Silencing The Roar
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
My Love for The Wild Cat Moderators began many years ago when I purchased my very first Predator Wild Cat Moderator, a moderator I still have and use almost daily if not weekly to this present day, so when Alison at The UK Custom shop contacted Greg and myself at The Countryman’s diary Magazine asking would we both like some Wild Cat moderators for a review and keep them as a thank you etc, for all our hard work and awesome articles and the work we do with Pass It On Young Sports, I don’t think my smile or even Greg’s could of got any wider as we are both huge Wild Cat fans.
I use the Predator 12 or the P12 moderator as it’s known on my beloved Browning 243, this is the sweet little rifle I use for all my fox vermin control duties (I run a pest control company Really wild adventures among other things) dealing with foxes this is the perfect combination for me, those that have read my Out Foxing Charlie Series over on The Countryman’s Diary magazine (Countrymans-diary) of which there are 8 article’s so far or any of my deer stalking articles of which there are many will know what I mean when I say the P12 on my Browning is the shizzle, I am just in the process of writing Out Foxing Charlie No9 as I write this article you are reading now, those of you who follow me on the magazine/Facebook/twitter/Instagram etc will know that this rifle moderator and NiteSite Wolf combo with me behind the butt that we are deadly accurate combination.
I also use my sweet little Browning 243 and P12 mod for all my deer management duties over a great deal of farms and estates that are up near 20,000 acres now, the P12 really is a brilliant useful tool for the job as a lot of this deer and indeed fox control I do is very much in a close proximity of horses and other livestock.
But the horses are the main one as we have a great many VIP horse training sites here that I look after, the roar of a 243 going off really does spook the livestock so when I say The Predator Wild Cat 12 silences the roar it really does, another good mod until it broke was the T8 but now a long forgotten mod for me as all I use on my rim fire right up to center fire rifles are Wild Cat Moderators.
I have been trying to get out properly for months here to use the 17hmr and 22 rim fire rifle with the Wild Cat Whisper Moderators on for many of my rabbit jobs, but alas the weather just has not stopped raining and as I said the other day if this carries on I will have to carry out my rabbit control duties from a canoe and I am not joking either, but finally a couple of cold days and nights with a bit of sun has blessed me that I was able to get out on the rabbit duties at last, for they have eluded me due to the weather for several months now.
I will tell you I now know why they have called them the Whisper range for the 17hmr and the .22 rim fire rifles, now I was expecting the normal crack from the 17hmr as always, I stalked in to as close as I could across the open ground on this sports ground to an unsuspecting brace of rabbits digging holes in the course,
Dropped the sticks out nice and steady and mounted the rifle and lined the cross hairs up on the farthest of the two rabbits that was about 90 yards away, I squeezed off the trigger and a sort of loud pop came the muzzle report as the rabbit jumped in the air and dropped stone dead right back on the spot, my first thoughts were a duff round as I have had quite a few with these temperamental 17hmrs,
I am not a huge fan of the 17hmr I will say I much prefer my 22 rim fire, now the other rabbit just sat up looking at his mate about 20 yards away and carried on about his business, so I thought Ohhhhh yes a bonus bunny as they normally bolt with the first shot from a 17s muzzle report, so I took a steady aim at this 70 yarder squeezed off the shot and blow me it did it again a loud pop not the normal crack as the rabbit dropped on the spot, I retrieved both rabbits and yes both kill shots were right on the button between the ear and the eye, I was a little confused as I expected the real hard crack of the muzzle report that I was used too, as it turns out it was not the rounds as I thought it was the mod that was 3rd quieter than my previous moderator, I tested it on my mate Nik Tall’s sound testing unit he uses as a land rover judge at the 4×4 competitions.
