Airgun Hunting: Starling Pest Control in South Africa


Ladies and gentlemen let me introduce
you to the Air Arms S410 TDR. This is an airgun I’ve been wanting
to hunt with for a very long time and today I’m finally getting my chance. Now faced quite unique situation today
because I’m going to be doing some pest control, I’m going to be shooting some starling that are causing a bit of a problem. However, we are at a holiday resort which
means that they are people here trying to enjoy a nice relaxing holiday with
their family we can’t just be dropping these starlings left, right and centre, we’ve got to be discreet. And I don’t know any air rifle more
discreet then the TDR. This thing is ridiculously quiet and
it’s a takedown rifle which means that it packs away into a nice little carry case. You’ll never know it’s an air rifle until you see it shoot. I can actually see some starlings flying around here now, so let’s waste no more time to get straight to it. The resort I’m at today is well known
throughout South Africa for providing relaxing, farm style lodging far away from the business of the city life. Because of the reputation at stake it’s of upmost importance that the
resort is kept free of pests and if there’s one species that the managers want gone it’s the starling. The chalets and the buildings provide
the perfect nesting spots for these birds and as a result the numbers and
absolutely exploded out of control. I’ve hunted these bids before with an Air Arms S510 extra from long ranges in a previous Air Arms TV episode. This time I’m back with a different rifle. My job today is to get rid of as many
starlings as I can in the vicinity of the buildings. And it doesn’t take long before I line
up on the first bird. I actually aimed for this neck but I think I spined him because he didn’t move at all. That was cool man. The reply confirms a perfect shot to the lower neck. and it straight back to business. I spot another two birds sitting on a oak tree and I line up on the one on to the left. That was about 53 metres if you take the incline consideration this gun is zeroed in at 25, so I can pretty much aim dead on. I aim kind of like towards the top end of his body, solid thud he went straight down. I absolutely love the sound of a silenced 12 foot pound gun you know? I use to shooting like 30 foot pound twenty-two’s. This is a 12 foot pound 177, it’s just so quiet. It allows you to hear the pellet going through the air until you hear the sound of the pellet hitting the bird and this is actually a Q-tech silencer, on this TDR, it’s not the standard size
that comes with the rifle. This is a silencer made by Air Arms a new silencer
and it’s ridiculously quietly. You basically just hear the ping of the hammer hitting the valve and the sound of the bird dropping, it’s awesome, I love it. As yet another bird appears on the roof,
I’ll hold up once more I take aim and I squeeze the trigger. That actually looked like a European Starling, not want we came out here to target but we don’t like those round here either, so we shoot those on sight. So it’s good to get one of those down. It’s an absolutely stunning day, and as the sun makes its way high into
the sky, I’m grateful to be able to look around and appreciate the scenes that
surround me. Hunting is so much more than just
shooting and sometimes you just need to sit back forget about the animals you’re after and just enjoy the moment for a minute or two. I just want to talk about the differences between these two species quickly. This bird over here is the red wing
starling, this is the one that we primarily targeting today. It’s a native species and
it’s known for caring diseases and being a a general nuisance on the farmyard.
I could compare these too like a magpie in the UK and these on the another hand are not a native species, these were introduced to South Africa and a lot of the British colonies during colonial times and there
absolutely exploded out of control and so they their problem is more
numbers thing with these guys and and the numbers aren’t the problem, it’s their behaviour thats the problem. Both of
these I have too take out, but these are premier what we will be focusing on today. They’re are ever so slightly bigger, I think they’re slighty clever, but these guys are also quite
a problem, so we’ll shoot them on sight when we see them. I spot another red wing starling sitting on a pole and I think to myself here’s my chance to prove to the UK boys that you don’t need a SFC air rifle to take a long range shots. 71 metres, that’s a long way off. Alas, the pellet drifts off just to the right, plucking a few feathers of his chest on the way past. I have to wait another day to prove a
point. The best part about this gun is that when a magazine is empty, you can just take it out replace it with one of these at the back, slot that one right in, and there you go, a new magazine in simple as that, I love it. There’s no sign of activety around the chalets for quite some time and I realize that I’ve properly spooked most of the birds. These birds are very clever and once they catch on that they’re in
danger they don’t hang around. I decide to take a look around the golf course having been told earlier that the pad starlings have begun to become a bit of a nuisance on that part of the resort. At first there’s nothing to be seen, but eventually I stumble upon the
a whole flock right on the edge of the course. There are four starlings right over there. So that’s properly about 50-60 metres away. One down. Two down. This is too much fun. The last one is a long way off at almost 60 metres but, I holdover and I put him down with a good heart and lung shot. One of the things I like most about this gun is how quiet it is. There was a whole bunch of starlings there, after I shot the one the rest didn’t even registered that their friends were
dying because at this gun, they couldn’t hear the shot go off, they could only hear their friends falling to the ground dead. I absolutely love that, it’s dead quiet, it’s so easy to load, it’s so compact. It’s definitely my first choice for shooting small animals like this and the fact
that I can get so many shoots out of a small air cylinder is amazing, I’m used to getting
20 shots per pull out of a high powered rifle, this means I can just walk around all day. It’s great to have such a compact rifle that can do the job so well and so accurate Okay, here they are over here. You can see this is actually different species of starling, once again
this is a pad starling, note the white around the bum area over here. I’ve actually hunted thiese quite a lot on my own channel, I’ve done some long range shooting, about 110 metres or so on these guys, and these are basically and very similar
to the red wing starling, the only difference is that and they
don’t have the red on the wings and they’ve got the white underneath, that’s the only difference other
than that they’re very very similar and they cause the same problems that the red wings starlings do, nesting in the rooftops, caring diseases So here is the first bird, the second one was quite close to him, and the third one is right over here. To get three birds within five metres of each
other in about a minute or so that’s quite unique and you can only do that
with the quite air rifle. If I was using any of my other high powered air rifles I simply wouldn’t able to do this. It’s very nice to have a 12 foot pound air rifle in my arsenal, it does a good job. after a successful morning shooting I head back across the golf course towards the chalets and asses the days events. Well that was a really good mornings shooting, we managed to get four red wing starlings, three pad starlings and a European Starling, nice mixed bag of pests. Some of them birds you might not even know existed and the best part is that I never had to re-fill any of this magazines on the TDR. I went through one of them and I put in a second magazine and
I didnt even have use a third. I didn’t have to re-fill on air, I’m just on impressed with the fact that this gun is so quiet that I could get these three pad starlings one after another without any issues, these are clever, clever birds. I’ve hunted a lot with the TDR before, but never on animals these clever, so it past it’s test with flying colours and I’m very impressed. for more information on the Air Arms S410 TDR visit the website at air-arms.co.uk. To see more videos on YouTube featuring the fantastic range of air rifles available from Air Arms click on one of the links now. You and Air Arms, a winning combination.

9 thoughts on “Airgun Hunting: Starling Pest Control in South Africa

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *