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Prairie Dogs
By Popular Demand: Discussions related to Varmint Hunting
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moose2
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Location: North Idaho

PostPosted: Fri Jun 05, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Pups are out now also. Been sending alot of .223 ammo down range this week at them. Great time of year to be shooting them. Very Happy

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 7:56 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Just got back from three days of shootin them at my sisters place. Me and two friends, weather was great and I have no idea how many rds. we shot.
Our weapon of choice was either the 22-250 s or the .204s but anything that would reach out to 300 yds. or so would be perfect.
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whittling
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 09, 2009 9:02 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

All I've been able to do is pine away ...If you need any help....

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skb2706
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 10, 2009 1:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

My friend from LA says he used 650 rds., he stayed a little longer than me. I used about 400 so the shooting was good, not great but very good.

Moose - I usually go a week or so before Memorial Day then again a few weeks after. Seems like the rush to shoot them is memorial day tho. Pretty much leave the alone for a while and start hammerin them again about end of Aug thru mid Oct.
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Arizona Hunter
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 09, 2009 10:59 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

I am planning on going next weekend. Hopefully there will be enough to keep two people busy.
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moose2
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 11, 2009 6:36 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Arizona Hunter wrote:
I am planning on going next weekend. Hopefully there will be enough to keep two people busy.
Good luck on your shoot. I'm sure you will have fun no matter how many dogs are out. Smile

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Handloader
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 13, 2009 9:34 pm    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Today we headed out early for our 3rd annual Big Bore prairie dogging trip; three of us challenged the little critters with rifles mandated at .40 caliber or larger. We have grown to appreciate the advantages of the Lead Sled and 75lbs of shot! Rifles:

Al: 45-70 Sharps, 458 Win Mag Ruger No1
Gene: 444 Marlin, 458 Lott
Yours Truly: 45-70 No1, 416 Rigby

It was fun and we left a lot of destroyed mounds, blow to pieces by the heavy weight bullets. Distances were held to a minimum 200 yards, so the poor 444 Marlin didn't have a chance, however, Gene did well with the Lott (2). My own little 45-70 (a subMOA shooter) got the highest number of observed hits -- 8. I won't disclose the misses.

The 458 Lott and 416 Rigby managed 3 each. The farthest shot was the only kill registered with the Sharps @ 515 laser ranged yards, iron sights, 405 cast, FFg. It took five shots and half an hour for the prairie dog to come out for a few looks before its demise.

We began at 7 am and finished shortly after noon. Taking time to laser ranges and trying to calculate hold over took time. Too, the numbers of prairie dogs in this area aren't overwhelming, but, they do come up from time to time and we try to be steady and ready. One shooter, two observers on each shot. Most misses were hold over problems and some of our calculations, while adequate for big targets, didn't cut it for coke can sized hits.

One apperciates the .22 centerfires even more after such an episode, but, dangerous game and big bears are hard to find in Arizona, so, this annual hunt is one we look forward to as the inaugural summer prairie dog hunt and a chance to excercise the big guns. Next week, it will .220 Swifts and a couple of .222 Rem Mags. Minimum range will be 300 yards.

Oh what fun!
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moose2
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:12 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Handloader wrote:
Today we headed out early for our 3rd annual Big Bore prairie dogging trip; three of us challenged the little critters with rifles mandated at .40 caliber or larger. We have grown to appreciate the advantages of the Lead Sled and 75lbs of shot! Rifles:

Al: 45-70 Sharps, 458 Win Mag Ruger No1
Gene: 444 Marlin, 458 Lott
Yours Truly: 45-70 No1, 416 Rigby

It was fun and we left a lot of destroyed mounds, blow to pieces by the heavy weight bullets. Distances were held to a minimum 200 yards, so the poor 444 Marlin didn't have a chance, however, Gene did well with the Lott (2). My own little 45-70 (a subMOA shooter) got the highest number of observed hits -- 8. I won't disclose the misses.

The 458 Lott and 416 Rigby managed 3 each. The farthest shot was the only kill registered with the Sharps @ 515 laser ranged yards, iron sights, 405 cast, FFg. It took five shots and half an hour for the prairie dog to come out for a few looks before its demise.

We began at 7 am and finished shortly after noon. Taking time to laser ranges and trying to calculate hold over took time. Too, the numbers of prairie dogs in this area aren't overwhelming, but, they do come up from time to time and we try to be steady and ready. One shooter, two observers on each shot. Most misses were hold over problems and some of our calculations, while adequate for big targets, didn't cut it for coke can sized hits.