Now the next shoot I had to do I reverted back to my wonderful 22 rim fire, I had an equestrian center to do and those horses are a bit jumpy being thorough breed’s, all the horses were in their stables so I had free reign of all the paddocks and the training race course etc, the first rabbit I saw was at the bottom of one of the jumps, I stalked in to the edge of the cover but the closest I could get was 50 yards as the rest was open ground,
I leaned on a fence post to take aim and mounted the 22 rim fire to my shoulder, I squeezed off the trigger as my mind reflected back on the Whisper mod on the 17hmr and how quiet it was, a really quiet sort of dull pop came out of the muzzle report on my 22 rimmy even quitter than that of my pcp air rifle the Walther RM8, but the thump on target as the Fiocchi subsonic round hit the rabbit right on the button between his ear and eye made an almighty thwack, the rabbit jumped over backwards and was dead as a nail on the floor, I could not believe how quiet this mod really was, so now when I say I Whisper a sweet kiss good night on target with either the 17hmr or the 22 rimmy I really mean it.
Just recently I took another writer for The Countryman’s Diary under my wing, JT is a fine young man and seasoned hunter with air rifle/shot gun or rim fire, but lacked the years of knowledge with the center fire rifles or hunting of bigger game I.e. fox deer or boar etc, so this is where I come in, you see I am not only a qualified shooting coach with air rifle/rifle or shotgun but I am also a fully qualified game keeper land manager and deer manager,
I really like JT he has a wicked sense of humor a maturity way beyond his mere 24 years, he has a good solid approach to all field sports conservation and firearms etc, I don’t take many people under my wing with center fire rifle training as I feel many have not showed to me the level of maturity needed for this complex discipline.
JT has shown me he has the quality I look for in an apprentice, it’s taken me a year of watching this young countryman work with Pass It On Young Sports both on and off our rifle ranges to come to a decision to offer him such a place with me, I don’t look for the best qualified people as a piece of paper is just a piece of paper,
I like to see a monkey see monkey do approach, can you do the job I ask of you it’s how I was taught by the old masters and how I teach, my Pappy also urged me to get qualified in what he trained me to do so I do the same with my trainee’s but first you have to prove you are man enough for the job, and I truly have every confidence in JT as I have not been wrong with any apprentice I have took under my wing yet, all of my apprentices have made something good of themselves and all have gone on to bigger and better things.
JT bought his Savage 11 model Hunter 308 rifle from my shop The Out Post over at Really Wild Adventures (Really wild) a shop and private gun room I am extremely proud off, JT had arranged to go wild boar hunting with a fine countryman down in Devon,
I had spoken to Alison at The UK Custom Shop about JT telling her how he was just getting into center fire shooting and a Wild Cat P12 would be a brilliant addition for his rifle, he could write several article’s for his column in the Countryman’s Diary as his sort of journey from a novice to a proficient center fire hunter, Alison quickly agreed she would give him a P12 Moderator as a welcome to the center fire world.
JT’s rifle arrived just in time a day before he was booked to go boar hunting in Devon, eagerly JT came to my gun room to pick up his rifle scope combo he had purchased from me also arriving that day was the Wild Cat Predator 12 moderator with a ½ unf thread ready to go on the end of the new rifle and thus complete the package, I arranged with JT to meet him at the range do the necessary paper work and zero his rifle in for the very next morning’s hunt.
JT and his father another fine countryman of the old school met me at the range to see his son in action, we fitted the scope did all the paper work and went to fit the moderator onto the end of his new rifle, this is where disaster struck, Alison had sent the wrong thread instead of ½ UNF they had sent ½ UNEF on the P12, Ohhhhh bugger there is no time to source or sort a wild cat mod out in time for his boar hunt the very next day,
I did have in stock a Mac-Tec mod for a 308 cut for a ½ UNF so I had no choice but to sign that moderator onto his Fire Arms Certificate, job done we leaded in the rifle and zeroed it in at a 100 yards, JT was all set for his boar hunt the very next day, I called Alison to tell her of the problem and she had a ½ UNF thread for the mod in the post to me the very next day but alas it was too late for JT’s boar hunt, So I said to JT keep my Mac-Tec mod until we get a variation sorted and we can swap the mods back around alas this may take some time as our brilliant fire arms licensing department are behind time and very short staffed etc, I must add Avon and Somerset fire arms department are great and do a brilliant job, I deal with many fire arms departments around the country as I am an RFD (Registered Fire Arms Dealer) but I will say Avon and Somerset are one of the best to deal with or answer any question or offer help.
