Questions about air gun hunting in Pennsylvania
I am a brand new member and this is my first post. I am a retired man living in Pennsylvania. I was involved in firearms shooting sports when I was younger, beginning with high power rifle (M1 Garand) in the Air Force (4-year hitch). I shot more of this when I returned home from my base in Texas in 1967, and also enjoyed shooting indoor gallery competition and bench rest competition with my 22-250 woodchuck rifle. I have been fascinated by what I read of our modern PCP air rifles. After this brief intro, let me ask other members a question. I find the wording of the state's regulations to be somewhat ambiguous. I would like to be able to hunt woodchucks once again, but with limiting my shots to 75 to 100 yards (no more 200+ yards as before!). If I wished to hunt squirrels and/or rabbits, the upper limit of caliber would be restricted to .22. The regulations state that you can hunt woodchucks with an air rifle that is at least .22 caliber. If we are to agree that words have meaning, then those words would indicate that a caliber of more than .22 could be used when hunting woodchucks. However, I can imagine that the one writing that regulation was merely differentiating between .177 and .22 caliber. Does anyone have a definitive answer on this topic? I don't need to tell my fellow members who already own PCPs of the considerable outlay of money that is required to enter this sport/hobby. I will need the rifle, scope, scope mounts, bipod, scba tank with fittings, an assortment of pellets to test, targets and ideally a chronograph, rangefinder, and possibly a portable bench. With my experience in shooting bench rest, I would not be inclined to mount a lower-level scope on even an inexpensive rifle. I have yet to find out if a local firehouse or paintball shop would fill a 4,500 psi tank for my purpose. I do not have a property on which I might set up a range, so I would have to travel to a state range or find someone who would allow me to set up a portable bench and shoot on their property. You see that I have somewhat daunting challenges in getting back into the shooting sports and hunting that I so loved. Call it this old man's "bucket list" if you will.
Returning to the main topic in my question, I realize, if everything else works out, that I could get a powerful .22 caliber rifle, such as the Brocock Bantam Sniper HP and cover all my hunting possibilities. Or, I could opt for an FX Wildcat Mk ii in .30 caliber (if this is permitted in PA) and use it for woodchucks and perhaps on a coyote. I once called up (with a mouth call) a gray fox when I was in Texas in the Air Force. I was unable to get a shot with the .222 Remington rifle I had with me as was practicing through my car window and there was a home nearby. The fox actually crossed the road and walked behind my car. When they hear the call of a critter they think is an easy meal, they can ignore a lot, except our scent. I could get a .22 caliber liner (actually the barrel, of course) for the wildcat, or opt to get an additional entry-lever pcp in .22 for plinking, targets, and squirrels/rabbits. It is something when you have never actually seen a PCP in person, much less fired one. I have also considered the taipan veteran, as I am very aware of the importance of a good trigger. If anyone lives in the area of Quakertown, PA, I would love to hear of your experiences with your rifle(s). I hopefully will be more brief in any future postings. I guess I'm the guy, when given an assignment to write an essay of 500 words or less, thought "What, I am limited to only 500 words!). Thank you for your replies.