Shooting the Silk Moths.
Like I said in part 1 of this series I just do not write technical articles, for some that’s what they love, but for me it bores the pants off of me, I would much rather take you out in the hunting field and put these guns to a proper test not a paper punching exercise, as you can tell I am not much of a target shooter, I am the same when it comes to clay pigeon shooting, what a waste of time and good ammo, plus the fact I can’t eat a paper target or clay pigeon, typical rough ole country boy I hunt with my belly in mind.
Right let’s get out to the fields, this tale starts off in the city of Bath here in Englandshire, I am a professional Pest Controller so I get called out to some pretty varies clients, I specialize in Agricultural Pest Control, but I also do commercial and domestic too, my mantra is Poison Free Pest Control, although I am licensed and qualified to use poisons etc. I prefer not to use them unless absolutely necessary when all other poison free methods have been tried and failed first, it’s the ole Countryman in me.
I was brought up in the old school and truly hate the knock on ecological effect poisons have on the environment and more, so I trap and shoot and advise other methods and advise good husbandry etc, like I say this story begins in Bath or well just outside in the countryside, I was called to a VIP manor house who collected rare breed fowl and even a couple of Emu, the manicured lawns were plagued with rabbits and the rare breed fowl were constantly under attack from foxes, now in this article I will cover the rabbit control using the awesome Air Arms S510 ultimate Sporters, I will cover the fox control in my Out Foxing Charlie series of articles so look out for them, I will also cover some rat shooting and crop protection in this article too.
I got to the clients address and thought blimey what a beautiful place, that was when I first bumped into Eric & Ernie the pair of guard dog Emu’s, as it turns out they like anything shiny or glittering and took quite a fancy to the buckles on my Jack Pyke braces, the client came out and said oh so you have met the security then as we both chuckled.
I was shown around the most wonderful ornamental gardens with ancient trees and indeed with it very own lake, the severe rabbit damage was quite apparent, then I was shown around the palace of a chicken run that was almost an acre in size, fenced off dug deep into the ground and 6 ft high security fence all the way around, my client was at a loss how the foxes were getting in killing his prize rare breed fowl, firstly I said you need to electrify the fence or an outer fence, secondly you need to move those big feed bins next to the outer fence, why he asked? I had tracked the foxes and worked out how they were getting in already.
I told him as we walked around the boundary of the fence there is your entrance jumping up on the feed bins then over the top of the fence and in, you have even provided them with a small step ladder next to the bins, he agreed to move them away from the fence, now for the inside of the pen how were the blighters getting out whilst carrying a big duck or hen? I tracked the inside boundary of the pen, ahhhh there it is the exit, it was right in the corner where two straining posts held the corner post up, I could clearly see the claw marks on the posts running up and fox fur on the top post as they jumped out of the pen carrying said duck or hen, like I say I will continue with the fox side in my Out Foxing Charlie Series.
Client advised and is now happy for me to proceed with said pest contract, first was to start with the rabbit control and as many squirrels as I could as he had a major problem with them too, so I went about installing Rabbit & Squirrel Traps, I get my traps from Katch It Traps a quality English firm made right here in Englandshire look them up on that there tinterwebb if you need quality traps that actually work.
A lot of the rabbit damage was up on the set aside lawns what they called the wild areas near the big lake, I found myself a nice tree to use as cover and sat down on a bench that was conveniently placed, I thought how thoughtful of my client to provide comfortable seating for me, I took a rabbit off my promos trigger sticks as soon as I got there so all had started well, for the next couple of hours until dusk the action was quite frequent, I even shot a right and left with my person Air Arms S410 fac, I had forgotten to bring the S510 Ultimate Sporters as I was called to a fox job originally, a good job I take with me my S410 on all jobs just in case, I called it a night then on this job as I had to get to a rat job South of Weston Super Mare so would call into my place and pic up the S510 Ultimate Sporters and meet up with my old chum Nobby.
I drove from Bath via my place picked up the air rifles and drove South of Weston Super Mare to another VIP client who had a major rat problem, other companies had tried the poisoning route but to no avail, I met my ole chum Nobby there, we put the awesome Nite Site Eagle Dark Ops on the brilliant Air Arms S510R Ultimate Sporter (black) and loaded up with my fave pellets, the Air Arms Field Diablo 5.52 obviously in a .22 caliber my favourite round for an air rifle, I said to Nobby he could shoot tonight as I had the new Nite Site Sentinel Pro Spotter to put through its paces, the action started as soon as we switched the night vision on, there were rats all over the place, Nobby had a great time and I could not load the magazines quick enough.
