Shootin HOSP question for you gun toting types

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DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

I've never been able to kill any animals. I figure they all do their thing. Until last summer. I started to have some of my favorite farm cats disappearing to coyotes or bobcats. I kept urging my gun owning nut husband to get out there and kill something!

HOSP and Starlings. I've not seen Starlings near my martins or house. HOSP however are. I always did the pull the nest thing daily the past few years until I read Steve Kroenke's post about creating a hostile male HOSP by doing that. Yep, that article converted me finally.

I ordered a trap from PMCA and my checking account was debited on 3/5 but it has yet to arrive and I don't know if that is usual or not. So my husband outfitted me with a .410 and trigger pulling happy I became.

However, with that I don't hit s....squat. But the HOSP seem more wary. Not on the houses as much. But the ittle buggers are still there. So I'm getting an upgrade kick back lesson to the 12 gauge. Apparently sometime back Mark sold our 20 gauge before I would ever even pick up a gun. That doesn't help me now.

Anyway, finally here's my question. Now that one male ASY is here...I wonder how he will take to the shootin. He was on the power line this morning. I tried to blast a sparrow that left the house (of course directionly no where near Mr. Martin or the house, or the old Porsche parked by the road for sale). The Martin flew in circles over my head and chattered up a storm at me. I'm not sure if he was saying, "I sure wish you'd become a better shot!" or "What the heck I'm outta here!!".

Does shooting scare off martins? Mine has been back for two days now.

Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
Dave W
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: Oregon/WI

Deb- I shot about 6 house sparrows around my housing last spring with a 12 gauge full choke and light #6 steel loads (I'm trying to go all non toxic on my shotshells). As luck would have it, every time I walked out of the garage with the shotgun and walked towards the housing, the sparrows would always fly off the house and perch in a lone birch tree near the house, giving me a safe shot from 30-40 yards away. They do get smart and spooky though. I shot a few starlings but they are vary wary. They haven't bothered my martin housing but did try to nest in my wood duck houses. I shot several sparrows while martins were in the housing and they took off alarmed but came right back to the housing. I wouldn't shoot regularly with the martins around but I don't think it bothers them if you just do it a few times. We're lucky to be in areas where we can shoot- I haven't had much luck trapping anything. Good Luck :!:
2016- 10 pair
2015-9 pair
2014-4 pair and a bluebird brood
2013- 9 pair
2012- 7 pairs - fledged 39 plus a bluebird brood in a gourd;
2011- 3 pairs - fledged 13 young:
Sparky
Posts: 1889
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2004 11:04 pm
Location: Texas/Katy

No problem shooting, as the martins accept this. Most use a pellet rifle, as a majority of landlords live in populated neihborhoods. If you are fortunate to live in a rural area where a shot gun can be used, go for it. Just make sure no martins are around when you pull the trigger. The pellet rifle works very well for snipping. However, good rifle "sighting in" and more skill is needed then a shot gun. Especially, getting those quick HOSP's.
I have relegated to the nest pulling and trapping methods as my neighbor's are way to close to use the pellet rifle safely.
I'm a "nestcamaholic" Is 18 hours a day a bad thing? (I have 2 this year, luckily I have 2 eyes!)
dsonyay
Posts: 1194
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total (May2020)

I use an airgun, mainly because of nearby houses. A few weeks ago I nailed a HS on a porch only 3 feet away from a male ASY- He didn't move.

My site is not established and I only have pair. If I were in open area, I'd be wary of using a shotgun until the site was well established. Just make sure you direct fire away from the gourd and preferably as far as you can away from there.

Maybe throw a big load of seed and bread in an area away from the gourds/housing to entice some HS to go there.... then blast away. Sort of an ambush :)
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

I read others use the pellet gun with scope. With practice I believe I will become proficient. Steady hands gifted. I asked Mark do we have a pellet rifle but not a scope? He said no, not one worth anything. A few weeks ago when he saw my box of 2.000 crickets he said, if you are buying crickets, I'm buying a new gun. Perfect. I might go out and fulfill that wish for him.

I do feed birds year round. I have a ton of native sparrows and just recently the HOSP have shown up in droves. I wondered how mean it would be to sit on my porch with a pellet gun and/or air gun (same thing?) and pick them off as they eat. It has always seemed a little rude to me. But maybe all of my other native birds will be cheering as well.

I always figured I'd do the plastic bag, either/CO2 method but I'm finding the gun and distance keeps it a little less personal than if I am holding the trap and looking at the birdie closely in my hand. I know, I know...give me a few years and I'll be twisting their heads off like Kathy in Licking.

Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
Dave W
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jun 29, 2011 3:31 pm
Location: Oregon/WI

Bird food is another factor, I think. I quit filling my regular feeders this time of year and only feed thistle to the finches and hummingbird nectar. The blackbirds clean out the regular feeders anyhow. Sparrows are defintiely attracted to millet, sorghum, and even black oil sunflower. Starlings are really attrac ted to suet. Withholding these at this time of year may help.
2016- 10 pair
2015-9 pair
2014-4 pair and a bluebird brood
2013- 9 pair
2012- 7 pairs - fledged 39 plus a bluebird brood in a gourd;
2011- 3 pairs - fledged 13 young:
jeffwilliams72
Posts: 267
Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2010 9:22 am
Location: Indiana/Carthage

Once you find a nestful of baby Bluebirds,Tree Swallows,or Martins with their heads pecked in, and a nest built on top of them, you may find joy in killing HOSP.
I know I do!!!! That will also motivate you to become a crackshot with the airgun and turn you into an avid trapper!!!
2008/1st pair/ 4 fledged
2009-2010 visitors only
2011/2 pr/9 eggs/8 fledged
2012/9pr/33 fledged
2013/27pr/101 fledged
SoIndyDon
Posts: 189
Joined: Sat Apr 29, 2006 8:45 am
Location: Indiana/Scottsburg

I pick-off house sparrows and starlings with my .22 and the nearby perched martins at most turn their heads to look. They seem to understand they have nothing to fear. The martins even seem to relax with the pest's sudden departure.
Landlording since 1996 in beautiful southern Indiana.
NancyinEnidOK
Posts: 158
Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2011 4:06 pm
Location: Oklahoma/Enid

Dave W wrote: . . . Sparrows are defintiely attracted to millet, sorghum, and even black oil sunflower. Starlings are really attracted to suet. Withholding these at this time of year may help.
OR -- strategically placing millet, sorghum, black oil sunflower, and/or suet to attract the HOSP and starlings where one can get a clear shot at them -- might be worth trying as a predator control measure? :twisted: :twisted: I have picked off a few from my front porch and also shoot from a couple of upstairs windows (wish I hadn't calked all the others shut!). I still feel kind of bad killing them and feel sorry for them (after the fact). After all, it's not their fault they were born trash birds who don't even belong here. But I'd much rather feel sorry for a dead HOSP or needle beak than to be grieving for some native bird(s) that they've displaced or butchered.
Nancy

PMCA MEMBER
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

DebA wrote: I know, I know...give me a few years and I'll be twisting their heads off like Kathy in Licking.

Deb
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: Atta girl! 8)

I like the traps - it takes up much less of my time to trap than it does to stalk them with a gun (although, I still do). :wink:
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
TheCav-MO
Posts: 64
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2011 2:56 pm
Location: Missouri/Macon

I don't sit out on the deck watching the martins with out my marauder setting on the rail beside me. It's scoped in at the exact distance to my housing. Can pick off a rat with other birds around them. The whack of the pellet smacking the rat startles the others more than the air rifle does. But I also keep traps set too.
Brad-AL
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:00 pm
Location: North AL

I'm fortunate to live in an area where I can shoot a 22 rifle, safely. I shot a male HOSP off one of my gourd racks this morning. Every time I shoot, the Martins fly up, circle and land back on the racks. I use a scope.
High quality plastic gourds with porched, tunnelled SREH are Martin magnets.
DebA
Posts: 1941
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 7:43 am
Location: Pratt County/Kansas
Martin Colony History: Start 2009 with one pair. Upgraded from S&K houses to two Trendsetter 12's with gourds beneath in 2013. I have experienced job, pet, and parental losses since '13. The Purple Martins lift my spirits and remind me how life continues forward by flying their little selves from Brazil back to my yard. As one forum person once told me, chin up DebA, look at the martins. Danger all around but yet they soar in the sky without a care in the world.

Thank you everybody! Once I mentioned wanting the whole pellet gun with scope, my husband suggested the .22 with or without scope. Of course we have both in our arsenal already. I am ready to try the "pick off from my porch" method. Adjacent to my feeders is a large group of lilacs that the birds prime from. This time of year it is easy to see what species they are. Once proficient enough I'll try to pick them off the house perches or porch. It will take some time for me to trust myself to not shoot my house.

My husband loves the martins too but I'm the one that became obsessed (hooked). He seems to love this shooting side of mine developing.

My universal trap did arrive today in the mail. Here we go.

