Archive for May, 2014

Texas Squirrels Now Fair Game With Air Rifles

Attention Texas squirrel hunters: Thanks to a recent vote from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, you will soon be allowed to hunt squirrels with air-powered weapons. The new law, which was a part of the “2014-2015 Statewide Hunting Proclamation” discussed at a TPWD meeting on March 27, laid the groundwork for more open-ended hunting laws in numerous ways, including the adoption of air rifles for squirrel hunting use.

“The proposed amendment would also make air guns meeting certain specifications lawful for the take of squirrel,” the Hunting Proclamation read. “The department has determined that modern air rifles have achieved ballistic performance characteristics that approximate those of rimfire ammunition at close ranges and are capable of humanely killing squirrels at such distances.”

In other words, the Parks and Wildlife Commission has ruled that air guns are now powerful enough to serve as a humane and fair game method for hunting and killing squirrels. Not just any air gun will fit the bill though. As the proclamation explains, only rifles “meeting certain specifications” will be protected under the new amendment, meaning that hunters will want to check the wording of the law (and check their own weapons) before assuming that their air guns are ripe for squirrel shooting.

Specifically, air rifles used to hunt squirrels going forward will need to shoot at least a .177 caliber pellet (if not larger) and will also need to project that pellet at a speed of 600 feet per second. Older air guns weren’t typically capable of reaching such specifications, but most newer models are.

The question for some longtime hunters will be: Why anyone would even want to hunt with a less powerful weapon? However, numerous members of the hunting population in Texas have shown excitement and anticipation for the new air rifle allowance, with their reasoning running a range of explanations. From those who think that air rifles in hunting will help to grandfather young shooters into the hunting experience to others who believe that the gentler “pop” of an airsoft gun will help hunters preserve their hearing, there are many perceived benefits to allowing air guns in squirrel hunting.

Furthermore, modern air guns are as powerful as certain types of rifles (specifically the .22 guns often used for squirrel and other varmint hunting) and can present a certain challenge and learning curve of their own. Some hunters looking to add a bit of spice and extra difficulty to their squirrel hunts will enjoy having a wider range of firearm options to choose from.

The allowance of air guns for squirrel hunting isn’t the only change the Texas residents will notice next season as a result of the 2014-2015 Statewide Hunting Proclamation. On the contrary, the document included various other provisions that the Parks and Wildlife Commission approved, including expanded mule deer hunting seasons throughout the state and the implementation of an archery-only open season.

AirSoft Game Ideas for Spring 2014

The last vestiges of winter are drifting away, and the pleasant warmth of springtime is finally setting. After what was, in many parts of the country, a punishing and severe winter, there is nothing that most of us want to do more right now than get outside. And what better way to spend your outdoor hours this spring than by getting together a few friends and playing a high-octane airsoft game?

If airsoft activities are your speed around this time of year, then you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite airsoft games out there – both traditional standbys and new experiments. Enjoy!

Team Death Match

An oldie but a goodie, Team Death Match (or, as it is referred to among airsoft die-hards, TDM) is the airsoft game that we’ve all played and enjoyed. A big part of the appeal of TDM is that you never need to overthink it: Simply find an area with some cover, be it a paintball yard or a backyard forest, split your group into two teams, and start battling it out. Play until all of the members from one team have been eliminated.

Alternatively, break up into three or four groups and let the chaos and complications rain down. TDM may be the most “generic” of airsoft games, but it also never stops being fun.

Capture the Flag

If TDM has gotten old for you, add the structure of Capture the Flag (CTF) into the equation for some additional excitement. The rules can essentially be the same as the CTF games you played as a kid: two teams, two hidden flags, team territories, and jails. If a player is tagged by an opponent while on their side of the territory, they are taken to jail. The goal, of course, is to retrieve the flag and get it back to your side without being tagged.

The twist? With airsoft capture the flag, “tagging” is done by shooting. With players running, using cover, and dodging opponents, CTF brings marksmanship challenges and exercise together for a thrilling airsoft activity.

Assassination

There are various versions of the “Assassination” game in the airsoft world, but they all use the same basic rules. One person is chosen as the VIP (sometimes called “the President”) and left unarmed for the duration of the game. Several other players are selected as the VIP’s bodyguards who must then escort the VIP to a preset “safe house” location. Other players (or often, just one player with a sniper rifle) are chosen as assassins and given the task of “killing” the VIP. Players choose different guidelines for how many shots the bodyguards are allowed to take and whether or not they can “respawn,” but the fun part of this game is being the assassin and using stealth and creativity to hit your target. It’s also fun to be the bodyguards and to have no idea where a threat might appear from.

These are just a few of the airsoft games and scenarios that you can put into action this spring. Alternatively, make up your own scenarios. Sometimes the best game ideas come from a player who is just making things up on a whim, so don’t be shy about proposing new game ideas to your buddies when you are out in the field trying to choose a fun airsoft game.