The indigenous people of the Rough Creek lowlands have long been at odds with a radical group of bandits in their region, known as The ‘SKRAT (Small Knifetoothed Rabid Aquatic Terrestrials). Many attempts have been made to drive out the hostile invaders, but to no avail. It was only matter of time their conflict would reach a boiling point and outside intervention would be prudent. The time was now, and we were the intervention. 

Planning Phase

Here’s the satellite imagery of the red zone. I was told by our recon team the majority of activity was in the West lake in the SW corner. The activity is most pronounced at daybreak and dusk. The East lake was reported to be barren, lacking any signs of life, and was filled with human excrement. From the land bridge, it was 180 yards across the west lake and 110 yards across the East lake. The plan was to set up on the land bridge to assess and neutralize targets. We could cover more ground this way. If more contacts were made in one particular area, we would reposition.

Equipment 

FX Wildcat .25

Leapers 3-12x

JSB King Heavy 33.9gr

Leupold RX-1 rangefinder

Homemade shooting sticks

Caldwell wind meter

Data…a butt load of data.

Green light

After weeks of waiting, testing, planning and practicing, we finally had a green light.

1-31-2017 0445hrs

Alarm goes off

Many layers of warm clothes are worn to counteract dawn’s cold chill.

Fed dogs.

0545

Arrive at staging area. Link up with othe operative, codename #4sexy.

We parked just below the “street view” man on the map, and followed along the river until arriving in the middle of the land bridge just before sunrise.

Our view of the East lake-110 yards to oposited bank. A beautiful sunrise.

Here’s the West lake-180 yards to opposite bank.

 We readied our equipment at the southernmost point of the land bridge facing southeast and waited for the inevitable contact . No wind, so shots should be easy…in theory.

A flock of geese arrived on the East lake just after we set up. They easily spotted us and took to the sky. Then all hell broke loose. 

“Contact right!” 

I directed my partner to a muskrat merely 15 yards away. Solid “whap” followed by our first ‘SKRAT flopping on the water’s surface. 

We were suddenly overrun. I quickly took aim at a ‘SKRAT across the East lake. 100 yard estimate. I made the correction for elevation- but he was swimming at a high rate of speed! I have never shot at a moving target with an air rifle, much less at such great distance. I held about 1 foot ahead (about the same for wind moving the same speed) and fired. Miss. Merely 1 inch over its head. He dove down. I actuated the side lever for another shot on another SKRAT swimming away from our position. I hurriedly estimated a 60 yard holdover. The pellet impacted 1 inch low, but the 34gr JSB managed to penetrate the water left the muskrat flopping on the surface. 

A muskrat was lurking in the flooded timber 35 yards ahead. It was my partner’s turn. “Whap.” #4sexy doesn’t miss.

20 yards behind #4sexy’s kill was yet another SKRAT outside one of their many compounds in the lake. 55 yards. I held on the nose to compensate for a heart shot. Silent pneumatic detonation. The pellet screamed through the early morning air. “KAH-WHUMP!” The impact sounded like a bomb going off inside the muskrat. 

As quickly as it started, the violence was over. After several minutes of waiting, we decided to walk the West lake. Activity was limited. We flushed a pair on the bank. I took aim at one swimming away at a 45 degree angle at 50 yards. The impact was where his head should have been, but there was no flopping indicating a kill. Perplexed, we called it a day. The Rough Creek Navy was deployed to recover the bodies.

Only 3 were recovered.

This was easily the most fun air rifle hunt I’ve ever been on… besides waking up hella early. There were plenty of shot opportunities. Some shot were easy, some were incredibly challenging. Another interesting aspect is the reactive target environment. You know exactly where you hit because of the water. 

We helped people.

By shooting BB guns at aquatic possums. 

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