It was a pretty good weekend for a backyard pest hunt with my Beeman R7. The score? One starling, one treerat, and one chipmunk.
First up was the hunt for starlings. After doing a lot of reading, learning how to identify these pest birds, and reading in the GA regulations that there is no closed season for starlings, I decided to see if I can remove a few. Gotta help the songbirds.
On Saturday I took out my first starling. Actually I may have taken out two. The first was a good 20 yards out; not a clean hit, but enough to stun it before it flew to some of the shrubs. I doubt it will come around my yard again, but I cannot confirm the kill. The second starling that I decided to use for target practice was almost in the same location; maybe 20-25 yards. An absolutely clean, wonderful shot to the top of the head. Dead on contact. From a target shooting aspect, this was a thing of beauty.
Next up was some squirrel control. I could shoot these varmints every weekend, but I want to make sure that I am only going after the true pests. Those that try to take shelter in my garage apartment, my attic, or under my house; those are all fair game. I took out one at about 10 yards, which was an easy shot. Right in the head. Dead on contact. No muss, no fuss. Poor idea to throw it in the trashcan as the temperature hit the upper 90s, but I digress.
Finally I turned my attention to the chipmunks. Yes I know, cute, cuddly rodents. These son bitches are massively destructive, burrowing in my back yard, flowerbeds, and under my deck. They have to go. I thought I was alone in thinking these things were pest, but some interesting links for your bemusement.
First, this site discusses chipmunk control:
“The possibility of diseases such as plague, Rocky Mountain spotted fever or the Powassan virus to be transmitted to you or your family increases with these animals being around.”
Screw that. Who wants the plague? Actually I am more worried about them f’ing up my deck; paid a pretty penny for it and cannot afford a new one right now.
Next, someone on this site gets it right:
“I’ve tried everything and I mean EVERYTHING to control these destructive little creatures and have found the only TRULY EFFECTIVE means of control is an accurate pellet rifle with scope. They can then be eliminated humanely with one shot to the head. I’ve found that active hunting of the population seems to scare the survivors away as well. I am able to skip every other year and control the population effectively.”
Oh yes my friend. If only it were that easy to hit the little critters in the head at 20+ yards. The first victim was a good 22 yards out. It must have jumped up a good foot in the air. I obviously hit something, but not the head. Too bad; it found its way into one of the nearby tunnels, hopefully to not be seen from again. Sunday I took aim at one of the little buggers as it was scurrying about. Perfect shot to the neck (a head shot would have been better). Things ended fairly quickly.
All in all, the Beeman R7 does its part if I do mine. For those keeping score at home, I was using Gamo Hunter pellets for all my pest control shots. It will be total carnage when my Beeman R1 .22 Double Gold arrives, but until then, I will have to continue to work with the R7 and become a better shot. The R1 will allow me to cheat; larger pellet will mask my mistakes and increase my score.