Saturday, 26 November 2011

Magpie Madness

Trying to find something different to write every month can be a daunting task , I am sure you don’t want to read about rabbits and pigeons every month but when it is the target species for that time of year its all we can do really. Luckily this month one of my permissions cut the hay early and it has given me the opportunity to have a crack at clearing some Magpies that would have otherwise proven difficult . With so many leaves on the trees its hard to get close to a group of Magpies and make any significant dent in the population , there is always one that you have not seen and once the warning call sounds you can kiss goodbye to any shot . It happens time and time again , you know where they are , you stalk as slowly as possible keeping yourself out of site as much as you can until you get within range to get a clean shot off , a call comes from another Magpie usually closer than the one you were after because you haven’t noticed it and they are gone . It can get frustrating over a long session but there is a way to get them to come to you if you have the patience to sit and wait . Now the Young magpies have all left the nest you will often see groups of 4 or more flitting from tree to tree in search of a good meal . Magpies are usually creatures of habit and will keep to an area where they were born . This makes it a little easier to get close enough and be able to at least get a few shots off as they will be coming to you . The best way I have found to get the magpies in range is to leave a dead rabbit in the open , I usually slit the belly open and turn it belly up so the white fur is showing . A lot of hunters will leave the innards near or still attached to the rabbit but I prefer to discard them all together. The main reason I discard the innards is because I have found when you get a magpie feeding off them they are always hopping back and forth , they take little pecks at the gut and never seem to sit long enough for a clear shot . With the innards removed from the equation they have to sit longer to peck at the meat making it easier for us.

Now the farmer has cut the fields I can put a rabbit out in the open and it will be seen very easy by any passing Magpies , but before you can do that you need a rabbit . To start the trip off I will be going out to get my rabbit first and then hopefully you will see how the plan comes together.

I had planned to go out on a ground next door to where I was going to ambush the Magpies . This ground used to produce some good numbers of rabbits in the past , I have found though in the last two years it has suffered with mass Poaching . I went out last winter for a lamping session but I found as soon as the lamp was near anything they headed for the hills as fast as possible . This always means they have been lamped and shot at but its something we cant control every day. The ground had also been ferreted as I had found many brambles chopped down around warrens so these Poachers were not giving the ground any chance to recover.

As its summer time it is a lot harder to get any numbers from the ground as it is always well over grown but to me that just makes me work harder and its more satisfying when I get a result. This makes it less appealing to Poachers as well , so at least I get it to myself at this time of year. I started off on the right side of the ground, this has a small wood running all the way down its side where the rabbits are holed up . They venture out into the open from there so when the grass and weeds are down it provides some good ambush shooting.

I had started my stalk along the wood and it wasn’t long before I put a couple of rabbits up that I hadn’t seen , with these conditions I wasn’t surprised but it wasn’t long before I got one in sight that hadn’t seen me . It was sitting under a small bush about 40 yards in front of me . I slowly crept another 10 yards closer and raised the Rapid to my shoulder . The rabbit was sitting with its back to me so I placed the cross-hairs on the back of its skull and sent the .177 pellet towards it. The rabbit flipped up doing a full circle in the air and fell stone dead. I could have taken the rabbit to the other ground to start on the magpies but as I had just started on this ground I decided to walk the full length and see if I could get a couple more. I had walked a good few hundred yards and again it resulted in me scaring the odd ones that I hadn’t seen . I decided to go into the wood now but this is just as hard as the trees are close together and it makes it hard to stalk quietly .Not to be put off I was soon rewarded for my efforts. I noticed a couple of rabbits making their way back into the wood just ahead of me, I had probably spooked them as I was pushing myself between some branches so I quickly got to one knee and waited for my chance. One of the rabbits stopped in a little clearing so I quickly got him in the cross hairs and the pellet hit it hard just behind the eye. With the second rabbit tucked in the Jack Pyke rucksack I set off for the final run along the trees. I had just reached a clearing and I noticed a rabbit feeding near the edge of some conifers. I was a good 60 yards from it so slowly I edged closer . I kept the trees just in front of me so I had a little cover , just as I neared the corner the rabbit spotted me and ran for the safety of its warren but unfortunately for him it stopped to have a last look back. I had tracked it in the scope so as soon as it stopped I was ready to take the shot and made it three in the bag.

That was enough for me this trip as It was getting later now and this is the time of the afternoon when I see the Magpies in the area most.

I was now at the field where I was going to ambush the Magpies , I quickly prepared the rabbit and placed it ten yards out in the field . The place I had chosen for my ambush point was twenty yards back into some trees , this gave me a ten yard kill zone either side of the rabbit if needed and the shade from the trees made me virtually invisible to the Magpies . I took a picture of me from ten yards away and I struggled to see myself in the cover so I knew I was OK there.

 I had been waiting for a good half hour when I heard the sound of the Magpies to my right , I sat as still as possible just in case . The first magpie dropped in close to the rabbit , it was very cautious as expected so I gave it a little time to settle. This turned out to be a good call as three more dropped in right next to it and started to make a right racket. I could see it was three youngsters and an adult so I lined up the scope on the adult and took the shot through the shoulder blades. The Magpie fell flat on its chest stone dead but the youngsters just sat looking at it unaware that it had been shot. I will always take the adult first in this situation as the youngsters haven’t got a clue what happens as the adult hasn't flew off showing any danger .I quickly cycled another pellet and lined up another bird. Again the Rapid made no mistake and a clean head shot dropped number two . Again I cycled another pellet as the other two were totally unaware what was happening and were just looking at the two dead ones . I quickly took my chance again and number three was lying stone dead around the rabbit carcase. What a great start this was and I nearly had number four straight after but the other adult came in going crazy and took the youngster off with it to the other side of the field. I quickly got over to the three Magpies and made myself a decoy out of the adult one. I pushed a stick from its back passage up to its head and once secured in the ground I spread its wings out to give any passing Magpies more of a chance of seeing it.

For the next forty minutes I could hear the other adult magpie calling to the decoy but it wouldn’t come any closer , it knew I was about somewhere but it couldn’t see me in the shadows. Another twenty minutes passed when two magpies dropped in near the decoy, they didn’t seem happy with it and started to mob it a little so I left them again as I wasn’t going to get a shot of at them the way they were jumping about . It does get frustrating having the birds in front of you but patience is the key and in this instance it paid off dearly. As I was about to finally shoot one I had a mad flurry of feathers in the scope , taking my eye away from the scope I noticed not two but seven magpies all around my rabbit and decoy. This was heaven , I quickly scoped up one of the larger birds and a head shot put it firmly on its chest . The others again looked on so I quickly took out another larger one of the group. I must have shot both adults as the other five were just sitting there calling at them . They didn’t have a clue what to do and as quick as I could cycle the rapid I was dropping them all over the kill zone. Two of the young ones had managed to get away but they had only flew sixty yards down the hedge line . I was tempted to go after them but I chose to keep hidden just in case more were about . I sat it out for another hour but nothing more showed, I could hear them in the distance but I think they knew better . It was the wrong decision I suppose to leave the two that got away but that was giving my position away again and I chose otherwise.

They afternoon couldn’t have gone any better, I know it was a long wait in between the two groups coming but when the Magpies showed up it was frantic shooting and a thoroughly enjoyable session . I will definitely be giving them another bash soon as there are more about and hopefully it will be where I am waiting for them .


