About Airgun Hunting: Legal Aspects
Before using our airgun, we must read, understand and respect the current legislation of the country in which we intend to develop the activity. Hunting with airguns is prohibited in countries such as Spain, and its practice is strongly sanctioned. Gamo recommends making a legal and regulated use of its products.
The first question that usually comes to our minds after buying our airgun tends to be: Can I hunt with an airgun? The short answer is yes, but there are some issues we must consider before taking action. The most accurate shot is always the one that causes an instant and painless death to the animal; therefore, hunting – regardless of the gun we use – must always be preceded by a training process that will let us shoot with guarantees. Trying to hunt rodents, birds or small animals without an adequate training will lead us, in the best case, to frustration, and in the worst case to hurting our prey unnecessarily. Plinking, recreational shooting or moving target shooting can be great options to train our skills in a quickly, fun and economic way.
Hunting with airguns represents a challenge for most hunters, since it implies using smaller calibers and less powerful weapons that provide lower shooting ranges. Something which may apparently seem a clear disadvantage, has turned into a huge claim for thousands of firearm users worldwide: the previously mentioned limitations of airguns must be compensated with the hunter’s own skills, forcing him to be more precise, stealthy and skillful when selecting, approaching and chasing the prey. Hunting with airguns therefore implies a greater talent and experience, and this is precisely what has turned this discipline into a really popular and practiced activity in countries like the United Kingdom.
Power and caliber: The Right Choice
After determining that we are ready to hunt with an airgun, we must choose the ideal caliber for it. It is true that modern airguns are generally powerful enough for hunting, but we must always consider some minimum specifications to hunt each type of prey. As can be seen in the graph below, the smaller calibers (4.5mm, 5.5mm, 6.35mm) are a great option for hunting small rodents, birds and vermin, but they may not be suitable for larger animals.
Another point of great interest when it comes to hunting is, of course, power. Using a large caliber pellet won’t make any sense if the weapon is not capable of firing it in a solvent way. Regarding this point, there are two differentiated opinions; those who think that it is not necessary to dispose of a great power to hunt, and those who prefer using the maximum power available for it. It is true that hunting humanly with low power airguns is possible, but the more limited it is; the more important it is to hit the right target. Leaving a wounded animal is not an option in any case.