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Learning experience with an opossum and pellet rifles

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carltonh:
This could have been posted in quite a few different forms and it was hard to guess where best to put it, but here it is.

My wife heard the chickens bawking at 1 am and went to check on them, and found an opossum in the chicken coop on a nest, explaining a string of broken eggs.  This is in a quiet suburb and we decided even the 22 rifle would be too loud.  We thought about trying the live trap, but had never had success with that so decided on pellet guns.

Being in our coop, this was a simple 6 foot shot.  My wife and I simultaneously fired pellets into its head, and it appeared blood was gushing out of its brain or at least its head.  It stopped moving after 15 seconds.  I added another pellet to its head to try to make sure it was a clean kill.  It didn't react to that.  Then my wife said, "I hope it wasn't a mommy." And that set her off bawling for 30 minutes.  I wasn't expecting my wife's reaction. She previously killed a rat with a pellet gun and was happy with that.

Anyway since I ended up comforting my wife for 30 minutes, I decided to just bag it up in the morning. We had no intention of eating it and tend to avoid non-kosher foods, even pork, anyway.

Well, opossums not only play dead, but can play dying and seemingly seconds from death and not respond to a finishing pellet shot, as it was gone in the morning, and so apparently not dead.

I guess my lesson is that I should not trust a pellet gun, even a high powered break barrel one and a 10 pump pellet/BB combo rifle.  need to actually try my Aguila brand "sniper subsonic" ammo in my 22 rifle to see how quiet it is.  I had so far only tried it in pistols where it isn't much quieter than standard ammo, but that was a 2.5" barrel Baretta.

Additionally, I have since read a fact sheet that says heart and lung shots are preferred because they have small brains and thick skulls.  Oops.

I hope the opossum wandered off and still died soon, but at the least, I hope it doesn't return to steal chicken eggs.

So are there additional lessons I should learn?  I'm listening.

I'm also not as certain I should still get my wife a Glock and a concealed handgun license, given her reaction to the opossum.  I probably still will, because shooting a human in self defense of yourself or your kids should be easier than shooting a nuisance animal.  At least I hope so. And she didn't have a problem with doing it till afterward anyway.

Another thing, if I shoot a 22, I might risk getting my chickens taken away as they aren't technically allowed in my city.  Sort of a don't ask, don't tell.  Some neighbors have some too at least.  I don't really want to get a suppressor and pay for the Class 3 license and be put on the NFA registry.

Any thought or advice?

Crusher13:
I agree with the heart and lung shot. I think animals do have thick skulls and head shots will bleed alot becasue of all the blood vessels so close to the surface.

As far as using a 22. I have thought about this at my house too. Never had the need to but if you are confident of the backstop and no one can see you I wouldn't worry about the noise to much. If it is one shot most people will not notice it or if they do just explain it away and not do anything. Do you call authorities about every loud bang you hear? If you do what do you tell them. I think I heard a gunshot? Where at maam? Around my house somewhere?

Last the CCW permit. Yes shooting someone in self defence should be easier than an animal but the phycological trauma could be immense. I think it would take a toll on anyone to take another humans life no matter how big a scum bag. You can always get the permit it doesn't mean she has to carry. My personal opinion is don't carry if you aren't positive  you would use the weapon or else you are just carrying around a potential weapon for the bad guy that may not be there in the first place.

donaldj:
This close to 4th of July, just pop off a whole clip. They'll be dismissed as firecrackers.   ;D

ZenGunFighter:
Try the .22 Colibres from Aguila. they look like a normal .22LR but are a 20gr bullet just powered by the primer. Very quiet out of a rifle. Prolly quieter than your air guns.

I'd still go with the heart shot. Craniums are tough and curved. Unless you go into a prexisting hole, your bullets are probably going to not penetrate.

ZenGunFighter:

--- Quote from: donaldj on July 01, 2010, 09:13:35 AM ---This close to 4th of July, just pop off a whole clip. They'll be dismissed as firecrackers.   ;D

--- End quote ---

the '4th' of July is just a date on a calender.
Independence Day is a Holiday

Sorry for being :offtopic:

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