out. So I started with a few barks switching over to a distress squeal, then waited. NotRead More →

Returning to South Africa for several weeks this year, the author brought his precharged pneumatic air rifles along to get some pigeon shooting in during breaks from hunting plains game. The action was fast and furious and the pigeons just kept on coming! I was out on a friend’s stock (sheep) farm in South Africa recently, and had a chance to get in some airgun hunting. Down near the feedlots and stockyards they have a huge population of rock pigeons that fly in to forage before, during, and after the sheep have been fed. Wave after wave of these wild pigeons fly in to rob the animal feeders, and take a substantial amount of grain. I’ve hunted this area several times in past years with various airguns in .177, .22, and .25 calibers, but this year I chose to use a new rifle from the American manufacturer Crosman. The Benjamin Marauder is a multi-shot precharged pneumatic (PCP) air rifle recently released to market. A PCP air rifle is one that has an air reservoir incorporated, and is charged from an external power source such as a hand pump or scuba tank. Once the reservoir is filled 50 to 80 shots are available before it requires refilling. The Marauder is currently chambered in .177 and .22, and comes loaded with desirable features usually found in much more expensive guns. A fully integrated barrel shroud effectively lowers the sound signature to less than a whisper while providing three times the power ofRead More →

Jim, Eric Henderson, and Robert Vogel Head up North for some great big bore airgunning excitement! Clockwise from top: Eric showing off his buck, a beautiful animal taken with a perfect shot using his Quackenbush .457. This huge animal tipped the scales at over 270 lbs. Robert back at the processing shed with his doe, happy hunter but at this time we still hadn’t found his buck, the smile got even bigger a couple hours later when the birds led them to it. Gelow is Eric with his doe taken with his .457 Destroyer. Several weeks ago, I was contacted with a proposal to put together a hunt for whitetail deer at the Deer Tracks Ranch in Michigan. The property was described to me as 1500 acres behind high fence that was rugged and varied terrain incorporating forest, swamp, and a small amount of pasture land. The deer population was healthy, genetically superior, and wild. The gentlemen that first brought the Deer Track Ranch to my attention is an outdoor writer I’d meet over the phone a couple of years back, and he emphasized to me that this was a fair chase hunt in a spectacular setting. I asked if I could bring a couple of other airgunners with me, and the owner of the ranch agreed. The owners name is Dave Tuxbury, and he’s owned the ranch for the last fifteen years. Dave’s goal has been to grow the best herd in the Region, and provide a fantastic huntingRead More →

I was catching up with Brian by phone the other day, and as we didn’t get to hunt together as we have over the last few years, was asking questions about the season. Following is a short summary of out chat. I have the opportunity to hunt for a lot of different things in a lot of different places every year. I also have more of a chance than most, to meet and hunt with serious airgun hunters from all around the country. One of my favorite hunts, and one of my favorite people to hunt them with, is coyote with my long time hunting buddy Brian Beck. As you might know if you follow my writing, Brian was the subject of my column in Predator Xtreme a couple months back, and as the season winds down I though it would be a good time to catch up with him. JC: Hi Brian, We didn’t get a chance to hunt much together this year as I was moving out of the state (Indiana where I’d been the last 10 years and Brian is a native son). What was the year like and how did your season go? BB: well, it was alright. Not bad, but also not the best I’ve seen. Got out to do some hunting, and had the dogs coming in more to vocalizations than prey call. There wasn’t a lot of snow on the ground through a lot of winter, though we got some that came inRead More →

I’d been chasing what had become a nemesis species for me, for three long years. Finally, on a rough three day (and night) hunt in West Texas, The hunting gods smiled on me A picture of my cat with friend and owner of Poorboy Outfitters Cody Brunette. Cody is a successful competitive caller/hunter and we’ve hunted together a fair bit. We’ve called in lots of coyote, but this was the first cat I got a chance at! I flew into DFW on a Wednesday afternoon and collected my bags, then rolled out to met my hunting buddy and cameraman on this hunt Eric Henderson. We were working on an air gunning DVD and were driving out to West Texas for a few days of hunting. The plan was to go after predators and varmints hunting with another friend of mine, competitive predator hunter and caller Cody Brunette. Cody owns and operates Poorboy Outfitters, which is a guide service specializing in Predators. He has thousands of acres of prime predator territory to hunt, but these days likes to focus more on competition than guiding. I’ve hunted many times with Cody, and he always produces. However, for some reason that I cannot explain, bobcats had become my nemesis species when it came to airguns. I’ve taken a lot of predators (coyotes, fox, and bobcats) with firearms, and several yotes and fox with airguns, but bobcats had continued to elude me. I’d been out to Texas 6 times to try to take one,Read More →