One injured while prairie dog hunting today.


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ole farmerbuck
July 5, 2009, 11:26 PM
One p dog that is, the rest were clean hits. I took the M77 ruger 22-250, stevens 200 22-250 and the stevens 200 .223 to the town today. A lot of young ones again and some long shots. I finally got 2 with 1 shot. Then a big one came out to check things out and he was a gonner too! They were a good 250+ yards out. 6 misses and about 40 hits. Using 38.6 gr of H380 with Nosler comp 52gr BTHP's. Except the 223, it gets 40gr v-max and 28.0 gr of H335. Works nice and lots of fun.;)

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saskboy
July 5, 2009, 11:27 PM
I got two big dogs with one shot from my 17HMR yesterday, only prob 120 yards though.

dacavasi
July 5, 2009, 11:31 PM
Is them-there prairie dogs good-eatin'?

fireman 9731
July 5, 2009, 11:32 PM
I wish there were prairie dogs in Kentucky!

I have nice stretch of land on a pipeline that would be perfect for them!

Anybody want to bring me some?

Larry Ashcraft
July 5, 2009, 11:40 PM
Is them-there prairie dogs good-eatin'?
Coyotes seem to think so.

But for people? Any animal who has a 50-50 chance of having Bubonic plague, will just lay there and be food for some other life form, as far as I'm concerned.
Anybody want to bring me some?
You don't want 'em. Trust me.

jackdanson
July 6, 2009, 02:52 AM
You don't want 'em. Trust me.

Yeah, your local farmers would be less than thrilled.

ole farmerbuck
July 7, 2009, 12:07 AM
They have pretty well taken over our pasture and its over 160 acres.

Fumbler
July 7, 2009, 12:28 AM
I'm just curious and have a few questions about Pdogs:

-are they native?
-what kinda pest problems do they create if any?

Don't take any offense to my questions. I'm really curious if there's a reason to shoot them other than for fun (we don't have them around where I live).

countertop
July 7, 2009, 12:43 AM
-what kinda pest problems do they create if any?

They destroy priarie - they litter it with holes and make it unusable for livestock.

Horse and cattle and dairy cows will get their legs caught in the hole, trip and fall breaking their legs and will need to be put down.

So, its generally either kill the varmits or put down your horses and cows.

That, and increased erosion (as well as spreading disease and underminign root structures of crops) are the big reasons to get rid of them. I'm sure someone who lives out there and deals with them daily can list other reasons.

bigione
July 7, 2009, 12:53 AM
Out here in western S Dak we lose about 90% of the grass and what is left isn't much valued. With taxes like they are, we need every acre to exist. Not to count the cost implsed my outsiders bidding up the land prices to 8 times there production value. It's tough in the cattle business right now.

ole farmerbuck
July 7, 2009, 07:18 AM
It's tough in the cattle business right now

It is tough! I know of one guy around here that lost $375.00 per head on a pen of cattle a while back. Ouch. The p dogs make it hard to even drive and check the cattle. Some of the mounds they make are big enough to get a 4x4 high centered. Some people say its cruel to shoot them but evidently they dont have cattle.

Fumbler
July 7, 2009, 10:15 AM
Man, sounds like they suck pretty bad.

moooose102
July 7, 2009, 11:44 AM
i wish there were prairie dogs in kentucky!

yeah, i wish they were here in michigan also. We have woodchucks, but they are no where near the number that prarie dogs are. I would love to find something around here that moves to shoot at like that. Of course, we have chipmunks, but they are in woods, where a long shot is going to be 50 yards.

RonE
July 7, 2009, 12:22 PM
Out here in western S Dak we lose about 90% of the grass and what is left isn't much valued. With taxes like they are, we need every acre to exist. Not to count the cost implsed my outsiders bidding up the land prices to 8 times there production value. It's tough in the cattle business right now.

Never owned a cow in my life but have owned some ranches with other peoples cows on them and have been in the real estate business since 1970 (mostly land and acrage) and I have never heard a cattleman say that things were great, only how bad things were. I do know that prices are down right now and things could be better but for crying out loud, quit crying! Real Estate is sold at market value, not production value.

