I love going hunting and to shooting competitions and during the 2017 Rat Wars I was able to do both. At a recent USPSA shooting match at my local gun club, I was able to do a little “hunting” without even knowing until after the fact.
Whether I am helping set up and shoot a match, or I am shooting with my family, I am at the range almost every weekend. Sometimes the grass on the berms can get pretty tall, and you can sometimes hear things move in them. Yeah, it is little creepy because you don’t know what is in there, but you get used to it. One day a groundhog ran across the back of a bay while we were practicing. Another time a rabbit came out and sat in the middle of a stage during a match and we had to chase it away.
So this is where our story begins, one crisp morning my family and I came out to shoot our local USPSA match. We usually get there an hour early to visit and help get people signed in. My Dad, brother, and I loaded our magazines while my Mom helped sign everyone in who had come to shoot the match. Right before we started we had a shooter’s meeting were the match director thanked everyone for coming and asked if there were any questions before we started and then told everyone what squad they were in and were they would start shooting.
Once we got to our stage, we got our squad’s iPad on Practiscore and figured out our shooting order. This was a 2 Gun Match so we had two stages that were just pistol, two stages that were just rifle and two stages that had both. We called up the first shooter and staged the next two shooters so that they would be ready. After running the first shooter through the stage we recorded their time and their hits on the iPad. Then all the shooters taped the targets and reset the steel and for the next shooter. After we run everyone through a stage we reset it and move to the next one.
Everyone on the squad that day knows I have gone rat hunting with Umarex before. Yes, people look at you funny when you tell them that you are going, or have gone rat hunting. We had made it to the rifle and pistol stage of by this point in the match. I had just shot a stage and I was following the range officer around as he scored my targets. When I was walking back to put my rifle back on the rack and reload my magazines someone hollered at me to come back. The range officer was laughing as he picked up a dead rat to show me. After I had shot a steel target, the plate fell and decapitated a rat when it hit the ground. It was pretty cool that I was able to kill a rat at a match, even if unintentional.
Using a pellet gun is a good way to take care of a rat or mouse problem. If you watch American Airgunner you have probably seen people hunting rats with pellet rifles. I know of farmers who use pellet rifles to kill rats as well. I have used a bb gun to kill a mouse that was in my backyard. I think it is a good idea for everyone to have a pellet rifle for pest control because it is very unlikely that I will be killing any more rats at a match, but you never know!
Breanna Noble is a competitive shooter from Arkansas who began shooting matches in 2013. She enjoys reloading ammunition and shooting matches with her family. Breanna is enrolled in marketing studies and hopes to work in the shooting industry. She is currently recording short videos about the features of airguns and actively shooting Steel Challenge, USPSA and Outlaw 2-Gun matches.