Friday, May 30, 2008

Same Bait Time, Same Bait Station

After the mysterious incident at the bait station in which a pellet seemed to pass harmlessly through a rat like it was some ghostly apparition, I decided to make some changes to my approach. I surmised from the rat's skittish behavior that the reddish plastic over my flashlight wasn't as undetectable as it once seemed -- especially when the batteries were at full strength -- so I needed a new tack. I 'borrowed' some of my wife's red nail polish, removed the light bulb from my Maglite and painted it. After it dried, I replaced it and flicked the switch within my darkened garage. I was pleased to see a beam of truly deep red light issue forth.

I also decided that I would go back to using Crow Magnum pellets. I knew that if the JSB had merely 'pin-cushioned' the rat, not doing enough damage on impact to drop him in his tracks, then the massive hollow point of the CM was the right solution. I went out that evening intent on zeroing the gun with the CMs, but the wind was howling that day, gusting over 30 miles per hour. No matter what I did, I could not get the pellets to group. Disappointed, I went back to the JSBs. These, at least, I was able to keep striking within a reasonable circle.

As the sun was setting, I baited again with the sun butter/Cheerio combo and settled in at the patio table. It wasn't more than five minutes later that the dark silhouette of a rat could be seen creeping towards the red-lit bait station. He was very cautious, but the lure of the high-protein concoction was just too great. At last he climbed onto the wood platform, almost directly facing me, and started licking the sun butter of the front of the station. I zeroed on his noggin and squeezed the trigger.

There was a sharp squeal, then a thump on the ground as he fell off the fence. I could hear thrashing on the darkened ground. I ran out immediately and found him back under the fence as if he had made an attempt to get back into cover. The pellet had gone in right behind his left ear and out his back on the right. I left the remainder of the bait as an enticement for further participants, and called it a night.

Ol' Blue Eyes

Sure enough, the bait was gone the next morning. So a couple days later, I decided to set up again. I tried another round of target practice with the Crow Magnums since the winds had died down a bit. I had a promising couple of first shots, but then the groups went wild again. Much to my chagrin, it was starting to look like this rifle just didn't love the CMs. That was very disappointing because I really love their knockdown power. In any case, I switched over to Beeman Field Target Specials which were spot on.

Darkness started to descend as I baited and got comfortable on the patio. This time an ambitious rat came at about 8:40pm - trying to get a jump on the crowds at the bait station! He gave me about the same head-on view as the last rat, and I didn't waste any time putting the crosshairs on him. Thunk! The rat flopped and fell off the fence, stone dead.

The early rat gets the sun butter, and express delivery of a pellet to the bean

He was a little guy, only about 11 inches nose to tail. I quickly bagged him up and returned to the patio to see if I could coax out another. Sure enough, at about 9:30 a larger rat poked his head over the back of the fence. He stretched down from above, then ended up sitting right on the bait station. I put down the binoculars and shouldered the gun. But in that time, he had scooted off and did not return. I packed it in about 45 minutes later. So I know there's another big one out there for the taking.

1 comment:

E in V said...


Ahh, another short tail (pun intended)!
What happened over at the RatKill Forum, do you know? I went over there recently and found it shut down. Quite the surprise.