Lots of ranches are more valuable as hunting property and have cattle on them only to satisfy the taxing authority for an agriculture tax exemption.

krs
July 7, 2009, 02:54 PM
Boys, if things are the way the were 15 - 20 years ago, getting geared up and making the trip up into the Dakotas for the specific purpose of helping those folks eradicate those pesky mutts is WELL worth your time, trouble, and vacation!

BUT.........a quick google for "Prairie dog Days" which was the name of a week long invite by some town in SD to come shoot those mutts was my initiation to how much fun shooting them things can be tells me that nowadays there are CELEBRATIONS of the prairie dog? And efforts to protect them as though they're an endangered species?

***???

Pokyman
July 7, 2009, 10:43 PM
Went on my first p' dog hunt this past spring. While it was a lot of fun, I would not wish prairie dogs on anyone. I was amazed at how they tear up the country. Some of the mounds were high enough to high center a pick up. Not much grass left after a bunch of them go to work. Some of the holes were the size of a badger hole.
I would say anyone wishing they had some were hunters not farmers and ranchers.

IdahoLT1
July 8, 2009, 09:31 PM
Sounds like you had a good time. Its too warm here now. The grass has started drying and they are eating each other now. Soon, they will all be down their holes because its too hot.

So my season is basicallu over, but we did have one daythat was the best in the last 5 years.

Between 3 guys, 3 different hillsides and 4 hours, we had 186 confirmed kills. My buddy was using his .223 with 40gr Hornady V-max and me and my younger brother were using our .308's using 110gr. Hornady v-max. When i say confirmed kill, im talking watching body parts fly 10ft in the air and go 15ft to the side from where they were shot.

Me and my younger brother both got 2 kills with one shot that same day.

Encoreman
July 20, 2009, 12:58 AM
I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer at all, I wouldn't have guessed the reason ranchers don't like the p'dogs. I saw a show a couple of years ago that estimated the p'dog population in 1 county in Texas at 30 million, now that's a pile of p'dogs.

ole farmerbuck
July 20, 2009, 01:14 AM
There are a few less in out pasture as of this weekend! Little varmits are getting smart. Going to have to sight the 250 in for a few more yards. Kind of hard to hit the top of a head at 200 yards. Thats about all i get to see a lot of the time now.

Nematocyst
July 20, 2009, 02:03 AM
They destroy priarie - they litter it with holes and make it unusable for livestock.

Horse and cattle and dairy cows will get their legs caught in the hole, trip and fall breaking their legs and will need to be put down.

So, its generally either kill the varmits or put down your horses and cows.

That, and increased erosion (as well as spreading disease and underminign root structures of crops) are the big reasons to get rid of them. I'm sure someone who lives out there and deals with them daily can list other reasons.OK, if we're going to discuss this, let's get our facts straight. :rolleyes:

If people want to kill them because they damage their crops or pastures, that's one thing. But don't call crop fields and pastures "prairie".

Prairie dogs are not exotic species. They evolved with the prairie, of which there is very little left. Cow pastures, corn and wheat fields are not prairies; they've been modified by the introduced species called cows and plows, which did more damage to true prairies than p'dogs (or bison) ever did.

A thousand years ago, when the prairies were intact, p'dogs were a natural part of a healthy, stable ecosystem. With destruction of prairies by human activities (no value judgment; just stating fact), and change in their predator numbers, p'dogs are now considered pests.

The information below is from here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prairie_dog). You'll find similar explanations in ecology journals. (That's ecology, not environmentalist.)

Emphasis added. Pronghorn and mule deer hunters take note.

Prairie dogs are also aggressive against predators such as badgers and snakes.

Prairie dog tunnel systems help channel rainwater into the water table to prevent runoff and erosion, and can also serve to change the composition of the soil in a region by reversing soil compaction that can be a result of cattle grazing.

