So....I was writing up an article for my gun club newsletter about the new DEC text that opens up NYState for airgun hunting. I explain the new rules and attempt to take the reader through the selection process of choosing an airgun for hunting...then I hit the wall:
What's the point of using an airgun when the DEC restrictions are exactly the same as for a .22lr?
Seriously, I love airguns for all the same reasons you do. I have more airguns than PB. But after going through the process of selection and looking at power plants, calibers, up front costs, and effectiveness, I really can't recommend airguns for small game hunting when compared to PB. There is no real advantage, and several shortfalls.
Baseline airguns with PB-similar energy levels cost considerably more than baseline PBs, are worlds more complicated, and don't have any advantage in accuracy or reliability. Follow up shots are moderately slow (bolt fed PCP repeaterss) to glacially slow (MPPs). Some require special mounts and scopes (magnum springers) which adds to the cost (figure $225 to adequately scope a Kodiak versus $75 to adequately scope the alternative).
The advantages of using airguns for target shooting (can be shot indoors, can be used in your backyard without alerting the neighbors) simply don't translate as advantages in the field.
There is no way I am going to convince a hunter with a PB to switch to an airgun given the comparable limitations. And I seriously doubt that airgunners will swarm the field now that they can hunt with their rifles:
- Away from their birdfeeders
- Outside the city limits
- Within limited hours and seasons and bag limits
- A minimum of 500ft from structures
Yikes. Am I missing something that really benefits airgunners in the NY DEC decision? I hope I am. Otherwise I have to chuck my article.
Kris in NY