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Old 09-30-2019, 11:31 PM
tbates66
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Recent prairie dog shoot with 17HMR



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Just sharing. A friend and I shot prairie dogs last weekend, mostly with 17HMRs. His is a Marlin he has dressed up with a Boyd stock and mine is an Anschutz 1517 MPR. We started cruising the pastures about 8:30 and quit at 1:30. We whacked 125 dogs, most with our HMRs. The hunt was made all the more satisfying because this was my friend's first dog shoot. I'm 73 and have killed 1,000s of them and he is 30 and had never shot prairie dogs before. So I spent most of my time wanting to make sure he had a good time. The experience, as I had warned him, has made him immediately start shopping for his next prairie dog rifle. His wife may strangle me. We had a really great time; perfect weather and a target-rich pasture. He had other obligations so had to leave at 1:30, but old retired guys like me can stay. So, I shot another 68 and ended the day with a total of 193. Again most with the HMR, but some with .223 and .204. The next day I whacked another 100+ and ended the hunt with having eliminated about 300 all together. The land owner was very happy and invited me to stay for a week. But, even old retired guys have lives outside the hunting arena. Had only a half box of HMR ammo left when I called it quits. My buddy already bought a new rifle; this one a ,223. And so it begins! Each time I shoot prairie dogs with the HMR, I am impressed!! Again!
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Old 10-01-2019, 07:53 AM
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Sounds like a good time. No p-dogs in these parts.
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Old 10-01-2019, 09:51 AM
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Sounds like it was a fantastic time. You're a very good friend and mentor to the younger fellow. Personally, I've never been prairie dog hunting, yet I understanding from a rancher's/land owners perspective the need for it. Thank you for sharing the story. Wishing you many more enjoyable future hunts!
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Old 10-01-2019, 10:04 AM
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The closest I ever came to prairie dog hunting was controlling some Columbian ground squirrels (iirc) on the air field we used at the ranger station I was at on the Flathead NF. A little bit of overkill perhaps. I was using my Savage 110L with 110 gr. Norma match handloads at 3050 fps +/-. As I recall most of my shots were 100-125 yd.s.

When big game seasons came in, I switched to 150 gr. Sierra partitioned bullets at about 2860 fps. I would test my zero on a couple critters. \

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Old 10-01-2019, 11:38 AM
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I was introduced to the prairie dog mania 4 years ago by my younger brother who lives on the southwest lower slope of the Rockies in Colorado and am hopelessly hooked! My first hunt I used a Savage 22wmr and a Ruger 22wmr and the dogs were plentiful. Brother was shooting a Savage 17hmr and after awhile he said have you ever shot one of these? Now, of the two of us I am way more into firearms than he, but I had to admit, I had never given any attention to the 17hmr. We were shooting from bipods and the first shot I took with the 17 was a distance of about 120 yds. He said, hold dead on, it will get there. I did and it did! So now I have three 17's. A backup for my backup! I have returned every year since, usually for 5 days and at the age of 79 hope I can continue for several more years. Its 900 miles one way and I am blessed with good health!
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Old 10-01-2019, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tbates66 View Post
Just sharing. A friend and I shot prairie dogs last weekend, mostly with 17HMRs. His is a Marlin he has dressed up with a Boyd stock and mine is an Anschutz 1517 MPR. We started cruising the pastures about 8:30 and quit at 1:30. We whacked 125 dogs, most with our HMRs. The hunt was made all the more satisfying because this was my friend's first dog shoot. I'm 73 and have killed 1,000s of them and he is 30 and had never shot prairie dogs before. So I spent most of my time wanting to make sure he had a good time. The experience, as I had warned him, has made him immediately start shopping for his next prairie dog rifle. His wife may strangle me. We had a really great time; perfect weather and a target-rich pasture. He had other obligations so had to leave at 1:30, but old retired guys like me can stay. So, I shot another 68 and ended the day with a total of 193. Again most with the HMR, but some with .223 and .204. The next day I whacked another 100+ and ended the hunt with having eliminated about 300 all together. The land owner was very happy and invited me to stay for a week. But, even old retired guys have lives outside the hunting arena. Had only a half box of HMR ammo left when I called it quits. My buddy already bought a new rifle; this one a ,223. And so it begins! Each time I shoot prairie dogs with the HMR, I am impressed!! Again!
What a wonderful & fun filled story!!!
Rick
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:13 PM
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17hmr

Downrange results are very dramatic aren't they?

