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Walter Scott: Hunting flies and wasps with a salt gun

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Drakesville, Iowa.

Columnist Walter Scott

My wife bought me one of those new a-salt rifles. Not assault, like you are thinking. This is a gun that uses salt for ammunition and is designed for shooting flies and other annoying insects.

It is great entertainment, much more fun than swatting flies. I recommend only using it outside as wives get annoyed at having salt sprayed all over the house and it does shoot with enough force to remove paint or varnish off furniture.

With a range of two to three feet, a blast of table salt will kill a fly. Slightly increased range and killing power can be obtained by using coarse kosher salt. This unfortunately also causes more damage to painted surfaces, so a person must be careful where they are shooting their chosen prey.

When I first got it, there were plenty of flies for my shooting enjoyment. With the birds in the area catching more insects to feed their young and my shooting them, we are running out of flies.

My latest challenge has been hunting wasps. This is much more exciting as wasps get really annoyed when a person harasses them and can sting their attacker multiple times.


The a-salt rifle works much like a pellet gun. One pump and the gun is both loaded and pressurized. As a precautionary measure, the safety is also set each time the gun is pumped. This is handy so a person does not accidentally shoot themselves in the bare foot, which hurts,

I have been told. Having the safety engaged with each pump is not so convenient when actively engaged in a firefight with several angry wasps. It takes just a moment to disengage the safety, but that moment can be vital. I have found it is best to not shoot directly into a wasp nest. The first shot may take out two or three of the enemy, but the others are going to try to get even.

It is difficult to run backwards, pump the a-salt rifle, and remember to take off the safety when being swarmed by angry wasps. I am glad nobody had a video camera handy or I would be one of those viral videos.

A couple of evenings ago, my wife and I were sitting on the porch enjoying the cool evening. The trusty dogs were next to us, watching over their property.

Suddenly, Billy, the poodle, jumped up and ran off the porch into the yard barking toward the lake. As it was almost dark, we could just make out several deer on the other side of the fence, getting ready to come into the yard.

Jag, the terrier, stood up and watched the excitement as Billy tried to chase the deer. Jag knows he can not catch one and the deer have never bothered him, so he feels no real need to chase them. Billy was at the limit allowed by his collar and the deer stood another 25 feet away, refusing to run away.

Since Jag has no limitations, he needed to be encouraged to go after them. Jag loves guns. He has every confidence, when I pick up a gun, I am going to kill something and he is going to get to eat it. When I point a gun, he runs in that direction, knowing he will get to retrieve whatever I am pointing at.

He is more sure of my abilities than I am. The only gun I had handy was the a-salt rifle. Being green and yellow and made of plastic, it bears little resemblance to a gun. Apparently to Jag, it was close enough.


When I pointed it toward the deer, Jag was off, ready to bring back the deer I was going to shoot. When he crossed the fence, the deer took off. Billy was sure he had done his job of keeping deer out of the yard, and Jag was convinced I had one of my rare misses with the a-salt rifle.

Walter Scott is an outdoors enthusiast and freelance writer from Drakesville, Iowa.
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