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 →

If you have a big game animal taken with an airgun, email me your picture and we’ll get it up on the board. This is more than a bragging wall, it is intended to show the world what these guns can do! Chip Sayre and his Quackenbush .457 Chip hosted Eric and I on a hunt in Virginia this year (2010) and brought us to some really fantastic property. Chip shot this nice 9 point buck with his new Quackenbush .457 from a stand on his property at 30 yards. Chip is a very experienced hunter that has taken more deer than he can count, but this was his first gun with an airgun. I know that we have a convert to the sport, not to mention he has already put together a collection of airguns that would make many long time shooters envious! Seth Roweland 2010 Deer Season in Arkansas Seth is the owner of BHD and manufacturers a line of great hunting bullets for big bore airguns. Seth has several guns he uses for big game hunting, and in these pictures shows his successes with his Sam Yang 909, Jack Haley big bore and his Quackenbush .458 shooting BHD 250 grain solid cast bullets. Michigan Deer Hunt with Eric Henderson and Robert Vogel From last years hunt with Eric Henderson and Robert Vogel at Deer Tracks Ranch in Northern Michigan. We shot six deer in four days of hunting. Eric and Robert were using Quackenbush big bores inRead More →

This brief article was intended for publication in AI before their recently announced closure. As you may know if you’ve read my earlier articles or book, I travel quite a bit to hunt. This is not as easy as it once was … following are some hints and advice on how to get from point A to point B with minimal angst when travel plans call for air transport. I take my rifles with me quite frequently when traveling. This is of course, pretty easy when taking off on a road trip; throw them into the cargo space and hit the road. The complexity increases though when I’m going to fly to my destination. In the good old days, pre 9/11, I did not bother to declare my airguns when checking my bags and never encountered any problems. But recently the rules have changed; and air arms are now viewed in the same light as traveling with firearms. But before getting on to the topic of checking in at the counter, let’s take a quick look at how I pack the guns in the first place. An observation made in passing is that people can get nervous when they see a guy walking through an airport or hotel lobby carrying a rifle case. You can get by with this in Utah or Colorado during deer and elk season, it’s an altogether different story when you’re walking through the lobby of the Hyatt in San Francisco or Chicago attired in aRead More →

Jim, Eric, and Derrick travel down to Texas Hill Country for a ram hunt at the Wildlife Ranch, and to tape footage for the Bigbore Airgun Adventure video series. After our last big bore hunting trip in North Texas, Eric Henderson and I had agreed to set up another hunt in the not too distant future. The phone rang a couple weeks later and it was Eric saying that heÂ’d found a new ranch to hunt down in the Texas Hill Country south of Dallas, with several species of exotic ram. It sounded like fun and we set a date to coincide with my next trip to Dallas. Eric told me that there was another hunter that wanted to join us, a sixteen year old named Derrick that post on the yellow forum under the handle of Stealth, and what did I think of him coming along? I said that it was fine by me, so the arrangements were made to hunt as a trio. Eric picked me up at the hotel on Friday morning and we headed over to the huge bass pro shop to pick up my license and do some window shopping before getting on the road. The cost of a five day exotic game license is $45.00, so I paid my dues and was set to go. Our next stop was to swing by DerrickÂ’s house, meet his folks, get his gear loaded up, and depart for our journey south. The ranch we were going toRead More →