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Prarie dog hunting question

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by Doug Brown, May 16, 2011.

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  1. Doug Brown

    Doug Brown Well-Known Member

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    What's your idea of a good hunt? Shells shot/ number killed per day? Thanks
     
  2. WoodsonEnt

    WoodsonEnt Active Member

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    I had rather kill 100 with rimfires than 300 with .223. I had also rather get in the VHA's recognition list by killing (1) 500 yarder and (1) 1000 yarder than kill 300 a day. This is just my opinion. I still enjoy barrel burning days, but I don't live in P-dog country so I need to be selective. I am currently working on a 17HMR to take. That with a 17Mach2, 22Mag, and 22LR.....would be my dream hunt. All 150 yard in kills, and being able to watch the hits thru a scope is priceless.
     
  3. oz

    oz Active Member

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    Let us know when you kill one at 1000 yards with a rimfire. oz
     
  4. vmthtr in green bay

    vmthtr in green bay Member

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    Normal shooting for us is between 3 and 500 per day. We run about 80% kill to miss ratio. 223 AI is king. All center fires use a muzzle brake to see hits except the 17 Mach IV. We tried the rimfire thing and is boring as not aerobatics on the hit. This pic is from some time ago as Michael is now 16 but shows our typical set up.
     
  5. mike campbell

    mike campbell Active Member

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    "All center fires use a muzzle brake to see hits except the 17 Mach IV."

    Great pic....brings back memories. I once had 9 rigs working at the same time. They're all gone but one and I haven't shot it in several years.

    My Cooper 17MachIV wears a muzzle break. The cross hairs don't jump off the bullseye at 300 yds. It's like shooting a laser rifle.
     
  6. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Damn I miss shooting at the pop up targets, when I was in the Air Force, I was stationed for a while in S Dakota, we would go out by Spearfish and wear them out, my gun at the time was a Mdl 700 30-06, liked the way it vaporized them, I've got a 22-250 now but no prarire dogs

    When I was a kid we also would shoot gophers in the cow pasture, miss that too
     
  7. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    Catpower,

    I grew up on a ranch west of Spearfish so there is a good chance you shot on some of our ranch. That was around 65'-75'. I never could get enough .22s to do much damage to them back in those days and always dreamed of getting an accurate 'big gun' that I could shoot at long range.

    To the original question, what makes a good day of pd shooting? Well there are different strokes for different folks but mostly you know you had a good day when you come back sunburned, out of ammo, rifles need cleaning, out of cold drinks and you are not snake bit.

    The .22 centerfire rifles are tons of fun but there is a lot to be said for the old standy .22 rimfire. Never had a chance to go after them with a .17 HMR but that might be the best of both worlds. An accurate .22 handgun is also good for endless shooting fun.
     
  8. halfmile

    halfmile Well-Known Member

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    A three day trip should bring back at least a thousand empties. But usually you lose a day for weather, so 750 is ok.

    Mike, which table is lighter, the double thick or the reinforced?

    HM
     
  9. Boxbirder

    Boxbirder Member

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    To me a good day is machine gun fire all day. I am in love with the 20's now. But the 223 AI is king along with the 22BR. Guys sit there and make love to each shot, I want them to fold up, do the old shuffle, back flips and while having a good time. In the end the ranchers just poison them so get out there and tear em up.
    I have hit some towns that go for miles shooting 1500-2000 rounds, back in the 80's when not many shot them you could do it all day. Blame the King of Zortman Boyd Mace LOL
     
  10. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Wolfram, I might have been on your place, I always asked permission from the ranchers, as I was brought up on a farm and knew that was the right thing to do

    Sure do miss it
     
  11. plaw

    plaw Active Member

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    was planning a trip this yr. but the price of fuel has me thinking , maybe another year? Just bought a 700 .223 and a .17 hmr so from what is posted above, I have made the right choices.
     
  12. vmthtr in green bay

    vmthtr in green bay Member

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    I am using VV133 and a 50g Vmax and a CCI BR primer for my 223 AI load in IMI brass. Very tough. Work up for your brass. I am somewhere around 28grains. The bolt has the firing pin bushed to .062".

    Lightest bench is the one with the Savage on it. It has fold out legs and a single 1/2" for wooden top. I bought it from a fellow dog hunter who no longer makes them. The one my son is shooting from is the sturdiest and the heaviest.

    The boy is banging away withe the 223 AI built on a XP 100. I am using a 6 BR on a Savage with a PcNor prechambered barrel. Jim is using a 6.5X284 Shehane built on a Rem 700. (I made the 1000 yard VHA club with it) He does all our gun work.
     
