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First one of the new season

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by Accuspell, Sep 27, 2014.

  1. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    Well, it is nearly the end of September and the stubbles are getting turned over and the new crops are starting to go in - large acreages are being drilled or ploughed and disced rapidly. I thought if I was going to get some decoying on the stubbles done I had better get cracking. I started out before light to get the hide built and decoys in place and installed in the hide ready for the first flight.

    [​IMG]

    The hide was placed 30 yards from a large ash, which is a popular sitty tree for both crows and pigeons, the odd magpie sits up there to cackle as well. My plan was that most of the birds would be taken out of the tree as the field falls away over a crest and there is nothing I can do about that. I had the deeks set out at 30 yards in a pattern that left a hole for the live birds to drop into where I could see them. The tree was in shot through the hazels to the side of the hide. It was buried quite deep in the hide and I knew we were placed and concealed when a pigeon landed in the tree before I had finished the hide! I was tucked under the hazls and reached for the rifle, lined up slowly and dropped the first bird of the day before I had even started.

    It didn't go well from then on though - the birds hadn't read the script and they were dropping in over the drop away and I couldn't even see their heads, but I knew they were still there and more birds dropped in, five in a group at one point. Then another pigeon landed on the elder bush, less than 10 yards from the hide. I poked the barrel through the hazel and gave it a BDC for being so close, but with the pulling of the trigger came the tell tale sound of the pellet drilling through a twig and part of my cover wilted away! b****r. At the report all my live decoys over the crest took wing, there must have been a dozen on the deck. The dogs were curled up neatly, good as gold and the look Tigs, the young pretender, gave me was total disdain - he knew I had missed. He sat up expectantly, but with no word of command for him to go and fetch the spoils he realised his master had fluffed it. He was not impressed.

    We sat it out for an hour or so, then a surprise opportunity presented itself. I poked the barrel out through the net and took aim on the stubble.

    [​IMG]

    As soon as the target stopped and sat up I let fly. It was 1/4 on and I had to draw an imaginary line through the vitals and pick my spot accordingly. A head shot was not an option in the circumstances. The pellet hit home perfectly.......this time Tigs did have something to fetch. I sent him out and he struggled with the weight a bit, but eventually he found the balance point and brought the great lump back to me....

    the first one of the season. Then we went for a walk and picked a tub of blackberries, they go well with it, adding a bit of natural sweetness.

    [​IMG]

    For those newcomers who are unsure of their quarry, to drop oneof these magnificent creatures you need to be precise with your shot placement. The front of the face of a hare is a large area and the risk of deflection from the front is great, which is why I took the boiler house shot - you can see the entry and the tell tale frothy, bright red blood from the nostrils is proof that my pellet drove through the lungs and probably wasn't far off the heart - I will know when I paunch it tomorrow.

    [​IMG]

    You cannot do this with a rabbit - they will expire quickly, but they will be well down their burrow when they do. A surface dwelling creature, which the hare is, will seek cover, but not go to ground, besides I have the means of recovery beside me, and he can catch a perfectly fit and healthy hare, so one with its lungs leaking is no problem. If you get the chance, think very carefully before actually shooting, you need pinpoint placement. Side on, the normal head shot is the one to take, front on, be more selective and only take the shot if you are confident of being able to drive through the heart and lungs - and I would say only then if you have access to a retrieval dog because they can go 50 or 60 yards even with their heart smashed - far enough to lose it if you don't see where it goes. All I am saying is be respectful and careful when taking on these magnificent creatures. We have quite a few, even so I probably won't shoot another one this side of Christmas - but they are a fabulous treat.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  2. themadspread

    themadspread Donator

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    nice write up and good shooting well done
     
  3. dave goodall

    dave goodall Donator

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    Ile say it again simon cracking write up but even better lurcher love it
     
  4. Elk hunter

    Elk hunter Keyboard Hero

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    Good read Simon,

    Always amazed how hares just roll over and die, no fight in them when shot.

    Andrew
     
  5. Stevie Darling

    Stevie Darling Sexual tyrannosaurus

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    Nice read mate,

    I just got the first of the hares in the shop today:up:
     
  6. Seamaster

    Seamaster Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I shoot hares regularly from about now until January.
    That shot was irresponsible. Whether you have a retrieve option or not you should NEVER shoot a hare with a heart/lung shot with an air rifle.
    You should be ashamed of yourself. Your post is self serving and wrong.
    Have a word with yourself Simon, this is the largest quarry that an airgunner can take and the frothy mess on the hare's face is prove that it bled out from it's nose.
    Please, if you shoot hare with an air rifle, headshot only.
    Disgusting.

    Chris
     
  7. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    Really?

    What about foxes, wild boar, small deer and even antelope......do you mean this is the largest quarry you can take with 12ft-lbs?
     
  8. Seamaster

    Seamaster Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    Yes I meant that.
    I no longer shoot anything other than sub 12ft lb air rifle.
    I enjoy your narrative Simon but I think shooting Hares is a particular responsibility. I've seen them run down a line of shotguns, taking shot and squealing. They are tough but will roll over and die with a headshot from an air rifle. They are a problem on one farm that I have permission on and I do take them with head shots.
    Since 1998 I haven't shot centre fire, rim fire or shotgun, my own choice as I prefer the "up close and personal" and really just being out there amongst it.
    To shoot a hare in the heart/lung area with an air rifle is wrong.
    You state that a head shot wasn't on. In that case mate, don't take the fugging shot, simple.