Friday, 15 July 2011

Decoy Delights

This was one of my latest features in Airgunner . Now the Hay has been cut and the crops are drawing pigeons in ready for the harvest I thought i would share this and hopefully it may help get you a few shots off. Even though i was decoying over clover on this occasion i am confident it will work for you over anything the pigeons are feeding on ...........................

While I have been out lately I have noticed how quickly the trees have been covered in leaves. This makes shooting pigeons and squirrels even more challenging as no matter how hard you look you always see the quarry just as it is about to fly or run off. On a recent walk around one ground I noticed a few pigeons feeding on the grass fields and on inspection I could see the clover had grown quite a lot so it was easy pickings for them . The rape crops are high around the shoot as well so the clover must be their next preferred food source . I had shot a pigeon in the wood next to the field and decided to prop it up as a decoy and get under the hedge bordering the field and just take an hour to see if I could get anything interested. It didn’t take long for a few pigeons to take interest in the decoy and in the next hour I had at least ten pigeons drop in . As there wasn’t much cover under the hedge it was hard for me to stay hidden and I wasn’t making a full hide set up it was just a teaser . I managed to get five pigeons out of the ten so that gave me confidence that with good cover may bee I could have a good session if I planned it well enough .

 I had kept the five pigeons that I shot as I would use these as decoys for my session , I can’t stress enough that when you are decoying pigeons with an Air rifle you wont beat the real thing to draw them in. It is not only getting them into your kill zone that is hard , you want them to feel comfortable as well when they land . There is nothing worse than having pigeons drop into your pattern and then all they do is either take off straight away or they will flip up and down a few times then retreat. I hear all the time that hunters decoying pigeons will track the pigeon coming in then as soon as it hits the floor you get the cross on it and shoot as quickly as possible . I have done this myself in the past and its not something I like doing , rushing doesn’t make us better shots. I prefer to track them in and once they are on the ground wait a few seconds to see if its comfortable with the decoys , there’s nothing worse than trying to shoot a pigeon in the head that is alert and bobbing its head around looking for danger . If we have everything set up right they will stay in your pattern feeding for a while before they realise something is wrong especially if you are using shot pigeons as decoys. Plastic decoys whether full bodied or shell will put them on alert almost straight away and that is when the rush shots start.

The evening before my planned trip I was thinking on making a short blind that I could use under the hedge . I had some old camo netting in the shed but I was short of poles . A quick rummage around found me the kids dome tent . Now I know its the kids but I was sure there was a hole in it somewhere “ that is what I told the lovely wife “ and I stole some of the poles . The fibre glass poles were a perfect size for what I needed so I planned the blind out and took a trip to a friends with a sewing machine . He had stitched it up in no time and an invite to come shooting and have a hundred acres of wood to walk around all day was the only payment he wanted. I also thought it would help me if he was keeping the pigeons moving about as well . The next morning I packed all my gear into the Jack Pyke ruck sack that I needed and with the Rapid topped up I was off to pick my mate up .

We arrived just after day break and proceeded to where I wanted to set up . We were pushing pigeons out of the trees all the way to my chosen spot so the signs were looking good . I wasn’t taking that for granted though , my planned visit with the jackdaws last month was a disaster even though there was plenty around to start with .

Now at the spot I had chosen to shoot from I started to clear a nice opening under the hedge , you want everything out the way that could obstruct the pellet once you fire the rifle . Next I set my blind up and pushed the rapid through the gap in the blind to make sure it fitted OK . I always use a Bi-Pod when decoying as it eliminates movement on your part and it makes for more comfortable shooting . The Bi-Pod is fitted to my Rapid with the well known Dr Bob clamp that you cant really see on the front of my bottle but it is there honest . Next it was time to set up my decoys , I always do this last as in past times I have had pigeons drop in while setting up up my hide when done the other way around and missed chances are not good. I paced out 28 paces and used that as my Kill Zone . I then set up the decoys in a Horse Shoe pattern , that is preferred to by most shotgun shooters so if any pigeons came in they would land bang in the middle of the pattern .










I faced them in the direction of the breeze that was coming across the field but I off set them so they didn’t look to regimental . It is important to have no feathers sticking out of them and make them look as neat as possible . I will usually only use about half a dozen decoys as I think the more you use the pigeons have more to look around for any sign of imperfections . I then stuck a stick in the ground near the front pigeon so I could take a couple of test shots at and gauge the wind coming across the field . Now all set up I was ready , the test shots showed I needed to aim half an inch to the right to hit zero so now it was up to the pigeons to come and hopefully be fooled by my pattern. I had told my mate where his boundaries for the day was and off he went and I settled down for the first shot of the day .


Ten minutes had passed and I noticed a pigeon coming in from the left . I shouldered the rapid and watched it land exactly as planned in the middle of the pattern . The pigeon looked around for a second then proceeded to walk over to one of the decoys. As it stood looking at the decoy I lined the cross hairs just above its beak and the pigeon dropped forward as the pellet hit it bang on the mark behind its eye . What a perfect start I thought . As it had slumped forward I decided to leave it where it was just in case there was anything else about , it was a right move as two more came straight into where the shot one was . The Rapid was already in my shoulder and I got the cross hairs onto the closest one . Again with the Rapid set up on the Bi-Pod it was a formality and number two joined the pattern . Its mate had flew off but had landed right above me . It had obviously not heard the rapid go off and was wondering why its mate was still there . I couldn’t see the pigeon above me clear enough to get a shot at it so I just lay still and hoped it would either come in again or just let it settle and use it as a decoy in the tree. It didn’t settle long and flew off over the decoys to the far end of the field. This gave me a chance to retrieve the two pigeons and keep my pattern looking neat . In the next thirty minutes another two came into the pattern and fell the same way as the two before.


It was a good hour before I had my next sign of activity . I was just about to have a drink when I heard the wings of pigeons over head . I had six pigeons drop into the pattern at once . I shouldered the rapid and as I was lining on up two pigeons decided to take flight but the four others were quite happy to be around my decoys. The closest one was facing away from me so I decided on a shot between the shoulders. This is a shot that will drop a pigeon stone dead without any flapping 99% of the time and as the script went perfectly only one of the other pigeons flew off . The Nutshot silencer that I have on my Rapid is so quiet all the pigeons heard was a thud from the pigeon as the pellet hit. I Quickly loaded the Rapid again and lined up the next pigeon . It was very alert but steady so another head shot was easy and it joined the other one . The other one flew off as expected but everything was going perfect for a change. In the next two hours another six came in and all ended up in the bag stone dead with either a head shot or a spine shot . Today was going brilliant , its one of those times that everything was perfect , the pattern was obviously to their liking as nothing that came near them flew of in panic, they just dropped in around them and felt comfortable and that makes shooting them so much easier . By now my mate had joined me and he had been lucky taking two rabbits whilst sniping a warren . We were having a cuppa when another pigeon dropped into the pattern . This time I had no head net on so I had to slowly move to the Rapid behind the blind and hope it didn’t see me. It must have been a minute before I finally shot the pigeon , my mate was surprised at how comfortable the pigeon was as he usually has to shoot them as soon as they hit the floor . He also said he uses plastic decoys and that is the difference in my eyes. He stayed with me for the next two hours just to see how they came in to the pattern and he was amazed how good it was. He also pointed out it was his expert sewing on the blind that made the day as they couldn’t see us behind it. I was just about to go out and retrieve a couple more pigeons when a hare started to come towards us . I reached for my camera and pointed it through the gap in the blind. It is amazing when you get so close to these creatures in the wild and how close it came to us was also spectacular. It was looking straight at us but didn’t have a clue as it couldn’t see us through the blind so I managed to get a good pose from him .
 










