For a change, Tuesday 19th of Feb was a lovely sunny day, warm and bright, a real anticipation of the spring to come, hopefully.
Having only played with the TTR at home before and being in the need of a serious back-up for the HW100, I decided that the time had come for this toy to prove its worth.
Since I had a few issues with this gun already (trigger/constistency/barrel choke/accuracy with magazine), this first outing was going to be a make or break for this Theoben.
So I loaded up my beloved Trooper with all my hiding gear: hide poles, nets, lofting poles, decoys etc. and headed to the stables at Brookefield Farm.
Once there, I hauled my stuff to a tranquil spot where I know both pigeons and corvids like to roost. I found a niche in the holly bushes and set up there a quick hide, turning then my attention to lofting the deeks. I decided to loft three pigeons and the little owl, just to maximise my chances. But perhaps the pigeons were a bit too close to the owl and their pulling power didn’t work as well as it could have otherwise.
Anyway, with all the props in place, I slid into the hide and set myself to wait.
After a short while, a well enraged crow landed on a tree next to the owl and, completely oblivious to my presence, started harassing the decoy. That was my chance and luckily the Theoben didn’t disappoint, taking the crow cleanly. Now, with the dead crow right in front of the decoy and the other corvids already on the alert for all the noise the first crow had done, the scene was set for a corvid madness frenzy, with all the opportunities that this brings.
After just a couple of minutes the madness started. A nicely assorted corvid mob was now abusing the plastic owl: although most birds were flying all around, many were barking at the owl from nearby branches. As these started dropping dead, the frenzy came to a climax after which the birds started to suspect foul playing and would either not land on a tree or leave altogether.
I must admit here I did not exploit the situation to the full. There were a couple of misses and probably a couple of wounded walkers I did not find afterwards. On the ground, three dead crows and two magpies, all in the space of ten minutes, with super fast action, super enjoyable sport.
After all this excitement, my hope was to bag some roosting pigeon but that was to prove elusive. One pigeon was only wounded due to ill pellet placement (the TTR has a much higher scope arrangement than I’m used to) and another was missed to the wind on the 40 meter range.
The best option seemed to just pack up and go, so just as I was stretching my limbs, I noticed a squirrel feeding on an ivy tree at a lasered 37 meter range. The first shot hit a twig unfortunately and the squirrel fled into the thick ivy foliage. But just after a few minutes the bugger was back on the branch feeding, this time offering a better view of itself and dropping dead soon after as a consequence.
With six in the bag and having taken a few pics, I was happy to pack up and go, quite glad with how the Theoben had performed.