Prairie Dog shooting


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Cramer
January 22, 2006, 10:56 PM
Looking for any info on prairie dog hunting. I'm looking to buy a rifle not sure what caliber to go for or make of rifle. I read a rewiew on the Savage model: 12bvss in 22-250, it sounded good. Live in Missouri and would have to travel to find a good place to shoot them. Where might be the best place?

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dakotasin
January 22, 2006, 11:32 PM
do you want a dedicated doggin' rifle?

dog shoots are typically fairly high-volume affairs, depending on your style of shooting. are you looking to stretch your range or just want to blast for a bit at short-to-medium ranges?

heavy-barrelled rifles in modest calibers are the best for general prairie dog shoots for 600 and in shooting. 223, 22-250, 243, 6mm, and 25-06 are the best. the heavier the chambering, the more important the weight of the rifle, but the easier it is to make long shots.

for a new dog shooter, i'd reccomend something along the lines of a remington 700 vls in 22-250 or 223, in that order. good luck!

do not cheap out on the glass. a day of prairie doggin' w/ junk optics will give you a headache that will take you a week to recover from.

Cramer
January 23, 2006, 05:27 AM
Yes I like having a dedicated rifle or shotgun for each animal I hunt.

dakotasin
January 23, 2006, 05:38 AM
ok, here's your recipe for prairie dogging happiness:

remington 700 vls, 22-250.
- fix the trigger, float the barrel, bed the receiver.
harris bipod
farrel base
warne low rings
leupold 6.5-20x50 (you'll need the 1" variety, or will have to use medium rings and a high cheek weld)

if you handload: h-380, fed 210, win cases, hornady 55 v-max
if you think you can afford to shoot dogs w/ factory ammo, start w/ hornady varmint express and go from there.

you want the rifle to be very heavy, and the vls using warne/farrel is indeed quite heavy. if you aren't adverse to modifying the gun more, hog out the barrel channel, and epoxy in lead shot. it will make the rifle more stable on the dog town.

good luck!

T.R.
January 23, 2006, 10:19 PM
Enormous public lands in western South Dakota available for prairie dog shooting known as Buffalo Gap National Grasslands. Buy your map at their headquarters in Wall, SD. Due to Clinton-era restrictions, no shooting on the grasslands until after June 1st.

I suggest a heavy barreled Savage 112V in .223; buy your ammo in bulk (1,000 cartridges) from Black Hills Ammo.
TR

swan hunter
January 24, 2006, 12:10 AM
I used one of those 12BVSS's last fall in NE. Had a great time...Rifle is unbelievable for the price. Great accutrigger! 22-250 does quite well.

Best hunt I ever had was about 100 dogs in about 4 hours. Take a backup rifle just in case you break down or want to let your barrel cool down.

MarshallDodge
January 24, 2006, 01:10 AM
There are definitely lots of prairie poodles in South Dakota. I have shot them with a Rem 700 VS .223, VLS 6mm, Custom 700 .222 ( jewel trigger:D ), Custom AR-15, Ruger 77/22, .357 Mag, .45 ACP.

I usually bring a couple guns to shoot, at least a .22 and a .223 . Anything beyond 50 yards with the .22 will be a slow death.

We start shooting up close with the .22's and then as they start hiding further out we get out the bigger stuff. Then when the barrels get hot we go back to the .22's and walk around looking at the carnage. Be careful when you are out in the field and do not touch the dead ones. PD's have been known to carry diseases including Bubonic Plague. Also, look out for rattlers, I shot a 4' rattler in the back of the head with my .22 when I was out looking.

Oldnamvet
January 24, 2006, 01:31 AM
I'm curious. What eats all the carcasses left from a hunt? Coyotes, fox, vultures, ??? After a long hunt, what does the field look like the next day? Buzzards all over or do the remains disappear at night?

dakotasin
January 24, 2006, 01:34 AM
coyotes, fox, hawks, ferrets... whatever.
yep, even after an extended shoot, there won't be carcasses the next day. all gone before the sun comes up.