Its things like this that make a day out shooting all the worth while . After that encounter it wouldn’t have bothered me if I hadn’t shot anything at all that day . Well back to the pigeons , as I have probably gone over my word count I had better finish with the total for the day . I had managed nineteen pigeons for the same amount of shots , it was a red letter day and I am sure it was helped by the fact my mate was walking around the wood and keeping the birds on the move .I did manage to get a squirrel as well from where I was shooting the pigeons . I had heard it clawing a tree behind me as it was climbing up , it was not a hard shot , some 25 yards and in the clear looking side on . The Rapid makes light work of them as well . Who says .177 is a lady calibre , You know who you are LOL.



Notes.

Before going decoying , try and watch where the pigeons are feeding the day before as they will usually be happy to go back the next day.

Make sure you do test shots before you shoot at a pigeon as a steady breeze will send a pellet sideways more than you think.

Always go for head shots if possible to ensure a clean kill. A shot between the shoulder blades is equally as effective.

Concealment is really important, you will be on the same eye level as the pigeon so it will see you a lot easier if you don’t cover up.

When setting the decoys up make sure they are as neat as possible and clean up any loose feathers on the floor amongst the decoys.

If pigeons keep turning away from your decoys don’t be afraid to change the pattern , what works one day might not work the next .

If possible use dead pigeons for decoys, if you have none full bodied decoys work better than shells and you can swap them as soon as you shoot one .

Check out more of my trips out and much more on Air rifle shooting and kit  in Airgunner Magazine on sale every month .

Thursday, 30 June 2011

Pulsar N550 Digital Nightvision Riflescope

Having read so much about the Pulsar N550 i was dying to have a go of one. A good freind and owner of the popular www.bladesandbows.co.uk  online store Nick Riley kindly offered me the chance to have a unit on test for a while just to see how good these really are . I must say i was impressed with the quality of the units when i first set eyes on it, it looks like something from the set of startrek and i was soon contemplating setting it up on the rapid and having a quick zero session. I will admit i had a quick scan through the instructions , the unit has that many buttons it can intimidate you but the more of the book i read i found it  very straight forward to set  up. I wont go  into detail with all the technical lingo as i will be doing more of a propper feature in future editions of Airgunner  but what i will say is i would recomend this unit to anyone going into night vision for the first time. With a 3 years warranty and the price of the unit it is a cracking deal.
Here is a small vid of my first session testing the unit and getting used to the setting up .


I hope you like the first session and there will be many more to add in the future .

Here is a snip from the www.bladesandbows.co.uk website describing the unit and the additions that you can buy for it .
Pulsar Digisight N550 Kit
Pulsar Digisight N550 Kit Pulsar Digisight N550 Kit Pulsar Digisight N550 Kit Pulsar Digisight N550 Kit

Pulsar Digisight N550 Kit


Pulsar N550 digital night vision kit
Instock and ready to dispatch
The kit includes the Pulsar N550 , an additional Ir illuminator to give extended viewing range and a free AA intelligent battery charger with 4 high quality AA rechargeable batteries *
* 2 AA batteries are required for the extra Ir torch .
Digital Night vision is the future . With comparable optics to many Gen2 Nv sights but at a fraction of the cost and many extra benefits .
The Pulsar is usable in both the daytime and night, giving a very versatile scope which does not tie your rifle up for just night time only use unlike more traditional Nv units.
Available as an extra is the Yukon MPR which allows you to digitally record whatever the scope sees, which makes it great to record your hunting session .
We have a demo unit set up on an air rifle and buyers are welcome to view the performance by appointment .
· Fine image quality and resolution
· Highly sensitive CCD array
· User choice of the reticule shapes
· Switchable sum light signal processing program
· Mini-USB Slot for downloading into the devices memory additional aiming reticules of user configuration
· Water-resistance
· One-shoot zeroing
· Large eye relief (67mm)
· Built-in & external power supply
· Built-in clock
· High contrast function
· Resistant to bright light exposures
· Accurate internal front lens focus adjustment
· Ergonomic design and intuitive easy-to-use interface
· Remote control with secure attachment
· Additional weaver mount
· Flip-up objective lens cover
· Self-contained and external power supply
· Video-input/ video-output
· Built-in IR illuminator with shield blind
· Separate adjustment of brightness and contrast
· Low battery indication
· Includes 79076 IR flashlight (940nm)

Available as an extra is the new Pulsar l-808 highpower laser ir flashlight which extends the viewing range over the 940 ir torch *
* we consider the 940 ir torch included in the kit more than ample for airgun use .

Thursday, 23 June 2011

A BAD START JUST ABOUT ENDS OK .

No matter how much we plan things  sometimes it all goes wrong. This is one of those times that nothing went right but i still managed to salvage something from the day .

When ever I go out shooting I have always got a plan of what I am going to do . It does not matter what quarry it is I will always make sure I know exactly what I am doing , where I will be shooting from and I never come home empty handed. The days when I just pick up the rifle and pop out on a local ground has seen the very odd day when I have not been successful but there is no plan and usually its just to get out in the fresh air.
This particular day I had planned was to shoot Jackdaws . I had been given permission to shoot on an Estate grounds by my gamekeeper friend . They are usually causing nuisance on the houses trying to nest in the chimneys . I had been the day before and took note of where best to shoot them , I had been asked to keep away from the buildings as there is always someone walking about and there is regular visitors that might be put off with a rifle being used about them . I had watched then for a couple of hours and they seemed to be using a row of oak trees along side one of the big gardens . There was also a few Jackdaws fighting over some nest holes in the trees so this could give me a few opportunities to take some out. In the middle of the trees was a large yew tree in a ditch so that was going to be the spot I would use for a hide giving me a 360 degree view .
That night I had planned on going to bed early and have a very early start . Well that plan went out the window as at 2am I was still lying there trying to imagine how it was going to go and how many I could get. I had set the alarm for a 5 am wake up call so I could get there before light and keep my presence secret . That turned into me waking up and wondering why it was light so early. I checked the phone and it was 6.30 am , how the heck had I managed to sleep through the alarm I thought . Easy I had forgot to press the button to set it.
Now the first part of the plan had gone out the window I decided to go anyway and see what I could salvage from a bad start . On arrival I was greeted by the gamekeeper who pointed out over 60 Jackdaws already perched right above where I wanted to set up. I put my head down in shame and started to get the kit out the car. We had decided to go into the trees together so once I was set up he could walk away and hopefully the Jackdaws would fall for the old trick of thinking there was no one there any more.
With the rapid magazines loaded up and ready we put our plan into action , Off the gamekeeper walked and I just scanned the skies for anything coming back.
Wile I was waiting I put a few more touches to the rifles concealment . When shooting any corvids you can never have to much in the way of camouflage , corvids can spot you a mile off so I will use anything to give me the edge .


Twenty minutes had passed when I heard the cries of Jackdaws in the distance , I could see the odd one perched in the trees some 200 yards away so there was hope of a quick return. I hoped right and within 15 minutes I had a group of 20 in the trees above me . I crept to an opening in the tree I was under and scanned through to scope to see which one gave me a clear shot . To my amazement not one of those jackdaws were in the clear , everyone had branches in front of them . I crept back under the tree and tried to move for another gap but still they were safe. This is frustrating but you have to stay focused and not give yourself away because if anyone of those see you it will be a very long wait until the come back . I stayed still for what seemed an age waiting for one to bounce in the trees just to give me an opportunity to get a clear head shot but it never happened.


