If you watch many videos or read very many articles about airgun hunting, you might become convinced that you need thousands of dollars of equipment to partake in the sport. The reality is if you want to do some small game hunting, you can pick up an air rifle and some pellets at your local store, and be hunting for around $40. Let me tell you about my new Daisy 880 and my squirrel hunting adventures with it.
I live on 4.5 acres of small game hunting paradise:
It’s mostly oak forest surrounded by farmland. I’ve got a huge population of squirrels, and am close enough to some good pastureland to pick up some rabbits as well. If you don’t have your own property, look into your state’s airgun hunting regulations as well as public lands available for hunting. Where I live, there are thousands of acres of public hunting land. It seems like the only time you ever see people hunting it is during firearm deer season.
I tuned the trigger on my new Daisy 880 the day after I bought it. After that, I spent hours behind the trigger and open sights until I felt quite comfortable. It was getting toward the evening when I noticed a squirrel pulling green acorns off a branch about 20 yards away. I steadied my air rifle on the porch rail, took aim at the chest since I couldn’t see its head, and squeezed off the shot. The RWS Superdome I was using averaged 642 fps at the muzzle and found its mark. He fell motionless to the ground.
I went over to pick up my kill. The pellet did a great job killing this squirrel and was just under the skin on the other side of its chest:
When I cleaned the my kill, the full extent of the damage was apparent. The pellet broke a couple ribs, pierced a lung, severed the heart, bounced off the spine breaking it in the process, angled down through the other lung, broke a rib on the other side, and came to a stop right under the skin.
I took another squirrel this morning. I’ve done some modifications to the 880 since taking the first one, and now had an additional foot pound of energy at 10 pumps. I was resting against a tree watching some squirrels in the distance when I heard some scratching above me. There was a squirrel looking at me and waving his tail about 15 feet away. I slowly raised the 880 and sent a Crosman Destroyer EX his direction. The pellet went in between the eyes and exited the back.
The pellet bulged one of the eyes out of its socket. Again, I’ve cleanly killed a squirrel with a $35 air rifle using open sights.
The moral of the story? Don’t let your wallet keep you back from enjoying the sport of airgun hunting. Get a Daisy 880 or a Crosman 2100, get familiar with how it shoots at various ranges, practice, practice, practice, and get out there and hunt when you feel confident with your skill.
I’ll be fixing cajun squirrel and rice with my harvest and will share the recipe when I get a chance.