So what does the battery dying on my video camera have to do with shooting my FX Monsoon?
Well, ninety nine percent of the time I'm hunting, I have my video camera mounted on the scope of the rifle that I'm hunting with. I do that, so I can shoot video of the shots I take in real time, for use in my blog.
It works great on all of my guns except my FX Monsoon semi-auto. The action cycling on the Monsoon, causes the camera to stop recording for a fraction of a second. So, I get footage of the pre-shot, and the post shot, but not of the pellet impacting the furball. Not very useful, so my Monsoon sort of gets forgotten about.
I discovered a couple of weeks ago, that after almost seven years of use, the rechargeable battery pack on my digicam will no longer take a charge. I'll need to get online and track down a new one, but in the mean time, I figured that this would be a good time to get the Monsoon out for a bit of fun. I've had her for close to six years. I really should hunt her more, video or no video.
It's a fun rifle. The accuracy is the same as many of my better bolt action rifles, but with semi-auto operation, I get fast followup shots without having to take my eye away from the scope.
She takes a 12 round, self indexing, rotary magazine, and generates about 29 fpe at the muzzle. Shooting the 16 grain JSB Exact Jumbo pellets, I get 36 shots (3 mags) off of one fill. As I mentioned, the accuracy is superb, putting 5 rounds into a half inch, or better, at 50 yards is typical.
I dug her out of the back of my safe, filled her to 3000 psi, grabbed a couple of mags full of JSB's, and headed a short ways out of town. I literally live in the middle of a huge National Forest. I normally go at least 15 to 20 miles out of town, to get away from the casual mountain bikers, but this was mid week, mid day, so I didn't think they would be an issue.
I headed to a place about 5 miles from the house. I put my target out so that I could do a quick zero check. Nothing had changed, so I put the target away, and decided to take a quick hike around the area to see if I might find a ground squirrel or two.
The area I hunted was a box canyon about 300 yards long. It has a lot of old stumps and mature pine trees on both sides. My plan was to hunt up one side, and back down the other.
I was maybe 100 yards up one side of the canyon, and hadn't seen anything but a couple of chippers, that were hauling buns for places unknown. It was mid day, not the best time to be hunting these Golden Mantle ground squirrels, but I enjoy just being out as much as anything.
I hunted to the end of the canyon, and start making my way back down the other side. I'm hunting slowly, glassing all the stumps, nooks and crannies, and it's pretty much the same story, nothing moving or showing itself.
Oh well, it's been a nice walk in the woods, and that's never a bad thing. Just about then, I'm glassing an area a little off to my left, and I'll be darned if there isn't a ground squirrel sitting on a stump, in the shade, looking directly at me. I never would have seen him with the naked eye, but in the binos, he stood out like a diamond in a goats fanny.
I zapped him with my laser ranger finder and got 67 yards. The last time I had the Monsoon out, I was hunting prairie dogs, and had her zeroed at 65 yards. There was a very slight breeze blowing, but it was coming straight up the barrel and into my face. I just centered the vertical crosshair on the squirrel, put the horizontal crosshair on the middle of its head, and touched of the shot. The action cycled immediately, and the squirrel dropped dead on the stump. It didn't so much as twitch.
That was the only ground squirrel I saw on this short outing, but it was still fun to get the Monsoon out for a short hunting adventure. I'm going to hunt her some more here in the near future. I've never hunted her on tree squirrels, I think that needs to go on the "must do this fall" list.