How much is too much scope for prairie dogs?


March 17, 2013, 12:29 PM
I am looking to equip a .204 with a scope for p-dog shooting. I have several scopes on different rifles; 3-9X, 3.5-10X, 4-12X, 4.5-14X, and a 4-16X. Found a nice Bushnell 4200 Elite 6-24X on sale, but am wondering if that level of magnification will be useful or should I just use one of my other scopes. So, my question. Have any of you out there had experience with this particular scope (or one like it) when shooting p-dogs? How does it compare to your other scopes of lesser magnification in terms of usefulness?

If you enjoyed reading about "How much is too much scope for prairie dogs?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!
March 17, 2013, 12:38 PM
Somewhere around 20x and I think you will find mirage on a hot day to make it useless.

Were I you?
Any of the scopes you have are plenty of power for dogs and a .204.

400 yards / 12x is an apparent 33.3 yards looking through the scope.

You can throw a rock that far.


March 17, 2013, 12:48 PM
I agree with rc.

I have a Mueller 8.5-25x on my .22-250 and closeup, where you don't need the magnification, you can see the whites of their eyes, but, farther out, the mirage will almost get you seasick.

I have a Bushnell 3200 10x (fixed) with mildots and mil adjustments on my .204 and I'm really happy with it. The field of view is huge, for locating the next prairie poodle, and most shots are under 200-300 yards. You can always find longer ones, but, you're just lobbing shells at my skill level, with the wind whippin', after 400-500 yards. I actually thought about switching the Mueller to the .204, since I shoot that .204 more now, it'd be easy to do since I have them both on picatinny rails. But, due to the unneeded magnification and mil adjustments on the Bushnell, I haven't switched scopes.


March 17, 2013, 01:22 PM
I would say it depends on your eyesight. i am lucky to have 20/20 vision and can shoot my .308 with confidence out to 600 yards with a Leupold Mk4 2.5-8X scope. i've looked through some friends' high power scopes at 24X and the heat distorts the picture far too much for my liking.

i say this with zero experience shooting prairie dogs though.

March 17, 2013, 09:18 PM
Early in the season and when vegatation is normal, I have shot with 16, 20 and 24X. If you take more than one rifle (and you should), it's nice to be able to run them all at the same power. You get used to judging distance at one power and switching throws you off, or at least it does me.
Everything I take now has 4.5-14. I run 14 when I can, but dry weather has made mirage worse and most days I have to back down to 10X to see much over 300-350.

March 17, 2013, 11:38 PM
24x is about all I can use on a hot day, more power is nice in the morning when it there are still some shadows but, you spend more time in the heat of the day shooting Pdogs. First time of the year yesterday....yup, just like I remembered it. great in the morning but once the wind came up, my hits went way down!!!

Art Eatman
March 17, 2013, 11:40 PM
Just off the cuff, I'd figure a .204 as good to about 400 yards before the wind becomes a serious problem. I know from messing around that 7X is okay for prairie dogs to 300 yards. (I just moved the truck to a new spot when shots were becoming longer than 300. :))

So, I'd likely go with any of the 10X to 16X and not buy any new scope.

March 18, 2013, 12:31 PM
I've got a Simmons Whitetail 6X24 on my .223 rifle, close in, tune it down. I've shot P-dogs out to 350 yards with mine on 18X, no problems. No need to buy another scope, use whats available.

March 18, 2013, 06:56 PM
On a PD rifle, weight and bulk isnt in question as it will most likely be in a static condition.Personally,I would much rather have more magnification and not need it than vice versa. It's simply a twist of the ocular bell to turn the power up or down.

If you found a good deal on Bushnell I would suggest it. Hitting small targets at distance will always make it easier with the higher magnafications if mirage allows it. Again it's always better to have more and not need it. Yesterdays match I was at 42X in the am with overcast skies and by mid afternoon I was down to 22x.

March 18, 2013, 07:45 PM
A good 4x12 will suffice.

wild willy
March 19, 2013, 03:18 PM
That 6-24 will work fine.There will be times when you can't use 24.But when you can its nice.I have a 6-18 on my .204 I wouldn't want much less. I have a 3-12 on my .223 but it a walking around coyote, P-dog gun.If it was a dedicated P-dog it would have a more powerful scope

If you enjoyed reading about "How much is too much scope for prairie dogs?" here in archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join today for the full version!