As many of you know, a few years ago I wrote about a hunt I wanted to do, and called it the North American Grand Slam, which was to take a gray squirrel, a fox squirrel, and Abert’s squirrel, and a black color phase of any of them. This is an infrequent natural color phase to all three, though not common in any. However, the likelihood of finding one is higher in some areas where there seem to be population pockets. I’ve found them in areas of Michigan, but nowhere else with such a high prevalence. I was getting ready to do the 14 hour drive to Michigan, think I mentioned I like squirrel hunting, to try to get this one off my grand slam list early. I mentioned the upcoming trip for a black squirrel when one of my channels subscribers Jonathan sent me a message and said, we have the all over in N. Wisconsin….. only a 3.5 hour drive from home. Ironically, I’d plan to hunt my way across WI on my way to MI, calling a halt when I got my squirrel. Jonathan sent me a map with a couple places to try, so off I went. I will release a video from the trip, but I have to apologize in advance that the hunting footage is limited. My gun mounted camera failed on me, and I hadn’t realized until arriving home today. However there is some good travel footage and I hope you will enjoy.Read 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’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 →

This site has been online since 2004, and for many years served as my main connection with the airgunning world. However, I built it on old technology and over time, rather than migrating to a more modern environment cobbled things together and kept moving forward. Then I started getting more focused on print media and YouTube, and let the website go fallow, only occasionally updating it. However, in doing so I lost an opportunity for immediate interaction with other airgunners, and found myself getting spread thin over many different media outlets. On the new website I have incorporated much improved navigation to topical areas of interest. There are articles and videos from my hunting adventures using a variety of airguns in different locations for small game, big game, varmint, and predators. I will post more product reviews than I have in the recent past, looking at guns, scopes, and all the other gear used on these hunts. There will be a section on Outfitters/Guides that I’ve hunted with and can vouch for, and I will include material on putting together your own DIY hunts. There is also a photo wall, which to start off will be composed of many of my past photos, but as time goes on I will add those of many friends that I’ve hunted with around the globe. And finally, I will include a blog that will allow me to keep in closer contact with shorter posts, and giver me the ability to be more engagedRead More →

At the recent SHOT show, I spent quite a bit of time at the Gamo booth looking over their current products, as well as newer additions to their portfolio. One of the products they were promoting quite heavily was the Raptor pellet, made of a hard, light material that was said to increase the muzzle velocities of most guns by up to 25% percent. I will be presenting a fairly detailed review of testing on several new pellets in a separate article, but the scope of this piece is the companies Varmint Hunter rifle. I wanted a platform to test the Raptor, and thought one of Gamos guns would be just the ticket. So I ordered the rifle, and after a short wait found it sitting on my desk when I returned home one day. The Varmint hunter is based on the Gamos Shadow series of break barrel spring piston air rifle. The gun is dressed in a black synthetic stock, with a compliment of lights, lasers, and optics riding atop it. I have to admit, I’m a traditional kind of guy and have always preferred wood, however this rifles stock does give it a businesslike appearance. I’ll spend a few lines giving some of the relevant specifications and features before getting into my shooting/pest control experience with this gun. The stock is an all weather synthetic material that is available in any color (as Henry Ford use to say of the Model T) so long as you want black.Read 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 →

Is the .30 the new .25? When I first started airguning many, many years ago, the .25 was considered something of a novelty caliber. It was said to be inaccurate, ineffective, too expensive, limited to too few models of guns, and too expensive.. Today it’s many airgun hunters favorite caliber, and I have to say if not my favorite it’s very high on my list. A favorite topic of airgunners in general, and airgun hunters in particular is what constitutes the best hunting caliber and projectile. Back in the day, the discussion was the benefits of .177 as opposed to .22 caliber, which often came down to flat shooting vs knock down power and such axioms as .177 for feather and .22 for fur. This debate continued on, while the .25 slowly worked its way onto the scene. My initial experience with .25 some thirty years back was that the accuracy I was getting was only OK, and the spring piston guns that shot them well tended to be giant pieces of hardware. But as I started shooting more pcps that were slowly coming to market with .25 caliber options, concurrent with a wider selection of quality pellets, I started to find myself gravitating towards this caliber. I wasn’t the only one noticing these improved results, and I think it’s safe to say that over the least few years the .25 caliber has earned it’s place as the rightful king of the “standard” calibers. In the modern big bore calibers,Read More →

On the Road to Texas! Getting ready for the trip from Indianapolis to Midland Odessa I confronted the perennial challenge, how to get all my gear onsite without spending more in excess baggage than the cost of the airfare. I wanted to take three guns on this trip, but outside of the massive safari case used for long overseas trips, none of my cases would conveniently fit three full sized rifles. I finally settled on disassembling the guns removing the actions from stocks and demounting the scopes so that they’d fit into a standard two rifle case. I’d originally planned to carry a couple of small tanks and a hand pump for keeping the guns charged. But while doing some advanced ground work, I went online to look for a paintball shop where I could get the tanks filled, and lo and behold found a dive shop…. In the middle of Texas, go figure! Calling to see if they could fill my tanks, the owner asked if I just wanted to rent tanks instead of hauling my own cross country. He arranged to have three bottles filled and ready, so all I had to carry along was the yoke and fill probes. I was a bit apprehensive without the safety net of even a handpump, but the shop owner had done business with airgunners in the past and assured me they would have everything I’d need. So in the end I got all the gear required packed into my duffleRead More →

Hatsan has been building some high performance PCP rifles at affordable prices for the last few years, and more recently has been expanding their product line to incorporate new models, new technology, and new calibers while maintaining quality, performance, and value. I’ve been saying for years that the Hatsan rifles are one of the most under appreciated airguns on the market, but that is changing! I’ve been shooting several of Hatsans guns this season, but today I want to tell you about something I think is exciting, their new Carnivore series mid bore rifles! The Carnivore comes in .30 and .35 caliber versions… The Carnivore is based on Hatsans BT65 QE model rifle, that has been available in standard calibers up to .25 for a couple years now. This is a large gun weighing in at 9.3 lb without a scope, and has a length overall of 48.9″ with a 23″ barrel. The gun uses an ambidextrous synthetic stock with an adjustable comb, an adjustable recoil pad, and textured grips on the forestock and pistol grip. There is another Picatinny mount under the forestock for mounting a light or biopod. The 255 cc under barrel air reservoir has a built in manometer at the distal end. The two stage adjustable trigger is acceptable out of the box, and is a bit heavy with a bit of creep. After I complete testing I’m going to start working on the trigger. The barrel is shrouded and quiets the report down quite well,Read More →

I’ve been living and hunting in Indiana for about ten years now, and have spent a lot of time in the field not only hunting, but fishing, mountain biking, kyaking, and generally rambling around. But not only have I never seen a ground squirrel here, I never heard anybody mention them. So when my frequent hunting buddy Brian Beck called and asked if I wanted to do a pest control shoot for ground squirrels I was all over it. The gun I selected for the day was the .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder with a Niko Sterling scope, using JSB King round-nose pellets. I opted for this gun because it was one of the quieter rifles I had and it was dialed in and ready to go. Next time I’ll probably take a .177 for the flatter shooting characteristics. These animals are much smaller than prairie dogs, but the shots were usually closer as well, in the 30-60 yard range. These are strikingly marked ground squirrels when compared to the gray digger I grew up hunting in California, but it’s amazing how well they blend in. They are very hard to spot when holding still. We were shooting from whatever position was available, standing, sitting, prone, and using whatever support was handy. I didn’t have a bipod on my gun but will next time. ing all over the field. There were a few mounds with squirrels sitting on their haunches prairie dog style, but for the most part the holes wereRead More →