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Prairie Dog hunting

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Argentina, Nov 27, 2008.

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  1. Argentina

    Argentina TS Member

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    I am thinkng about going on several Prairie Dog hunts next year and am looking at rifles and scopes.


    Any thoughts on the 19/223 Calhoun. I have been told you can shoot this gun and the little recoil will allow you to still see the bullet impact through your scope...any truth to this ?


    What kind of scope do you recommend....when not hunting prairie dogs, I can shoot crows out of the pecan orchard ew live in...this time of the year the crows are everywhere.


    Where in the US is the best place to go prarie dog hunting.


    Thanks,


    Juston
     
  2. RogerNRA

    RogerNRA TS Member

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    If you are a reloader the 19 Calhoun is a fine P.D. caliber. If not, I would suggest the 204 Ruger......Roger
     
  3. BWPBeretta

    BWPBeretta TS Member

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    Been to Wyoming 2 and found the 22-250 to be perfect even in the wind. We shot out to 700 yards. The 223 are ok but not as good in wind. Also it is not uncommon to shoot 250 rounds per day so you may want to make sure ammo is available. I have also heard South Dakota has some great shooting.

    As to scopes I have 6.5 to 20 Nikon and Leoupold, but most shooting is done at about 12x. This allows you to see the target after you have fired. The 20x you loose the target most times. Good luck.
     
  4. BWPBeretta

    BWPBeretta TS Member

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    Been to Wyoming 2 and found the 22-250 to be perfect even in the wind. We shot out to 700 yards. The 223 are ok but not as good in wind. Also it is not uncommon to shoot 250 rounds per day so you may want to make sure ammo is available. I have also heard South Dakota has some great shooting.

    As to scopes I have 6.5 to 20 Nikon and Leoupold, but most shooting is done at about 12x. This allows you to see the target after you have fired. The 20x you loose the target most times. Good luck.
     
  5. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    You need 2 or 3 guns.........a nice quiet short gun like a fireball(17 or 221) or a 20 Vartag........a couple of 223's for mainstay guns, 1 is not enough as they get hot and need to be changed off.

    And a long range gun, can be anything from 22-250 up. they get hot real easy so save it for the tough shots and zero at 300 or so.

    That is if you want to go whole hog.

    Starting out use a 223 with 40 grain bullets, brass is cheap and it will run right with the 204. Get a 10 or 12 twist rifle as you wil be loading for 3700 FPS

    <a href="http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v245/halfmile/?action=view&current=After.jpg" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>

    If you find a place with too many call me.

    HM
     
  6. WoodsonEnt

    WoodsonEnt Active Member

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    I have been to South Dakota. For the price of reloading the .223 is hard to beat. If you are a reloader, and like wildcats.....I would suggest the .17 MachIV, the .17 Ackley Hornet, and the .20VarTarg. Cooper Arms and Dakota Arms makes guns in these calibers to buy off the shelf.

    Juston, I own a reloading supply store. If you would like to talk prarie dog hunting, or reloading just give me a shout! I will be more than happy to help you!

    Matt - Woodson Enterprises
    Phone: (270) 804-5454
     
  7. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Wow, There's a question with a lot of answers.

    First, do you re-load???

    What distance are you talking about? - 22 mag can be a great round if the distances are short (200 yards or less) - Better still the 17 HMR. Both are relatively cheap, but cannot be re-loaded.

    I am partial to the 223/5.56 platform - ammo tends to be cheap and abundant. This will take you out to the 300 - 400 yard range.

    Others will suggest the 22-250 - better distance for sure, but price for ammo gets up there.

    If you are coming into the US from overseas (your user name suggests this) ammo availability may be a real concern.


    Rifle

    LOTS of new rifles on the market right now - two inexpensive ones are the new Savage with Accu-Trigger (great value for the $$), or the Tikka line, again great value for the money.


    Scope

    I guess the standard here is the Leupold. Nikon has some great ones too.

