Black Squirrel in the UK - see article opposite.
- UK Airgun Law Ignorance is no excuse.
- See changes regarding Air Cartridge weapons (rifles and pistols)
- Tales from the Wild Wood Huntin' 'n' Shootin' stories
- Recommended Reading Rat catcher extrordinaire.
- Field Target Field Target competition shooting explained.
- Free Practice Targets download.
- Wasp and Bee stings Practical advice.
- Marmite might ?
- Become a friend of the Red Squirrel
Check out this website Penrith and District Red Squirrel Group
- I've visited Cannock Chase forests to see some of their Red Squirrels - Cannock Chase is often listed on internet websites as having a population of Red Squirrels. After only one hour of walking around the forest it was patently obvious to me that only Grey Squirrels have the run of the trees - there was no sign of any Red Squirrels. I called in at the offices of The West Midlands Forestry Commission and had my suspicions confirmed by a warden - there are no Red Squirrels in Cannock Chase (they do have a stuffed one in their cafe')
My main quarries are Grey Squirrels, Magpies, Rats and occasionally I'm asked to control Rabbits and Pigeons.
For the smaller vermin I favour the .177 calibre air-rifle.
I also use a .22 calibre shotgun for Rats where the situation allows.
I have one 'permission' where the under growth is so dense I use a moderated .410 shotgun - to great effect on the Greys.
For three years now I have also been using squirrel trap boxes which have a Mk4 Fenn trap inside.
For safety reasons I have positioned the trap boxes in an area that it would be dangerous to shoot in.
I designed and made these boxes myself, the current design is Mk5, I have trapped more than 90 Greys in them.
As I trap in the Midlands there is no danger of me trapping a Red Squirrel by accident.
Air Rifle pest control requires the use of camouflage to get in range of the quarry, especially Magpies and Rabbits.
There are many creatures that are considered vermin in the UK, those which may require the attention of an Air Rifle pest controller are :-
Rats, Rabbits, Crows, Rooks, Magpies, Grey Squirrels, Woodpigeons, Feral Pigeons, Collared Doves and Mice.
Wasp and Bee Stings.
To avoid stings wear an effective insect repellent.
Insects are attracted to bright colours, because brightly coloured flowers provide them with their food. Wear colours like green, brown or khaki and you are more likely to be ignored.
Flowers often give off a strong scent to attract insects. Perfumes, after shaves, body lotions and hairsprays have the same attraction.
Insects, like us, are attracted to foodstuffs, particularly sweet things. When you're out walking carry all your food in airtight containers so the insects can't smell it.
If you get attacked by a swarm of bees, move to a wooded area. The twigs and foliage will slow them down.
Bee stingers have barbs and remain attached to the victim's skin. Since it takes two to three minutes for the venom sac to inject all its venom, instant removal of the stinger and sac usually reduces harmful effects. Scrape away with a sideways movement (one quick scrape) with a fingernail. Never try to use the thumb and forefinger or tweezers to pinch out the stinger since this manoeuvre forces (injects) more venom from the sac down into the wound.
Wasps and Hornets have a lance-like stinger without barbs and can sting repeatedly. They should be brushed off the victim's skin promptly with deliberate movements, then quietly and immediately leave the area.
Once the Bee stinger is removed from the skin apply a dilute solution of Ammonia to the affected area. If the sting is near the eye, nose, ear or mouth apply a solution of Salt and Bi-Carbonated Soda. If stung by a Wasp apply Vinegar. A bad sting may require medical attention.
A well known treatment in the UK is Autan Bite-Ease - I always carry this with me on hunting trips.
New research suggests that when eaten , could act as an insect repellent !
The research isn't yet complete and it is also suggested that it won't work for everyone. Personally I think sandwiches that have a good helping of French Mustard on also helps to keep midges and mosquitoes away.
'Air Rifle Pest Control' (F4B Scale Magic) does not condone the use of air pistols for hunting !