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So, my wife and I were out in the yard shooting slingshots this morning. We were about to pack up and go in when I looked out in the field behind the house and saw a great big white possum wandering toward the house. Bill Hays said once that if you see a nocturnal animal out in broad daylight, especially one as skittish around people as a possum, that it's probably sick and should be taken down. I think this advice makes alot of sense.

Jodi went to shoot at it first but I told her not to. For one, she was too far away (probably 15m) and for another she had 2040 looped tubes and 3/8" steel on her. I said she'd just piss it off. I had a handfull of 7/16" steel and looped 1842s on my SPS so I decided to go for it. I didn't want the possum biting any of the neighborhood dogs or cats.

I went around where the varmint was and got within 10 or 11 yards of it. I took one shot and it went right over the critter's head, not fazing it a bit. The next shot hit him in the front quarters and spun him around. He hobbled a short way and I hit him again in his middle. After that he dissapeared into the nearby tree line.

My point of telling you this is to give some advice: if you plan on hunting with your slingshot the only way to really practice is to do it.

By pretty much any measure, I'm a decent shot. A target the size of a possums head (about the size of a large soup can) would normally pose no problem for me at that distance. Even if I was shooting quickly in a target-shooting envrionment I would be very accurate on something that size. But when the time came to take out an animal I started doing everything wrong. Mostly it was focusing on the whole possum instead of the head or a nostril or whatever. The heat of the moment got to me and resulted in an injured, although most likely dead at this point, animal.

Much like paper targets, there's no other way to prepare for hunting. Get your technique down in practice on cans or whatever and then go out and do it.

Just my $0.02.
 

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Possum are very difficult to kill. We had one in the ceiling above my wife's home office and it was making it nearly impossible for her to work. Quite aside from the noise and discomfort, the animal was urinating in the ceiling and the odor was very strong.I shot it twice with a .22 pistol and all it did was play dead. My son finished it off with a shot between the eyes and even then it thrashed about for almost a full minute.
 

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Possum are very difficult to kill. We had one in the ceiling above my wife's home office and it was making it nearly impossible for her to work. Quite aside from the noise and discomfort, the animal was urinating in the ceiling and the odor was very strong.I shot it twice with a .22 pistol and all it did was play dead. My son finished it off with a shot between the eyes and even then it thrashed about for almost a full minute.
That makes me feel better, thanks!
 

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It takes a lot of practice not to instinctively aim for the center mass. It's tough to aim for the head- the smallest, most erratic thing on the animal. Good story.
 
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I have not shot at animals with a slingshot but have hunted a little in my younger years. I test myself out at times and do find there is a training of the mind (rehearsing) what to do in that situation. And I find slingshots way different than a gun.

The adrenaline point DH made is one of the biggest challenges for me.
 

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$20 says your wife wouldve nailed it in one shot . . . :neener: . nice honest post of what occured .
 

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It takes a conscious effort to avoid aiming for the center of mass. For a head shot, aim for the inner corner of the eye if you are facing the beast. From the side, aim for the ear hole.

It is sad but true that if you are new to shooting at animals, it is easy to get rattled. It helps if you make targets from photos of the animal you intend to hunt ... with the internet, this should be no problem. Instead of shooting at cans, put up a photo of a squirrel, rabbit, possum, whatever. Then get used to aiming for the head. That way when you see one in the wild, it will not be so new to you and you are more likely to do the right thing.

Thanks for relating your experience.

Cheers ..... Charles
 

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Great story thank you for sharing.
 

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good advice Charles thanks, and interesting fact that Bill Hays brings out about nocturnal animals out during the day time being sick, reason being, one I never knew this and 2 we happen to have one that appears around our place, so a hunting I will go
 

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Wonderful story m_j. We have a possum here in the suburbs of Nashville, living under my neighbors shed. Seen him many times at night and let him make his way to the fence. As soon as he starts climbing, I let the the terrible terriers out the door. Man, what a ruckus. Ole ghostface just sits there on top of the fence staring at them. Taunting I guess. But the dogs are happy chasing the "wild game" and strutting their stuff and acting tuff. After about five minutes I run the dogs back into the house. Possum just stares at me also, as though he could care less. They are fun to watch though. Thanks for sharing your story with us m_j. Did not mean to hijack your thread.
 
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MJ

Putting down a pest is not hunting it is pest control.....but I like your open mindedness and your ability too see a real challange when its in front of you. I provide the vasy majority of the food my family eats from the woods and waters of my home. You are 100% right! The best hunting practice is hunting. Small game is not just practice here its teaching for my son and adds some much needed veriety to our diet.....dont care how much you love slamon you dont want it every day! Same with Caribou or moose, by spring bear meat is very welcome!
 

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It takes a conscious effort to avoid aiming for the center of mass. For a head shot, aim for the inner corner of the eye if you are facing the beast. From the side, aim for the ear hole.

It is sad but true that if you are new to shooting at animals, it is easy to get rattled. It helps if you make targets from photos of the animal you intend to hunt ... with the internet, this should be no problem. Instead of shooting at cans, put up a photo of a squirrel, rabbit, possum, whatever. Then get used to aiming for the head. That way when you see one in the wild, it will not be so new to you and you are more likely to do the right thing.

Thanks for relating your experience.

Cheers ..... Charles
That's the way to do it. MJ said practise on cans and then go out and do it (hunt). That's exactly what MJ did, with good intent, and got it wrong. Not very good advice !
 
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