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  #1  
Old 04-26-2020, 12:05 PM
SmokeTheClay SmokeTheClay is offline
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Default Air rifle or heavy BB gun for possums in backyard

I have an aging hunting dog who used to regularly kill possums and a small companion for him. Backyard is normal sized. Need an air rifle or something that I can shoot at possums in the backyard since the old dog probably can’t win any more.

Any good ones to buy that I can shoot on a ~3000 sq ft backyard area?
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:30 PM
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Just go grab them by the tail they are more hiss than bite, then toss him somewhere else. Only drawback if she has young she will be back.
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:36 PM
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Possums eat a million ticks.
Opossums don’t get lime disease


They are ugly- but they are great for the environment


Don’t leave dog food out and they will stay away
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:37 PM
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Old 04-26-2020, 12:38 PM
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Opossums are the unsung heroes who are responsible for silently reducing Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses, not only in other animals but also in humans. How do they do that? Well, it turns out their favorite snack is not a leftover meal from your garbage bin. They prefer to eat ticks and it is estimated that they eat 5000 of them per season.
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Old 04-26-2020, 1:33 PM
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And they tear up your lawn.
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Old 04-26-2020, 2:01 PM
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I have no problem eradicating vermin around the home. But possums aren't included as vermin IMHO. They're one of the good guys.

I get hissed at occasionally, but that's it.
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Old 04-26-2020, 2:24 PM
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The opossum in my area are more welcome than some of the human vermin in the area.

If you must get rid of them, consider a live trap and move them to a more suitable area.
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Old 04-26-2020, 4:39 PM
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Interesting. A lot of votes to just let them be.

I guess, never had injuries from them. What about rabies?
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Old 04-26-2020, 5:00 PM
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I'd now agree with Jeepergeo.

In my younger days I did kill one my dog cornered and wouldn't leave. I used a 22 pellet gun. Not good. Those f ers are prehistoric and just don't die.

Trap it. Drive it out of town.
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Old 04-26-2020, 5:32 PM
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They don't generally carry rabies. Apparently they have a low body temperature that inhibits rabies.

I used to shoot them, and they are tough to kill cleanly even with a RWS 52 in .22. Now I leave them alone. Racoons, not so much.
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Old 04-27-2020, 8:42 AM
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I live in L.A., but I've had/have raccoons, possums, skunks, and cats come through my property. Haven't had the urge to shoot any of them. I let them be and they don't linger.

However, my dogs, especially my chihuahua/terrier mix, thinks she has to guard the house from them. She corners one every now and then, but we call her back and the excitement is over.
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Old 04-27-2020, 8:49 AM
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I leave them alone. Beneficial little fellers.
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Old 04-27-2020, 9:09 AM
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Default Possum’s are okay in my yard

Raccoons on the other hand.........
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Old 04-27-2020, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutcliffe View Post
Raccoons on the other hand.........
Raccoons are nasty. Their droppings can carry diseases that your dogs will get with exposure. Raccoons are vicious fighters and can carry rabies. And in the infinite wisdom of our overlords, they're protected from hunting, at least in our backyards.

Opossums are actually a benefit to us though. They act nasty when confronted but will more often play dead rather than fight. And they do a great job reducing the tick population. That gives them a "pass", just don't leave pet food out. (Coyotes like pet food too...)
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Old 04-27-2020, 12:44 PM
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I agree with others about live & let live with possums. We had some that would visit every night but ever since getting a dog again, they won't touch our yard. I miss them. Any time I shot a rat in the chicken coop or some other vermin, a possum would collect it before the next morning. Our dog sleeps in the house all night but they still won't come by anymore...

I can tell you first hand that on similar-sized animals, a .22 or .177 pellet is a poor choice for all but the best-placed shots. It can be done. But there will be occasional errors and in a small yard, they may run off to the neighbor's yard before expiring. Shooting live animals in a backyard environment is a pretty risky proposal. And shooting one while trying to hold a dog back or that is on the move is likely to just get you into trouble you don't want. Be safe & be smart.
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Old 04-27-2020, 4:56 PM
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Possums are beneficial and non destructive creatures. Raccoons are destructive beasts. Leave the possums and drive away the Coons. Your yard will thank you.
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Old 04-27-2020, 5:18 PM
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Colibri Super. In a compact 22lr rifle with scope.
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Old 04-27-2020, 9:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sfvshooter View Post
I live in L.A., but I've had/have raccoons, possums, skunks, and cats come through my property. Haven't had the urge to shoot any of them. I let them be and they don't linger.

However, my dogs, especially my chihuahua/terrier mix, thinks she has to guard the house from them. She corners one every now and then, but we call her back and the excitement is over.
Train the dogs
Get a shock collar
Get a have a heart trap and catch an opossum.

Let the dog wander the yard and find the possum- give them a zap

Each time they get near the possum- zap

The dogs quickly learn to keep away from the Opossum as they get a zap
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Old 04-27-2020, 9:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by therealnickb View Post
I'd now agree with Jeepergeo.

In my younger days I did kill one my dog cornered and wouldn't leave. I used a 22 pellet gun. Not good. Those f ers are prehistoric and just don't die.

Trap it. Drive it out of town.
Yes, they are hard to kill.