JT saw a lot of boar but none that were part of the cull so did not get to fire a shot or break his cherry as it were with his new rifle, the weeks went by and turned into months as the weather has not stopped raining here, that coupled with work on my estate on the deer proof fencing being erected around the ornamental gardens held us up on the roe doe cull as we were asked to hold off any shooting until the work was complete.
Finally her Ladyship called me to say start the cull immediately, I said to JT time to start your training, the first stalk was more of a recce and give JT some pointers on approach field craft tracking etc, indeed he got to stalk in and get up close and personal with some deer but none that I had marked for the cull, we finished that stalk empty handed with deer but with our hearts full of knowledge being installed and passed on to a fine young stalker in the making,
JT had a thousand and one questions after that hunt as you can imagine, it was nothing like what he had already done before, I tried to answer his every question some without laughing but one thing right away I saw that sparkle that passion in his eyes that it takes to be a deer manager.
A week later I took JT on an evening stalk again this time I let him lead, we stalked in on a great many deer but none of the cull doe that I was after, coming up towards the end of the stalk I suggested JT stalks right out to the end of the big wood and waits, the large valley field there always held a lot of deer coming out to feed on the lush grasses,
I will tuck in further down the valley and watch him I said, also in case the deer came out further down this large wooded valley and grass lands I may get a chance myself, I could see JT clearly from my position using my binoculars, I also saw the first roe buck trot out on the field followed by 5 roe doe’s, I whispered into the 2 way radio take the doe on the far left she is one of the ones I have marked for culling.
JT stalked stealthily round on the wind as I had shown him and took a sitting position on the edge of the big wood and waited for the grazing deer to come into a position that gave a perfect back stop, I watched with eagerness watching his every move whilst also watching the deer, finally the deer were in the perfect position for a shot but alas the buck was stood in the way of the cull doe,
JT waited he looked like a Kestrel hovering above a vole waiting for the perfect moment to stoop or in his case take the shot, The buck trotted on a few paces and now the cull doe was in the perfect position for a chance of a shot, I saw JT mount the rifle and wait controlling his breath and now his excitement, then Bang as the 308 let out its distinct muzzle report from the Mac-Tec Moderator as the roe do fell on the spot with a distinct thump of a body shot.
I stalked stealthily up to JT as all the other deer bolted for cover, JT was smiling like a Cheshire cat and I thought he was going to do a jig, all the rifles were made safe and we headed over to locate his first ever deer a fine West Country Roe Doe, if I say so myself I could not have put the shot placement any better myself a pin point perfect heart and lung shot right to the engine room,
Now I know a lot of folk say take a head or neck shot but that’s not my style, heads and neck can move, I have seen other stalkers smash a deer’s jaw and the deer run off and we have to go look for it, the engine room does not move and is a far better humane shot even if you get a little bit of meat damage occasionally, so that’s how I teach and that’s how JT did it,
I could not of been more proud than at that moment as he did a text book safe stalk and a text book shot placement, he said he was Buzzing, I laughed and said now for the hard part time to gralouch his deer, he did this in fine style taking it all in his stride as I taught him to check the carcass/innards for disease etc, and saving a nice bit of liver for his Ole Dad as a prize gift of a deer stalker.
I waited on after dark and took a cracking shot on a dog fox and a vixen that had been getting into my pheasant pens and again the ole Browning 243 Predator Wild Cat 12 Moderator with a 58 grain Norma Round with the awesome NiteSite Wolf mounted on my sweet gun and The Ole Hedge Creeper behind the butt did the job in fine style, I also bagged a couple of bonus rabbits with the 17hmr, all in all we are Wild Cat fans and I know JT can’t wait to get his put on his rifle as soon as his variation gets sorted.