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Thread: Shooting rats at Night

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    Small Talker rjmccannuk's Avatar
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    Default Shooting rats at Night

    Hello all, I'm currently shooting a .22 air rifle which I bought mainly for pinging rats around our property. Having shot quite a few with this set up during the day, I'm noticing an increasing shyness of the rats to show during daylight hours, but I know there are still loads around. As such I'm considering how to tackle them during darkness and wondering about some night vision. I'm wondering if you have any thoughts/advice on what I would need, eg;
    -Night Vision rifle scope?
    -Night vision googles?

    Or would I be better just mounting a powerful torch on top of the rifle and/or using a lamping kit?

    I dont really do any other hunting but am committed to taking out these flippin rats! Any input gratefully received!

    cheers
    Russ

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    Faithful Poster cal 7888's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    just mount a torch on to or have a lamp with you do you realise how much night vision is its about £2000 for a scope and thats the cheapest and about £1000 for gogles!

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    Small Talker rjmccannuk's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    Ta. Just spoke to one of the gun shops, they reckon stick something like a Hawke stinger on top of the scope with red filter and get a scope with illumintaed cross-hairs.

    Could do all that for under a hundred quid, so that might be the way forward unless anyone has better ideas?

    cheers

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    Faithful Poster Greylag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by rjmccannuk
    Ta. Just spoke to one of the gun shops, they reckon stick something like a Hawke stinger on top of the scope with red filter and get a scope with illumintaed cross-hairs.

    Could do all that for under a hundred quid, so that might be the way forward unless anyone has better ideas?

    cheers
    Hey up RJM,

    Look on flea bay or the for sale section on the airgun forums such as this one, airgunBBS, BSA Owners Group etc you can pick a generation 1 NV scope up for around £150.00 upwards sometimes the odd one will go for less. There's one just sold on the airgunBBS forum for £150.00 a Yukon add on set up. I'm using a Yukon set up at the moment and they're well recommended although not the best, they're good enough for airgun ranges.

    Regards
    Dave "Wildfowlers do it in the mud"

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    Faithful Poster Greylag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    Hey up Russ,

    I depends on how cheaply you want to do the rats a lamp with red filter will work but eventually they get shy of lamps. You must have a considerable number of rats as they are in the main nocturnal, appearances in the day time means normally that you're well over run with them. If you still want to consider a night vision scope try the well known auction site item numbers 150361556333 (£150, no bids, £20 p&p) & 250470576765 (£160, no bids, £10 p&p) They may well go a lot higher but sometimes you're lucky and get them at a bargain price.

    Regards
    Dave "Wildfowlers do it in the mud"

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    Veteran Poster baldycoot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    If you are only shooting in one place then you could try putting a light up to show your bait, then wait for them.

    I sometimes use a solar powered garden light, mounted high on a stick, for night shooting bunnies, and they are bright enough to see anything for a good two metre circle without any other night vision kit.
    If you put it out early enough they have no fear of it.
    Baldy

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    First Post purplesunrise's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    Thanks for the comment bigbird. I couldn’t agree more. A little helpful information never hurt anybody!

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    Small Talker rjmccannuk's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Shooting rats at Night

    Quote Originally Posted by Greylag
    Hey up Russ,

    I depends on how cheaply you want to do the rats a lamp with red filter will work but eventually they get shy of lamps. You must have a considerable number of rats as they are in the main nocturnal, appearances in the day time means normally that you're well over run with them. If you still want to consider a night vision scope try the well known auction site item numbers 150361556333 (£150, no bids, £20 p&p) & 250470576765 (£160, no bids, £10 p&p) They may well go a lot higher but sometimes you're lucky and get them at a bargain price.

    Regards
    Thanks for this info, very helpful. And prompted me to provide some further information to the thread which may be helpful in resolving.

    You are spot-on, I believe there are loads of them around too. I live on what used to be a farmhouse, and next door is a farm of sorts with chickens (grain=food) and some old barns (shelter), which inevitably means rats. The fella next door on the farm has tried all sorts to get rid of them including professional pest control, poisoning, traps of all kind and shooting (the pest controller said as long as the chickens and grain are around, he will never be able to eliminate the rats).

    The rats tend to be too smart for all the traps (we've tried cage, big cheese snap-trap, traditional, electricutor etc with a range of baits from peanut butter to chocolate to bread), so shooting them is the one way that seems to produce results (when you get a sighting and enough time to react). You can sight them every day in the chicken runs (mostly running around in ones two's and three's eating grain), and they often appear at similar times during the day to feed on the grain that's been thrown for the chickens, and especially when there's no-one around.

    Last night we set out some torches on a low light setting and left loads of smelly food around as bait in the area, trying two runs which always have activity during the day. Surprisingly there was not a single sighting of a rat, although I did shoot a rabbit (which this morning had its head missing, presumably the work of our hairy foes!).

    So I'm not too sure where to go from here. I''ll be able to ping the odd one or two during daytime hours, but not sure how to get at them in bigger numbers to dent their population. The story continues! I really welcome any further input from the seasoned pro's out there. Thanks again.

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    Faithful Poster Greylag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    Hey up RJM,

    "Last night we set out some torches on a low light setting and left loads of smelly food around as bait in the area, trying two runs which always have activity during the day."

    Reading the above you may be better looking for the shed or area where they feed rather than on a run. Runs are like roadways between feeding areas and they usually tend to go straight to where the food is. Try putting a bait station out (simply one fixed position where you keep putting bait) if possible try to find one where there is a brightish area or somewhere near to a lit building. Restrict the bait to one or two types rather than lots of different ones at once, mashed dog or cat food is a good bait, make sure whatever bait you use the rats can't pick it up and run off with it. Put your bait down in one or two areas only where you are going to shoot. Bait the area for a few days to get them used to it, then set up using a dim lamp as before and see what happens.

    "Surprisingly there was not a single sighting of a rat, although I did shoot a rabbit (which this morning had its head missing, presumably the work of our hairy foes!)"

    Quite possibly a fox that took the head from the rabbit. Foxes will often bite the head off their prey before eating the soft parts.

    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Dave "Wildfowlers do it in the mud"

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    Faithful Poster Greylag's Avatar
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    Default Re: Shooting rats at Night

    Hey up RJM,

    One tip I forgot to add. Lift the light beam above your baited area if possible so that you can see the rats clearly but they are in the dim area of the light. This tends to give them a sense of security for some reason probably due to the fact they like the dark being nocturnal. If the rats are feeding near to or in light where you can see them at all use the light already there rather than adding more.

    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Dave "Wildfowlers do it in the mud"

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