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TH208 Scope Cam Hunting


Got this after going out 'hunting' straight after getting in from work at 17:00.

Didn't get to eat. (See vid) 

Some woman brought her dog for walkies right in front of the warren I'd been sitting at for 2 hours (turns out she's the landowners horse training assistant). 

 The only shot I got was this one an hour later, 


5x Magnification, he emerged slightly closer than the lasered 10 yard marker making him about 8 yards away. The shot should have impacted just below the crosshairs into the heart/lung region. That scoot he did was adrenaline before the lungs gave out of course, he expired behind nettles, thistles and an impenetrable barbed wire fence.
I should have gone for a Head shot as I always do but I was unsure of the lightweight Thunderbolt Pellets and penetration so elected for the softer tissue. The state of my metal funnel pellet trap should have assured me they were more than up for the job.

Self Reliant Airgunning - Pellet Production

It has been the one bug bear of mine. That little niggle about airgunning. The tie that keeps me reliant on the world of money and the marketplace.
I speak of ammunition, its consumption and its loss.
We use a lot of pellets!
Accuracy demands that each pellet is near identical in shape and weight, and soft (for the rifling). Killing cleanly requires the material, after accuracy is obtained, to still pack a punch, thus a metal is deemed best.
It is therefore safe to say this means a man in the woods cannot extract or find the materials from the surroundings without mining the ore (if it even exists locally), smelting, casting, moulding, and swaging.
Unfortunately, if one is to stay safe from harassment, bow hunting, despite its 'renewable' ammo, is not an option on this island of ours, and catapults firing stones that are rarely uniform is a challenge I have yet to master.

On and off I researched various methods of banging out homemade ammo, but none were acceptable;

Corbin Pellet Presses and Swaging dies -Too expensive, too bulky and hardly cost effective to have shipped from the US of A.

L.E.M Spitzer moulds - poor accuracy results, becoming rare, none found in .177, production long ceased.

But lo! Whilst browsing for airgun bargains I came across an advert for a product aptly named "Airgun Pellet Maker". A chap had knocked up a prototype and posted a video of it on YouTube (I remember seeing it when it was first posted). He finally bowed to demand and has begun manufacturing them for sale.
He also lived locally so I popped across and we did a deal on a set. One .22 swager, one .177 swager and a dual calibre casting block.

That was on a Monday when the weather was poor and work was called off. I didn't get an opportunity to play until yesterday.

I was gifted some blanks to press and play with so I thought I'd do those and see what sort of weight the products were and their consistency on my new junkie scales bought for the job. Each were on the dot identical.

.177;


.22;



Now being as I'm using a springer, I've turned the weight of the .22s down to 18.4gr. The .177 I'm happy with as I want the punch.
The measurements include the tail flair, each fit beautifully in the barrels of the TX200 and TH208.



Pics of my play time.

Casting Block and eBay Lead Ladle;

The Blanks;

The Melting Pot;

The Finished Pellets;

The 'Workstation';

The lead was obtained from the old roof of this house I'm working on. The swager is to the right of the casting block seen in two parts. I intend to do a bit of a review of it with better pics outlining the method and process.

First test through the tx200 .177 10 yards.

Those two flyers, I think, were me tweaking the scope, zeroing as I went, and experimenting with holds. I was pretty impressed

Melting the old lead In a pellet tin on an old SMA Dried Milk Can using charcoal made in the woodburner;

Ran out of charcoal and had to use wood. I needed more oomph so...;

The process is alot of fun. Not everyone's cup of tea, but for me the value is more in the capability. Both the ability of recycling my shot, and forming it.

Hoorah!

Now to find the lead mine....

The Hunter's Chronicles - Monday 9th July 2012


It is said 'seeing is believing'. The cloudless sky was such a sight today. I took many photographs, if only to remind myself in the coming days that whilst to us Earth bound mortals it may be raining, one need only to rise high enough to know that no matter how grey the day, behind and above it is always radiant warmth and endless blue sky. This glimpse would be most valued, so I wished it preserved lest the memory fade.



I had no intention of making hay, but I certainly wished to make the most of the Sun shining clear and unobstructed.
Into the ancient woodland I strode, ingesting the sights, sounds and spirits that danced before and around me. (Whilst the rains have brought a bumper crop of Psilocybin mushrooms this year, those I do not, and did not, ingest I can assure you).



The omens were good as I left the path, I had just knelt, when a flash of a rabbit bolting for cover was caught  in my peripheral vision. A most fruitful part of the woodland to be sure. Indeed one only needed to keep his attention and eyes open before fruits were literally uncovered.


Wild Strawberries though rather tart, are in my opinion still very pleasant, and encouragingly prevalent here. It would appear if my potatoes and peas finally succumb to the onslaught from the sky, my family may yet dine on meat, mushrooms and strawberries!

I emerged from the bracken and leaned my head through the hedgerow and just over the fence in order to view what may be dining in the shortest patches of grass. Nothing within range, but at least four currys and stews were nibbling over 100 yards away. I elected to remain in my cover rather than stalk. My late evening energy levels being one factor, the prevailing wind another. My approach would also be risky. To do so back through the woods would require enormous concentration so as not to emit an audible warning, to hop the fence and approach would require equal skill in not providing a visual warning.

