Author Topic: Starlings  (Read 1069 times)

Gerard

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #15 on: September 24, 2018, 07:02:10 PM »
Here's a funny aside. All week long I've been hearing on the radio and having stories about it come up in my news feed, about how 24 starlings fell out of the sky near some guy who was out for a walk. How they were smashed into the ground, limbs broken, how this was some horrific freak of nature and how the local humane society was investigating. It's surprised me every dang time I see or hear it. I grew up in orchard country in the BC interior, where a pair of starling legs brought in to city hall got you 10 cents, and a flock of starlings meant the end of a cherry crop. We're not only absurdly far away from my childhood when I could wander around town with a pellet rifle and shoot stuff for fun, we're now so far down the social justice/nanny state road that a bunch of damned starlings dying is a catastrophe.
  • Vancouver, Canada

butchb

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #16 on: September 24, 2018, 09:03:26 PM »
I remember those days but  in town I lived in as a kid it was pigeons. There was pigeon crap on everything, nasty and disease spreading. Got no bounty but young boys would be up early with 
22 s loaded with shorts roaming city streets picking them off wher ever they lit with police blessing. Every one knew evertrYone else.wiped out bunches of pigeons and a few rats as well..loved those days
  • Marion Illinois

Gerard

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #17 on: September 24, 2018, 09:29:05 PM »
Apparently in some English cities such pest control is still allowed, though it's being done by licensed employees or contractors, not kids. And they have to use orange safety vests and carry ID and be very careful about upsetting the locals. Good grief. My city is being overrun by pigeons. There's a bylaw carrying a steep fine for feeding wildlife, but a lot of people do it anyway, so many of the parks and quite a few business areas are infested. There are intersections where your odds of being pooped upon while waiting at a crosswalk are about 50/50. Look up and you get it in the eye, from one of the 100 or more sitting on the power lines. Look down and you often see bread crumbs. Disgusting, the way people's obsession with cute wildlife makes for these imbalances.

We don't have any pigeon control agents, but the most frequented tourist areas at least have rat patrols with AirForce rifles. Hasn't hit the news so far, thankfully, as they're stealthy and work at night, but without their work those places would be uninhabitable for humans. Was out on a walk with my son today and we passed by a homeless camp. Saw the biggest rat I've ever encountered in person. Body had to be 14" long. And mostly bald. Not a pretty sight. Wished I could have gone home and brought by an airgun... but no, I'd probably wind up in prison for that.
  • Vancouver, Canada

Alan

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2018, 05:09:12 AM »
I won't even guess how many pigeons and collared doves I've dispatched in the last 4 years or so. And HOSP (house sparrows), starlings and grackles? It has to be in the thousands! But I'm lucky.

I have several permissions just outside the city limits (exurban) replete with cattle, horses, and chickens. Anytime you have feed grain spread around, you'll have all manner of grain-eating birds. I just casually sit in my blind, and shoot everyone I can.

  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

butchb

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2018, 03:29:37 PM »
That holds true with just about anything you buy. Get the cheap one first then when you buy the good one ,learned that lesson many times but still hard to do sometimes. If I get a pcp I will buy a good compressor for sure.
  • Marion Illinois

Gerard

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2018, 12:53:46 PM »
Just to follow up on that report of 24 starlings falling dead from the sky, as reported by a guy walking his dog. The bodies were sent to a lab for post mortem work, and it was found that the starlings had all suffered massive blunt force trauma to the chest. The suggested cause, according to the lab, was that they had been impacted by a "much larger bird of prey." I had to laugh. The guy who called it in had reported seeing a massive flock, at least hundreds of birds, in a 'cloud' formation which dove straight for the ground and then veered upwards at the last moment. Um... wut? The only witness actually reported the probable cause of traumatic injury. These birds were doing their acrobatic flying routine, and some got too close to the ground. A sort of reverse Icarus moment. But the guys in the lab chalk it up to "eagles" according to the radio report. That's just weird.
  • Vancouver, Canada

Rokynutz

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2018, 11:13:23 PM »
What I wanna know is how they are you can get within 25 feet.
Bobn


BTW I can't seem to get closer that 50 yds.

