Prostaffer Ian Harford takes you on the hunt for a Red Hartebeest in Africa with the Benjamin Rogue .357 air rifle. Ian, his guide and cameraman close the distance by crawling out of sight of the animal, then taking the shot at 52 yards.
Hit the Woods
I live on over 100 acres in Texas and have been feeding deer the usual corn, but have been having trouble wild wild hogs tearing up the feeding grounds and eating the corn intended for the deer. The hogs are out of control here… The neighboring places hunt them, but the problem with that is that the hogs will “go nocturnal” and not even come out until the wee hours of the morning if you hunt them conventionally.
Recently I excavated a dirt pond close to a windmill in a clearing here, and have got permanent water there, with thick brush all around the windmill. I started feeding the deer there as it’s the perfect setting. Hogs have thrown a kink in the plans though, by stealing all the corn and tearing up the ground where I am feeding. They will also decimate an expensive deer block within a couple of nights.
The bunches of hogs I’m seeing down here range from a few to groups of over 20.
Now with large groups, you will shoot one, and the rest will get an education, so I started setting up in the evenings in an oak thicket and using my Marauder .25 to pick off the hogs… It works great when they come in with enough daylight to be able to pick the angle and the shot you need to place that .25 caliber pellet in their ear, thus anchoring the pig right there. The silent operation of the Marauder doesn’t seem to spook the hogs nearly as bad as a conventional firearm, and the result is that I can can expect the hogs back at the bait area the following evening to present me with another opportunity for a deadly shot.
I’m patient and watchful and have great success with this method. I like the shot to be angling downward, so I hunt standing with my shooting sticks while backed into the shadows under the oak thicket. Several times I have had hogs and deer within 15 yards of me as they are feeding. Some present a shot, and some don’t…But, the one thing that I like about hunting with the Marauder .25 is the fact that when I take the shot I want, the pig will go down right there so I can vacate it from the area. Bowhunting is silent, and effective, but when you shoot a hog with a bow, chances are that the hogs will run, you won’t find it quickly, if at all, and it will either result in destruction or total loss of expensive arrows.
Joshua White lives in north Texas and he knows a thing or two about hogs. He makes a living eradicating them and a gun must be efficient, accurate and Texas-tough enough to take down the big hogs he deals with. That’s the Rogue from Benjamin.
The boars in the photo above were all taken with the Rogue (LtoR): 302 pounds, 267 and 212. Josh uses 158 grain hollow point custom made bullets and has his rifle sighted for 50 yards.
Ready to get your own sledgehammer of an airgun?
Prostaffer Doug Trumpowsky has been hitting the woods in search of squirrels here in New York and offers these tips for early success success:
The best tip to offer is look for the food source. This year at least in the area I have been hunting there are very few acorns so I have been staying around the Hickory trees looks to be a good crop of Hickory nuts.
I have been just staying put, just sitting around the trees that are producing food. I have found more activity later in the day around 4:30 till dusk. With the trees full of leaves you need a good scope like the 3-12 power Center Point Scope and some binoculars. I’ll sit still until I hear the squirrels start dropping husks from eating or leaves moving in the tree tops then start glassing for them, you can usually spot them in the tree tops then take your time and put the crosshairs on your target and press that trigger slowly.
Doug likes to hunt as much of the season as possible and used the summer to get his Marauder .25 caliber for when the snow flies. “Squirrels will be easier to spot when there’s snow on the ground and fewer leaves in the trees. Unfortunately I will be too so I put this snow camo on my air rifle to give myself a little bit of an advantage.”
Steve Holden (pictured above) and James Wagner of Veteran Predator Hunters have sent word that they have a coyote down on video and we can’t wait to bring it to you! Steve explains how it went down:
“We were settling in for our second setup of the evening calling predators. We were in position for about 2-3 minutes when a coyote came in from behind a sand dune near El Paso, Texas and was staring at our decoy. He was about 40 yards away when I shot him with the .25 caliber Marauder. Sweet day!”