Ecologists consider this rodent to be a keystone species. They are an important prey species, being the primary diet in prairie species such as the Black-footed Ferret, the Swift Fox, the Golden Eagle, the badger, and the Ferruginous Hawk. Other species, such as the Mountain Plover and the Burrowing Owl, also rely on prairie dog burrows for nesting areas. Even grazing species such as bison, pronghorn, and mule deer have shown a proclivity for grazing on the same land used by prairie dogs. It is believed that they prefer the vegetative conditions after prairie dogs have foraged through the area.

Nevertheless, prairie dogs are often identified as pests and exterminated from agricultural properties because they are capable of damaging crops, as they clear the immediate area around their burrows of most vegetation.

Art Eatman
July 20, 2009, 11:47 AM
Pdogs make tunnels from the main opening. The mound is from the dirt they excavate. Livestock don't step in the main hole; the tunnels can collapse beneath a hoof, and the animal's stumbling is what causes a broken leg.

In some areas, they are the main prey of the black-footed ferret, which is an endangered species. (if not "endangered", then "threatened") Those areas have restrictions on shooting Pdogs.

In the video "Exploding Varmints" from an alfalfa field in California, it appeared that due to the cleared areas around the holes and the reduced amount of alfalfa, some 20% of the crop was lost. Possibly 25%. Always remember that the ad valorem tax man doesn't care if a farmer or rancher makes a profit or goes broke.

Shooting Pdogs doesn't make any particular dent in the numbers. Eradication efforts via poison are another matter--but the shooter is merely having fun.

Deer and antelope may happily co-exist with the Pdogs, but they are free-ranging. Cattle are constrained to a given area and therefore the Pdogs are in competition for grass. (Same food-competition problem for deer and goats in Texas, for that matter...)

Nematocyst
July 20, 2009, 03:26 PM
Ah, a reasoned, knowledgeable voice. ;)

Just for the record, I support your (plural) right to shoot them.

Being a student of biology, I have a self-imposed rule (these days):
if I'm not going to eat it, I'm not going to shoot it unless it's trying to eat me.

That includes rattle snakes (I'll step around them and let them go eat mice),
bears (I avoid them and take steps not to attract them, especially to my tent) and p'dogs.

I'd rather just sit and watch them live and love (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kissing_Prairie_dog.JPG).
(I can do that for hours over days with chipmunks.)

IdahoLT1
July 20, 2009, 09:50 PM
Ah, a reasoned, knowledgeable voice.

Just for the record, I support your (plural) right to shoot them.

Being a student of biology, I have a self-imposed rule (these days):
if I'm not going to eat it, I'm not going to shoot it unless it's trying to eat me.

That includes rattle snakes (I'll step around them and let them go eat mice),
bears (I avoid them and take steps not to attract them, especially to my tent) and p'dogs.

I'd rather just sit and watch them live and love.
(I can do that for hours over days with chipmunks.)

While i respect your choice for not shooting them, i disagree with your stance on them. These rodents are disease ridden. When they over populate, they can carry/transmit Rocky Mountain spotted fever, rat bite fever, Tularemia, Chagas’ disease, adiospiromycosis and encephalomycarditis and the Bubonic plague to humans, if dead ones are handled.

These diseases can spread to livestock, pets, predators and humans. Most "praries" here are nothing but BLM land. Its all desert and sage brush. But its also open range for cattle owners. Even some people who own their own land, have thousands of acres where their cattel graze. These areas are usually severly over-populated. When cattle die out in the desert due to broken leg(s) or an infection spreads through a herd, beef prices go up for every market that the cattel are sold/butchered to.

Art Eatman
July 21, 2009, 12:00 AM
More biological digression: Sagebrush is to a great extent a replacement growth which is free to flourish because of over-grazing. We have the same sort of thing farther south, from Arizona to Texas with creosote bush (the "greasewood"). In the Chihuahuan Desert we have both the creosote and the false agave, lecheguilla.

The sage is beneficial for mule deer, but the loss of grasses in winter range contributed greatly to the reduction in numbers of Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep.

Pdogs are adaptable little critters. There's a colony behind the cop shop in Raton, New Mexico. I guess it might be from the bunch that once lived between the street and the parking lot of the K-Mart. There are a few not far out of Durango, easily seen from the train to Silverton.

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