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Secrets of Airgun Deer Hunting

Thousands of airgunners are getting ready for the most-exciting and anticipated time of the year - deer season.

But suppose you’re new to the world of hunting with a PCP airgun like an Umarex Hammer? What do you need to know before your first season hunting big game with air?

The Basics of Deer Hunting

Everything you’ve learned while hunting with a conventional firearm, bow or muzzleloader still applies when hunting with air. 

Check your local game & fish regulations. Scout the area you plan to hunt beforehand. Wear good camo (and blaze orange if required) and control your scent so the deer aren’t alerted to your presence. Practice gun safety and trigger discipline. Never shoot blind at an animal obscured by brush. Make sure you know what’s behind the deer before you pull the trigger - in case of a miss or pass through. 

Shot Range

At the range, before you go hunting, you’ll need to work out your “dope” on how your shots perform at different ranges. You need to know where a 320-grain slug hits at 100 yards versus where a 250-grain hits at 75 yards. 

While the Umarex Hammer is capable of making 300-yard shots in steel challenge events, you don’t want to stretch it out that far when a whitetail or feral hog comes into view. At the most, you should limit shots to 100 yards or less. We find 75-80 yards is kind of the sweet spot in that you’re far enough away to not be noticed by the game animal, but close enough that you’re still delivering a solid, lethal impact with a .50-caliber slug.

Air Supply

Sorting out how you’ll fill your rifle’s tank is what’s called the “barrier to airguns” in our world. You need a high-pressure air compressor - “high-pressure” being the key. The compressor you keep around to air up basketballs and truck tires doesn’t produce enough PSI for a PCP airgun. Neither do the compressors you might use to run pneumatic wrenches or nailguns. 

The Umarex ReadyAir is a great option. You can plug it into a wall outlet at home or it comes with alligator clips so you can run it off a car battery in the field. But it is loud, so make sure your rifle is filled with air before you head to the woods.

You can also buy a SCUBA-style tank and have it filled at a dive shop, then tap off it. If you’re seriously getting into PCP airgunning, you can even rent a 6k tank from a welding supply warehouse. But at 200-pounds they are not very mobile.

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