Leading up to the predator hunt, Steve, James and friends got some trigger time with the Marauder by limiting out on pigeons and squirrels.
Thanks to Redd Bordelon for granting permission to reprint his post from the Adventures in Airguns forum. Notes from Redd: “The P-rod is still stock and does the job extremely well. I spent a single session at the range a couple days before to get the pellet selected for the hunt, filled her the night before to 2700 PSI and took her out the next morning to cut her loose. I am very pleased….”
Our first cool front on the Gulf Coast, a new airgun & a service call for my business halfway to my squirreling honey hole; can you guess why I woke up at 4:30 this morning?
Hunting this old chicken coop surrounded by pecan trees is almost cheating. While feeding they drop the cuttings on the tin roof which gives away their position high above in the canopy.
I arrived a bit late, maybe 15 minutes after daybreak. It mattered little. After spooking 3 treedogs upon entering my favorite spot, the action hardly wavered. Another 3 or 4 continued feeding while a different pair played tag. It was my first hunt with the new P-rod so I was a bit unsure of headshots. The first two dropped dead from a lethal dose of Kodiak Hunter HP 18 grainers. I couldn’t miss. Now it was time for headshots. Line up, squeeze, oops, I did miss and that wouldn’t be the last. After right at 45 minutes, I decided to scoop up the bodies. I picked up a clean half dozen & lost a 7th on a knockdown that wasn’t a very good hit.
I debated leaving after calling the hunt a success & being pleased with the stock P-rod’s deadly reign of terror. The day was just too nice, so I decided to walk the pecan orchard & look for cuttings instead.
I didn’t get more than 80 yards or so before a fifty yard shot presented itself. I took a supported, holdover, fling of lead & got a knockdown, but it became the second escapee of the day. Drat, I rushed that one…
After getting to the back of the property, I scanned the territory & realized that there were no less than 15 greys, scattered about the property in all directions. They weren’t just feeding, they were frolicking. I didn’t know which way to go, so I just stared in amazement until a young frolicker hopped carelessly & treed itself about 35 yards away. As it began to feed, I pulled off a slight holdover Hunter HP right to the noggin. Within 5 minutes, a second fuzzytail, climbed the same tree, ignoring his compadre taking a dirt nap right next to the trunk. Big mistake as the P-rod had that distance already mapped; lead launched. Session 2, pickup 2 was at hand. I thought about skipping work & staying the rest of the day. Life was glorious at this point. I decided to stalk the hundred yards or so, where I was seeing others play. While creeping along, I sent at least 4 greys on the ground back to the deep cover of the woods just outside of the orchard. I still had one treed, right under 40 yards. I tooted an excited bark on my call & the hider exposed herself. Bad move! The 18 grainer reached out & did a smack-down. The noise from the grounding “bonk”, awakened 2 more in the same tree. I sent 2 more lead pills in their direction and dropped both to the ground, but lost my third of the morning. This produced pickup 3 & 4 of the second session.
At this point it was about 9:30 and I figured that I might as well go to work. It was really hard to leave but my job pays for my hobby so there it is.
Overall the little otb P-rod is more than enough for 50 yard & less, squirreling. I must say that the MikeTKO extension works extremely well & does not give away your postion “AT ALL”. I will say that this is the first time that I have ever used a Crosman carbine stock and it is definitely the last. I didn’t like floating my face, in a vicinity, instead of a cheekwell placement.
Perfect weather, an extremely easy to carry, accurate rifle & squirrels galore; today was like a dream, but you know what, it wasn’t a dream. It was so real that it may be hard to beat for the rest of the season, but I’m sure gonna try…
The scorecard plays out like this:
Total Knockdowns 13
Total Picked Up Greys 10
Total Lost 03
Total Lead Dispensed 20
Second Shot Needed 03
Clean Misses 04
Inside Outdoors TV takes the Benjamin Marauder .25 caliber air rifle hog hunting in Oklahoma.
