TDR Times & Out Foxing Charlie Ten
Well here we are in what seems like it’s going to be the last article on the TDR for a while, as my sponsors want this rifle back and want to send me something else something new and what, I don’t know yet as its all hush hush mums the word. So as you can imagine I am excited as a polecat faced with a rat right now wanting to know what new gun I have coming to play with, so keep your eye on my humble scribbles to find out what comes next.
Now before I go any further with this article it seems my last one got some of you in a bit of a tiz over what I found this rifle was capable of, let’s get one thing straight right now, I have said this before and I will say it again, I DO NO WRITE TECHNICAL ARTICLES, not because I can’t it’s because they bore the living arse off me, this pellet weighed this, this pellet weighed that.
I washed them in this, re sized them with that, each pellet did this on the chronograph, ahhhhhhh that would send this ole country boy to the cider shed to chill out if I wrote like that, if you’re a paper puncher hunter fair play that’s what you like and if you’re a little OCD or Anal about this stuff fair play to you I AM NOT!
So if you want a technical article full of graphs and printer read outs etc. bugger off and read someone else’s well written piece, for here you will find a rough ole Countryman’s article using a tool to do a job or not in some cases.
Right rant over let’s get on with why I am here and why you are reading this, I start out in Cornwall fellow Countryman’s Diary owner Greg asked me to come down help him with some fox problems and to work out a deer management plan with him for his land, obviously we were using center fire rifles for this as you will see in the videos attached to this piece, I also had to give him a hand on a rat job on one of his new permissions and take his kids out so we could both coach them in the art of air gunning the old school way.
I got there bright and early of the Friday morning as I was on my way back from a few days away with my good lady and our boys down near Bude in Cornwall, Greg lives in Plymouth so this was on my way back, as always hearty mug of tea and a bacon roll awaited me as soon as I got to my ole muckers house with owe be you bubba? Bellowing from the Cornish boys lungs, with a mountain man’s stature too, I telle.
We discussed the evenings plans as there were several foxes on his shoots that needed dealing with as the main farm was a sheep farm and losing lambs all over to fox, all three of his kids (Samara, Pippa and Corey) wanted to come but we had to say no as it was going to be a very late long night with a lot of ground to cover, Pippa the middle girl stamped her feet screamed and shouted as she wanted to come but we sat her down and said she will be out all day and night the following day so she will need her rest that and bribing her with a movie night did the trick.
We headed out and set the awesome NiteSite Eagle R-tec up on the trusty Browning 243 Greg had his 243 with an ATN X-sight on it, too as I walked into the first field to open a gate my sixth sense went off there’s a fox here I know it, I say to Greg get my rifle out there’s a fox here I know it, he dismissed me saying it’s too early for Charlie fox and we never see him in this field.
As we drove into the next field and got out to set up I shined my Night Master Venom with the green pill on over to where we had just come from, bowl me over there was a huge dog fox just sat there watching us, I turned on the NiteSite Spotter and watched him happily trot off, see I told you a fox was about didn’t I, Greg just laughed and said I swear your part wolf or fox or something we both laughed, no amount of calling or moving to the next field was going to get that sly ole Charlie back I telle although we did try as you never know your luck in a big town.
But no he was not coming back he knew what we were alright so he lived to fight another day as my ole Dad says, we moved up to the lambing fields and got out on foot all clear we got back to the truck and just about to leave when I hear a fox bark, that’s near the forestry plantation is it not right on the edge of the lambing field son the other side of the farm, Greg said yes it was but he did not hear the fox, I grabbed the rifle armed with the NiteSite Eagle and the trigger sticks I got from swillingtons (www.swillingtonshootingsupplies.co.uk) and headed off with Greg following with his rifle.
I got to a gate and that 6th sense went off again so I scanned around with the NiteSite Spotter, almost immediately I saw this dog fox, I whispered to Greg fox 11 o’clock 125 yards, where he said trying to focus his ATN I mounted the 243 Eagle on the gate bar, and pressed record and thump administered a lead injection on the spot, Greg said I just cannot believe how fast I can be on target and hit a shot right on a 5p piece, I laughed and said many years of practice both in the field and on the range, I also joked and said you should of brought your NiteSite not that ATN thing (ps I am not a fan I had one sold it after one outing with it) you might be able to get a shot tonight I laughed.