A buzzard started to circle around me now and the jackdaws took flight and were joined by a few crows mobbing it , it amazes me how the buzzard does not catch them considering how close the crows get to them but all it wanted to do was fly from tree to tree and ignored their attempts to scare it away. Luckily after 10 minutes the buzzard had been mobbed enough and moved on and the jackdaws started to land again above me.
I switched to the far side of the yew tree now and raised the rapid to scan the tree tops again , this time I got a bead on one of them. I had a nice clear shot on its head and pulled the trigger . Disaster is all I can say for what followed , as I pulled the trigger the whole group had lifted and the one I had shot at did the same and the pellet had hit it in the shoulder area . The jackdaw helicoptered to the floor and from where I was I could see it was still alive . It was not running about , just sitting there looking around so not wasting no time I raised the rapid for a quick follow up shot and finish it off.  I was cursing myself over and over but it was one of those things that happen in the real world of pest control. It moved just at the time I pulled the trigger and I could do nothing to stop myself.
I had been under the tree waiting for over 2 hours now and nothing was coming back . I was ready to pack the gear up and head home now as the rain had started . It wasn’t heavy and to be honest I was dry as a bone under the tree but my spirit was down . I was just packing the flask away when I heard the sound of wings above me . I had not seen what flew in so it was another ten minutes of looking in every tree to find it.
It was a lone pigeon , not far away and it was looking away from me so it gave me a chance to poke myself out of the tree to get a clearer shot. I had the cross hairs right between its shoulders and made no mistake dropping it stone dead. I retrieved the pigeon and headed back to my hide tree.
Another half hour had passed when I heard a magpie some 50 yards away , I was looking through the thick tree tops when it flew towards me . I had the rapid shouldered in not time and a nice clear head shot dropped it stone dead to the ground. I decided to pick it up straight away as I had heard nothing more in the area and it was a lucky call . As I stepped out I noticed a squirrel running across a large branch towards some ivy trees , I stood still and watched where it went as I didn’t want it to see I was around .

 I decided to creep up the tree line and circle around to where I could get a clear view of the tree it had ran in . I found a nice comfortable spot tucked in a small yew tree and decided to sit it out for a bit . I Was only waiting for about ten minutes when I could see the squirrel moving about in the tree , it was well covered with the ivy but it didn’t know I was hiding some 20 yards away and it was getting closer to the top where it was a little thin on ivy. I had waited a good ten minutes and it still hadn’t come into a shootable position so it climbed out of my hide and started to look around the tree. I could see its tail no problem but its head was covered by a thick branch . I steadied myself and the rifle on a tree and made a clicking noise like I do when sniping rabbits . Its a natural instinct to take a look where the noise is coming from and this usually gives a the perfect head shot . If only things were that easy as this squirrel wasn’t moving. I ended up standing on a twig and the snapping noise made it climb the tree a little and it poked its head over the branch it was on. It was a clear perfect shot and the squirrel went the same way as the previous two pests .


 On my way back to the car I noticed some rabbit holes had been cleared out , there were fresh droppings outside it as well . As I was a bit wet anyway I decided to lie in a small ditch and wait for a while and maybe I could shoot a rabbit for the final bag. The jackpyke gear that I had on underneath the LLCS suite is waterproof so I wasn’t worried about the wet getting through to my skin. To cut the story short I spent forty five minutes watching long tail tits , nuthatches and woodpeckers as nothing showed on the warren but I was more than happy to be close the wildlife around me and decided to call it a day.

 In the end I managed to salvage what was a very poor day. I didn’t get the quarry I was after and for the time I spent waiting under that tree I think I deserved to bag a couple of extra pests.


When ever you go shooting any one of the corvid family make sure your camouflage is over the top rather than not enough.

Never give your position away , it will be a long wait before anything will come your way .

If you do injure anything that your shooting at make sure you back it up with a quick second shot . It does happen sometimes and it can not be helped.

 To read up on my latest trips out and many other airguun hints and tips you can subscribe to Airgunner magazine here .
http://www.airgunshooting.co.uk/

Monday, 23 May 2011

A TALE OF TWO HALVES

Well this week has seen me go from a real low to finishing up with a nice evening around some farm buildings.
To start the week i went to a new permision that i had acquired through my number getting passed to a fisheryboss . I had gone through the test on the first outing to prove that i could do the job safely and efficiently. I had taken 23 rabbits in the two hours that i was allowed and that gave the nod for more . The second run to the fishery proved very productive and i took over 30 that evening but there were signs of myxi in a few areas amongst the adults and kits. This week i decided to go again as there is a chance of alot more ground on the estate so i wanted to show willing . I had arrived at 5pm to give most of the fishermen time to clear off the pools , there is always some stragglers until around 8pm when it closes but i can still shoot away from them until then . The first few rabbits to meet the Rapid were a family of youngsters on the gardens edge of the bosses house. I have had a few from here before and they were all nice and clean . The first 3 that i had this time were rife with the dreaded myxi , it is pretty heart breaking to see the little things hopping around not knowing where they were going even for hard skinned  hunters like myself and gladly i was able to stop the suffering  to the poor kits. The next hour i had taken 14 from the garden in all sizes and i was only able to keep 2 that were clear.
The next part of the shoot that i decided to wait on is quite over grown , there is a large patch of short grass that the rabbits have kept down when feeding so it is a good ambush point as you know thats where they will be coming. Again for the next hour i had a steady styream of youngsters come out and from the 9 i shot i managed to keep 1 . This now was telling me the ground is gone. I cant see anything much surviving this dose of myxi as i was also finding carcasses littered about the place as i was walking to the next points..  I wont put any images of the rabbits with myxi as it servs no purpose and i didnt feel good about shooting them . here is the picture of what i had left to keep though .

Read the full report in Airgunner Magazine .


The other day i decided to drop on a farm that i have shot on for years. There isn`t many rabbits about but i like to keep dropping in to see the farmer and if anything is about then i will sort them out to keep him happy. On my way I picked up my good freind Phil Walker ,  you would have seen him in previous posts . We have not been out for a while and i know there is always something for both of us to shoot so why go alone. Once at the farm we had a quick chat to the farmer and his main concerns were the amount of pigeons, jackdaws and doves raiding the feed barns.Me and Phil had decided to split up around the farm , one was going to stake out the feed barn while the other sat and waited on the other side of the yard. We hadn`t been there long when i spotted a dove  sitting on a roof , It was only about 25 yards so a nice head shot was on the cards . The .177 hit it smack on the mark and it tumbled to the floor . As i reloaded the rapid another dove landed in the same place , it was obviously its mate and was looking at it lying on the floor . I wasted no time getting the cross on it and that joined its mate on the floor.