I’ve been living and hunting in Indiana for about ten years now, and have spent a lot of time in the field not only hunting, but fishing, mountain biking, kyaking, and generally rambling around. But not only have I never seen a ground squirrel here, I never heard anybody mention them. So when my frequent hunting buddy Brian Beck called and asked if I wanted to do a pest control shoot for ground squirrels I was all over it.
Going online to do a bit of background work, I found that there were two species of ground squirrel in the state, the Frankiln Ground Squirrel which has limited distribution and is protected, and the thirteen lined ground squirrel, which has a fairly wide distribution and is a pest species that can be taken anywhere at anytime. There was a big popuation at a local sport field that had been digging holes all over, and Brian had gotten us cleared with local law enforcement to shoot them with airguns. We pitched up on a very hot morning around 10:00 am, and found these little rodents runing all over the field. There were a few mounds with squirrels sitting on their haunches prairie dog style, but for the most part the holes were dug into the ground without a mound, and you couldn’t see them until almost stepping in to one. Often the squirrels would move while staying very low to the ground. They were popping up and down, Brian said it looked like one of those arcade games where you have to bop the weasel.
The gun I selected for the day was the .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder with a Niko Sterling scope, using JSB King round-nose pellets. I opted for this gun because it was one of the quieter rifles I had and it was dialed in and ready to go. Next time I’ll probably take a .177 for the flatter shooting characteristics. These animals are much smaller than prairie dogs, but the shots were usually closer as well, in the 30-60 yard range.
These are strikingly marked ground squirrels when compareed to the gray digger I grew up hunting in California, but it’s amazing how well they blend in. They are very hard to spot when holding still.
We were shooting from whatever position was available, standing, sitting, prone, and using whatever support was handy. I didn’t have a bipod on my gun but will next time. Between the two of us we culled several squirrels within a couple hours, which was good because the temperature had climbed to over a hundred degrees by noon, and we gave out before these striped gophers had.
This was a real find, I’ve been traveling out west to shoot prairie dogs and ground squirrels, never realizing that I could be in some great varminting territory and hour or two from home!
We also did a local service clearing these pests from an area where they were creating a real hazard. As we started asking around we have been finding that there are several farmers in the area that are experiencing crop damage that would like us to shoot them out…. we just need to find the best way to do it in wide open fields.
Ian Harford, an international hunter, marksman and outdoor writer based in the UK, recently brought the Rogue along on safari in south Africa to prove its mettle. Along with an SCI recordbook Mountain Reedbuck, Harford took this Red Hartebeest at 52yards using the 145-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip air bullet.
The shot penetrated two ribs and the bullet (pictured, right) was recovered in the offside skin.
Harford shows the impressive damage that made this a quick kill.
The Benjamin Rogue is headed for the record books. Not the dustpile of projects past, but the world record book of Safari Club International, one of the most respected organizations for international hunters and big game records. On a spot and stalk hunt in South Africa, international hunter, marksman and outdoor writer Ian Harford of the UK took a mountain reedbuck that qualifies as an SCI Bronze level record. “We stalked in and I shot freehanded at 70 yards. The Nosler Ballistic Tip passed straight through, causing massive trauma on the way,” said Harford.
The hunt wasn’t over. Harford also proved the Rogue’s worth on a warthog and a beautiful trophy impala.
Look for more from Ian this week.
In 2011, prostaffer Terry Tate invited Terry Neumaster to Texas for a hunt with the Benjamin Rogue .357 and after a morning of clearing beavers from a stock tank, the pair sought out this ram. This non-native species had been let loose from an exotic ranch. With a single shot at 52 yards, Terry and the Rogue made quick work of the sheep using the 145-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullets.
John Klosenski manages the gun shop of Kittery Trading Post in Kittery, Maine. He is an avid airgunner and member of the Benjamin Prostaff. This article appeared in Varmint Hunter magazine.
It all started when I stopped by a local farm where I usually shoot a few pigeons and starlings with the air gun in the off-season.
Duck season had just closed, deer season was over and the only thing worth hunting was coyotes, or the odd pigeon or two at the neighboring farms. I often take my lab over to the farms to give her some exercise retrieving pigeons that I shoot off the top of the silos with my air gun.
The owner of the farm Rick saw me one morning and said; “I may have something you might be interested in. I have been having problems with crows pecking holes in the plastic on the ground silos and water is getting in causing the hay to rot. I called the state but they didn’t get back to me yet.”
Well I told him that I was an ADC (Animal Damage Control) agent for the state and I would contact the local warden to see what could be done. A call to the warden got me a depredation permit (as crow season was closed), and we were good to go.
Usually I hunt crows like most people with a call, decoys and a shotgun. This time I decided to try using the Marauder, as there were a large number of birds next to the house and barn. They didn’t seem to mind people walking around as the farm hands were always out and about and they pretty much had free range of the place. I figured with the low noise I could probably get a couple before the rest got wise to my shooting.
I got my rifle, which I had also equipped with my camera, since I like to record the action. Earlier this summer I had been at the farm shooting pigeons with a crew from Crosman, trying out the new Marauder pistol, so the farmer was familiar with my equipment. In this case, I would be using two Marauder rifles, .22 and .25 caliber.
I parked the truck and slipped around back by the silo. There were a number of crows in the edge of the cut cornfield. A quick check of the distance with my Bushnell laser range finder told me that the first one was 47 yards. I zoomed thecamera in, hit the record button and pulled the trigger. I could hear the “smack” as the pellet struck home. The crow flew about 20 yards, then dropped dead in the field. The rest of his “buddies” started calling and circling and two other landed a little further out. I ranged to the closest one, which was 70 yards. At three mil dots down on my scope, and with no wind blowing, I held right on and fired again. This time the bird flopped over and got up skittering on the ground. The rest of the birds now flew over to some trees about 120 yards away. I got my black lab Abby out of the truck and sent her for the cripple.
Now, I know a lot of people do not use a dog for retrieving crows. They bite and could peck a dog’s eye. When I first started taking Abby, I had shot a crow that hit the ground next to me and was still alive and when I picked it up. She ran right over to it to give it a sniff and the crow latched onto her nose. She never forgot that and ever since then, she would come around from behind and grab them from the backside making sure she stayed away from the pointy end. This was over ten years ago and she pretty much has them figured out.
Well as I said, I opened the door to the truck and sent her for the cripple, which she caught easily. I finished him with another shot and started walking slowly towards the other crows in the trees.
In past hunting experiences, crows don’t hang around much after there is gunfire. This was not the case here. They sat in the trees and let me get within 60 yards or so. I sat down and fired again shooting low this time. The bird flew up a couple more branches and landed again. This time I held higher and in the sunlight I could see the pellet connect. He went right down and the rest of the birds left.
I worked my way back around the barn figuring I would stack them up like chord wood, but alas, four more shots only resulted in one more crow. One even let me get three shots off before leaving. It wasn’t until I reviewed the tape that I could see in slow motion that my shots were going high.
In the coming weeks I returned to the farm several times early in the morning watching for birds that were close to the house. They seemed less interested in my slinking around the barn and poking out for a shot. There was one particularly good vantage point behind the barn with a cement retaining wall that concealed me until I could ease around the corner. Distance was about 55 yards, which I found to be very doable.
I was having so much fun shooting with the air gun that I forgot that Rick really wanted the numbers diminished. Another fellow with a shotgun was hunting the same area, and on several occasions, I would see his truck parked out back with his decoys. I could hear his electronic call going but even though he was only 150 yards from barnyard, the crows would still ignore his calling and be walking around in the edge of the field and in the back yard. As a matter of fact, I shot three one morning with the Marauder while he was out back with the call going.
One morning I was getting ready to leave and spotted a crow in a tree in the front yard. I slipped down next to the house and rested the stock on the side of the house. Holding a little high, as the distance was 65 yards I took a shot.
