The air is cooling down, the trees are beginning to shed their summer leaves and squirrel season is here again in South Carolina. If you’ve seen me previously in the squirrel woods, you might have seen me with a break-barrel air rifle or a PCP in my hands ready to drop those acrobatic, twitchy tailed, tree-hopping snacks. When it came time for another foray into the squirrel woods, I chose the Seneca DragonFly Mk2, from Pyramyd Air.
Sponsored by Pyramyd Air
The Seneca Dragonfly Mk2 in .22 caliber is a pneumatic pump air rifle; MSRP is $199.99. This one is going to be great for squirrels. I like to say, “It’s powered by you!”
What do I mean? The minimum required pumps to enable you to shoot is three, but you can pump it up to 15 times, which is what I recommend for hunting. When taking out game, you want maximum penetration energy. The Seneca Dragonfly weighs in as a lightweight, at six-and-a-half pounds. Another great feature is its multi-shot capability: a one seven-shot mag is included, as well as a single shot tray. However, you may purchase more magazines from Pyramyd Air (MSRP at $22.99), allowing you ready for your next shot quickly. It’s also easy to maneuver through the woods; after all I am hunting squirrels with this airgun. Keeping up with them until they pose for the perfect vital shot can be a challenge!
First things first — mounting the scope, I chose the Hawke Sidewinder 30 6-24×56 for this one; it has an MSRP of $649.99. Next came range time, with pellet testing and sighting it in. I began at 25 yards with several different pellets and found I could use almost any of the pellets I tested, but I chose the H&N Sport pellets 15s, with an MSRP of $9.99. Once I had dialed in the scope, I shot out to 50 yards. Now I know what type of adjustments to make when taking a longer shot. That’s right, I said 50 yards, with a pneumatic pump gun! I know I was just as surprised finding the Dragonfly’s accuracy is not slack — even at that distance.
The Hunt (and Extra Tips on Squirrel Hunting)
With the Seneca Dragonfly MK2 already pumped to its maximum pumps of 15, one of my three multi-shot mags loaded and inserted into the breech, eye pro and H&N Sport pellets in tow, I entered the woods with high hopes. I went to a place where I often see those furry acrobats doing everything but flying as they maneuver through the different living spaces of their home. I would call them ninjas, but that would imply they are quiet; if you hunt, you know that’s not the case at all. As I scanned the tops of the trees and concentrated on the noises that surrounded me, I found a place to settle in and wait for them to become comfortable enough to make an appearance. There were no squirrels to be seen or heard! No scratching of the tree bark while they ran up and down the trees and no barking back and forth to one another, planning their next cob heist. That led me to a question – do squirrels know the intentions of my heart? After no sightings nor hearings, I decided to move onto another promising place, the woods in my backyard.
Since I couldn’t find a rest, I attempted an offhand-shot. After all, this is an extremely light gun. I missed clean. He didn’t move at all. I wasn’t sure what to expect the squirrel to do when I began to pump the Dragonfly 15 times. I didn’t think he’d stay in the same place as I pumped away, but the pumping seemed much quieter than I remembered it to be at the bench. I took another shot and missed again. I guess he didn’t want to give me a third chance and made his way up one of the tallest pine trees and out of sight. I pumped the Dragonfly again to be ready for the next one.
There he stood – perfectly posed, about 20 yards away. I placed the crosshairs on his head, but as soon as I went to pull the trigger, he decided to reposition. Unfortunately for him, that was an even better shot presentation. One head shot brought him straight down. The only downside to hunting behind my house is, I have some competition – my cat, Ginger – who seems to think it’s her kill and if she gets there before me, she may attempt to carry it off. I act fast and retrieve my bounty.
Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed some limbs moving at the top of an oak tree, while squirrel #3 made his way from the inner, stronger, thicker branches to the much weaker outer ones. He gave his position away. I placed the Dragonfly on the nearest available rest I could find, put the crosshairs on his head and pulled the trigger. This one, he almost looked like an Olympic Diver as he beautifully and gracefully made his way down as perfectly as possible to impress the judges. Another one in the bag!
Now this squirrel … I had to travel to get. I paused to scan the woods for movement when I heard the most pleasing sound to a squirrel hunter’s ears, a barking squirrel. I didn’t see him, so I followed the sound, stopping occasionally to listen and to be sure I headed in the right direction. Once I laid eyes on that furry tail, something I recognize so well, I peeped through the Hawke scope to be sure it was he and … just as I thought, target confirmation! I found one place, about 45 yards from him that allowed me to rest the gun. (This is where the testing at different distances comes in handy.)
I placed my crosshairs a half-mildot high and shot … another Olympic diver found his way back to earth! Through the spider webs and thick brush, I rushed to get him, in case he ran off. I couldn’t find him anywhere. I was concerned my cat got to him first, I looked around the tree he fell out of, looking for a hole he may have gone in, but there was nothing! I changed my squirrel hunt to a “Ginger hunt.” As I maneuvered through animal trails in the brush, I heard some rustling pine straw. As I approached where the sound was coming from, I recognized that little body and recovered squirrel #4, placing him in the bag with the other ones.
That squirrel hunt now ranks as one of my best solo squirrel hunts ever! I spotted four squirrels and harvested three of them. Since the sun started setting, I had to quit. Three is not enough for one meal; these will go in the freezer.
The Seneca Dragonfly Mk2 has impressed me. In fact, I was amazed at my success with a pneumatic pump air rifle. It showed itself to be quiet and accurate – two important qualities for successful squirrel hunting, for sure.
Find your next squirrel (or other game/plinking) air gun at Pyramyd Air.
I know the Dragonfly is an Air Venturi but it sure looks like the first gen Artemus pumper I had briefly. All the same features except it had a very short pump handle that made it very hard to pump. 3 pumps were about the same power as 5 with the Benjamin 392 I had though. It only went to 8 pumps max, and I only put 8 in about twice. Big, huge improvement in the redesign pump mechanism makes me reconsider getting one of those, as the gun I had was very accurate. Not much room on the breech to mount a scope and still able to use mag or single shot tray (what I used.)