John's Journal...

The Catmobile

What Kind of Lights Does the Catmobile Use?


Click to enlargeEditor’s Note: The Catmobile, a varmint-hunting van designed by Gordon Burrell, a professional varmint hunter, will help you take more predators. Burrell says "I've built the Catmobile to keep my hunters warm, dry and comfortable and to make sure we leave little or no scent in the areas we hunt." Burrell's hunters only get out of the van to retrieve a downed varmint, remaining the rest of the time inside the van or looking out the top of the van while Burrell or the hunters call to the varmints.


Burrell uses hand-built lights with rheostats on them for predator hunting. In the past, you could buy a battery-operated headlight with a lens that tilted up and down at many ranch and farm stores. “I took one of thoClick to enlargese lights, mounted it on a bracket so I could hold it, and added a rheostat to control the amount of light being put out, depending on the moon phase,” Burrell reports. “I put that light inside a Pringles potato chip can I’d cut in half and placed a red lens over the front of the light. I wanted the light inside the Pringles can, so I could keep the light out of my eyes and be sure all the light went directly in front of me, with none of the light going outside the diameter of the can. Then I didn’t blind the hunter with the light when he came up through the roof of the Catmobile to take a shot.”

For a hand-held light, Burrell uses a 3-pound coffee can and places the light inside it. “I wrap silicone around the back of the light and the can so that no light escapes,” Burrell reveals. “I’ve put a red lens over the front of the can to keep the light out Click to enlargeof the hunter’s eyes and away from his riflescope when he gets ready to shoot.”


By having the lights set up this way, when Burrell stops the van, he quietly and cautiously can walk from the driver’s seat through the van to the back. He has a rack in place with the headlight already plugged in, and he’ll put it on his head and start calling. After Burrell’s called for 1 to 1-1/2-minutes, he looks for the predator’s eyes. If Burrell spots a predator, he motions to his hunter to take his rifle oClick to enlargeut of the rack, come up through the hole in the roof, load a round in the chamber and search for the predator. “Once my hunter spots the critter coming in, I want him to find the animal’s eyes in his scope,” Burrell says. “I put an old, taped-up pillow under the rifle for the hunter to rest his rifle on, which gives the hunter a solid rest from which to shoot. When the hunter’s comfortable and ready to take the shot, and the animal’s in close in an open area, I turn on my big hand-held spotlight (the coffee can), to illuminate the animal. Then the hunter takes the shot.”


For more information you can contact Rick Adley of Trophy Wildlife Adventures at (817) 656-1200.


Tomorrow: How Burrell Hunts

Check back each day this week for more about " The Catmobile"

Day 1: The Van and the Hunt
Day 2:What Kind of Lights Does the Catmobile Use?
Day 3: How Burrell Hunts
Day 4: How Burrell Hunts Year-Round Hunting from the Catmobile
Day 5: The Evolution of the Catmobile


Entry 369, Day 2