Year-Round Hunting with Airguns


Year-Round Hunting with Airguns


Just because a flip of the page on your calendar marked the end of traditional fall hunting seasons doesn’t mean you have to stop hunting.

Crosman Hunting

Crosman Hunting

Hunters across the United States keep their shooting and hunting skills sharp year-round by targeting small game, varmints, rodents and other pests with airguns. That’s right, airguns. Even serious shooters such as J. Wayne Fears, Tony Martins and Rick Ward have employed Crosman and Benjamin airguns in their hunting exploits.

Pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) and break-barrel airguns provide some fantastic advantages over traditional firearms in the pursuit of prairie dogs, ground squirrels, coyotes, groundhogs and other animals during the off season. Chief among them is that the quiet report of an airgun makes hunting and target shooting possible for shooters living in urban areas, they don’t have to rob a bank to afford the luxury of putting hundreds of rounds downrange, and they can enjoy shooting live targets throughout the year.

Farmers prefer airguns for dispatching pigeons without spooking their cattle or horses, and trappers can use airguns when checking trap lines.

It’s important to note that these are adult airguns, not toys. Firing a .22- or .25-caliber pellet is just as deadly coming from the barrel of a Benjamin Marauder PCP or a Benjamin Trail NP as they are a traditional rimfire or centerfire rifle. And their accuracy is just as meaningful. Fears reported dime-sized groups from 15 yards and 1-inch groups at 50 yards with a Benjamin Marauder Woods Walker air pistol in .22 caliber, which he then used on opening day of squirrel season. Martins, shooting a .25-caliber Marauder Rifle, racked up rabbit kills out to 58 yards and even videotaped himself killing a prairie dog at 92 yards. Veteran predator hunter Ward shot a coyote at 50 yards during one of his first urban excursions with a Marauder .25.

The Marauder Woods Walker has quickly become a favorite of varmint and predator hunters. With an 8-round rotary magazine, this bolt-action repeating air pistol comes with a rifle stock that can be attached with just two screws, effectively transforming it into a short carbine. The PCP canister is loaded with an air pump to 2900 psi, which is good for about 40 rounds between pumps. The Woods Walker sports a Realtree APG finish, comes with an optics rail and retails for $529.99.

For his predator hunting, Ward says practice is the key. “Because I hunt mainly predators, I have my gun dead-on at 50 yards,” he said. “I have taken rabbits at 65 to 75 yards. I know the gun is very capable but it is up to the skills of the shooter. Practice, practice and practice some more. You get out of it what you put into it.”

The Benjamin Marauder Rifle in .25-caliber is also a PCP airgun that uses an 8-round rotary magazine. It’s part of a series of Marauder airguns that includes .177- and .22-calibers with wood and composite stock configurations that range in price from $430 to $527. A pump or high-pressure tank (sold separately) is used to pressurize the gun to between 2,000 and 3,000 psi. Pushing the pellet at 900 feet per second from a rifled barrel results in a highly accurate airgun with plenty of energy for ethical kills of small game.

Fortunately, practicing with an airgun is cost-effective. Target-shooting pellets in .22- and .25-caliber sizes cost about 2 cents apiece, making those 200-round range days a drop in the bucket. Hunting rounds such as the .25 Benjamin Destroyer 27.9-gram pellets sell for $12.49 per 200 count, or roughly 16 cents apiece, and carry plenty of energy for killing coyotes and other mid-sized animals.

For young shooters or those who want to work on their marksmanship, the break-barrel design of the Benjamin Trail NP2t or Trail NP XL are perfect fits. These single-shot airguns come in a variety of calibers and configurations, with either wood or composite (all-weather) stocks, and are sold at retailers from $299.99 to $349.99. Simply cock the barrel, load a pellet, and return the barrel to its shooting position to shoot. (Watch this video on the proper way to cock a break-barrel airgun:

Always check your state hunting regulations before shooting animals. A basic sate-by-state hunting regulations chart can be found online here:

And as you prepare for a good day in the woods, keep these nine guidelines in mind:

1. Check to make sure your airgun in properly sighted in.

2. Check your airgun to ensure it is operating properly.

3. Practice with your airgun from various distances before hunting, keeping in mind that most shots will be taken inside of 50 yards with an airgun.

4. Shot placement is paramount with airguns. Don’t be satisfied at the range until you can place solid 1-inch groups from your preferred shooting distance.

5. Check your ammunition to make sure the pellets are best suited for animals you’ll be hunting.

6. Use camouflage clothing, ground blinds or tree stands.

7. Airgun hunting requires relatively short-range shots, requiring hunters to use solid hunting and stalking skills.

8. Treat airguns the same as you would any other firearm, always with safety in mind, selecting and shooting at targets with safe backdrops.

9. Learn the habits of the game or animals you will be hunting.


For more about shooting or hunting with airguns, visit

Original Source: Sportmans

More Stories & Fun Things to Do


Where to Vacation? Go Big or Stay Home!

We speak about luxury vacations, budget vacations, vacations that are fun for the kids, and many more areas of travel at this time of year. But there is also a category that many do not touch upon because they “assume” it is far too difficult for those on a budget to be able to enjoy these jaw-dropping wonders. However, whether you are a backpacker looking to “become a journeyman” and all you need is the price of the plane ticket; or one that is saving up for that “ultimate trip,” these are locations where either can go to create memories that will be among the greatest and grandest of their entire lives.


How Are Retail Sales in 2017?

Despite consumer uncertainty, as well as a very sluggish beginning to 2017, the U.S. retail sales industry is projected to increase 4% this year. Headlines show that many retailers and companies posted “soft” holiday sales to end 2016, which caused some notable retailers to either cut jobs or close stores as a result. However, when it comes to 2017, the National Retail Federation (NFR) released an economic forecast projecting the retail industry (this excludes automobiles, gas stations, and restaurants) to grow and reach that 4% increase aim.


Ben Affleck Directs and Stars in Gruesome Gangster Saga

Dennis Lehane has enjoyed phenomenal success not only as a novelist but writing directly for TV (Boardwalk Empire and The Wire). And several of his crime thrillers have been brought to the big screen, including Mystic River, Shutter Island and Gone, Baby, Gone.


Making Your Health “Resolute”

It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made


The President’s Kitchen Cabinet

The Story of the African-Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families, from the Washingtons to the Obamas by Adrian Miller University of North Carolina Press