airgunning

Will a budget air-rifle really do the job?

Airguns are not only my hobby, they are also my livelihood, and as someone who subscribes to the adage that you should always use the right tool for the job, I like to use the best shooting equipment that my budget can stretch to. However, not everyone can justify forking…

American signal crayfish

How the American signal crayfish invaded British waters

Man’s stupidity when it comes to moving things around knows no bounds. He decided to bring the North American version 
of the crayfish to Europe 
and then to Britain to 
augment stocks of natives, which were suffering from crayfish plague. Little did 
the importers know the 
American signal crayfish were…

controlling foxes

A guide to fox control

Lamping may be one of the most efficient ways to kill foxes but if you miss then, you'll have created a much fightier foe. Liam Bell outlines other options for fox control

rats in hen house

Dealing with rats in the hen house

Having an air rifle in the house often proves handy for impromptu backyard pest control. My airguns are called into action in the garden to deal with marauding grey squirrels, but more recently it has been dealing with rats in the hen house. Grain attracts rats We keep hens and…

Tunnel traps

How to use traps for pest control

Using traps for pest control to control small predators such as stoats, weasels and rats is time-consuming, but is nevertheless important for those of us who want to try and nurture some wild stock. Foxes and crows might be at the top of the list but, once their numbers are under…

permission to shoot land

How to gain a permission to shoot land

If you have a pressing need to stop one or more foxes from killing your livestock you probably already have somewhere to shoot, but let’s suppose that you don’t know any landowners. How on earth do you go about getting someone to agree to let you on their property? Well,…

Steyr Zephyr II 17 HMR rimfire

Steyr Zephyr II .17 HMR rimfire

The original Steyr Zephyr was a .22 LR, produced in 1966 by Steyr Mannlicher, and it was unlike any other rimfire available at the time. It had that everlasting and alluring quality that Steyr rifles possess and 
it was the only rimfire I knew of 
that had a Stutzen —…

Fox Control

Is a deadly rabbit virus affecting fox numbers?

Q: Four years or so ago the local rabbit population crashed. We have had myxomatosis previously but the population always seemed to recover to some extent — this time it has not. Could rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) be causing this? Since foxes that prey on rabbits also seem fewer…

PCP air rifles under £500

Three impressive PCP air rifles for under £500

PCP air rifles are relatively cheap, easy to shoot and given a decent backstop you can even practise in the back garden. Perfect for pest control and ideal around a farm yard if you need to get rid of vermin with little risk of damage to property or stock. Why…

The wild rabbit

Which .22 rifle should I choose for rabbit shooting?

Rabbit shooting: I have been shooting air rifles and shotguns since I was 10 and now have my first firearms certificate after getting permission to shoot on a large farm with a rabbit problem.

Dog drinking from puddle

Leptospirosis in dogs – what you need to know

One of the most important reasons to control rats is the danger of leptospirosis. Also called Weil’s disease, leptospirosis is caused by bacteria spread via the urine of infected animals — usually rats. 
It is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread to humans, as well as dogs,…

How to use an airgun for rat control

How to use an airgun for rat control

Where to find rats If you have permission to shoot on a farmyard or on ground that’s managed for pheasant shooting, the chances are there will be rats. Rats are smart and will search out easy feeding opportunities and it doesn’t take them long to find them. Sniffing out animal…

shooting rats

Shooting rats in broad daylight

The vast majority of my winter rat shooting is done during the hours of darkness. My usual routine is to arrive an hour or so before dusk so I can set up in time to catch the early action and shoot on into the night until activity tails off. Going…

airgun pest control

Effective pest control with an airgun

What do you do when grey squirrels, rats and corvids are robbing nests of eggs? You get out the airgun - and you lay in wait, as Mat Manning explains

Airgun shooters

Why airgunning is the most noble of shooting sports

Setting up airgunning as the noblest of shooting sports probably sounds like a tall order to many — it certainly does to me. Airgun shooters wear funny clothes, we get excited about shooting rats and grey squirrels and we don’t like to pay for our sport. More to airgun shooters…