At the muffled “putt,” I saw the crow drop and zoomed in on him with the camera and then back out to where I was standing all the while narrating to the tape. I turned and saw Rick standing behind me. He asked, “ That air gun really reached out there, what kind is it? My son has been checking out a Marauder online and thinks he wants to get one”. I said “Well check it out, this is a Marauder”. We discussed the gun a little, then asked if he could have the crow I just shot. I said sure and he walked down to retrieve the bird. When he got back, he held the crow out and said, “This is the only good crow, a dead one. I hate these things.”
He put the crow up near the silo as a warning to the other birds. I don’t really think it worked as they still were hanging out there in there weeks later.
I did give Rick a DVD that I made from the shots on crows, with a few pigeons thrown in for good measure, hunting with the Marauder.
I shoot with two Marauders. One is a .22 cal. the other is a .25. As for the effectiveness I don’t think there is much difference. On real windy days, I will take the .25 as the pellets are heavier and buck the wind a bit better. Accuracy is the same and the .22 is a bit quieter, which comes in handy with follow up shots. The .25 does have a serious amount of punch and will easily shoot through a crow at 70 yards. You get a few less shots with the larger bore before you have to re-fill the gun. I usually do not bring my scuba tank or hand pump as most of my hunting results in less than 30 shots per outing. When the gun is sighted in it makes for a good morning’s shoot as most shots connect, if I do my part.
I have experimented with a number of pellets, chronographed each and tuned both guns to my liking. I have the .25 turned all the way up which gives me about 841fps, with a 31 grain Kodiak pellet. I shoot the 21grain Kodiaks in the .22 caliber for most applications, but the Crosman Premier pellets also shoot exceptionally well. On a calm day, either gun will shoot into an inch at 50 yards, with plenty of punch for crows or pigeons.
I have the .25 caliber cranked up as I am hoping one day to get a coyote on tape. I think if the distance is close enough the gun has enough power to take a coyote but thus far, the coyotes haven’t cooperated by showing themselves. Time will tell.
If you are interested in some fun varmint hunting with a “low noise” impact, give the Marauder a try. The guns are an outstanding value compared to some of the higher priced PCP guns. Crosman has really made an effort to get into the “Hunting Air Gun” market with good products, information and videos on their web page. Check out
Good hunting …John “K”
Bill Karr, Editor of Western Outdoor News, NorCal, was hunting with his Benjamin Trail Nitro Piston .22 caliber air rifle in Eldorado County, California on April 6.
I’ve had a blind set up on a 40-acre piece of oak savannah on a hilltop, and there were turkeys in the area that I had seen. I noticed there wasn’t much early morning activity, so I settled into the blind about 11:00 a.m. on one of the few nice, clear days that we’ve been having lately. I was using an HS Strut Ring Zone slate call, when this nice gobbler came up in full strut! He was attracted by my hen and jake decoys, and when he stopped one of his struts and held his head up, one shot from this super-accurate gun to the head dropped him. It was my first turkey this year, and the second I have taken with the Benjamin Trail. I don’t even want to hunt with shotguns anymore – the challenge of hunting with an airgun is just too hard to pass up.
The gobbler had a 9-inch beard and 1-inch spurs.
Sam Wood is back with another story from the Wisonsin woods!
This has been a crazy year as far as the weather in Wisconsin. We have had very little snow and very mild temps. Usually we are still covered in snow and going stir crazy due to the lack of hunting seasons but not this year. This year with the temps in the high 70’s, green grass instead of snow and the trees budding so early there is an abundance of great airgun hunting opportunities. One opportunity that I really get excited about are porcupines!
The way porcupine are hunted is perfect for using an airgun and I was pumped for the chance to harvest one with my .25 caliber Benjamin Marauder and for the chance to add another critter to my growing list of airgun trophies.
The way we decided to hunt was to drive around fire lanes and logging roads of Northern Wisconsin looking for Jack Pines that had the bark chewed off (porcupines will spend the winter in Jack Pines chewing the bark). Large areas that have been chewed are easy to spot. Once a chew area has been spotted we walk around the area searching the treetops for the tree killing culprit. Most times the porcupine has moved on but we were lucky and found a large porcupine not far from the second large chew area we had searched. He was perched very high in an oak tree enjoying the buds that were emerging very early this year. After one clean shot to the head he came tumbling down and when I walked over I realized I had taken a black colored Porcupine. Although a black Porcupine is not extremly rare it is also not all that common either. Needless to say I was pretty excited and I knew this one was going on the wall. The rest of the day was spent searching many more areas but coming up empty handed.