My sixth sense was still buzzing even after we had retrieved the shot fox, I said to Greg I swear I just heard another fox bark he said he did too, so I stood by the gate between the two fields, I started calling on my hand and if I say so myself my the call I was taught as a boy is deadly and accounted for many foxes to many to count in 40 years, my sixth sense was still buzzing. I say to Greg check behind us I have a feeling there is more than one coming in and from behind us as the wind is that way, no nothing he said so we decided to call it a night but I thought I would have one last squeal and check behind me, bugger me foxes heading straight at us, this was when Greg made a novice mistake, he put his torch on to see where he was going before I could say foxes coming in, they took off running like bolts of lightning never to be seen again, ahhh well we got one in the bag and Greg was taught some valuable lessons on how to hunt the fox by night.
The next day after a hearty fry up Cornish boy stylie we took the kids with us to the woods, Greg wanted to set up a deer blind (a hide on the ground) so I helped choose the position that would give him the best place for a safe shot and were the deer were using as a crossing, this turned out to be a deep gully that lead down to the river through the woods from the top grazing paddocks, I must say he should have a good winter in that blind, as he has a lot of deer using the area and the odd fox too, I left Greg and Pippa setting up his blind and camouflaging it with some hessian burlap I had given him.
I took Samara that is Greg’s oldest daughter stalking around teaching her some more advances stalking and tracking techniques that she absorbed like a sponge, I especially taught her about using the wind and how to approach the quarry etc., Greg had already done a fine job teaching her the basics so now for my next level, I tried to impress on her to think like the quarry your after from sensing danger to finding food water and shelter.
Greg sent us up over what he called the crescent by golly that was mountain goat territory, but did bring us in range of the rookery, one rook sat there squawking away so I told Samara to stalk it and try her hand at trying to bag it with the Air Arms TDR using the Swillingtons trigger sticks, she stalked in unnoticed in her Jack Pyke hunting gear, she took a steady aim I could see her calculating the shot wind-age hold over then thwack as the rook fell stone dead with a cracking head shot at 48 yards high in the branches of a Beech tree, I telle it was a brilliant shot I would be proud of, I can tell by the smile on her face she enjoyed that shot and that she had put in a lot of practice with that old BSA air rifle on the range, Her ole Dad had taught her well I telle.
I don’t know who was more proud Samara taking the shot me watching on or her ole Dad when we got back and showed him her prize, Greg asked if I could take Pippa over and teach her how to crow call whilst he finished his hide around the high seat, so I took both the girls with me, I set Samara up for the rabbits squirrels or any pigeons or corvids(crow family) that landed and I sat there with Pippa teaching her to crow call whilst I had my Peterson and sons of Peterborough 1890 16 bore hammer, I got Pippa calling like a crow pro in no time as I bagged pigeon and corvid alike with that sweet little hammer gun, Samara had a few shots and bagged the odd pigeon or corvid alas no rabbits or squirrels, then it was time to call it a day head home for tea to head our ratting with the TDRs and NiteSites that night.
We drove that evening to a small farm that sold eggs and as with fowl you get rats, in fact the place was alive with rats I saw two as soon as I got out of the car, Greg and I quickly set up the air rifles me with the Air Arms TDR Huggett Moderator NiteSite Eagle Combo and Greg with his sponsored Hatsan Galatian from Really Wild Adventures (www.reallywildadventures.co.uk) and the NS200, almost right away as soon as we had the fun of getting over the farm gate we in on the action, and for about 2 hours it was nonstop, Greg got a rat on a re bound and I shot 2 with one shot oh I could go on and on about this hunt it was a great night full of tails to tell, I bid farewell to Greg and headed home to Somerset as he headed home to Plymouth.
I got home at 3am at 6am the phone is ringing off the hook it’s a farmer’s daughter frantic as she had foxes attacking the flocks and her Dad was away on holiday, my number was left for in case of emergencies on the farm, It’s nice to have that sort of trust from your farmers is it not, strict instructions left any problem with the flock call Rob immediately so she did, I arranged to be there that evening as I was not needed any earlier she could take care of the dead stock with her sister, we also had rats attacking in the hen houses so I took dad along with the NiteSite Viper Walther RM8 Huggett Moderator Combo too.
I put Dad in position and right on queue I could hear the whisper of the Huggett Moderator on target after scaly tailed ratticuss fell one after another, I don’t care what anyone has to say you won’t find a better moderator for an air rifle than an Andrew Huggett moderator and that’s sub 12ft lb or Fac rated and that you can take my word to the bank I telle.