Oh I didn't mention the first trigger I pulled when Mark went to town last weekend was a handgun that he supposedly bought for me. I'd never shot it before but felt it was the best gun I'd understand since I'd been shown. I knew it was powerful but hey it's touted as a home defense weapon and watching those happy little sparrows was ticking me off! It's called The Judge. Mark was grinning when he pulled up and realized. He asked if I'd used hearing protection. No and my ears did ring. He said always use protection unless someone was coming at me after breaking into the house and then just shoot. :)
Deb
PMCA MEMBER
Pratt County, Kansas
2016 34 PAIR
2015 27 PAIR
2014 23 PAIR
2013 13 PAIR
2012 6 PAIR
2011 4 PAIR
2010 2 PAIR
2009 1 PAIR
dsonyay
Posts: 1194
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total (May2020)

The Judge is cool! A handgun that shoots 45 cal as well as shotgun shells :) Well it's a .410, but that's still a shotgun.
Brad-AL
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:00 pm
Location: North AL

Deb, I have shot just about every 22 cartridge made. I'm shooting Aguila 38 grain Subsonic HP loads now. They are very, very accurate in my gun. More accurate than some "match" grade ammo I have shot. I order them by the brick (500 shells in this case) from Midway USA. Not only are they very accurate, they are quiet. If your racks are 50 yards or less from where you will be shooting, you might want to give them a try. I would definitely recommend using a scoped gun. The easiest time to shoot a HOSP is the very first time you shoot at it. They are typically very tame early in the year, unless you shoot and miss them, which I still do. Those suckers are tiny.

You can buy one box of 50 or 500, which is 10 boxes of 50.

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/250638 ... cm_vc=S016
High quality plastic gourds with porched, tunnelled SREH are Martin magnets.
KathyF
Posts: 3518
Joined: Thu May 24, 2007 1:57 pm
Location: Missouri/Licking
Martin Colony History: Colony started - 2007 with one pair
As of 2018 - 84 cavities offered, max # of pairs hosted - 82.

Agree with Brad. The first shot is the most crucial. Afterwards they get wary of you!

Take your time, make sure you're breathing right and have him in your sights and follow through. If he's hopping around or you're not 100% sure you can get the shot, it's best to wait for a better shot. Even if it means waiting a while. It will be far more productive to wait if you don't believe you have a *good* shot. :wink:
"Sometimes", said Pooh, "the smallest things take up the most room in your heart."
2016 - 82 pair
2015 - 76 pair
2014 - 75 pair
2013 - 75 pair
2012-72 pair
http://kathyfreeze.blogspot.com
dsonyay
Posts: 1194
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:10 pm
Location: Louisiana/Broussard
Martin Colony History: 2010-2014 located in Slidell LA. Gourd rack with 16 gourds. Max of 2 pairs during this short period in Slidell. Plenty of fledglings.

2014-present.. moved to Broussard LA. Same Gourd Rack but added a 6 room house (modified from a 12 room)

2020: after a long drought of nothing, 4 pairs and 4 nests, 23 eggs total (May2020)

And if you shoot the ammo Brad mentions and combine it with a high quality rifle and scope, you'll be able pick off a dime at 50 yds.
Brad-AL
Posts: 566
Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:00 pm
Location: North AL

dsonyay wrote:And if you shoot the ammo Brad mentions and combine it with a high quality rifle and scope, you'll be able pick off a dime at 50 yds.
The scope makes all the difference in the world. I finally broke down and bought a "quality" scope for my 22. I put a Nikon Prostaff with BDC reticle on it. I love the BDC reticle. There is a great website, Nikon Spot On, that you can input your bullet and ammo specs and it shows you how to compensate for different yardages with the BDC reticle.
High quality plastic gourds with porched, tunnelled SREH are Martin magnets.
Guest

I suggest that you use #9 shot in the shotgun at 20 yards max. The #9 shot is very small and there are a lot more of them in a shell and they produce a pattern that is more likely to hit the sparrow.
My preference is a .22 cal Benjamin pump pellet gun with a 4 power large rifle scope.
DornCounty
Posts: 2172
Joined: Tue Feb 14, 2012 3:58 pm
Location: Rural SE Kansas
Martin Colony History: .
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Trio-Jedi

I am new like you have have spent many hours of research on Sparrow and starling control. In general Shooting does little good according to most people.

You have to setup a trap, and typically a repeating trap to make a big dent, especially if you are in an area with an allready sparrow heavy zone.
2017 - Home & Public Colonies - 300 Cavities
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