I say just leave them be unless you have one that's being a nuisance.
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  #21  
Old 04-30-2020, 12:44 PM
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Default This. Possums eat ticks and chiggers

I actually put into a rental agreement that the tenants were not to bother or hurt possums to get rid of a tick problem on the property. Potential Lyme disease or possums? I'll take possums, as many as I can get . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
Possums eat a million ticks.
Opossums don’t get lime disease


They are ugly- but they are great for the environment


Don’t leave dog food out and they will stay away

Last edited by CPRAFAN; 04-30-2020 at 12:47 PM..
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Old 05-02-2020, 6:48 PM
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Leave em alone, I have a few in my yard. We are sympatico.
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Old 05-04-2020, 7:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hermosabeach View Post
Train the dogs
Get a shock collar
Get a have a heart trap and catch an opossum.

Let the dog wander the yard and find the possum- give them a zap

Each time they get near the possum- zap

The dogs quickly learn to keep away from the Opossum as they get a zap
Same technique for rattlesnake aversion training, only with a dead rattler (usually headless). This is definitely rattlesnake season and in past years, this method has resulted in our dogs loudly alerting to the rattler but keeping a safe distance from the snake. Way better than being bitten and an expensive trip to the (vet) hospital.
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Old 05-06-2020, 8:17 PM
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I understand that opossums rarely have rabies. They get rid of mice/rats in addition to bugs, etc., from what I understand. They also only live a couple of years max. They look scary but I don't think most will even bite. My wife thinks they are ugly. My daughter thinks they are "cute".
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Old 05-14-2020, 6:31 PM
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Ok so I’ve decided to keep the possums. Thanks for the advice

What is the best air rifle for rats! Has to be arthritis friendly so a 50 lb loader is too much
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Old 05-15-2020, 7:56 AM
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Originally Posted by SmokeTheClay View Post
Ok so I’ve decided to keep the possums. Thanks for the advice

What is the best air rifle for rats! Has to be arthritis friendly so a 50 lb loader is too much
I'd seriously look at a Benjamin Marauder. For rats, a .177 would work. Personally I'd upsize the caliber to a .22 to offer more pest control capability. The .22 would also work on ground squirrels, etc.

Keep in mind that any decent air rifle you get will last for many years. Today it may be rats but tomorrow, who knows. The Marauder is a very popular rifle, well made and kind of like a Glock or Remington 700 in terms of popularity and post-purchase performance tweaks. At 50 yards, it's a very accurate rifle yet virtually silent so you won't scare your neighbors.

I'm a definite fan of pre-charged pneumatic (PCP) air rifles. Yes, you either have to pump them up to fill the bottle, or invest in a larger refilling bottle that (with the Marauder) will last for many months before the bottle needs refilling. Still, it's worth it. Hand pumping sucks and springers just aren't on par with PCP rifles.

If you are looking at the Marauder, check out Joe Branacoto's website. He's also a very good source for air tanks, etc. Scroll down on the front page.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by SmokeTheClay View Post
Ok so I’ve decided to keep the possums. Thanks for the advice

What is the best air rifle for rats! Has to be arthritis friendly so a 50 lb loader is too much
I kill pest rats with a Daisy Red Ryder. It's not my first choice, but I live behind an apartment complex and absolutely can't have pellets or bb's going through a fence.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by SmokeTheClay View Post
Interesting. A lot of votes to just let them be.

I guess, never had injuries from them. What about rabies?
Leave them alone and they'll leave you alone.

As for the original question, get a .22 or .25 caliber air rifle a BB gun is not a good choice at all.
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:21 AM
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I kill pest rats with a Daisy Red Ryder. It's not my first choice, but I live behind an apartment complex and absolutely can't have pellets or bb's going through a fence.
Dude are you serious? My daughter and I spent 20 minutes plinking at a waterbottle at 5 yards and our Red Ryders couldn't penetrate the bottle! (it was full, not empty).
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Old 05-15-2020, 11:43 AM
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Dude are you serious? My daughter and I spent 20 minutes plinking at a waterbottle at 5 yards and our Red Ryders couldn't penetrate the bottle! (it was full, not empty).
100% serious.

I try for headshots aiming for the base of the ear and I try to be within 2-4 yards. We have chickens so when the rats show up they are often heading for the closed and locked feeder hoping to find stuff the chickens kicked out. I get passthroughs about 50% of the time. I practice shooting my Red Ryder at a bottle cap I have suspended in a box pellet trap at 3 yards, that bottle cap is beat to crap. Red Ryder's aren't the deadliest weapon on the block but if they are making anywhere near the advertised 300 fps you're making about 1 ft/lb of energy at the muzzle. On those occasions I miss their head and get them in the front shoulder it usually slows them down or otherwise incapacitates them making it easy for me to just pick them up and smack their head on a rock. I don't like doing that though so I limit myself to high percentage shots and try to deter them by keeping my trees trimmed back from roof, the fence, and overhead wiring.

Rats are tough but are thin skinned.
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Old 05-15-2020, 3:32 PM
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RR to the eye will put them down quick they still flop like a fish but not long

I've killed dove @15yds, squirrels & Ravens all in the eye or ear hole on birds, soft bone damages the brain hence the flopping like a fish.
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Old 05-23-2020, 1:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokeTheClay View Post
I have an aging hunting dog who used to regularly kill possums and a small companion for him. Backyard is normal sized. Need an air rifle or something that I can shoot at possums in the backyard since the old dog probably can’t win any more.

Any good ones to buy that I can shoot on a ~3000 sq ft backyard area?
Dude... Killing opossums is for folks that are more evil then me. I mean, even I have my limits. They are scavengers. They have a lower temperature operating system installed so they are the essential diesel powered creatures of the night. They do not get rabies as a result, they are often docile and just about anyone can run from one, but they are also so ugly they are cute. Please examine your rules of engagement with them and consider rewriting them.

Now Raccoons on the other hand, they can go #%@$ themselves...

I can only recommend this.
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