Do you and your family love spending time in the great outdoors? If so, you’re not alone. After all, outdoor activities represent one of the most enjoyable aspects of life.
It might be hot outside right now, but the fall will here before you know it. That’s means cooler temperatures, as well as the arrival of popular hunting seasons.
If you’ve never considered air rifle hunting, you’re in for a real treat. This article looks at how air rifle hunting works, what you’ll need to take, and what to expect from your first hunting experience. Keep reading to get the inside scoop.
Choosing a Rifle
The first thing to consider is the type of air rifle you’ll need for your hunt. This will be based mostly on the type of prey you’ll be pursuing and the average distance you plan to shoot.
Unlike a traditional gunpowder rifle, which is capable of killing from hundreds of yards away, an air rifle is much more limited.
A typical air rifle is most effective within 50 yards of the target. Any further than this and the pellet will lose power and accuracy.
The key is to select a rifle that’s capable of killing small game such as rabbits and squirrels. Classic air rifles that feature a hand pump are capable of killing this type of game, but newer models with CO2 cartridges are much more effective.
Modern air rifles offer superior technology compared to weapons from a few decades ago. This results in increased power, accuracy, durability, and lighter construction.
And yet many hunters still use older weapons that they’ve owned for years. In fact, they’re often the perfect hunting rifle.
Using a Scope
The second piece of hardware on your list should be a scope. But how can you know if you even need one?
This boils down to a personal choice. Many hunters consider themselves purists; thus, they love the challenge of hunting their prey without the benefit of optic sights. Other hunters prefer to use every type of technology they can get their hands on.
One of the primary reasons to mount a scope on your rifle is to dramatically increase accuracy. This is especially important when hunting smaller game such as squirrels. After all, squirrels provide a small target, and you’ll often be shooting them out of trees.
This can be fun yet challenging, and the last thing you want to do is wound an animal that might go on to suffer indefinitely. Keep in mind that any shot fired at an animal needs to be a clean kill. There’s simply no excuse for inflicting unnecessary or preventable pain.
A scope is an ideal solution for this potential problem. Whatever zoom features your scope may provide, it will increase your accuracy in identifying your target regardless of the environment.
The Type of Ammo You’ll Need
The next thing to consider when going air rifle hunting is the type of ammunition required. It depends on the exact model of rifle you’re using.
It’s important to remember that this type of weapon uses compressed air to propel the projectile rather than gunpowder. Thus you’ll have far less power and accuracy beyond a certain distance, and yet they are still very deadly.
Air rifles used for hunting require lead pellets. These range in size from .177 caliber to .25 caliber. .177 caliber pellets are the smallest and also the fastest. This is due to the fact that the larger the caliber, the slower the pellet.
Small caliber pellets also generally provide greater accuracy at a shorter distance. And yet smaller caliber won’t provide as much killing power during the hunt. After all, the lead needs to generate enough muzzle energy to penetrate the animal.
Hunting Pests With Air Rifles
Hunting for sport isn’t the only use for an air rifle. They are also great for pest control on your property.
Are you having problems with mice, raccoons, or opossums? If so, an air rifle might be the perfect option for dealing with the pest issue while also having a little fun.
The cool thing about this type of rifle is that they are far safer for use in your yard than traditional small caliber weapons. After all, you won’t have to worry about the pellet traveling very far or causing a great deal of damage.
These weapons are actually very effective at close range, which is ideal for shooting small rodents or trying to get rid of larger pests away from the house.
The key is to always exercise tremendous caution and to use the minimal amount of force required to get the job done.
Cleaning and Storing Your Air Rifle
Keeping your air rifle clean is actually a rather simple task. You’ll need to primarily focus on keeping the weapon dry and to wipe down the individual parts following every use.
To do this, simply wipe it down with a clean, dry cloth, including the scope. Then store the rifle in your gun safe, on the top shelf of a closet, or in a locked closet. The key to proper storage is to always make sure it’s out of reach of children.
Remember, air rifles can provide many hours of enjoyment, but they are still very dangerous and must be treated with respect.
Air pistols are another option for hunting, target shooting, or pest control. Pistols are smaller than rifles, and therefore can be easily stored in a drawer or small safe.
When using an air rifle or air pistol, safety should always be your top priority. Treat them as you would any other gun. This means never pointing them at another person, and only firing them outside in a safe area.
Never take for granted the potential for serious injury or worse, and remember to wear protective eyewear no matter what you’re shooting at.
Enjoy Air Rifle Hunting
There’s nothing better than enjoying nature. Air rifle hunting provides the perfect opportunity to get fresh air while exploring the wilderness.
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