The mission was simple: footage of the new Benjamin® Rogue™ .357 taking a coyote.
The plan: hook up with Dan Goodenow of Jim Shockey’s The Professionals in west Texas and outfitter Desert Safaris for a predator hunt.
The result: the promise of the Rogue as a versatile, high-performance air rifle was proven, as it was beaten, bounced, dusted and put through the paces of rigorous hunting in the extreme desert climate. While the coyotes didn’t make a showing, plenty of grey fox and jackrabbits offered ample opportunity for the Rogue and Benjamin Marauder .25.
Prostaffers Chip Hunnicutt and Ed Schultz joined Goodenow, VP Sales and Outfitting for Jim Shockey, in El Paso, Texas for the four hour drive to Leoncita Ranch. Known for world-class mule deer and aoudad rams, hunting the 109,000 acre ranch is a challenge and complicating efforts was a massive wildfire bearing down on the ranch. Just a few days prior to the hunt, the fire destroyed half the town of Fort Davis, just fifteen miles from where we would be hunting. It wasn’t until the final day of the hunt that the winds died from their 45mph peaks to allow the smoke to clear and extend the range of our FoxPro predator call.
Ed Schultz, Director of Engineering for Crosman, was first up with the Rogue. A poll posted to Crosman’s Facebook page showed that 55% of fans who voted thought Ed would be first on the board with either a coyote or feral hog. Our first predator action would come later in the day, while the morning saw Ed bag a jackrabbit at 40 yards. Several more jackrabbits were taken that first morning as the group set up in a variety of locations for coyotes with no luck.
After the first full day of hunting the advantages of the Rogue over other big bores were evident:
- The fully shrouded barrel is so effective at suppressing sound that none of the foxes raining down from the hills had any idea they were being picked off. ”The Rogue is louder than a Marauder but it should be – it’s pushing more air to drive a larger caliber. But compared to a centerfire, which is what these game are accustomed to hearing, well, there is no comparison,” said Hunnicutt.
- The electronics hold up in hunt camp. Both guns were beaten up as we banged along the dirt roads and coated in dust from the dry desert and it remained ready to go at all times. Crosman engineers know folks like to hunt predators at night so when the shooter presses the up and down buttons at the same time, the EPiC panel is backlit for night time operation.
- The combination of the eVALVE™ and 6-shot clip meant no lost opportunities. “We were able to take multiple targets at ranges varying from 15 yards to 100, even when the air reservoir’s psi was below 2000,” said Hunnicutt.
The Marauder .25 proved its place among Benjamin’s lineup of hunting air rifles with scores on jackrabbits and foxes as well. ”The stealth and power of the Marauder is perfect for predator hunting,” said Schultz. “The versatility and power management that the Rogue brings to the sport is unmatched among big bores and once shooters get it in their hands and take it to the field themselves, only then will they realize how big those differences truly are.”
The trip was being filmed for segments appearing on Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures later this year.