Moles, gophers and groundhogs invading your backyard can be an absolute nightmare.
Having a good gun can be a huge help in handling these pests.
The following five guns are perfect for backyard critter control.
1. Ruger Silent-SR ISB 10/22 Rifle
This is the dream rifle for all backyard vermin shooters. This ultra-quiet takedown Ruger 10/22 sports the Silent-SR suppressed barrel assembly. So, after you go through the necessary federal paperwork, this quiet, quick-shooting gem can be yours.
2. Henry Arms Classic Lever-Action .22 Rifle
Is the federal paperwork for a suppressor a pain in the pocket for you? Well, pick up a Henry Classic Lever-Action .22 Rifle. It'll fire any .22 Long, .22 Long Rifle or .22 Short cartridge, meaning you can keep it a little quieter if you need to. The quiet .22 Short ammunition will offer the most practical method for eliminating backyard vermin. Or, you can also step up to a hotter, high-velocity .22 Long Rifle hollow-point for larger animals like raccoons and coyotes.
3. Stoeger Arms X20S Suppressor Air Rifle
Firearm use is frowned up on some towns. In those places, suppressed air rifle is the key to quiet pest removal. This .17-caliber air rifle will allow you to be the backyard sniper of gophers and other destructive critters. Best of all, you can order this handy air gun right through the mail from online retailers like Amazon.com. Remember, this isn't your pellet gun from back when you were a kid. This will make for an adequate animal control tool. Leave the BB gun in the house and use a real air rifle for smaller animals.
4. Henry Arms .410 Lever-Action Shotgun
When less is more, the .410 shotshell is perfect. For backyards where you can get away with a little noise, the Henry lever-action .410 shotgun offers quick shots for critter control. Buckshot and slug loads are available for hunting larger animals.
5. Henry Single-Shot 12-Gauge Shotgun
The old farm shotgun is alive and well. Henry Arms has made a beautiful version of the classic single-shot shotgun in .410-bore, 20- and 12-gauge options. If you're hunting underground moles, bullets have a hard time getting through dirt. Your best bet is to sit in a lawn chair with a 12-gauge loaded with 9 shot. When the dirt starts moving, lay some lead on it. The lighter-size shot should avoid ricochet better than anything else. Is it loud? You bet, and you better wear safety glasses, too.
Before eliminating any backyard pests, check with local and federal game laws. Some may be considered game animals. There might be small-game hunting seasons in your area for the pests you are after or specific firearm discharge laws you don't want to break. Check the laws and stay legal.
Do you like articles about the outdoors? Click here to view more articles by Eric Nestor. You can follow him @ericthewoodsman on Twitter, The Classic Woodsman on Facebook, and @theclassicwoodsman on Instagram. You can view more Nestor Photography photos at Nestor Photography.