    Personal opinion is that Zeiss is the 'best of the best' - you pay for this.

    I have tried the new Trijicon rifle scopes and they are stellar too, at a much lower price.

    Good luck
     
  8. 5spd

    5spd TS Member

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    I live in WY and no matter where you shoot you better have no less than 1k rounds of ammo ready to go. I have 4000 rounds always loaded up as I do shoot 8-9k per year on them. I use nothing but the Hornady 50gr Vmax in all my loads.
    I can sit (actually lay) in one spot and shoot 200 rounds easy in under 4 hours. In 2 days of shooting I can go through close to 1500 rounds, one time I shot 1183 p-rats in just 1 day starting at 7am, thats not including what my pal shot also.
    My main guns are Savage FP10s both in .223, thats all I ever need and all my shots average 150-250 yds. I can shoot 300-400 no problem, but try not to as I like getting everything under 250 yds then move around to trim the other areas. My pal shoots nothing but a .220 Swift and he likes them at 300-500 yards, so we shoot and cover a lot of ground together that way.
    My main .223 has a BSA Platnum target scope 6-24x44 that I can just dial up or down for my yardage. The other .223 has a Tasco mil dot target scope 6-18x44 also on it. Good scopes are a given, but then thats also open to personal preferences on which brand and what you want to spend. I do suggest at least a 6-18x44 scope with dial knobs.

    A .204 is just fine for them as long as its not a blowing wind you are shooting in....then you just do your wind corrections anyway. Ive shot one and yes it has little recoil vs my .223 which I can still see my hits.
    There is good p-dog shooting in WY, SD and east NE. Id stick with WY or SD though.
    Picture is a 345 yrd p-dog flyer just for you, top half of pic left of dust.
     
  9. cubancigar2000

    cubancigar2000 Well-Known Member

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    Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota with a 22/250 worked for me. Lots of dogs great calibur. Two guns?? yes if you can
     
  10. KENENT1

    KENENT1 Active Member

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    I too have hunted close to Rosebud, my favorite gun is an ar-15, with a 24" bullbarrel 1 in 9 twist with a 69 jhpb...great in the wind, and good to around 450 yds.,also hard to beat a 20 to 30 rnd clip, when you don,t lose the sight picture when you shoot, springfield armory also makes a good scope with bullet drop on the rectical.

    the 22-250 is also a great or longer ranges, but you almost need a spotter because of the recoil.


    the .17 hmr is also a good round out to 175 to 200 yds, these are nice because the report is not as bad, and it dosen't drive then underground as long.


    tony
     
  11. Texas Ton

    Texas Ton TS Member

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    No tellin how many 10's of thousands of rounds I've used prairie dog "shootin", but I can't say I've ever been prairie dog "hunting".

    I try to use an SKS as much as possible, just because of the cost of rounds, and I've used everything from a pellet gun to a .338. If I'm wanting to stay on a 1 to 1 ratio, no matter the distance, I'll take the 22.250.
     
  12. Jollytrapshooter

    Jollytrapshooter Member

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    I went to South Dakota about a year and a half ago, we went just North of Valentine, Nebraska (close to Rosebud). The 3 main guns we used were 22-250, which we could hit them out to 800 yards with, .223, 200-400 yards, and the .204, 100-300 with a little bit of wind. All of the guns had Leupolds on them ,but I think that's just mainly personal preference. We also had a 22 LR and a .17 HMR for the short range shots when we were walking around. Have fun, Josh.
     
  13. Rum River

    Rum River TS Member

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    I'm not familiar with the 19/223 Calhoun. If you're just starting out, you might want to stick to a .223 bolt gun at first. The ammunition is more common, and the recoil will still be light enough for you to watch the results. The Savage models are good and are affordable, their triggers get rave reviews. Try not to go cheap on optics, I've got a 6.5 x 20 Leupold and love it.

