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The Airgun Hunt That Changed Me

“If you like the challenges of hunting with a bow or traditional muzzleloader then you are going to love hunting with a big bore airgun, especially since there are very few record book animals ever recorded.” It was at that moment the man at the gun shop opened my eyes to a completely new level of hunting. 

My archery hunt for desert mule deer in Texas quickly became an airgun hunt, and I had four months to prepare. After speaking with my guide a few times before the hunt, we had a spot and stalk plan similar to my archery hunt the previous year. Additionally, I treated my new 50 caliber Umarex Hammer no differently than a new bow, meaning I spent plenty of time training and tuning. However, the one thing you can’t plan for on any hunt are 35 mph wind gusts which makes any hunt a challenge, especially with an airgun. 

On the second morning of our hunt the winds topping out at 28 mph, we knew our only chance was to get closer. By working in over the top from the large cap of rocks down into the canyons we knew there might be a chance to get lucky. We knew it would have to be close and potentially fast. After fighting the cold and winds all morning, it wasn’t until the walk back midday that the ghost appeared out of nowhere at 113 yards. Although it wasn’t the distance I was hoping for, it was going to be that moment or never. The crosswind died down for a split second giving me a shot opportunity. The 280 grain slug landed perfectly and the rest was history. 

Hunting with a big bore airgun is incredible. For me, it is the perfect area between bowhunting and rifle hunting. It wasn’t hard or difficult to learn but rather a respectable challenge worthy of the animal I pursue. For those unsure about hunting big game with an airgun like I was at first, I encourage you to look into the 46 caliber airgun that Lewis and Clark carried in their voyage across the west.

Colin Anthony

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