Put simply, I couldn't be arsed.

My right eye watered. My vision blurred. Nothing moved. The Sun dipped below the horizon and the yonder currys and stews evaporated with it.

Poo.

I began to calculate when I should break both my cover and the endeavour. Then something moved quickly to my front. In a flash, a Vindaloo zipped from the hedgerow at top speed out into the field. He passed within yards of my position but my goodness he was not going to stop. An errant canine and his jingly collar loped around and soon faded back into the trees.

I just about had enough. Rather than creep back through the obstacles and pointy things in the woods I clambered gingerly over the barbed wire fence and plonked my backside down. A welcome change from the hour spent standing.
My eyes and attention drifted to my phone as I communicated my bad luck. When I glanced up, I was being watched. Perhaps I had been observed for longer than I knew because the Madras had seen enough and promptly disappeared. This produced another flurry of verbalised angst, but it was too hasty. Again, I raised my eyes. The Madras was back. I swiftly and silently raised my weapon and calmly gathered myself.
I knew this would be my only and best shot. I adhered to the marksmanship principles to the letter, and got my reward.




Death was delivered speedily and precisely. In the back of the head between the ears and out to the front behind the eye.

Massaged and bagged. Patak's friend and I sauntered home along the old drovers road that runs through the trees. It is an exceptionally old track. My mind was transported to times past when a traveller along this same road at this very hour would have quite possibly been seen as nothing short of a suicidal fool. My memory conjured the many legends that surround this place.
The hangman who once plied his trade at this junction (the custom and rationale being that the spirit of the victim would forever wander the earth lost and confused between this and the afterlife).
One dark night he was summoned to execute two whimpering, pathetic beings. The first was dispatched swiftly, the night being unpleasant and the hangman keen to return to the warmth of his bed, his skilled and practised hands made short work of the deed in the darkness. The second struggled and fought, scratching at him, begging, imploring him to stay his hand, but it was to no avail.
Curious as to why this one was so keen to live, the hangman, despite the inclement weather and driving rain, paused to lift the hood. The light of his lantern revealed his deepest, darkest, fear to be brutal and plain reality. The second victim who's life he had so swiftly ended... was his only son.
The hangman, mad with grief, returned to his cottage, drove a spike in the wall and turned the noose upon himself. It is said the cottage still remains, one wall still standing and from it, high towards the top, protrudes the nail.

The other legends I will tell, another time.

Thankfully I arrived home safely and in one peice, though it was touch and go as the mud nearly claimed my welly!

The Hunter's Chronicles - Thursday 4th July 2012

Aesop's fable of The Wind and The Sun was a fitting way of describing the weather and I this day.

The Sun smiled just long enough to tempt me out to prowl with visions of hungry quarry eagerly filling their bellies and, like I, making the most of the warmth.

Having changed both my gun and ammunition, a re-zeroing session was in order.



As a rest, I use my rucksack gamebag stuffed with the gunslip and angled on its side (it has a stiff back pad). This allows for some absorption of recoil as well as accuracy ordinarily derived from the use of a bipod. The dark green colour of the bag also breaks up my profile and aids camouflage when I stake out a potentially fruitful spot.

The breeze was gentle but at times grew strong enough for me to need to time my shots with the lulls. I got the scope near where I wanted it, then glanced down the valley to my left.


You could see the rain rolling in. Whilst not the best news, I still enjoy the build up and the visual progress as it hunts me down. A fun game as a kid was to attempt to outrun the cloud and try to dodge its bombs until you collapsed in a sodden giggling heap alongside your chum, or dived under a tree shaking your fist at the sky with a triumphant "Better luck next time!"

I elected the latter course, minus the taunt.

Without fancy scope covers, I improvised.



The shower passed, but now I had a cold patch of mud upon which to lie, dirt invariably smeared the beautiful woodwork of the TX200 despite my best efforts to keep my mitts clean.
The wind had strengthened and was now without the pauses. Rather than achieve my desired groupings, I settled for hitting a milk bottle top consistently at 35 yards.

It was now between 15:30 and 16:00, too early for rabbits I knew, but rabbits weren't what I wished to add to tonights menu. I was after my elusive feathered friend Mr Pujin.

The trees I had in mind were two fields over. In no rush and enjoying my freedom, I took my time to take it all in and savour the experience. With the temperament of the Gods recently, who knows when another opportunity might present itself?

In retrospect; I should've legged it.