Nothing had come for the next fifteen minutes so i took a look over one of the paddocks . There was a wood pigeon feeding out in the field about 35 yards away , I crept along the fence to a clear spot and put the cross between its shoulders . The pellet did its job and the pigeon slumped forward without a twitch . I had left it where it fell and decided to wait and see what els would land and sure enough in the next 30 minutes another one had landed with it and it to was brought down by the rapid. I had decided to see how Phil had got on on his part of the shoot . As i was nearing him i heard the sound of a pellet hitting something i could see Phil walking over to one of the sitty trees that are usually very productive at times and pointing into the middle of a large bunch of nettles and brambles  he showed me his pigeon. I nodded in appreciation of his kill and ushered him to go and retrieve it . In no certain terms was he going in the wimp so i decided to have a go . I soon backed out and decided to leave it for the hawks to eat . At least i tried to get it . After a quick cuppa we decided to swap roles and i sat in amongst some bales and waited and Phil went for a walk around the other paddocks . I was surprised that the jackdaws hadn`t come back while we were there as we scared a few when we pulled up and when they find a good regular food source they usually come back in no time. A good 30 minutes had passed now and at last a pigeon had showed itself at the front of the shed. It was pecking around the loose corn for what seemed ages and never really presented a still shot so not to rush and wound it i kept calm and within a couple of minutes it flew up onto some railings. The pigeon looked straight at me and that was all i needed to drop him with a clean head shot. Phil returned a few minutes later proudly clutching a nice plump rabbit. He had been watching it feed some 100 yards away and a nice quiet stalk had the rabbit within range of his .22 rapid and a nice clean headshot resulted in a clean kill for him .


That was that for the evening and as we were leaving the farmer showed us some rat holes that were at the far end of the farm . There wont be hundreds to shoot but there will be a few to go at so thats our plan for our next visit.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

New pattern from Jack Pyke

I recieved my new set of clothing from Jack Pyke yesterday . It is in their new pattern called WILD TREE GRASSLANDS . It may look like this pattern can only be used in the winter when you are Duck or Goose shooting around lakes but i am sure there are more uses for this pattern. I will certainly be trying this out once the crops are golden as it will no doubt blend in very well while decoying pigeons and sniping rabbits on the field edges. I am also confident this will work well in woodland areas where their is alot of deciduous trees and the ferns have died off. I will update through out the year as i try it out in many different situations and where it works best .


 You can check out more clothing in this pattern or the other leading patterns , English Woodland and English Oak on their website http://jackpyke.co.uk/index.php  .

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Help For Heroes day out update

Well as promised here is the full update of the trip out doing a feature with Mick Garvey. He was the winner of the auction i did a couple of months back and here are the results.


This feature is a special one this month. Recently on the rapid7owners.com forum I ran a auction for a day out doing a feature , also included in the prize was a years subscription to both Airgun world and Airgunner thanks to Terry Doe and Matt Clarke. To add to this Glenn Lewis from Jack Pyke donated a jacket in their leading English Oak pattern for the winner as well. The proceeds from this auction was to go to a very worthy cause that the rapid7owners forum are sponsoring this year. The charity is the Help For Heroes and a very deserving one it is too. When D - Day finally arrived the winner was Mick Garvey with a remarkable winning bid over £300 . When I spoke to Mick I soon realised how passionate he was about the heroes charity due to family and friends being in the army at some point , so it was only right that he won the auction and hopefully he would enjoy the day out with me.
Me and Mick had been chatting a couple of nights before the chosen day and it soon dawned that he was quite new to hunting. I know he has been shooting for a while but pest control has only come about in the last year. Mick has been out with a few fellow hunters so he knew where to shoot to ensure a clean kill but he wanted to learn more about field craft and how he could add those extra pests to his game bag.
The day finally arrived and a punctual Mick turned up at my home at 6.30 am , We had a coffee and a chat while he stretched his legs after 1 ½ hour drive as we did not want any excuses of fatigue if he missed . After getting all the kit loaded up we were off to our first permission.
When we arrived at the farm the first thing was a zero session , Mick showed how well he could put pellet on pellet at 30 yards with his Rapid MK11 .177 and gave me hope if I missed I knew Mick would back me up without any problems. Mick had made the effort to get his concealment sorted but his red boots could give him away if any pigeons were directly above him later in the day. Not to put him off and have him worrying about his boots I told him he would still do as well even if they was white , I don’t think he believed me but he kept any negative thoughts well hidden .
All ready we set off to the first part of the shoot , we had only walked about a 100 yards when we spotted the odd rabbit hopping for cover , this was a good sign for me as there is nothing worse than bigging a ground up and then seeing nothing. We crept up as quietly as possible to where they had gone but we were unlucky as the rabbits had hopped into cover . The next spot was a small copse with a few conifers one end and chestnut trees the other. This is a good place to catch the odd squirrel out so I directed Mick to one side that normally shows one and I held back to watch in case any took off through the tree tops. As Mick was nearing the conifers I noticed a squirrel trying to sneak through to tops of the conifers , I signalled to Mick where it was and he headed off in front of it to try and stop it going any further . I had explained to Mick that if you can get in front of a running squirrel you will get it to halt and try and hide itself . This does not work every time but more than not it does. This squirrel read the script perfectly , it stopped running and headed straight to the top of a conifer . We now had the squirrel covered from both sides of the tree so if it moved one of us would see it . The tree that it had ran up was very thick at the top and spotting it was becoming a problem. I had circled the tree a dozen times and was about to give up when at last I found it. It was lying flat as a pancake against a thick branch and all you could see was the top of its eye and its ear. I pointed out to Mick where it was and after 5 minutes Mick finally spotted it . Mick could not believe how tight it was against the tree and how I had spotted it. I have always believed that the squirrel will always be watching you so if it can see us we would eventually see him . Mick had positioned himself against a tree and was in a perfect place if it raised its head , there was no way you could have got a clean kill as it was but I had a trick of my own to try and move it . I walked to the opposite side of the tree and gave it a good kick , the squirrel had lifted its head and Mick soon placed a well aimed pellet right behind its eye . Mick came over to claim his prize and the smile on his face said it all.





 I was a little surprised how much he was smiling to be honest and then he told me it was his first squirrel . Now in the picture I started to think back to my first squirrel all those years ago and all the thoughts of how big my smile was came flooding back , at least today would be remembered for one thing . After finally calming Mick down we headed of to another wood . I had decided to split us up again and walk 30 yards apart . It was not long before we saw a squirrel running through the chestnut trees 40 yards in front of us . I set off like a grey hound on steroids to try and head it off . I signalled Mick over and pointed to where I had last seen it. We spent a good 5 minutes looking up the tree and we could not see it anywhere . Signalling to Mick to walk around his side I started to walk back a little . I could now see the squirrels tail as it had moved around watching Mick but to my surprise it started to head straight down the tree . Making a little noise I thought it might stop and head back up the tree but the squirrel knew exactly what it was doing and headed straight to the floor and into a rabbit hole . Mick was looking a little puzzled with what had happened and to be honest I was a little lost for words as it was a first for me to see a squirrel not stop and run back up the tree especially when there was one of us both sides of the tree . Not to be out done we headed further into the wood , this time Mick had spotted two running along the floor . He pointed them out to me so I headed forward to try and head them off from my side . Mick had watched them head up an old thick tree , now I know this tree very well as I have lost many a squirrel running into wood pecker holes. We headed to the tree and just as I said to Mick what usually happens we saw the last part of a tail slipping inside a hole , a good look around the rest of the tree showed that the other one had decided that was also the best course of action . I was feeling a little deflated now , I wanted Mick to have the best day I could give him but 3 out of 4 had eluded us and this was the best wood to get good numbers of squirrels. Walking through the rest of the wood produced another squirrel and that had ran straight into a Drey making it more frustrating. We decided to go back to the car for a drink and a bit of breakfast , on the way around a field we spotted a rabbit feeding close to the hedge . The rabbit was a good 100 yards away and luckily for us there is a small slope 30 yards in front of it . I sent Mick off down the hedge towards it, there was no point both of us going together as I am sure we would have given the game away. I explained what bush to get to as I know the distance from previous visits and I knew if Mick could get there it should be a formality as there was no wind to worry about to take the pellet away. I watched Mick stealthily creep down the hedge line to where I had told him to stop , a quick look over the slope by Mick had him down on one knee and the crack of the pellet hitting the mark and me seeing it roll over had a rabbit in the bag to make up for the poor show on the squirrels . By the time I had got to Mick he was already checking his prize and another smile from him made me feel a bit better.