    Chris
     
  9. dave goodall

    dave goodall Donator

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    Cant see whats irresponabile when hes a long dog there what will catch a hare on its own id say a head shot is irresponable with a sub 12 air gun seems tho a hares head is very elongated and extremly strong. id also of thought been a rapid and the op been some sort of land manager theres a strong possabilty the rapids fac which could still richochet of the hares head causing danger around. Air gun quarry can run and bleed out on head shots from rat to hare having back up such as a long dog / lurcher to retrive the shot game is prob most responcabile hunting post been posted in a while just my opinion

    Still shooting hares full stop in my own and alot of hunters is classed unsporting but who are we to judge another persons hunt based on our own opinions. Atvb dave g
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2014
  10. Seamaster

    Seamaster Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    This is the last one I shot last year. About 35yds off the bipod and through the head.
    Dead as quick as a rabbit shot in the brain.
    [​IMG]
    I never seem to get any satisfaction from shooting hares, like I do with rabbits, squirrels, pigeons and rats, don't know why but I just think we have to be particularly careful.
    They are the sub 12 airgunners big game.

    Chris
     
  11. Seamaster

    Seamaster Super Moderator Staff Member Mod/Admin

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    I feel I have a right to judge because I've been doing this for nearly forty years.
    For that same reason I respect your judgement too. It doesn't change my opinion but I'm so thankfull that these kind of debates can be had on here.

    Chris
     
  12. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    Edited my original to highlight a relevant section, in respect of your views.
     
  13. dave goodall

    dave goodall Donator

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    Deer stalkers dont shoot deer head on they lung / heart shoot them and they bleed out a dog tracks them is that classed irresponsible if u took a head shot on you deer stalking cert course theyed be a good chance you would be declined it . But yeah mate it is goid that these things can be talked about like adults atvb dave g
     
  14. neiled

    neiled Donator

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    Sorry but I'm confused about your post so can you please clarify your statement of "What about foxes, wild boar, small deer and even antelope......do you mean this is the largest quarry you can take with 12ft-lbs?".......are you saying these can be shot with FAC Air Rifles?
     
  15. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    I have a friend in the USA who uses a Rapid .25 to take coyotes out to 80 yards, wild boar (hogs they call them). I am sure there are some pictures on here of wild boar taken with an air rifle in Hawaii - you wouldn't want to try and drag one down the mountain, they were 300lbers. Just do some searching and I am sure you will find all sorts to interest you - type in "big game hunting with an air rifle" and see what takes your fancy. Although, I was actually being flippant in my reply - knowingly.
     
  16. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    If your going to shoot hares with airguns the head is the best place for the shot just like a rabbit.

    I see them everyday no further than 15-20ft away but I don't shoot them as I do believe in a lot of old superstition regarding hares.

    I shot one as a lad with the airgun i was with my dad, i was no further than 10 ft from this hare when it stopped, and i decided to lung shoot that and it took off, so i took chase and it made it half way accros a field to a fence where i grabbed it just 12 yrs old and had to kill it with my bare hands while it screamed, it was the size of a small whippet a real full grown big hare.

    My dad came running down to me, as I sat there looking shocked he said dont worry son and sat me down and pulled a cigar out of his pocket and said here son don't tell your mum, so I sat at the side of this big hare and smoked a hamlet.

    Jump forward 20yrs i burried my dad just the other side of that fenceline the hare was running to.

    I still have permission down on that farm and went for an hour last year and I sat under this tree had a smoke and remembered the event with the hare and I could see my dads grave from where I sat, then a great big hare came down the wood right to me and stopped 10 ft away and just sat staring at me.

    Even though my gun was in my lap a finished my smoke with a smile on my face and the hair on the back of my kneck was stood on end, mysterious isnt the word.
     
  17. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    He'll always be with you out in the field. Like my father is with me on the water.

    One of my favurite stories is of the Belstone Fox - we have family that farm not far from where that story is based and it has a basis of truth about it too.
     
  18. engraver

    engraver Keyboard Hero

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    True simon they are always with you, mine is with me most on the river bank as thats all I did towards the last few years, every bit of time I had was invested into fishing with my dad, I just knew somehow I had to be with him even though he wasnt ill.

    Anyhow do tell us the tale about the fox as im a firm believer in that we as humans do not know everything like we think we do, but some animals sense somethings and i beieve simetime give signs away.

    Call it crazy talk but ive known some wierd things happen in the countryside like my dads mate who died lamping in my dads younger day, fell down a quarry in the dark.

    He had one eye, then they all had a meet and the guys brother went the following months with the terriers anyway as they got down to the first fox they dug, it had one eye! The lad was convinced it was his brother and told them not to kill it, they had to take him home they said it freaked him out so bad it was upsetting.
     
  19. Accuspell

    Accuspell Pro Poster

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    The Belstone fox was one that although hunted each season, never got caught. It always found a way of outwitting the hounds, once it took them onto the railway line and several couple were killed - anyway it was given best each time by the huntsman. The mutual respect comes out at the end when the huntsman dies (I forget how, it may have been a hunting accident, but I can't remember the Both these films will have ) and the fox goes to the cemetary and lies down on the newly dug grave of the huntsman - and was a regular visitor to the churchyard from then on.

    Very similar to your hare story.

    The book about the legend was written by David Rook, who also wrote another story set on Dartmnoor, near Hexworthy, called The White Colt - it was portrayed in a film with the title of "Run Wild, Run Free". Both of these books, or films, will have you welling up - if you have any understanding or compassion in your heart.
     
  20. Damon

    Damon Posting Addict

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    Nothing at all wrong with a well placed heart and lung shot, I will often use them in the field if a head shot is awkward. I was born and bred in the countryside and have always shot all types of quarry. However I have to say there is something about a Hare, they are a very mysterious creature and one that each time I see make the hairs on my neck stand up. For that reason I would never shoot one and prefer to watch them but each to their own and as long as it's done humanely as it clearly was fill your boots. Great write up by the way.
     

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