Prairie Dog Hunting


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cleardiddion
May 31, 2009, 10:58 AM
So, I got all of my Hunter's safety paperwork and all that jazz done a few months ago and was able to squeeze in the last couple of weeks of small game season (no luck though) but that's been about it.

Ever since that small taste I've been really hankering to get out into the wilds and be able to enjoy it again. I get plenty of time outdoors already, being back home in Colorado there's not an excuse for not being outside :), but I do miss going hunting. I was doing a bit of research and it looks like the only things that are really open at the moment are:

Rattlesnakes, snapping turtles, and prairie dogs.

I don't really have much motivation to go after the first two but the last option sounds like something I would like to try.

I was wondering if some of you here could help me out with a couple of tricks and tips or anything else you wouldl like to share. I would especially appreciate bits on location.

Thanks in advance!

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logjam
June 1, 2009, 09:19 PM
I use two guns for Sage Rats, which is a little bitty Prairie Dog. I shoot a Remington 788 in 222 and a Savage model 93 in 17 HMR. Sometimes I use a Rugar 77 in .257 Bob, but not much anymore.

I'm a big fan of the 17 HMR. While it doesn't shoot much farther than 150/175 yds, that's a pretty long ways away. With a smallish scope that range is just fine for most shoot'n.

cleardiddion
June 2, 2009, 02:58 AM
How about a .22LR?

That's all I seem to have that's kinda approperiate for the prarie dogs

IdahoLT1
June 7, 2009, 02:34 PM
i dont like using the .22lr. yea its cheap but unless you buy match ammo, more ofetne then not, youre going to have numerous misfires with occassional jams. I will take a ballistic tipped bullet over a hollow point on varmints anyday. so if you can use a .17hmr or .22mag, you can get ballistic tips for them.

Heres a good comparison of a .17HMR with Hornady vmax ballistic tips and a .22LR with HP's. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGMvjhyuTr0

Heres another video showing the concept of rapid expansion on varmitns. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYigC49tnh8&feature=related

Whats ideal, in my opinion, for varmint hunting is rapid expansion. Its hard to get this with HP's but BT's can acheive this real easily. Basically, youre more likely to be one shot one kill with a .17HMR or .22mag then 5-6 shots per kill with a .22

Hungry Seagull
June 7, 2009, 02:45 PM
I had a friend who once told me about Prairie dogs.

Make a BOOM!

One dog comes up. Make another BOOM several more dogs come up.

Pick the one you want and blast it.

Costs three bullets but gives you choice of targets... errm.. dogs.. yes. Dogs...

IdahoLT1
June 7, 2009, 02:58 PM
more like shoot one and then shoot the others that are carrying the dead one back to its burrow where they will eat it.

dakotasin
June 7, 2009, 03:35 PM
use a centerfire - 22's ricochet so bad on a dog town they are pretty unsafe.

use sunscreen.

use bug spray liberally and frequently.

pick a comfy spot on fairly high ground, and move all your gear (including your cooler w/ water and soda) to that spot. shoot from that point only. you will get exceptional practice at range estimating, holdover, and knowledge of your rifle and its ballistics.

dullh
June 7, 2009, 04:45 PM
When I was living in Nebraska, a friend of mine from South Dakota invited me up and we settled on a ridge overlooking a prairie dog town and had at it. I didn't have a rifle at the time, so we shared his. It was chambered in .22-250. If I were to purchase a varmint rifle for prairie dogs, even coyotes, I'd buy a Browning in .22-250, put about a 4-16 x 42mm scope on it and go at it! Oh and by the way the location in South Dakota was Pennington County. This was about 15 years ago, so my info is not current - more relating a fun experience I guess.

HarleyFixer
June 8, 2009, 08:45 AM
I used to shoot them south of Gowen Field in Boise 35 years ago. We would spend all day on one town with 3-4 guys shooting .22lr. Head shots work good and watch out for the others trying to carry them off.

Keb
June 14, 2009, 02:50 PM
I am in Western Colorado and shoot mainly with a 22 Marlin 60. Many days I get 50 or more....the most at one sitting was 124. I use a portable shooting bench and sandbags.

I have used 243 223 17 HMR and 22LR. Many kills with 22LR out past 220 yards. Lazer measured.

Shooting alone you miss seeing the hit thru a highpower scope. You need a spotter to tell you.

So it often boils down to 3 issues...
safety of the area for higher power, and (2) the cost to shoot or (3)replacement availability of your ammo.

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