Here at Team Wild, we have mentioned before that we love to do the jobs that everyone hates.Ratting is one of those Marmite jobs that you either love, or hate and I’m guessing by now that you have figured out that we LOVE it.
The service we carry out by doing this pest control helps the local farms, and we get to have great fun doing it.
We thought that we would take the time to go through some of the gear and the methods that we use when dealing with the scaly little pests.
First off, you need to have a good reliable air gun. We opt for the excellent Daystate Huntsman Classic in .177 calibers. The guns have proved to be accurate and reliable which is a must when rat shooting. They are also very maneuverable for hunting in, and around buildings.
Next, you have to see what you are shooting at, and because the rats are pretty much nocturnal you are going to have to see at night. Cue the NitSite NS200 unit. This has been a ‘Ratting Revelation’ for us and with the 3 hour battery life, it is perfect for this job. The NS 50 is ideal for this job as well, because you don’t generally shoot past 5o yards on the ratting job. Both units turn night into day and allow you to pick out your scurrying target in the dark.
Clothing is important; it needs to be waterproof and warm because it may take a long time to hunt down the ratty rodents. Some of the farms that we shoot over take us a good couple of hours shooting, and then there is the clear up job afterwards. We choose the Deerhunter Ram in Realtree APG jacket and trousers, and really like how the gear is nice and quiet to walk around in, and its warm and waterproof with it’s Deer-tex lining.
A good rest is essential and here is where the Vanguard T62 Tri pod sticks come in, they give a 360-degree swivel and provide a great stable platform for shooting.
Now…. The secret weapon! Bait. We use a mixture of vegetable oil, peanut butter and chocolate spread. The peanut butter and chocolate are heated and then mixed with the oil to keep it runny.
Bait out areas with this scrummy mix and wait for them to come running. They cant pick it up and run off with it so they sit and lick it off their paws, giving you enough time to draw your sights on them.
So now that we have the bases covered, how do we go about reducing the rodent population?
Always check out the ground in daylight before paying a visit. Check for runs and signs of rats, this will give you a good idea as to where to start your hunting on the night.
A lot of people think that they don’t have to be quiet because the rats are used to hearing farm animals and machinery etc. Wrong! A stealthy approach has to be taken and great care should be taken when opening and shutting gates in and around buildings.
It sometimes pays to stay in one spot and let the rats come to you. And always take time and wait until you are happy with the shot, aim for a clean head shot, ideally between the eye and ear if it is side on or between the eyes if it is facing you. Body shots will result in wounded rats.
Always wear gloves when picking up rats, and advise others that may be with you to do the same. Rats carry some really nasty diseases. Most farms have an area where they burn rubbish etc., so ask the farmer if its ok to dispose of them there. One farm we shoot over, feeds the shot rats to his birds of prey, so everyone is a winner.
OK, so we hope that has given you food for thought (pardon the pun). Get out there and get some rats dead!