Shootin' Squirrels in E. Oregon


April 11, 2003, 07:26 PM
Went over to the Burns/Crane areas of Eastern Oregon and shot hundreds of ground squirrels (sage rats) last weekend. Boy was that a blast. For any of you who have not done this before, you've got to put it on your to-do list.

Between six of us, we probably shot 300 of the little suckers in less than two days. Went through about 6,000 rounds of .22lr. The best part of it is that the farmers love people to come out and shoot them. There are thousands of the them living in the alfalfa fields. Farmers hate 'em 'cause they tear up their fields.

Basically, we just rode around in the back of a truck and shot squirrels all day. Spent all day in 1-2 fields. Then, that night, we went out spotlighting for jack rabbits. That was fun too, but there weren't too many rabbits out that night.

Anyway, just thought I'd tell you all about the trip. If you ever get the chance to go over to Eastern Oregon to shoot some squirrels, you should do it. You won't be disappointed.


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Art Eatman
April 11, 2003, 11:49 PM
sounds like a lot of fun, while at the same doing your bit for agribidness. :)

But isn't 20 rounds per each somewhat indicative of a need for some practice on sight-picture and suchlike? :D


April 12, 2003, 02:01 AM

I gotta agree. I spent a few days last summer zapping the little ground rats, and I had a blast (literally!).

As for the ammo expenditure, it was high for our trip as well (but not that high!). Walking around, you startle a rat, and he takes off, you try to stop him. Maybe takes 10-15 rounds before you slow him down, then finish him off (also, don't use hardball ammo, it doesn't kill as quickly. I felt real bad about some squirrels that were shot through and through several times before they slowed down. Next time I'll use better ammo). Other squirrels we could sneak right up on, and put one round through the head.

I'm planning to do it again this summer, probably with the Buckmark that I'm planning to pick up (last year I used a Marlin single-shot range rifle).

Art Eatman
April 12, 2003, 10:07 AM
Yeah, I can see where shotting running rats with a rifle would create some fast and furious trigger-pulling.

Back some 20+ years ago, there was a population explosion in the jackrabbit world, in SW Idaho and northern Nevada. I was visiting a buddy in Winnemucca, and we went out and shot a fair number. Later on, he told me, bored with just sitting in one spot and shooting jacks with his Mini-14, he'd walk through the sagebrush with his Commander in his (then rather primitive) IPSC holster. When a rabbit jumped, he'd draw and shoot. He was hitting about one out of three, but then he was a five-second El Presidente shooter...

:), Art

April 12, 2003, 02:31 PM
Ya, I admit 20 rounds per rat is a little high but we weren't trying to conserve ammo. Most of us were using open sites and often shooting while the truck was moving. We shot a lot more rounds than were necessary to kill the critters but we were just having fun. We weren't concerning ourselves with accuracy too much. It was a blast!


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