I am going through my photo archives….. 175k airgun hunting photos in no particular order…. and came across this from a segment of American Airgunner that Rossi and I did several years ago. We’ve done some great hunts together over the years, but this was one of my favorites for a few reasons, not the least of which is we got two really nice hogs within 15 minutes. I hit mine and laid him directly over, Rossi’s took a hard hit but made it into the bush. The shots came in the last minutes of light, and we had to go after this pig in the dark, which is always interesting. After all my years of hunting, I still get the shakes from the adrenaline rush, some times before and some time after the shot. I’ve had it so bad, that I can’t climb down from a tree stand until I stop shaking, and it doesn’t have to be a huge trophy to induce it. The reason I mention it, was that not before or since have I seen Rossi with such a case of buck fever. On the first hog I told him to take it, nothing happened…….. then I heard a clattering and looked over to see him shaking so hard the gun was jumping off the sticks! I took the shot and we sat there high fiving, when we saw a second pig come in and challenge my downed hog. Rossi sucked in a breath, lined upRead More →

I had a note from Tim Smith, the editor and an old friend over at Airgun Hobbyist, telling me about this months issue. Some of the content comes from a discussion we had at the SHOT Show awhile back. This is our only dedicated airgun magazine in the USA, have a look then think about supporting them, they are doing a lot of good for our sport. Here’s what Tim has to say about this issue:     In this issue, you notice a few more hunting articles than normal. There’s a reason for this. Over the summer, our daily internet news-feed popped up an articles discussing the top airguns for hunting. After reading the post, what was discovered was that they author suggested using airguns that produced less than ethical energy levels to quickly and humanly dispatch the game. In the shooting sports, we need to promote safe, ethical, and responsible use of the power that we posses.    For the fall issue, we’ve assembled “subject matter experts” including Jim Chapman, who has years of airgun hunting experience. Jim travels throughout the U.S. and abroad to hunt with airguns. He’s a regular on American Airgunner TV, authors articles for various publication in the USA and UK. In 2016, we met up with Jim and had a long conversation about hunting and airguns. A memorable quote from Jim was “These days however, when I use one of my centerfires to hunt, I almost feel like I am cheating. This is not aRead More →

When I first move to the midwest about 18 years ago, I had hunted a lot in the US, Europe, South Africa, for a lot of different game. But I’d not done any real squirrel hunting. What I mean by “real” squirrel hunting is I hadn’t hunted tree squirrels. I’d shot literally hundreds of ground squirrels growing up in Southern California, but the closest I got to a tree squirrel was when one of these climbed up into the desert brush. When my wife and I moved back to the States after many years away, we were back in Cali for a couple years before my work took us to Indiana. As I looked for hunting options in my new home, and started scoping out deer hunting areas, the potential for squirrel hunting became clear. I read up (not much online content in those days), but didn’t have stellar success at first, taking a squirrel or two after a hard day in the woods. But at the same time I started getting first hand experience and (I hope) learning from it, I meet Randy Mitchell through one of the early airgun forums. He invited me to drive down to Kentucky to go squirrel hunting with him new years day, I think it was 2004 or 2005. And it turned out this guy knew what he was doing. I watched and learned more! I think I’m a pretty good squirrel hunter these days, and while I get to hunt a lotRead 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 →

I was on a deer hunt earlier this year in Texas, the first season in which game animals could be taken with an airgun. Eventually I ended up taking a buck and a couple does, but one day earlier on I’d passed on a couple small deer when a flock of Rio Grande turkeys walked in. I wanted a Rio Grande with an air rifle, and thought I’d take the opportunity being presented. I was hunting with the AirForce .357 and took the shot at about 35 yards using an archery-oriented shot placement up front and low. The turkey shot up in the air and came down about 30 yards away, piling up where he landed and not moving a twitch after. A couple things to comment on, the shot placement and the gun I used. As far as the shot placement, I’ve taken a lot of turkey with an airgun now, with about half taken with head or neck shots and about half with a body shot. Initially, I only used headshots, and when the bird is close and locked in on a decoy this is a good option. What I found worked better was placing my pellet at the base of the neck, especially when the bird was facing away. A friend down in Virginia, that’s taken more turkey with an airgun than anyone I know, told me he started using body shots with good results. His provision being that this placement worked better using a .25 caliberRead More →

Hello everyone, sorry I haven’t been posting much, been out of country for work and just getting caught up since returning. Before starting I’d like to thank all of you that have been registering on this site, with all the uncertainty around YouTube’s policies on shooting and hunting, I want to have another way to reach out to you all with content. So, the last hunt I went on before heading abroad was another trip down to Texas. I took the AirForce Texan .357 on a hog hunt outside of Abilene, on a smallish property of a couple hundred acres a few miles outside city limits. This is a wide open property that connects some much larger farms, and gets a fair bit of hog traffic. I arrived at the blind situated over a feeder, on the back forty of this farm property where I’ve seen pigs, but never had the opportunity to shoot. The landowner, a friend named Shawn McDonald, asked me if I could throw a couple bags of corn in one of the feeders when I got out to the property. Seems it had malfunctioned in heavy winds and dumped all the corn in one go, and some other guys had seen that it was empty but not had a chance to refill it. I was going to fill it, then make my way to another blind further back, but it had been raining and I was in a rental 2 wheel drive SUV that I didn’tRead More →

I’ve been out in the field with the Hatsan Vectis rabbit hunting today, and have been impressed with this compact little lever action PCP. The rabbit still aren’t moving much in the day and the hunting was slow, but I managed to bag a half dozen after a long day and a lot of ground covered. The Vectis I’m shooting is the .25 caliber and it’s moving the JSB 25.39 grain Exact at about 880 fps for over 30 fpe, which is a great. But it’s the accuracy along with the shootability that really impresses. I’d forgotten my shooting sticks when I went out this morning, so was shooting offhand or from the knee, and I hit six head shots (cleanly missing twice) at 25 -50 yards. I’m writing up the story on the gun and the hunt for my column in Airgunner Magazine, but wanted to share this quick note with everyone visiting the American Airgun Hunter website. I’ll also edit the video and post within the next couple weeks. Going out to a new property tomorrow, for another rabbit hunt, then I’ll start focusing on predators. Thanks for stopping by!Read More →

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 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 →

I’ve been using the AirForce Texan quite a bit lately to hunt everything from Turkey to Whitetail. I have rifle and/or carbine versions of the .257, .308, .357, and .457, and have found myself gravitating more to these as my go to guns for bigger game, finding that across the board they offer the right balance of accuracy, power, shot count, and tactile response of the trigger. I also have come to appreciate the ability to dial in the optimal power setting for a specific bullet, which I think of as the airgunners equivalent of powder burners hand-loading for their rifles. I’ve had several of my rifles barrels cut down, re-crowned, and set up with a suppressor to quiet them down for shooting in areas that might be noise sensitive. The addition of the suppressor not only quieted the gun down, but brought it back to about the same overall length. But with my .457 carbine, I didn’t care about noise, instead wanting to have the most compact and powerful brush gun I could come up with. As a disclaimer, I will do a video and a write up later to go into the range work and optimizing the performance, in this short post I’ll just tell you about a couple of simple things I did to optimize it for my use. The first thing I added was the Covert Clutch Universal Tactical grip sleeve, which is a rubber sheath with a raised pattern that provides a solid grip thatRead More →