Silencing The Roar
By The Ole Hedge Creeper
My Love for The Wild Cat Moderators began many years ago when I purchased my very first Predator Wild Cat Moderator, a moderator I still have and use almost daily if not weekly to this present day, so when Alison at The UK Custom shop contacted Greg and myself at The Countryman’s diary Magazine asking would we both like some Wild Cat moderators for a review and keep them as a thank you etc, for all our hard work and awesome articles and the work we do with Pass It On Young Sports, I don’t think my smile or even Greg’s could of got any wider as we are both huge Wild Cat fans.
I use the Predator 12 or the P12 moderator as it’s known on my beloved Browning 243, this is the sweet little rifle I use for all my fox vermin control duties (I run a pest control company www.reallywildadventures.co.uk amongst other things) dealing with foxes this is the perfect combination for me, those that have read my Out Foxing Charlie Series over on The Countryman's Diary magazine (www.countrymans-diary.co.uk) of which there are 8 article’s so far or any of my deer stalking articals of which there are many will know what I mean when I say the P12 on my Browning is the shizzle, I am just in the process of writing Out Foxing Charlie No9 as I write this article you are reading now, those of you who follow me on the magazine/facebook/twitter/insta gramme etc will know that this rifle moderator and NiteSite Wolf combo with me behind the butt that we are deadly accurate combination.
I will tell you I now know why they have called them the Whispa range for the 17hmr and the .22 rim fire rifles, now I was expecting the normal crack from the 17hmr as always, I stalked in to as close as I could across the open ground on this sports ground to an unsuspecting brace of rabbits digging holes in the course, Dropped the sticks out nice and steady and mounted the rifle and lined the cross hairs up on the farthest of the two rabbits that was about 90 yards away, I squeezed off the trigger and a sort of loud pop came the muzzle report as the rabbit jumped in the air and dropped stone dead right back on the spot, my first thoughts were a duff round as I have had quite a few with these temperamental 17hmrs, I am not a huge fan of the 17hmr I will say I much prefer my 22 rim fire, now the other rabbit just sat up looking at his mate about 20 yards away and carried on about his business, so I thought Ohhhhh yes a bonus bunny as they normally bolt with the first shot from a 17s muzzle report, so I took a steady aim at this 70 yarder squeezed off the shot and blow me it did it again a loud pop not the normal crack as the rabbit dropped on the spot, I retrieved both rabbits and yes both kill shots were right on the button between the ear and the eye, I was a little confused as I expected the real hard crack of the muzzle report that I was used too, as it turns out it was not the rounds as I thought it was the mod that was 3rd quieter than my previous moderator, I tested it on my mate Nik Tall’s sound testing unit he uses as a land rover judge at the 4x4 competitions.
Now the next shoot I had to do I reverted back to my wonderful 22 rim fire, I had an equestrian centre to do and those horses are a bit jumpy being thorough breed’s, all the horses were in their stables so I had free reign of all the paddocks and the training race course etc, the first rabbit I saw was at the bottom of one of the jumps, I stalked in to the edge of the cover but the closest I could get was 50 yards as the rest was open ground, I leaned on a fence post to take aim and mounted the 22 rim fire to my shoulder, I squeezed off the trigger as my mind reflected back on the Whispa mod on the 17hmr and how quiet it was, a really quiet sort of dull pop came out of the muzzle report on my 22 rimmy even quitter than that of my pcp air rifle the Walther RM8, but the thump on target as the Fiocchi subsonic round hit the rabbit right on the button between his ear and eye made an almighty thwack, the rabbit jumped over backwards and was dead as a nail on the floor, I could not believe how quiet this mod really was, so now when I say I Whispa a sweet kiss good night on target with either the 17hmr or the 22 rimmy I really mean it.
JTs rifle arrived just in time a day before he was booked to go boar hunting in Devon, eagerly JT came to my gun room to pick up his rifle scope combo he had purchased from me also arriving that day was the Wild Cat Predator 12 moderator with a ½ unf thread ready to go on the end of the new rifle and thus complete the package, I arranged with JT to meet him at the range do the necessary paper work and zero his rifle in for the very next morning’s hunt.