Cramer
January 24, 2006, 04:50 AM
I was told I should get a fluted barrel due to the heat of shooting round after round on the dogs. I was thinking I would like a stainless steel barrel also.
Anyone know much about the Remington Model 700 VS SF II, or LVSF?

palerider1
January 24, 2006, 05:00 AM
Looking for any info on prairie dog hunting. I'm looking to buy a rifle not sure what caliber to go for or make of rifle. I read a rewiew on the Savage model: 12bvss in 22-250, it sounded good. Live in Missouri and would have to travel to find a good place to shoot them. Where might be the best place?


depends on how much you want to spend. gunworld did an article on prairie dog hunting in the 2/2006 issue using a cooper rifle and got a headshot using a .25 WSSM round at 817 yards. the cooper rifles seem to be very high grade and accurate. more money than i want to spend though. 1500-2500 bucks depending on what you get. if i went i'd probably use my 6.5x54 manlicher

dakotasin
January 24, 2006, 10:32 AM
Anyone know much about the Remington Model 700 VS SF II, or LVSF?



i have a couple lvsf's. great guns, but not ideal for prairie dogs - a little too light.

a fluted barrel is nice and all, but the heat dissipation thing is over-rated. it doesn't matter if the barrel is fluted or not, you're going to have to take cooling breaks.

MarshallDodge
January 24, 2006, 12:25 PM
I'm curious. What eats all the carcasses left from a hunt? Coyotes, fox, vultures, ??? After a long hunt, what does the field look like the next day? Buzzards all over or do the remains disappear at night?
I have never seen it but I have been told that PD's are cannibals and eat their own :barf:

dakotasin
January 24, 2006, 12:37 PM
yes, that is true - i have seen it.
i was on my first dog shoot w/ a friend, and i had just hammered one standing in a group of 4 or 5. the one now standing next to the recently deceased decided lunch was served... i shot him next. it was an eye-opening, addictive experience, and i go on frequent shoots now.

i've also seen them start chewing on each other before one is even dead yet.

prairie dogs are gross little things, and a riot to shoot... why anyone would even think they'd be a good pet is beyond me, but i think that's all done for now anyway.

coyote204
January 26, 2006, 02:21 PM
I suggest the Remington 700 VLS in .204 Ruger. With good optics (a must) and the right rings/bases it's a joy to shoot. Hornady makes excellent ammuntion in this caliber and I use the 32gr V-max. The ammunition is cheaper than the .22-250 and has virtually identical ballistics. Prairie Dog shoots often burn alot of ammuntion and the .204 is pleasant to shoot all day. Also, the 700 VLS can be accurized easily, but it is very accurate out of the box.

Take a .17 HMR Savage 93 R17 along with you for the shorter shots and when your big rifle's cooling.

willsnipe
January 26, 2006, 04:51 PM
I've shot so many dogs, the only way I can justify it is tellin' folks I'm a militant vegetable rights activist!:D My buddies and I have tryed everything, including about a dozen wildcats, and I still shoot more dogs a year with a heavy 223 than anything else. They take a lot longer than a 22-250 to heat up, and in really good dog towns, that is your limiting factor. Regardless of what caliber you settle on, I strongly reccommend a stainless barrel. Put a matte black barrel in the sun for a bit, and you'll get so many heat waves off the barrel you can't see diddley through the scope.:cuss: :banghead: :cuss:

Speaking of scopes, here's another tidbit I had to learn the hard way. You don't need top end optics for dogs. My dog guns are sporting optics from 4-16 to 10-40, but most are Simmons or Tasco. Prairie dogs, the genteel little critters they are, like to sleep in. They don't get active for the day 'till it warms up, so the light gathering and transmission edge is not worth the $. Spend that money on another rifle to shoot while that one cools off!;)

Good luck with your dogging. You'll love it! Be careful though... you can become a little obsessed!:rolleyes:

~z
January 26, 2006, 04:55 PM
As dakotasin said, dont worry about flutes. It is hard to have ONE rifle deticated to Pdogs. Two maybe, three is much much better. My cals. are .222, .22-250, and .25-06. Generally with a .22 or .22mag in the mix. Good luck.
~z

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