I got in position as I knew were these blighters were coming from I had tracked and shot a vixen here a few weeks earlier, I set up the trusty ole browning 243 lead injector with a 58 grain Norma lead aspirin ready to administer to this livestock thieving Charlie fox and cure him of his addiction to my farmers lambs and hens.
I started calling on the new mini equalizer from Calls Of The wild an English game call manufacturer from Yorkshire, the farmer’s daughter was stood right next to me as I told her I expected the fox to appear in the corner of the field by the ditch and he should cross in front of us trying to come round on the wind trying to wind scent our position, she laughed and said how did I know that I chuckled and said experience and knowing the land and the foxes on it.
Well bowl me over that’s exactly what this ole Charlie did I could of put a beer mat on the ground where I was going to shoot him, all in all I was there from set to shot to taking him back to the farm house 15 minutes no more, farmers daughter said now that’s why Dad said call you in case of any problems and why he won’t let anyone else shoot on the farm, me and her dad go back to school days and he knows I know every inch of that farm like the back of my hand.
The next time I head out was on a rabbit call out to a very prominent horse breeder who breeds horses for such things like the Grand National and Badminton etc. So as you can see I have some very VIP clients for my professional pest control, the rabbits were eating more than the horses and digging holes in all the paddocks and exercise arenas, I had already ear marked the place for ferreting and arranging to put in some drop traps etc.
This night I had to go shoot some of the closer paddocks with the ole TDR and NiteSite Combo then head out on the bigger part of this extensive horse farm with the 17hmr, we bagged up straight away with the TDR that with the Huggett Moderator literally whispering, the rabbits never knew what hit them as the horses never even knew of my presence, I then headed out on the rest of the farm and the 17hmr did her thing with me behind the butt, I am like a surgeon with that gun I telle, the video telle a better story than mere words so have a look for yourself it’s at the bottom of this article.
The next out I took my boys out with the TDRs first clearing feral pigeons from the grain barns, then we headed out to another horse place to deal with some rabbits and then finished off dealing with some rats on a chicken farm, all very good contracts that I have under my belt, the boys shot like pro’s first on the ferals bagging some magpies as well then on the rabbits accounting for 4 rabbits all on their own merit.
Young David lamping with the red lamp with older brother Connor shooting the TDR and using the field craft I had taught them to stalk in nice and close as I watched on with a mug of tea in hand, Then we moved on to the rat job and loaded up the TDR with the NiteSite Eagle, both the boys took it in turn to shoot and well the smiles on their face grew wider as rat after rat fell.
Well I have left the best till last, I get a call from a very high profile job indeed, scaly tailed ratticuss were invading by the hundred on this venue, they had tried poisons from another well-known pest control big boy that will remain nameless, well to say it was an expensive exercise that all they did was feed the rats and attract more is an understatement, my quote excepted as I had come highly recommended from another prominent client of mine sealed the deal.
I arranged to be there this first night as soon as it got dark, I drafted in my old Dad on this one, now we used the Walther RM8s for this job, the reason for this is the massive shot count we get from these awesome guns, Dad had a NiteSite Viper on his I had the NiteSite Eagle on mine, if you go on my face book page The Ole Hedge Creeper you will see the videos from the shots taken with the Rtec, I even got on film one rat eating another I had just shot, well the night went mad and we filled wheelbarrows full of rats the farmers exact were I am fed up with shoveling up dead rats.
I never knew we had so many, I did chuckle at that as we shot till we ran out of air from my divers tank and almost ran out of pellets, Farmer said no wonder you come so highly recommended you are worth every penny I spent on your service, from now on I will call in you and your professional service, he has stored me in his phone as the RAT SLAYER, I have been called many things but the slayer now that’s a first, what are my final thoughts on the TDR, both in sub 12ft lb or Fac you won’t be disappointed as for me they do what they say on the tin and kill humanly every time, if you’re not getting that from your Air arms then I say either you should get your rifle checked and if as I suspect it’s you that are the weakest link I suggest you try harder.
Until my next humble scribbles I hope you have enjoyed this as much as I have enjoyed writing it and taking you to the field with me and my muckers.
TDR Tales and Out Foxing Charlie Ten
By The Ole Hedge Creeper