One apperciates the .22 centerfires even more after such an episode, but, dangerous game and big bears are hard to find in Arizona, so, this annual hunt is one we look forward to as the inaugural summer prairie dog hunt and a chance to excercise the big guns. Next week, it will .220 Swifts and a couple of .222 Rem Mags. Minimum range will be 300 yards.
Oh what fun!

Man, it sounds like you may have created a whole generation of deaf PD's.
Laughing That certainly would have been alot of fun. Sounds like a very good time. Been raining here to much to be able to get out. Hopefully it will dry out enough this weekend to get out. Will be stickin to the .22 cals. though.

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Arizona Hunter
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 11:12 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Handloader, I couldn't even go on your Big Bore shoot-I don't own anything above 30 cal., but it sure sounds fun.

I never did get out two weeks ago.....however, this Friday my 12 year old grandson is going with me, "just the men". He may not shoot much, but now that he's hit a few water jugs with a .204 he says he's ready for rats during the day and eatin' cheddar brats at night.
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moose2
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Location: North Idaho

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 3:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Arizona Hunter wrote:
Handloader, I couldn't even go on your Big Bore shoot-I don't own anything above 30 cal., but it sure sounds fun.

I never did get out two weeks ago.....however, this Friday my 12 year old grandson is going with me, "just the men". He may not shoot much, but now that he's hit a few water jugs with a .204 he says he's ready for rats during the day and eatin' cheddar brats at night.

Going to take my grandson out to the range tomorrow and let him run some of my Bluedot .223 rounds downrange to see how he does. No matter what, we are heading out next week and spend a few days thinning the dog population a little. Very Happy

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Handloader
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona

PostPosted: Thu Jul 30, 2009 10:20 pm    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Any rifle can be a prairie dogger. In addition to our Big Bore hunt we also have a 22 rimfire hunt, at least for the first day. Next day, its unlimited and I uncork the 220 Swifts and 6mm AI. Its all good.
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skb2706
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:33 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

One windy morning last year beginning of dove season, while waiting for the wind to die down a bit I got 3 pds with a 20 ga. shotgun and some 7 1/2 shot. Just doesn't have the same dramatic effect.........
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Arizona Hunter
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 2:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

Ok, finally got out in the heat to help thin the herd. My grandson had a great time. He even had two confirmed kills at 240 yards. And to think that when we started on Friday he thought those a 100 yds looked far away.

Also, saw my first two wild badgers. We left them alone although I understand that they are legal as of August 1.
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Handloader
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2009 8:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

AZ Hunter: congrats to the grandson and his kills. I've enjoyed taking the kids out from time to time and introducing them to things like wind and mirage.

We have another hunt planned for later this month. It will be a two day event up around Seligman. We don't get the huge numbers they have in other states, however, there is always a PD standing up somewhere within rifle range.

This forthcoming hunt, we will be trying only for long range shots. We establish a 300 yard minimum and once the benches are set up, we go into the area and post flags (ribbons) on 4' sticks from 300 to 600 yards.
Still, getting kills beyond 500 is a challenge. We are getting better at it, but, we always use a spotter for each shot. I am always impressed by the affect that an added 50 yards has relative to trajectory.

The 223s are done at 400, but, from there out the Swifts and the 6mm AI gets the nod. One shooter will be bringing a 40X Remington that he uses for 1,000 yard work, chambered in 6.5-284. I'll be interested in seeing the results. I'll be using a rifle I completed this winter and is finally done with the load development, a 223 Improved. I've developed a few 40gr loads that are in the 3,800 fps range and I'll be interested in seeing how the long range stuff works, especially when the mid day winds come up.

I'm curious about what others use for scopes. We have found that anything beyond 12X gives little advantage and often the mirage is so bad that it actually is a disadvantage beyond 12X. IMO, image quality and resolution have been more important factors than magnification. The aforementioned 40X has a big objective, 30mm tube Nightforce in 12 to 45 X IIRC. It will be interesting to see if that gives an advantage.
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chambered221
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Joined: Aug 17, 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2009 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: Prairie Dogs Reply with quote

I like using variables with a top end of 20 -24 !!! (if mirage allows for it) Lets you see just how solid of a rest you have.
Breathing alone is enough to cause the crosshairs to drift off target at long range.

Must be nice to be able to drive up and pull out a shooting bench!!!

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