That little Sentinel spotter from Nite Site is just brilliant, so light so versatile and made spotting the rats dead easy, Nobby and I always made a good team and tonight was no different, even as boys growing up we worked well as a team, before any of you that have my books yes that’s the Nobby from my books too, we finished up with a huge pile but only collected a few as we had strict orders not to go in with the cattle the herdsman would collect them all the next morning when clearing out, I got a message the next day asking just how many did we shoot as he had filled the wheel barrow 3 times with dead rats, I laughed and said we lost count but used almost a full tin of pellets, Nobby is now addicted to rat shooting as is buying his own Nite Site/Air Arms combo.
The next shoot I was called in to a very famous shooting estate to get some Corvid’s (crow family) and Pigeon off of some spring drilling’s, this was on the weekend just before that ghastly affair started with The BBCs/RSPBs Chris Packham & Mark Avery general license fiasco, due to the location and vastness of the field as well as the many foot paths that surrounded the field I decided we should use air power not shot guns, I invited my two Pass It On Young Sports Ambassadors along, Young Chris & Carter, it would have been unfair not to let their ole Dads along too, Big and little Chris set up under an Ash tree with a sitty tree 25 yards in front of them, I gave them half my Jack Pyke set up, poles/hide nets crow & pigeon decoys and a couple of magpie ones as confidence decoys, I set Niall and Carter up on a long woodland ride, backing onto the spring drilling’s field, I gave them my other half of my Jack Pyke set up, Niall also had his cammo fishing umbrella to put up too as there was the chance of some rain, we had orders to cull the rabbits and squirrels too if they appeared.
I went to the far end of the field to act more like a scare crow to try and keep the birds off that bit as we could not shoot there due to houses and the location of the road, it worked like a dream, I kept the birds off the bottom of the field and the boys had the birds decoying in lovely, lovely if they were using a shot gun not an air rifle, but a few did land and the boys managed a moderate bag of Wood Pigeons a few Corvid’s a squirrel and a rabbit, I then taught Young Carter and Chris how to field dress their game, then we headed to the gran Barn for a few hours ratting with the Air Arms S200 & S400 and the Nite Site’s, I think the giggles and laughter and the oh that was a big one coming from the Young Sports and from the Hmmmmm not so young sports said it all as rat after rat fell, all in all a fabulous protecting the crops by day and by night with my Young sports and their Dad’s using some of the best British Made Night Vision equipment and Air Rifles.
A few days later I returned to the Bath Rabbit/Fox job on the manor house and ornamental gardens, I started off like before stalking around this time with the Air arms S510 Ultimate Sporter and my Primos Trigger sticks, I shot a couple of rabbits at a good distance too off the sticks, you know I love those sticks they are great, then I settled in on my bench and waited, it was not long before more rabbits appeared, I dealt with them in no time, it was time to set up for the foxes so I put away the air rifles and got out my 243, I put the rabbits out slit their guts open and hung them on a garden fork, the rest of this story will continue in Out Foxing Charlie 14 as soon as we release it, so as they say this bits TO BE CONTINUED.
The next evening I was back at the VIP rat job just South of Weston Super Mare, this time a solo mission, just me the amazing Air Arms S510 Ultimate Sporter/Night Site Eagle R Tec Dark Ops combo my trigger sticks and some good ole rat shooting in silence or as near as damn it, there is another story with Niall and myself to join this one but will be in the next article, I had to shoot the rats coming through the walls in to a protein cattle feed barn, they were literally crawling in from every nook and cranny, even running over my feet as I stood there shooting them in the pitch black.
I don’t know how many I shot I did not count come the end but I filled up 3 big feed buckets full of them, I telle boys if your going to a good versatile night vision don’t bother with the cheap end of the market, do yourself a favour save up a little longer buy a Nite Site, you will thank yourself in the long run, buy once cry once and buy the best in my humble opinion, now as for an air rifle again get a British made top quality Air Arms, reliable/trust worthy/deadly accurate/smooth as silk to use and feisty too, as sweet on the eyes as they are in the arms, just like an English Rose made in the finest of Englandshire magnificent workmanship of sheer beauty and quality.
Oh, and before I forget, have you got your Gun Ice yet? If not then why not, you must be mad to go out in the field without it, as the mantra says ALWAYS CARRY NEVER USE, check out the website and order yours right NOW gunice .
I hope you have enjoyed my humble scribbles, catch up with the other part of this story in my Out Foxing Charlie series part 14 coming out very soon.
Shooting The Silk Moths Part 2.
By The Ole Hedge Creeper.