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Old 09-17-2007, 11:44 AM   #1
Join Date: May 2005
Location: South Texas
Posts: 1,133

Hey folks.

Here's a pest-control/ the "smallest of small game" story:

Unlike the vast majority of contributors to this forum I've actually never been hunting in my life. Spent most of my life in urban areas and so on. I enjoy shooting very much, but have never been after game animals. Well, now I'm in a rapidly sub-urbanizing rural area and I found out that little mice had moved in.

After trapping four in mousetraps the remainder were so tiny that they wouldn't set off the traps. After mounting frustration, I finally saw one that would creep out from behind the stove and nibble away at the peanut butter on the trap pressure-plate, only to duck back to his hiding spot when I moved. So I went and got my Crossman 795 .177 pelletgun and waited. It was difficult for me to make out the sights in the gloom, so I aligned them against the white stove surface, and then held it on the spot between the peanut butter and the gap between the cabinets and the stove. The bugger peeped out again to finish off the peanut butter while I squeezed the trigger. I did not get a head shot, but the critter fell stone dead. I think I'm fortunate that I don't have anymore, but I thought I'd remind folks that a barn or similar outbuilding might provide some good marksmanship practice: eliminating pesky rodents!

For those who use airguns for pest control I'd ask: "What is the largest critter you've taken with one?"

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Old 09-17-2007, 05:31 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Brooklyn, Mississippi
Posts: 1,442

My cousin Louis?

No, seriously, back in the olden days I worked the graveyard shift at a tiny self serve gas station out at the city limits. We had huge rats that had burrows under the pavement that would come out and tear into the trash. A buddy and discovered that Cheetos would get them out into the light, where they could be knocked off with a .22 pump Crossman pistol. Some of those suckers weighed nearly two pounds, but the "big" old hollowbase slugs would zip right through them.
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Old 09-17-2007, 11:25 PM   #3
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On the flip side, the biggest caliber I ever used on one was a .44 Special, loaded with #12 shot and Speer shotcups. Left a nice silhouette of a rat in a cabinet door.


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Old 09-18-2007, 04:47 AM   #4
Join Date: Oct 2006
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Hi dave,

Your story of patiently sitting over a mouse bate trying to get a site picture in the gloom reminds me of some I've read about hunters trying to take leopard. It sounds like your hooked, hunting is a lot of fun.

When I was 13 years old I cornered a huge rat between the fridge and the wall. I fired my .177 cal Crossman at the beast and I don't know if I hit or missed but it charged at which time my mom screamed and I jumped out of my skin too but instead of ripping my arm off it just turned and vanished into a hole in under the cabinet.
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Old 09-24-2007, 06:27 PM   #5
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Seguin TX
Posts: 525

Do rats count as mice, on steroids?

When I lived out in California, in a cabin in the Santa Monica Mountains, I had this big ol' cat. He weighed 20 pounds, was a big boy, but he was confined to the house as the coyotes were bigger.

One night I was snoring away when I heard a huge thud in the next room, loud enough to wake me, which means it must have had the decibel level of a Mark 84 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_84_bomb). The cat was no longer sleeping on the bed, so I sneaked to bedroom door and peeked. There was the cat, standing on his back feet as tall as possible, plastered to the picture window like Wile E. Coyote when he runs into a wall. Directly on the other side of the window was rat -- a BIG RAT. It was also standing on its back legs, against the window, with its nose plastered to the glass directly opposite the cat's nose. Literally a nose-to-nose face off, and that rat was every bit as long as the cat. Seemed skinnier than the cat, but holy moly! The cat backed up about a foot, and launched himself right into the glass, THUD!, directly at the rat. He wanted that rat bad.

I got two rat traps, baited them, and put them out in this little greenhouse room that was on the other side of the bedroom, attached to the house, with french doors in between. I also put some regular mouse traps out there too, because there was evidence the little ones were running around in there.

That night, the cat and I settled in, were sleeping pretty well, when SNAP! We both shot bolt upright, it was probably hiliarious to see. We dashed to the french doors and I flicked on the mag light. There was a huge rat laying on the floor. The cat was going crazy trying to get thru the door. I decided to wait until morning, in case Mr. Rat had some buddies back in the shadows waiting in ambush. I had a Model 19, but didn't figure sending off rounds inside a greenhouse was wise.

Next morning I secured the cat in another room, then went out to count coup. There was this huge rat laying there -- with his (her?) toes of one front paw in a MOUSE trap. To put it mildly, I was confused. How did a mouse trap kill a Schwarzenegger-sized rat by the toe? I can only assume that somehow the surprise killed it. About that time there was another thud on the french door -- Mr. Cat had escaped the other room and wanted a piece of that rat. He was very disappointed when I took it outside and tossed it over the hill.

Two nights later I bagged another rat in one of the rat traps -- and it was every bit as big as the first one. That seemed to end the rat problem. Never did get rid of all the mice, tho the cat kept them out of the house proper.

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Old 10-02-2007, 03:42 PM   #6
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Location: Wabash IN
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When I was younger a friend and I used air rifles to bag squirrel in town. This was strictly pest control as I'd never eat a garbage-fed tree rat.

Later I found out it was illegal, and we stopped. It was fun while it lasted though, and we never did hit anything we didn't intend to. No windows put out over the course of a couple years etc - we always checked our backstops.

I found a bunch of small mice in the barn once under a piece of siding that was laying flat. I had my .22 rifle on me but I found out that jumping on the siding was more effective: They'd run and ol' Shep, my constant companion as a teen, would grab one and bring it, alive and uninjured, to me. She was a better retriever than the Chocolate Lab and two Black Labs my family has owned since, and even better than the Golden that we had at the same time we had her.

Good times...

Josh <><
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Old 12-27-2014, 12:06 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: Greensboro, NC
Posts: 22
Old thread.....sorry.

Largest caliber used on mice/rats was my SA Longslide 45acp with my 255gr +P bowling pin loads in it. I was in my shed reloading when a large wharf rat popped through the chain link fence. Neighbor behind me (where the rat population had been living) had a compost pile approx 6' long by 4' wide and 3.5' high. It was a rat condo. took almost 1.5 years to clean them all out. Between my longslide (3 rats taken), the .22 (5 rats taken), and the neighbor's combined dog/gun/trap/poison. Last total was 30+ rats. Man I miss the good old days.
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Old 12-13-2019, 02:42 PM   #8
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Great thread! A little late to the party, but I think a guy I knew college used a .22 on squirels, never mice though. I wonder how hard it would be to hit one with like a .357 magnum.
I'm working as a part time driver, and part time blogger, hit me up with any questions.
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