  13. Brian in Oregon

    Brian in Oregon Well-Known Member

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    We don't have prairie dogs on Oregon. But we do have other varmints of the rodentia genus.

    The smallest are sage rats, also called sand rats. These are Belding, Townsend and other small ground squirrels, sometimes called gophers or picket pins. With them it's all about body counts. Basically sit in one position and dominate the field. Rimfire and 223 rule, but the 17 HMR is coming up fast. Body counts can range from 25 into the hundreds. My personal best is 205 from one field and that was from late morning to late afternoon, not all day.

    Next size up are gray diggers. These are California ground squirrels. They are skinny or even scrawny, with little edible meat. They're a pest species here. They're also very, very wary. These either require a lot of patience or stalking skills. Typically 1 to 25 depending on the time of season and if the young are being weened. Rimfires, Hornets, 223 and 22-250 are typical. The 17 HMR is getting popular, but wind is a very real issue. Shotguns are also popular, and because they are so skittish, are a good method in the sagebrush. I'll often carry both a shotgun and a 223, and sling one or the other. While body counts are nice, gray diggers are mainly about stalking and snap shooting skills.

    The biggest are Rock Chucks. These are properly called Yellow Bellied Marmots. They're a 3/4 scale Woodchuck. They sit up on rockpiles or rimrock, and dive at anything that comes within a couple hundred yards or more. Body counts are often low. These are all about long range shooting skill. The 223 and especially the 22-250 rule. Some use the 243 because of wind.

    While not a traditional varmint, there are also jackrabbits. Anything goes with them. Some areas are infested, others you'll never see one. They come and go, with seven year cyclic population peaks and crashes.Rimfires, shotguns, centerfires, anything works.
     
  14. epmn

    epmn TS Member

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    A good day out p'dogging is being with my father and my oldest son (he is 14 this year). These days I take a .204 ruger for my father and my son and I each have a .223AI, 22BR and 22-250AI. We always go late in the summer and there isn't any use for a rimfire because everything within 200 yards is in their hole after the first half hour. I usually load up about 2400 rounds for the three of us. I have to say that even though I keep a .204 around for my father, I have had three of them and I really don't like the round. It is plenty accurate but a 75 Amax does better out far and when I miss I can see the impact.

    Joel

    epmn_2009_1710.jpg
     
  15. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    One day I will go and have some fun.
     
  16. 500sks

    500sks Member

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    500sks_2009_09077.jpg


    You need a good rest for shooting here is what I use.
     
  17. johnjohn91387

    johnjohn91387 TS Member

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    I was there.....

    My buddy Erick Iverson popped 3 Cal. ground squirrels at 507 measured yards with a .17 Remington from a bench. Of course, it took a box of 50 rounds to get those 3 kills......his shot/kill ratio suffered mightly that day, but he made the 500 yard club at Varmint Hunters.....I was there. We measured the yardage out ahead of time and marked the field with surveyor's tape at 50 and 100 yard increments.

    The .17 cal. bullet apparently was going so slow that the squirrels just bled out, rather than vaporize like they do from a "real" centerfire.....I seriously doubt any expansion of the bullet occurred.

    Out to 300 yards or so, on a cold day, you could actually see the vapor trail from the bullet; closest thing to a "death-ray" I've ever seen. At the junciton of the vapor trail, and the ground, there was usually a spectacular red mist explosion...

    Still laughing about that day, and Erick has been gone since 1998.....

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane....


    John
     
  18. pheasantsgalore

    pheasantsgalore Active Member

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    Up, neat pics.......Rob
     
  19. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    500 sks - looks like your are set up for a buffalo shoot (black angus anyway).

    How does that #1 shoot for you? I have a #1V in .22-250 that is quite a ground squirrel vaporizer - lots of fun.
     
  20. larryjk

    larryjk Member

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    I use anything on P-dogs, depending on the range. My son and I like to shoot at long range for any caliber to see if we can get a hit on the first shot. I believe the most impressive red mist guns are the 20 calibers and the 22-250 and Swift. The 20s (20/223 AI and 204) are our pick to about 300 yds and after the 22s. If I could only use one rifle it would be the .223. That is the worst news P-dogs have had. The 20s we call the "Death Ray". Put the crosshairs on the dog, squeeze the trigger and watch the dog leave in several directions. Twenty to 25 dogs can be a successful day if the shots are long. We never rush; there is another day. If a rancher is having us do a "control shoot", we will normally take over 200 dogs a day.
     
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