    With the cross winds I've encountered in the Dakotas, I prefer not going lighter than my .223 handloads with 50gr Nosler Ballistic Tips. Velocities are in the 3400fps range. Even with these I've had wind drift of 6-12 inches at 200 yards. In my opinion this makes the rimfires 100 yard guns at most if the wind is blowing hard.

    When I first started out I thought I would only shoot p-dogs that were in my gun's 'optimum' range of 200-300 yards. Trust me, once the closer dogs are staying down longer, and your only shots are at least 400 yards in a wind, you'll want to squeeze that trigger if the range is 'optimum' or not.

    You can shoot 50 to 100 yard dogs with a 300 yard or more rifle. It's damn tough to shoot 300 yard plus dogs with a shorter-range rifle.

    Two of us hunt with set-ups that are identical except for serial number. Remington 700's in .223 with Leupold 6.5 x 20 scopes, we don't use benches, preferring to lay prone and use the bipods. Hits out to 200 yards are no problem unless we do something dumb. Hits at 300 yards require paying attention to wind drift. Hits at 400 yards require a LOT of attention to wind drift. We have made hits at over 500, which took a fair amount of effort and ammunition.

    Dan
     
  14. Rooksd1

    Rooksd1 Member

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    I like the 6mm br low recoil and long range. I have one twisted 1-12 70gr. bullets and one 1-8 for 107 gr. bullets. The 6mm bullets are alot better in the wind than the .22 cal. I like to be able to stay on the gun and the recoil on the 22-250 is almost to much.

    Both of my 6 br's are built out of savage 112 varmint rifles. The barrels screw in and are very easy to change or set your head space. Very accurate.
     
  15. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    I am glad someone mentioned the 338 Lapua. A couple of friends make the trip from Ohio to Wyoming most every year and they have eyerything from 22 LR to the 338. The lapua is used ont the 800 yd or better shots. A side note, a couple of years ago just after getting back home the friend got a call about someone needed a steer shot that was loose in a bean field not to far away from a state highway. Well Dick was up for the job and popped the steer in the back of his head from abouit 500 yars away and he folded like a wet dish rag. The farmer sis not want to take a chance of a lawsuit from someone hitting a 1000 pound steer on the highway. They gutted him on the spot using a back hoe to hoist him up got it on a truck and packed the carcass with bags of ice and off to the processsors.
     
  16. Argentina

    Argentina TS Member

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    Guys,


    Thanks for all the information. As you can tell I will be new to "shooting" prairie dogs and want to purchase the right equipment to start with...it will be cheaper in the long run.



    When I started shooting trap if you told me I would spend over $1000 for a shotgun, I would have told you that you had lost your mind. Started out with a Remington 1100 and went up from there...now we have 4 Perazzi's in the safe.



    So I know now to ask questions and to LISTEN. Let me know any other information on Shooting Prairie Dogs that you may want to share.



    Thanks,



    Juston
     
  17. Bob Hawkes

    Bob Hawkes Well-Known Member

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    Justin, LOL, isn't that the truth! Amazing how quickly they add up. The 204 Ruger from Savage is getting my attention. Hadn't thought about the 6mm br, it makes a lot of sense. Good luck and have fun. Bob
     
  18. Dove Commander

    Dove Commander TS Member

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    Don't forget the 22's. Often, you'll move ahead and close range dogs will bark at you with just the top of their head showing. Also a lot of fun to "walk in" long range shots with them. A good high power scope is a must. have fun.
     
  19. whiz white

    whiz white Strong Supporter of Trapshooting Banned

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    I use the 22-250 and 223 here in Western SD.

    I had a 17 Remington when they first came out, nice caliber if there was no wind.

    I've always thought about a 6mm/224. 6mm case necked down to the 224 - should be about the same flight pattern as the 17 Remington.

    If you are interested call the Kadoka Chamber of Commerce for info.

    It is difficult if not impossible to shoot on the Indian Reservations now. We used to always shoot down by Red Shirt and beyond, but no can not.

    Whiz
     
  20. shooter99

    shooter99 Well-Known Member

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    Check out the site listed above.
     
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