I agree with @bnowlin I need your kind of hide. I pest control them on dairy's here in SW Washington State....I have to shoot 40-80yrds to smack one. But, I am using a hopped up .25 Mrod.
  • Kelso, Wa
.177 Remington express-sold
.22 RWS 34P(Truck gun)
stock
.25 Mrod
WAR 12.5 spring (Not in Gun, Bought SSG)
WAR 3D Designer
WAR SSG

Kill Count 2016 (updated 11/18)
Starlings:501
HOSP:66
R. Dove:1
C. Dove:2
Cottontail:1
Rats:1
Nutria:13
Crow:4

caniborrowsomeammo

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #22 on: October 13, 2018, 01:17:55 AM »
Rocky and Bobn,
Have you ever thought about getting yourself a ghillie suit if you are having problems getting close? Helps to break up your outline.
Ali express has them for around $25 delivered.
Another option is a pop-up blind,  good if you don't need to move to different spots.
Or get some blind material and hang it over a fence close to where they land. 
Buncha BB guns that I don't get to shoot as much as I like. Building duck boats now that I'm "retired".

Alan

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #23 on: October 13, 2018, 03:59:37 AM »
I have an Ameristep, pop-up. After you use it a few times, you learn to set it up and down in just a few seconds. The problem I have is the wind tossing it around.

The ghuillie suit is a good idea too, but they're a bit hot for this clime (SE NM). You can do almost as good with a piece of camo clothe, cut up like a poncho. My local Hobby Lobby sells the thin stuff for about $6 a yard.
  • Roswell, New Mexico
Alan

I have an Omega compressor. If you're a fellow Guild member, and you pass through Roswell, NM, I'll fill your portable tank as a courtesy.

Rokynutz

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #24 on: October 13, 2018, 09:28:47 AM »
Borrow, I do have access to a pop-up. But here in SW Washington State, it's either to hot or pissing down rain. Then it mildews. Beyond that, the permission I'm hitting hard as of late, it's a dairy. And again, with the fall rain coming in...Gillie is out of the question. Summer, WAY to hot. For me, I work the shadows with dark long sleeve shirt and a ball cap to keep my shiny face from view. The pigeons are smart and spook easy regardless. Starlings, they're smart but carnal need always wins out. I don't mind shooting out to 60-80 yrds. I will tag their feathery ass regardless with a few misses here and there. They don't fly due to the bark of my MRod. They fly from the THWACK of the pellet impacting their kin. Haha
  • Kelso, Wa
.177 Remington express-sold
.22 RWS 34P(Truck gun)
stock
.25 Mrod
WAR 12.5 spring (Not in Gun, Bought SSG)
WAR 3D Designer
WAR SSG

Kill Count 2016 (updated 11/18)
Starlings:501
HOSP:66
R. Dove:1
C. Dove:2
Cottontail:1
Rats:1
Nutria:13
Crow:4

Gerard

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Re: Starlings
« Reply #25 on: October 13, 2018, 09:48:07 AM »
I kept basic stats on rat and grey squirrel shots for three years. Used PCPs at 6fpe, 10fpe, and 20fpe. Average energy for rats was 7.3fpe. Average for squirrels was 12.7. Range for rats averaged about 6 metres and ranged between 2 and 16 metres. Average for squirrels was a little under 8 metres, ranging from 3 to 35, with most shots at 7 metres - the distance between my kitchen porch and the middle of our butternut tree where they like to spend their time.

I've found my best strategy to just observe eating sounds or motion, go get an air rifle, then casually take up a position and wait for them not to care about me. While hiding is at times useful, it seems stealth has been more important. About 10 minutes average wait time for either pest  And I usually don't even think about a second critter. Better to go back into the shop and work a while, then go check if there's another rodent around. They take 10 minutes at least to come out of hiding and go about their business after one of their own goes down. But then I haven't had to deal with anything like a major infestation. At most three squirrels in a day  usually more like one every ten days. And the worst night for rats was when a neighbour had a chicken coop with a messy feeder and I got five rats one night. After she built a spill-proof feeder the population went way down. Only 6 rats so far this year. I can certainly see how a camo suit or a hide would be critical for large scale jobs where you're sitting for hours and dealing with a dozen or more.
  • Vancouver, Canada