One Lucky Bunny (And a Few That Weren't So Lucky)

Discussion in 'Hunting, Fishing & Gathering' started by pab1, Dec 14, 2016.

  1. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    I've hunted snowshoe hares a few times this year but I haven't been out after cottontails yet. I decided to go look for some today. I brought "Thumper" my .22 cal Hatsan 95 airgun along. I gave it the name Thumper because its put many cottontails and snowshoes in the pot.

    I went to one of my favorite cottontail spots where a creek and river come together. It has a lot of cover and a good cottontail population. Just as I arrived a guy was pulling out with two dogs in his truck. I don't think he'd been hunting but everywhere I went tracks in the snow confirmed that his dogs had been all over. I think they drove most the rabbits into the heaviest cover since they were hard to come by today.

    I started slowly working around heavy cover and eventually a cottontail made a small change in position and gave himself away. Thumper did his job, slipping a pellet through an opening and I had my first rabbit. At least I wouldn't get skunked!

    As I circled another patch of cover I saw a cottontail in an opening. I could see his whole body and had a clear shot. I put the front sight just behind his eye and fired. The rabbit did a startled jerk at the shot and that was it. The shot felt perfect. I couldn't believe I missed such an easy shot! I broke the barrel and loaded another pellet knowing he was going to blow out any second. To my surprise he stayed put. Once again I put the sight behind his eye and fired. This time I saw a branch I hadn't noticed before quiver right in front of his head. The rabbit had seen enough and blew out, never to be seen again. I examined the branch and sure enough both shots impacted it. The picture makes the branch look much thicker than it really is. It was thick enough to save the bunny!

    PSK Winter Kit Mod and One Lucky Bunny 023.JPG

    I kept slowly working around cover and wound up taking two more cottontails. The third one made up for hitting the branch earlier. I caught a glimpse of a rabbit slipping through some cover. I had the gun up and ready when he paused long enough to give me a shot. All I could see was the top half of his head silhouetted against some snow in a small opening. Thumper did his job and connected, dropping the rabbit on the spot. The cover made recovering the rabbit a chore. This pic is where I shot from. I circled the spot where the rabbit stopped and was shot.

    PSK Winter Kit Mod and One Lucky Bunny 035.JPG

    I was more surprised by this pic zoomed in on the spot. There was a lot of cover that could have stopped or deflected the pellet. Thumper continues to impress me!

    PSK Winter Kit Mod and One Lucky Bunny 032.JPG

    Here's the days take along with Thumper.

    PSK Winter Kit Mod and One Lucky Bunny 036.JPG
  2. possumjon

    possumjon Tracker

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    Great shooting and keep it up!
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  3. Birdman

    Birdman Scout

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    Good shooting! I'm itching to bag some bunnies!
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  4. NWPrimate

    NWPrimate Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Very nice. Did you cook them up right away or did they end up in the freezer?
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  5. Scud213

    Scud213 Tracker

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    Nice shooting. I love my Hatsan 95, we dont have much for rabbits around here but with JSB heavy pellets it puts the squirrels down and in the freezer for sure!
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  6. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Thanks guys!

    They're in the freezer. I'll probably cook them in the crockpot on a cold, snowy, miserable day when I stay in tying flies.

    They're great guns! I bought a .25 cal Hatsan 125 thinking I'd like the extra power. It was quite a bit bigger and heavier than the 95. I really couldn't see any difference in the rabbits I shot with it than with the 95 either. I wound up giving the 125 to my brother. I bought a backup 95 when Midway had a sale on them about a year ago. I have a variety of .22 cal pellets but I've been happy with the 14.3gr Crosman Premier Hollow Points. They're accurate, they've performed well on game and best of all they cost about .013ยข per shot!
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  7. Roughneck75

    Roughneck75 Supporter Supporter

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    Luv me a pot full of Hossenfeffer! Thanks for sharing!
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  8. Rockgod1619

    Rockgod1619 Guide

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    Awesome job! Good meat for the freezer!
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  9. okcaveman

    okcaveman Scout Bushclass I

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    Awesome report. I'm so jealous of good tracking snow! Iv always been intrigued by the higher quality airguns. I'm going to have to break down and get one one of these days!

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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  10. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    They are a lot of fun and inexpensive to shoot. I was interested in them for a long time but put off getting one until the .22lr ammo shortage. I didn't want to use up the .22lr ammo I had so I started looking into airguns. I did some research and decided I wanted a gas piston gun since I'd read that spring piston guns can be more sensitive to how the guns held. I picked up a .22 cal Crosman Shockwave with the Nitro Piston. It was accurate but the velocities with lead pellets were well below what Crosman advertised. That's when I found out that most manufacturers list velocities with alloy pellets to get the highest speeds possible. Even when they list a lead pellet velocity most list a lightweight pellet. After reading a lot of great reviews on the Hatsan 95 I picked one up and have been very impressed with it ever since. One thing I like about Hatsan is that the velocities they advertise are with lead hunting weight pellets so you know what to expect from the gun before you buy it.
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  11. okcaveman

    okcaveman Scout Bushclass I

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    That's good to know. Similar to archery companies who use a lightweight arrow, but it sounds like there isn't much consistency across the board. How is the hatsan to maintain? Iv read that some air guns are pretty easy, and some are a real pain to keep running smoothly and accurately

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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  12. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    Hatsan airguns weren't on my radar until I heard so much positive feedback about them on the Gateway to Airguns forum. Initially I was looking at their higher velocity guns but everyone kept saying how good the 95 with the Vortex gas piston is. The gun is low maintenance. Hatsan recommends they be oiled every 250 shots and to clean the bore every 500 shots.

    I cleaned the bore before shooting the gun to remove oils from the factory. I used a piece of fishing line wrapped around cleaning patches. I would start the line at the breech end and use the vacuum cleaner hose attachment at the muzzle to pull the line through. Then just pull the patch through. Both the 95 and the 125 I gave my brother shot very good groups right from the start.

    The only gripe I have with these and most airguns are the target style adjustment dials on the rear sights. The 95 has Truglo fiber optic sights that have worked very well for me. Its easy to bump the target style knobs while hunting and change the rear sight adjustment. A few clicks probably won't make too much difference but once they're sighted in I mark the dial and body of the sight with whiteout so I can see if its moved. I've thought about putting a peep sight on mine but will stick with the factory sights for now. From what I've read the scopes that come with them (along with most airguns) are low quality. That didn't matter to me since I only use the open sights. If you plan to use a scope you might want to pick up a better quality airgun scope.
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  13. okcaveman

    okcaveman Scout Bushclass I

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    Thanks so much for the response. Your selling me on them. I'm going to have to look at getting one after the first of the year! Iv always been intrigued by the more powerful airguns, and that isn't to expensive for a small game quality airguns! What's the noise level like?

    Iv likewise been intrigued by the big bores ever since I learned of Lewis and Clark killing big game with them, but holy cow those are expensive!

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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  14. pab1

    pab1 Supporter Supporter Bushclass II

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    This video shows chrony and decibel results (dB at 7:18). The Vortex model came in at 65.9dB. A typical conversation at 3 feet is around 60-65dB. Closing the barrel when loading came in at 61.1dB on his meter. There is a springer version of this gun that's much louder. I have the Vortex gas piston and like it since I can hold it like any centerfire/rimfire rifle.

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  15. okcaveman

    okcaveman Scout Bushclass I

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    Thanks! My wife may not like you...

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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