JT and his father another fine countryman of the old school met me at the range to see his son in action, we fitted the scope did all the paper work and went to fit the moderator onto the end of his new rifle, this is where disaster struck, Alison had sent the wrong thread instead of ½ UNF they had sent ½ UNEF on the P12, Ohhhhh bugger there is no time to source or sort a wild cat mod out in time for his boar hunt the very next day, I did have in stock a Mac Tec mod for a 308 cut for a ½ UNF so I had no choice but to signe that moderator onto his Fire Arms Certificate, job done we leaded in the rifle and zeroed it in at a 100 yards, JT was all set for his boar hunt the very next day, I called Alison to tell her of the problem and she had a ½ UNF thread for the mod in the post to me the very next day but alas it was too late for JTs boar hunt, So I said to JT keep my Mac Tec mod until we get a variation sorted and we can swap the mods back around als this may take some time as our brilliant fire arms licencing department are behind time and very short staffed etc, I must add Avon and Somerset fire arms department are great and do a brilliant job, I deal with many fire arms departments around the country as I am an RFD (Registered Fire Arms Dealer) but I will say Avon and Somerset are one of the best to deal with or answer any question or offer help.
JT saw a lot of boar but none that were part of the cull so did not get to fire a shot or break his cherry as it were with his new rifle, the weeks went by and turned into months as the weather has not stopped raining here, that coupled with work on my estate on the deer proof fencing being erected around the ornamental gardens held us up on the roe doe cull as we were asked to hold off any shooting until the work was complete, finally her Ladyship called me to say start the cull immediately, I said to JT time to start your training, the first stalk was more of a recce and give JT some pointers on approach field craft tracking etc, indeed he got to stalk in and get up close and personal with some deer but none that I had marked for the cull, we finished that stalk empty handed with deer but with our hearts full of knowledge being installed and passed on to a fine young stalker in the making, JT had a thousand and one questions after that hunt as you can imagine, it was nothing like what he had already done before, I tried to answer his every question some without laughing but one thing right away I saw that sparkle that passion in his eyes that it takes to be a deer manager.
JT stalked stealthily round on the wind as I had shown him and took a sitting position on the edge of the big wood and waited for the grazing deer to come into a position that gave a perfect back stop, I watched with eagerness watching his every move whilst also watching the deer, finally the deer were in the perfect position for a shot but alas the buck was stood in the way of the cull doe, JT waited he looked like a Kestrel hovering above a vole waiting for the perfect moment to stoop or in his case take the shot, The buck trotted on a few paces and now the cull doe was in the perfect position for a chance of a shot, I saw JT mount the rifle and wait controlling his breath and now his excitement, then Bang as the 308 let out its distinct muzzle report from the Mac Tec Moderator as the roe do fell on the spot with a distinct thump of a body shot.
I stalked stealthily up to JT as all the other deer bolted for cover, JT was smiling like a Cheshire cat and I thought he was going to do a jig, all the rifles were made safe and we headed over to locate his first ever deer a fine West Country Roe Doe, if I say so myself I could not have put the shot placement any better myself a pin point perfect heart and lung shot right to the engine room, now I know a lot of folk say take a head or kneck shot but that’s not my style, heads and kneck can move, I have seen other stalkers smash a deer’s jaw and the deer run off and we have to go look for it, the engine room does not move and is a far better humane shot even if you get a little bit of meat damage occasionally, so that’s how I teach and that’s how JT did it, I could not of been more proud than at that moment as he did a text book safe stalk and a text book shot placement, he said he was Buzzing, I laughed and said now for the hard part time to gralouch his deer, he did this in fine style taking it all in his stride as I taught him to check the carcase/innards for disease etc, and saving a nice bit of liver for his Ole Dad as a prize gift of a deer stalker.