After breakfast well it was almost dinner I decided that we go back to the wood that we had seen the squirrels in earlier , I know there is a lot more in the wood and I was sure now Mick knew where we were going we could be a bit quieter and maybe get a few more . We headed into the wood and within minutes Mick was pointing just in front of himself . I slowly walked over to him and he explained to me where he had seen a squirrel run . Mick had a good look around the tree and I stood back letting Mick try and find it for himself. A few minutes had passed and he was not having any luck so I explained to him to look for anything that seemed odd , he looked straight at me puzzled oddly enough for saying it but even a squirrels ear can give it away if you know how to look for them . After a couple of minutes a smile from Mick gave the game away and raising his rifle he let a shot off. The squirrel cam down right amongst some rhododendron bushes and Mick was straight in looking for it. I could see the squirrel dead on the floor and soon after Mick came through on his hands and knees to retrieve it.


Mick had explained that he had seen a small lump on a branch and looking through the scope showed that it was the squirrels foot so he positioned himself better to get a shot on its head and the result was another one in the bag. We had seen nothing more and time was pressing on as I wanted to go to another permission to shoot some pigeons coming into roost so we set off but as we got to the far end of the wood I noticed another squirrel running along the floor . I signalled to Mick but he had seen it as well so we surrounded the tree . As I walked back to get a clear look at the top of the tree I could see it . It was stretched out over a thick branch looking at Mick , I was just about to tell Mick where it was when my Rapid went off accidentally in the direction of the squirrel and it came falling out the tree. I looked at Mick and smiled and just as I was going to say sorry another ran across to the tree we were surrounding , in no time Mick got it in his scope and dropped it with a cracking shot as soon as it stopped to look back . Not to end it there as Mick was walking over to pick his squirrel up he stopped in a clearing and picking his rapid up he took another shot , down came another squirrel to join the two we had in a matter of minutes. Its surprising how a slow start can turn into a manic end and it does happen now and then , what was more pleasing is it was Mick that had bagged them .


Time was really getting on now and we made a quick exit from the wood and got back to the van. We quickly packed the Rapids away and headed of a short way to the next permission . We were now at the next ground and as we were getting the Rapids sorted there were pigeons coming into roost . This was what I was dreading as we wanted to have been here an hour before . We headed off to my hotspot and all the way there we were putting pigeons up that were in roost . I decided to get Mick settled in a spot and I would walk around the wood and hopefully some would land near him and give him a chance to get a few. Wasting no time at all I was off , every 30 yards there were pigeons taking off and as much as I wanted to take my time and shoot something the light was fading fast so I had to hurry and get something to Mick . I got to Mick around 20 minutes later and I was not expecting him to have anything as most of what I had scared from their perches had flew the opposite way to another wood next door , to my surprise Mick had bagged 2 of the stragglers that turned towards his direction. He had said he could have had more but had not seen them come in and as he was looking for them they had spotted him .
As we were running late I just had time to get a picture of Mick with his 2 pigeons to end the day.


It was a very enjoyable day for me and hopefully Mick had a great time too. We did have a laugh now and then and that might of added to the smaller bag than what I was expecting. Mick was a great bloke to talk to and a genuine honest bloke. I would just like to thank everyone on the rapid7owners.com forum who took part in the auction and to everyone who donated prizes to a very worth charity.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

What Rules For Lamping ?