Day two started off much the same way as the first with locating another porcupine very early and again the Marauder did its job and brought him down with one shot. With two porcupines in the bag we decided to end the trip and headed home early to clean them and enjoy a fried porcupine lunch.
Porcupines are great table fare with very tender meat and there is a strong market for the long guard hairs and the quills.
Airgun Hunter BRIAN BECK is an expert on coyote, and used the Benjamin Rogue .357 to drop a nice late winter song dog on his first day hunting with the rifle!
I was talking to Brian Beck, one of my local hunting buddies up here in Central Indiana a couple days ago and was telling him that I had pile of guns to work through and not enough time in a schedule that was getting very busy….. didn’t get any sympathy but he did volunteer to take my rifle and do some of the shooting to help out.
For those that are familiar with my writing, you probably know that Brian and I have often hunted varmint and predators over the last couple or three seasons, and I consider him one of the most successful airgun hunters for coyote in the country. He competes in open competitions with an airgun, and wins, which is pretty mind blowing when you consider that guys with high power centerfires are reaching out 300 yards or more.!
I was getting ready to fly out to Germany for a week, and he was going to do the last predator hunt in our area for the season, before heading down to Mexico. I asked if he’d be willing to use my Rogue for the competition, then ship it out to Texas for me to use at LASSO on my return Stateside. He said yes, and as we live couple hours apart we decided to meet in a little town about midway between for lunch and to hand off the rifle.
On the way I got a call from Brian telling me he was going to be late, as he’d been pulled over for speeding, then was left sitting at the roadside as the cop took off after another (worst) speeder carrying Brian’s license and registration with him. The cop eventually came back and returned the documents he’d run off with, and Brian was allowed to go on his way where we met up at this small town diner straight out of the Andy Griffith show. We ate, talked about a couple of big bores we’d each been shooting, then walked out and transferred the rifle from my vehicle to his before heading off in opposite directions.
I’d given Brian my Rogue along with a supply of the 145 grain Nosler Ballistic Tip eXTREME bulles. I had the gun sighted in at 75 yards (see side bar), and asked if he wouldn’t mind after the contest, re-sighting at 200 yards before shipping it down to Terry Tate’s farm in Texas, which would be the site of the 2012 LASSO.
The next morning I was sitting at my desk working my way through a schedule of conference calls and research data when the phone rang. It was Brian, and he said” what are you doing?”, so I told him and asked “how about you”? After a brief pause he said “just loading this coyote I shot with the Rogue into the back of the truck”. I asked for the details while thinking, “man he hasn’t even had the gun for 24 hours!!
He told me that he and his dad got up and headed out early that morning, and as they drove along spotted a coyote way out across a field trotting along. The winter in our neck of the woods has been very mild, and the coyote have been more nocturnal than normal, but you still can catch them moving early dawn. They pulled over and hiked out to a fence line where they settled in. After waiting a few minutes, Brian switched on his FoxPro Fury and started up with some howls. The coyote came back out into view, and started down the fence line in their direction, hanging up at about 200 yards. After the pause he started moving in again, coming to about 100 yards and before sitting down.
At this point Brian hit the whimper, and the dog started back in, pausing at about 65 yards where he offered up the shot and Brian took it. The Rogue was set at high, and the 145 grain bullet hit the coyote exactly where he’d placed the crosshair, smacking into the right shoulder and dropping the dog on the spot. The bullet passed through, and Brian told me the dog didn’t go anywhere, just dropped.
So on the upside, in less than a day with my rifle he’d nailed a nice coyote. On the downside, it was the day before the contest so this dog was not going to count ….. but maybe it was a good omen for the coming days! The competition is Friday afternoon through Sunday night, so he could get several more opportunities if all the stars line up and the weather cooperates!