Dispatching possums caught in cage

Hi Wondering how others kill their catches when caught in cages -ie possums or feral cats.
Wondering if we should invest in an air rifle?

Yes, any reasonable .177. or .22 air rifle will be fine, just ensure it has a high FPS rating (say above 700fps,) and keep it well maintained. Speak to your local hunting store, or a store such as Young’s Air Gun Centre.

A .22 rimfire with birdshot is an option if you have a firearms licence. I don’t recommend using .22 solids or hollowpoints as they will destroy your cages, birdshot won’t however. I have seen people use single shot youth .22 rimfire rifles with birdshot, they small and light.

A shot straight down just aft of the ears makes a fast and humane dispatch. See page #2 of the Landcare Research feral cat document:

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Thanks very much this is very good information - the next time that I am in Christchurch I will go to gun city and ask about the .177 or .22.

I’d recommend a .22 break-barrel airgun. I have a 177, but I’ve resorted to using special pointed pellets for better effect on possums and feral cats.

Be aware that some of the FPS ratings on these rifles are waaay over stated. My 177 is supposed to be 1250fps, but with a standard lead pellet, it fires around 900fps. I have a .22 air rifle that fires 890fps which does a great job.

As Andy says, .22 rimfire isn’t the best for the cage unless you can fire your shots down through the length of the body to absorb the impact.

I haven’t tried the bird shot on a possum.

Thanks very much - very helpful