Lamping is probably my favourite part of hunting with the rapid. There is nothing to compare with the eerie feeling you can get when being alone in a field in the dead of night . How often do you look behind you while you are walking , your mind racing with the thought someone or something is following you. Well if you didn't think like that you might start the next time you go out. Lamping has its usual die hard rules , you need to go when its a bit windy and make sure there is no moonlight to give your presence away. Now these two rules might be the perfect lamping conditions but how many perfect nights do you really get. A lot of my shoots are close to lit up areas so you never get a perfect dark night , I can remember on some of these shoots when it did get pitch black but those days are long gone with all the new estates that keep popping up and illuminating the surrounding areas.
I am a typical forget the rules type of hunter , if I get the chance to go out I jump at it no matter how silly it might seem to others. Take tonight , there is a 5mph breeze and a full moon blazing its bright light out towards the earth . Do I stay in and watch the usual EastEnders or Corrie with the beloved , not a chance I am out the door like a whippet , the Rapid nicely tucked away in its slip and the lamp with a new set of batteries in off I go. I decided to call on an old friend of mine Phil Walker who without doubt got me to where I am today. Without his guidance and knowledge that he passed on to me when I was young I wouldn't be the shooter I am today. I do understand now why he took me shooting so much when I was younger , I would chase squirrels around the wood all day for him to shoot . I now know it was to tire them out so it made them sit longer for him to get an easier shot. All the same he taught me so much while we were out. I arrived at phil`s house about 7pm , I asked him if he fancied coming lamping , he took all of two minutes to get his kit ready and flew out the door with a quick see you later to his Mrs. There was no puzzled look at me to suggest the conditions were well against us , it was a look of great I don't care I am out lets go.
We set off to have a look around some paddocks that I had been clearing throughout the summer . The ground was well lit up but not to be put off we decided to have a look around . I gave Phil all the info on what paddocks he would be shooting , where the boundaries were and what hazards he was likely to encounter on the way. Realisticly I would have preferred Phil to have seen the ground first but as it was a dark my safety chat had to do. We soon had the Rapids kitted up with our chosen lamping gear. Phil was using his Deben Tracer and me the Ledco P7 torch that I have been testing recently. I got to my first paddock in no time and scanned about to see what was feeding , to my surprise there wasn't a rabbit in sight. Feeling a little puzzled I went to the next field . I shone the whole field as before to see absolutely nothing out again. I repeated the same thing five times and nothing . This is strange as there was plenty of rabbits on this ground for a few good lamping sessions and tonight you would think there wasn't a rabbit within ten miles.
I decided to leave the other few fields and take a walk over to where Phil was shooting and see if he had any success . I had just got to the gate that lead into the field Phil was walking in when I heard the smack of a pellet hitting home . I watched as Phil walked over to where his lamp was shining and a rabbit was lifted from the ground. Thank god Phil had seen something and managed to shoot it. When he came back to the gate he had said it was the first rabbit he had seen out as well and luckily it had squatted as soon as the lamp hit it.. We decided to walk over all the ground and keep looking together as I wanted to see if anything else was about as this was surely not the same ground I had shot some months earlier. We walked for a good hour to find only five rabbits out and those were right against the hedgerow so we couldn't get near them . Back at the car we decided to go and visit another small shoot that I had left all summer to get a good rest and let the rabbits breed. Phil has shot this ground in the past so there was no need for the safety talk. He knew where all the warrens were so he could try and get in between the rabbit and its way home. It is important to know your ground as the first place a rabbit will head for is the safety of its warren . If you can manage to get in between them both you have more chance of a rabbit squatting and giving you the chance to get a shot off. Not every rabbit will squat down , some may even just look at you and keep feeding but a lot of the time the rabbit will run or hop somewhere , especially if they have been lamped before. This next ground is a mix of grazing and rough ground . We decided to split up again , it was very light here as we have houses on three sides of the ground so there is no point in two of you going together as you are just making more noise with both of you walking and you are a bigger target for rabbits to see. I headed off to a rough part of the shoot, in the past I have took quite a few rabbits here using the bi-pod in the summer months so it was a good bet for me to see something. I had walked most of the fence line and seen nothing but just as I was about to give up here I noticed a rabbit hopping through some fallen branches. I quickly lifted the scope to my eye and as soon as it stopped to take a look at me I sent a pellet arcing through the light and the loud smack of the pellet hitting it gave me hope of a clean kill. I climbed over the fence and there it was a nice clean hid behind the eye. At last I had got something for all my efforts , a nice plump rabbit for the pot was a bonus to a nice night out in the open air. The moon now had no cloud cover and it was like dusk now. I could see a few rabbits over in the adjacent field now without the lamp. The optics on my new MTC Mamba Lite were proving to be just as I was told , crisp and clear was an understatement and thanks to her indoors for the nice Christmas present I am hopefully going to enjoy using this scope a lot more in the future. With it being so light I decided to go and see how Phil was doing. He was walking around a small field and I could see a rabbit in his beam , It was not stopping to give him a shot but just kept on hopping . I could see he was trying to keep the light just in front of it but this still made no difference so he walked away and left it. There is no point in taking silly shots and wounding the animal as it will always be there for another night. We had had a chat about the conditions and how it was proving difficult , there was no way we were going to get any more sitting out in the fields as it was way to light now so we decided to go for a little walk and bring some stalking into the mix. We could see where the rabbits were with the light so it was a case of try and creep up the fence line and get within range before turning the lamp on to get a clear cross hair . Phil was the first to go , there was two rabbits feeding about twenty yards into the field , Phil had good cover from some brambles so he set of quietly along them . I watched from behind as he stealthily crept ever closer to where there was a gap in the fence. He stopped , raised his Rapid and the light shone into the field. The sound of the pellet being sent towards a rabbit was a good sign and watching him climb the fence and come back with a rabbit was even more satisfying. We had improvised with what conditions we had to work with and rabbit number three was in the bag. Now it was my turn to show the Master how it was done. I had spotted some rabbits feeding in a corner of a field some eighty yards away . There is a footpath running right along side the field but the path is white road stone and last time I tried this in the day light I made a right mess of it. I was like a herd of elephants walking up the path and never got near to them so to do it in the dark was going to be near impossible . Not to be deterred I set of . I was like a ninja , you could have heard a pin drop the way I was tip towing up the path . I had almost reached my spot to take a look when I stood on a branch . I might as well have shouted timber with the amount of noise I made and that was it , my chance gone . With a few choice words ringing in my head I walked back to Phil. He was smugly laughing at me , I could have told him what for but it was my fault so I had to take the banter full on and just get on with it. We had decided that it was time to go so off we went back to the car. As we were walking back we came to a style , I don't know why I did it but I thought I would just have one last shine into the field . There it was in all its glory , a nice plump rabbit sitting looking at me . For some reason I sat down on the style and as calm as you like took the shot without a care in the world. It had not even crossed my mind it was going to run off and get a move on , I just did what I did and bang, rabbit number four was in the bag. I picked up the rabbit and we again set off in the direction of the car and to pick up what rabbits we had shot. As we were reaching the spot where Phil had shot his rabbit we noticed a dark shadow moving across the hedge line. I quickly put my lamp on and to our surprise there he was . Laughing all the way home. A fox had found Phil`s rabbit and headed off down the field with it. “ Now who is laughing “ I said with a smug look on my face. We carried on to the car and called it a night with one less rabbit . At least the fox was happy.

So tonight had been hard work . When we set off we knew we wasn't going to get a great bag but it was about being out there in the fresh air , that means more to me than shooting 100 rabbits . We overcome the crazy conditions that would have kept any normal lamper indoors and managed to bag us a few rabbits.

Extras Tips.

When ever you go lamping , try and get a good feel for the ground in the daylight so you know where all the main hotspots will be and all the hazards . It is so easy to fall or trip and break an ankle so make sure you even take a mobile phone just in case.

Don't be scared to try different colour filters on your lamp , I have been having good success with a green filter lately where as a red filter was really struggling to hold a rabbit.

Make sure if you are leaving rabbits to be picked up later you hang them high up so foxes or badgers cant reach them.

Never think that you wont shoot anything because the weather is against all the rules. If you don't go out and try you will never know and it may surprise you with what you bring back. You must adapt your shooting to whatever mother nature throws at you.



Go to http://www.airgunshooting.co.uk/ To read all about Air rifle shooting and much more.
 

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

New Realtree Dippers on the block

We have all seen how great a rifle looks once its had the realtree treatment. I for one think it makes all the difference in the field  so for this reason i was pleased to hear about a new hydroghraphics company  starting up  ( not to be mistaken for the original hydrographics company ) . After a long helpfull chat with Antony i will  be sending my rifle to his  new company called  DIP-IT  once i have all the alterations i want done to it.

Here is some information on the process that they use to make your rifle stand out from the crowd.


What Is Hydrographics:


Hydrographis is a method of applying printed patterns on 3d objects. A Poly-vinyl film is laid in a specially desigend dipping tank and an activator chemical is applied to the film. This activator dissolves the film into liquid ink which stays a float on the surface water. Then a object is dipped slowly through the floating ink and the pattern is transfered to the object. Then an automotive grade clear coat is usually applied to protect the finish.

How durable is the finish? We coat all our dipped parts with an automotive grade urethane clear coat. We have Matte, Satin, or Glossy clear coats that will protect your finish and be just as durable as an automotive paint finish and provide UV protection.

Can you dip items from me through the post? Yes, we accept mail order requests. WE have a form under the Services section of this site you will need to fill out. If you are shipping a gun, please give us a call before shipping. Email or call us for any questions about shipping concerns etc

What can be dipped? Nearly any 3d object can be dipped. Wood, Metal, Plastic, Fiberglass, Glass parts can all be dipped.

Why do i see different shades of camo of the same pattern? We can change the tone of the camo by changing the colour of the basecoat paint that is applied. If we use a white basecoat, the camo will appear much lighter in colour. If we use a Tan basecoat, the camo will be much darker. Look at some of our photos and you can see the differences. we will work with you to determine the right shade of camo you prefer for your object.

There are a few patterns to choose from on the web site and there should be one to suit any hunting situation you come accross .
You can have a nice shiny rifle or the more comon Matt finish that i would think will be more suitable for hunting.
It is not only rifles they can dip , they will dip anything you want as long as it fits in their tank .

Here are a couple of pictures from their web site showing some patterns and the difference in the matt and glossy finish .


For more information on the process or for any other questions contact the team here .
http://www.dip-it.co.uk/index.html  ,  Who will do their upmost to help you with your needs.

Thursday, 10 March 2011

Ledco Led Lenser P7 Torch.