The first cloudburst was another shower I weathered under a dense hedge and tree. I couldn't be sure if another was heading my way due to a mist that hung above the village and decided to chance it.
I paid dearly for my mistake.
I got caught without cover. I huddled into a hedge only to have drips down my neck, then arms and as my hat became saturated, the peak. I had to move. I then completed my unwanted bath by wading through knee high grass as I hurried to the shelter of a large beech. This soaked my trousers and the water travelled down my wellingtons and made itself at home in my socks. I stayed put weighing up my options. I could jack it in and go home, I was wet but not quite sodden, which I would be if I walked back in this rain. The rain could pass, or remain.
My answer came as the rain slackened visibly and audibly ten minutes or so later. I pressed on and arrived at my usual hiding place. This bush would not provide the required waterproof shelter should another strong downpour surprise me and it was coming back now with no sign of abating.
I again pressed myself against the broad trunk of a large tree. This time an Ash clothed in Ivy. Aside from the odd drip I was safe and dry.
After what seemed like a damn long time, the rain finally passed. I tentatively emerged and clambered up a hill that brought me almost level to the tree favoured by the pigeons. Range, a perfect 35 yards. The one beyond, 45 yards.

Three buzzards now circled, one landed to bask in the sun as the clouds parted. I used him to test the digital zoom on my new camera.






Pigeons, crows, magpies, ducks and the trio of very vocal buzzards took to the skies.

Three pigeons landed in the target trees. All behind cover. None looked likely to ever move into an exposed position.
It was a good enough chance to tempt me out stalking. I attempted a head shot, but having advanced down the hill, the angle was approx 72 degrees which made it hard to keep the rifle steady on the shoulder as well as contending with the change to the POI. I hit a branch and scared them all off.

I did what I could. Changed positions. No Joy.
Returned to my previous vantage point and after a very long time and one fleeting opportunity, a pigeon presented itself. Back facing me, I put the duplex reticle between his shoulder blades, took my time, and fired. He fluttered, hit a few branches then glided/dived to the floor and hit the deck hard. Hooray!
No. Wait. He picked himself up and flew off.
I was gobsmacked.
Still wet as a fish, here I was 4 hours after I began, with nothing but a skidmark for my efforts.


 I did march towards the tree the pigeon escaped to, but he comfortably flew away, seemingly unharmed.

I waited under that pigeon forsaken tree until 21:00. Sadly and slowly I wandered home.


All appeared to be having far better fortune than I. Ever hopeful, I kept my wits about me. A good thing too as approximately 20 yards to my front, by the woods that border 'zeroing' field, a pair of ears and a rump were feeding!
I levelled my rifle and aimed right at the head without lasering it. DUNCK! Too high. Now here's where I should have suspected something. I did, but incorrectly thinking him to be an inexperienced Kit. The rabbit hunkered down rather than bolt. I reloaded purposefully and aimed again giving it a half inch hold under. He didn't respond to my squeaks, but eventually rose his head just enough and the next shot forced him to leap into the air.


Any elation fled as I inspected my prey.
The Eye did not look right. It appeared then a hollow victory. I flipped him over and my fear was confirmed.





Myxomatosis. Sores on the eyes, below the openings of the ears and the anus. Possibly the one that got away before. Probably that one is now dead and this, another victim of that unsightly and cruel affliction. He was laid to rest in the woodland from whence he came. Something inside me rebels against eating diseased meat, regardless of what scientists may say or the popular opinion of the day. I believe the Fox won't care to make such distinctions. A well fed Fox will also not stray from his territory and happen upon my chickens!

This particular hunt was, if nothing else, an experience. I returned home. Wet and for the first time, Hungry.

The Hunter's Chronicles - Sunday 1st July 2012

I step out of my door into the woods, be it to smoke or to answer the call of nature, and you can ordinarily spot a species found on the general license.
Recently it has been two young squirrels,, one seen at a time. They have been edging closer to where we have the chickens penned and they appear to be nibbling the germinating grain that has been spilt. I'm also not happy that they will soon be stealing the crop of hazel nuts. In spite of this, I must confess to growing a little fond of seeing them scamper about in the light of the dawn and so I have been slow to unleash the Scorpion.

I overhead my partner comment that there were both squirrels to be found and so the T10 was awakened from it's fleece lined sleeping bag.

The approach is now well covered by the foliage and through the leafs poked the snout of the Scorpion. A standing shot, so I took my time. Once I was steady, the squirrel obligingly raised his head to munch on his vittels. A Superdome was launched and four stiff legs rolled skyward. Unbeknownst to me his buddy was close by and I saw a flash as he bolted right to left. I edged closer and observed him seemingly analysing his chums odd behaviour. His back was towards me and he wasn't going to lift his noggin. I fired where his head would be if he lifted it in alarm at say, the sound of a pellet rocketing towards him. But I overestimated his reactions. The pellet sailed over and he escaped into the canopy above.







I was amazed at the amount of blood spatter on the floor where he fell. 11.1 ft/lbs at 20 yards with a domed pellet appears to be exceptionally effective indeed. I couldn't be more pleased with the accuracy of the Scorpion T10 and the obviously swift despatch it imparted.




Much later in the day I pushed my luck going for a mooch for rabbits.





Luck I pushed too far. A shame too as I had special plans...




The best opportunity presented was a Deer that passed within 40 yards of my position. The Scorpion is good, but not that good...


Still, I got to play with my new Hitachi HDC-1495E. My mobile phone camera simply doesn't do my subjects justice, plus I also have a airgun application in mind for it, to be revealed in due course.

Tonight, I may break out my long neglected Night Vision set up and reveal the secrets of the darkness...Ultra covert hunting!