Airbow Hunting Success In Arizona
Predators on archery tackle is the ultimate challenge.
The nocturnal nature of the gray fox makes him difficult to capture on video, as they most often come to predator calls when camera light is poor. Exceptions to this general rule sometimes occur where population densities are high and/or where scarce prey keeps the little carnivores hungry. The former was likely the case on a recent combination javelina and predator hunt in east-central Arizona near the New Mexico border with the new Benjamin Pioneer Airbow. On our second set the first morning of the hunt a beautiful grey fox came to a cottontail call just after 10:00 AM. Sneaking in through the cover of a juniper tree, the fox stopped just behind the call facing us head-on. Knowing that foxes are quick to recognize their mistake when approaching a whirling decoy lure, a fast shot was required. Fortunately, the Airbow handles well and points quickly. My rushed 34 yard shot missed the chest slightly, hitting the fox in the left shoulder an inch or so to the right of center, and the G5 Montec broadhead opened a very large and undoubtedly fatal wound. Nevertheless, the tough little predator was able to hobble away. Though probably unnecessary, I followed up with a second arrow (not captured on the video) to dispatch the animal as quickly as possible.
The new Pioneer Airbow is a remarkably accurate and easy to use weapon, particularly for hunters who enjoy getting close to their quarry. Taking small predators with arrows requires precise shot placement, and the Airbow is certainly up to the task. For predators I place the e-caller with decoy/lure 30 yards from my hideout. With a 30 yard zero set in the CenterPoint scope, I find that each horizontal hashmark on the vertical axis of the MTAG reticle represents 5 yards. Thus, the 4th hashmark down from center puts the arrow precisely on target at 50 yards.
Tony Martins is an authority on hunting and the outdoors. He was influential in the effort to legalize airguns in the state of Arizona for big game hunting.