While there have been torches used for lamping for a few years now it seemed to me that spending over £100 was a lot of money to pay for a small torch so I just stuck with my trusted lamp and wires. Recently I found out about the Ledco Led Lenser P7 professional torch. This little torch was half the price of most tactical torches but boasted the same power and functions as its competitors. Not to be put off by it`s cheap price I asked for one to be sent so I could find out for myself. The team at Ledco were very easy to approach and have been very helpful throughout the time I have been using their product. The P7 arrived in a nicely packed presentation box that contained everything to get you lamping straight away .The torch itself boasts a powerful beam of (700 ft )and 200 lumen's , The beam has an Advanced focus system that goes from flood to spot in seconds by way of sliding the lens forward for spot or backwards for flood. The Torch is 135 mm long and weighs in at 195 gms , that might seem a little heavy for a small compact torch but once mounted you don't notice it at all. The rear of the torch offers the usual rotary switch for high , and low beam or you can change it to the other supplied battery pack fitted with a remote tail switch . The mount is not the most advanced system but it does its job it was designed for and perfectly aligns the beam with your scope. I would put a little tape on my scope though just in case you knocked the torch so saving you scratching the scope tube. The torch is powered by 4AAA batteries that come supplied in the package and they are said to last over 60 hours. Now that is worth it as the cost of AAA batteries are pennies these days. The only fault I have found with the kit is lack of filters. There are no filter kits for this torch at present but it isn't rocket science to make something up yourself . I used a spare Logun filter I had knocking around for my trips out and I can honestly say this torch exceeded my expectations and more. I have shot rabbits every time I have been out so far using the torch and spotting them up to 100 yards is easy on high power. The lower power setting will be perfect for ratting aswell.


So if your looking for a tactical set up that wont break the bank at a measly £69.95 rrp go for it , you wont be disappointed .

Filter kits for the torch are now on sale from brightlites.co.uk  http://www.brightlites.co.uk/content/product_view.asp?cid=5&pid=296

Jack Pyke LLCS Suit does its job.

It has been a quiet over the Christmas period regarding my shooting. Today I fancied a couple of hours out just to blow the cobwebs off the Rapid so I thought I would nip up to a wood where I go beating and check on the birds and see what was about.
This outing also gave me the chance to try out the Jack Pyke LLCS Ghillie Suit that I had for a Christmas present. The suite is not something I would walk around farms in but for woodland shooting it comes into its own and blends in brilliant with the surroundings perfectly. I was not setting out today to shoot everything in sight , this was a re-con walk for the end of the month when the game season finishes and I can move in to do a proper job on the pests in the wood. As I was driving up to the wood I noticed a good number of pigeons resting from the morning feed , they were like Christmas tree decorations the way they covered the trees. I pulled up and as soon as I opened the car door they were off, the sky filled with pigeons , I think there must have been at least a thousand birds in the flock but these were very jumpy. The pigeons are taking a bashing from many of the local shot gunners so its no surprise they seen me in my camo as a threat. I had now got the Rapid loaded and set off down the track into the main wood , it wasn't long before the tell tale sign of a squirrel bounding through the trees caught my eye . I had to let this one go as it was heading into the thicker part of the wood and as I had no intention to disturb the pheasants to much I carried on down the path. As I got closer to the main pheasant pen I could hear the calls from a couple of magpies. Looking through the trees I could see one right at the top of one of the tall pines. I had cover from some conifers so I slowly walked towards a clearing so I could get a much clearer shot. I was now thirty yards from the Magpie , I slowly crouched down and raised the rapid. The magpie had no idea I was their as it just kept calling at its mate. I had now got its head in the cross hairs and let the .177 pellet do its part. The magpie slumped sideways off its perch and fell to the floor. It was now that the suit was really impressing me , as I took the shot on the magpie two squirrels no more than fifteen yards ran across the floor right towards me. The sound of the pellet hitting the magpie had startled the squirrels but they had not seen me. I had stayed crouched down and as still as possible , the squirrels were coming closer to me and at one point I thought they were going to jump on me so I stood up. This had an effect of someone coming face to face with a ghost , the squirrels stopped dead in their tracks and if they had a face where they were scared stiff I think theirs would be it. They turned around and took flight at a speed I have never seen them run before. There was no way I could get a shot at these so off I went to retrieve the magpie. I now set off towards a thinner area of the wood where the tall chestnut trees are , this area will give me a better chance of a clear shot on any pigeons and as there is no cover underneath them I have less chance of spooking any pheasants. With the LLCS suit on I set myself up inside a large fallen branch , it still had some seed pods on it so it I blended in perfect , this also gave me a 360degree area to shoot from.


 I had waited for a short while when I heard the flap of wings from behind me . I started to turn as slowly as I could and scanned the tree tops looking for the pigeon . A good five minutes had passed then I spotted it. It was tucked up against a thick branch right above me. I raised the Rapid and put the cross just under its chin where it meets its neck . The thump from the pellet hitting it confirmed the kill and it came tumbling down to the floor. I was just about to pick it up when the sight of what was coming towards me was amazing. There must have been two thousand pigeons over head. It was like a scene from the birds movie . The sound of all these wings was something I just cant explain , I have never been in this situation in all the years I have been shooting. When the first wave dropped in it picked out one straight away and dropped it to the floor , the sound of all the pigeons dropping in drowned the sound of the pellet hitting the pigeon and they just kept on coming to roost. I took another two more pigeons in quick succession before the last of them were settled. I now thought I would get a picture of all these pigeons as I have never seen so many around me before and it would have been a great picture. It was a mistake as when I tried to get my camera out of my pocket I was seen . It only took one pigeon to fly off with its wings clapping the alarm that the whole flock took flight. I was in awe at the sight and felt privileged at being in the spot to see it.
I watched them fly off towards the top end of the wood so I decided to carry on with my walk round as it was pretty cold and I hadn't planned for static shooting when getting my kit on.
I had checked the feeders at the far end of the wood and started my way back when I noticed a few pigeons coming towards me. I did not want to try and get behind a tree as I am sure they would have seen me so I sank to one knee and waited still. With the leaf suit on I thought a crouched position would be less visible to the pigeons than standing still. The suite blends in great with the leaves on the floor so a pigeon looking down is in reality only going to see a mass of leaves , well that is my thinking and it proved to be right on this occasion. The the pigeons had landed just in front of me so luckily I didn't have to move much to get the cross of the scope on one of them and he joined the others in my bag. The rest took flight straight away so off I moved again. As I was walking around near the top of the wood I was putting pigeons up everywhere , the conifers are pretty thick here and no matter how hard you look you never seem to spot them in time . I had just checked the last feed bin and and as I picked the rifle up about forty pigeons landed around me. I had just enough time to crouch behind a tree stump before any spotted me .

 I looked up to find pigeons dotted everywhere I scanned the trees with the scope and to my amazement I could not get one clear shot on any of them . These are larch trees that they had landed in and the branches were that numerous that they covered every one of them . I could only sit and wait now for either one to move to a clearing in the branches or just as my luck would have it , get one to land in the only oak in this wood. Well it was more than one to be honest , another five had flew in to join the others and two of them had gave me a position to shoot either. I picked out the closest and and with a steady rest I was able to pick up my last pigeon of the day. The rest as before took flight with the sound of the pellet strike and they flew to join the others at the far end of the wood.
That was it for me and the calls of the cock pheasants coming back in the wood to roost was my call to get out and leave them to get their perch for the night .This turned out better than planned and the LLCS suit really gave me the edge In what was just going to be a steady walk round and hopefully get a shot off.


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