red letter rats

pj1

Well-Known Member
I do believe I have possibly had a shoot of a life time.
I got called out to a farm I had shot rats at before and was told they thought I may see a few.
Previous visits had produced some where in the mid thirties between two of us using air rifles but last night I was on my own.
I don't know why last night was different but I had 81 in the first hour and 140 in two and a half hours. They just kept coming. I managed to shoot them all from the same position which was good as I had to fill my rifle with air five times.
Hooorah for pcp air rifles and night vision.

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takbok

Well-Known Member
Very impressive! Certainly not a dull evening.

I'm definitely warming to the idea of night vision.
 

highland stalker

Well-Known Member
I do believe I have possibly had a shoot of a life time.
I got called out to a farm I had shot rats at before and was told they thought I may see a few.
Previous visits had produced some where in the mid thirties between two of us using air rifles but last night I was on my own.
I don't know why last night was different but I had 81 in the first hour and 140 in two and a half hours. They just kept coming. I managed to shoot them all from the same position which was good as I had to fill my rifle with air five times.
Hooorah for pcp air rifles and night vision.

View attachment 76142
That place has a problem.
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
thanks all. i still cant quite believe i got that many.
They only had about 180 with the dogs when the chicken went. in years past they have had over 300 with the dogs.

takbok i wasnt convinced about night vision until having spent 3/4 of an hour looking for rats with a lamp for my friend to come along with his nv scope and shoot three rats in a minuet in complete darkness. i do think it really is the way forward for this type of thing. i was undecided on what sort of nv to get but got a photon. i like it because it feels like shooting the rifle normally as opposed to viewing a screen on top of your normal scope. the down side is it would be nice to be able to add it to my other rifles without changing scopes. but hey ho thats just being picky.
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
no problem. any questions please ask away. i saw nv as a fad that would pass but it has transformed pest control for me. one thing i would add is it is very difficult to judge distance with nv hence why i use my .177 for rats. the flatter trajectory certainly gives you much more room for error when judging distance
 

Fireman sam

Well-Known Member
Sounds like a cracking night
I used to have a permission that had a rubbish heap that always provided a good supply of rats, spent many hours waiting for them to pop out for the chance of a shot,

Just curious but what do you do with so many dead rats?

If you think judging the range with NV for rats is fun imagine what it can be like with a fox once you've picked them up in the scope and you track them waiting for a shot opportunity:D
 

teyhan1

Well-Known Member
When I was pest controlling for North Dorset Council I saw some massive moves of rats.
I even remember being called to one farm where rats were literally grazing on freshly sprouted barley in the middle of the day. Many were out 60yds or more from cover in broad daylight. i used 60kgs of bait in 3 days getting them under control.
In the same area just shortly after the maize was harvested, it was not unusual to see packs of them feeding on the maize that was spilled on the road, again during the day.
There was a blanket ban on any holiday during the first two weeks of November as this was traditionally a very busy period for rat movements.

It sounds like you were in the right place at the right time for one of these mass migrations.
 

finnbear270

Well-Known Member
Fantastic entertainment, and a service to public at the same time, We used to block up all but the last pop hole in the parlour, then let the russels go when the lights went on!, also lamping them in the poultry runs with subs & .410's. Weekends turning over muck middens with a pack of terriers. Solitary sitting in the barley store with a cat food can on the floor , .22 PCP running 29 foot pounds.:D:D:D
 

Ferryman

Well-Known Member
I remember back in the day, Saturday morning would often see the old Fordson TVO tractor get a length of hose connected to the exhaust then stuffed into a rat hole and rats would get shot as they bolted
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
finnbear 29 foot pounds :eek: you must have a good supply of air.

i went to a dairy farm last night and had 70 in two and a half hours. first time i have shot there and wanted to see how many rats were about before i started putting bait down. Glad i did now that 70 would have eaten a good amount of bait.
i wonder if its going to be a bad winter for rats and a good winter for ratting
 

The fourth Horseman

Well-Known Member
Remember as a youth coming home from the pub and seeing a rat migration after harvest. A sea of rats crossing the lane for a minute or two (and no I wasn't p....d).
Also killing hundreds of rats at threshing time,with terriers and sticks, as the ricks were surrounded by chicken wire so they couldn't escape. Happy days picking up rats for a count and then eating sandwiches,never even heard of Weill's disease at that time and nobody seemed to get it. Perhaps we have now all become too clean.
 

pj1

Well-Known Member
Well I've had a few more evenings at the rats. 330 in four visits which has made a big difference.

I'm sure they are related to beavers from the size of them .
 

eldon

Well-Known Member
Rat shooting is very satisfying and great if you have the venues such as yours. I used to shoot on a landfill site that had more than its fair share of rats. They used to live in the tyre filled water gullies and pop up here and there, think like a miniature watch and shoot ETR range. Really gelled with my .22 rf and had many a good evening.

Enjoy.
 

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