I use my 452 CZ in 17HMR and consume about 2000 rounds a summer, am about an 80-85 % shooter. The rancher gives us VERY strict orders, " Get them ALL, every darn one of them" or something like that....

Now, a friend of mine just bought a CZ 237 in .17 Hornet....WOW!!!

I also use a Savage Axix .223 and those results are even more dramatic!!

Randy
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Old 10-02-2019, 06:31 PM
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Back in the late 90's thru early 2000's we hit it hard for 3 days every May/June.. but just got 3 days in each and every year.. not nearly enough but it's a 6 hr. drive to get to them lil diggers. 1st year I used the only rifle I had that would reach out.. a Remi 25-06 BDL.. loaded the 90 grainers and went.. OMGollie what a fantastic time.. and yes the 25 was overkill if there is such a thing.. after 125 rounds my shoulder was getting tenderized. So.. indeed I added to the caliber selection and went with 22-250.. then the next year I added the 204 and a Hummer.. then a HM2 and so on.. oh sure we took the 10/tweekie2's for up close and personal but those 400 yd. shoots were definitely beholding. Shooting off sticks is fun when ya need to be mobile.. off the table into a huge town was relaxing and gratifying Hope to do it again as life slows down some. And taking a Newbie is indeed a real good time.. my 14 yr. old manchild is gunna LOVE it.


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Old 10-04-2019, 03:18 PM
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After the hunt my young buddy went out and bought a .223 and we'll be zeroing it soon. Since I started shooting p-dogs with a newly acquired Ruger #1 .204, I've expanded to a Rem 700 .223, Rem 700 .243. Savage Model 25 .22 Hornet, Kimber 84M .204, and three 17 HMRs, a 17Mach2. I've sold the Ruger #1 (too pretty) and a Ruger 77/17 (shot poorly after it heated up.) Now I only shoot with my Anschutz 1517MPR, Sako FinnFire II 17HMR, 22 Hornet, and Kimber ..204 and Remington VSF .223. The Rem .243 has become a deer rifle. Oh, nd the r ight time of year, I shoot pups with my Remington 541S .22. I reload all the center fire rifles. Yep, I'm committed or commitable depending on your perspective.
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Old 10-04-2019, 03:28 PM
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P doggin'

The wife and I have been shooting p dogs for somewhere around 15 years now. We've shot in South Dakota, Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, and Oklahoma. I strongly urge you, if you have any inclination to do so, go as soon as you can. Go now. Go tomorrow. The shooting has decreased dramatically over our time due to plague, poisoning, and the increase in the numbers of shooters. There's no reason to believe the decline will stop. When we started, we would take 3 rifles each and 3500 rds of ammunition. We actually had a couple of days when each of us shot 1000 rds. Those days were very hard on barrels but are long gone! We take 8 rifles and 2500 rounds now and always bring ammo home. Last thing you want to do is run out. There are still "honey holes" out there but nobody is going to tell you where they are for the above reasons. The internet is your scout and a search for "prairie dog hunting" by state will give you plenty of info. Unless you want to take your chances of finding nothing to shoot, or already have a connection, be prepared to spend some money for the most fun you can have outdoors...........with your clothes on!

And......You bet an HMR will turn 'em inside-out at 100 yards!
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:04 PM
tbates66
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When I started shooting dogs about 12-15 years ago, I had access to 5 or 6 different ranches and open invites to shoot as much as possible. My brother and I started with one .204 each, a couple of .22s, and my bro had a .223 and a 22-250. Over the first 5 years we expanded to about 5 rifles each and 1,000s of rounds of ammo, mostly reloads. We actually ran out of .204 ammo on one shoot and believe it or not I almost ran out of 17HMR ammo this last hunt. You would think I would learn.
Now, almost all of the ranches have poisoned all the dogs and only one ranch remains active because it's so big that poisoning the whole thing would cost a fortune. I, too, used to tell my brother how lucky we were to have such unfettered access and that we should go often. We did and had many crazy good times. Now I'm introducing my young friend to the fun. My brother is 83, not doing well, and can't hunt any more. I'm 73 and healthy, so I'll keep going. I agree with DRob, go if so inclined, don't wait, get going. I can't count the number of fellow hunters who say, "I would love to go, always wanted to, but".......and a list of reasons follows.
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Old 10-04-2019, 08:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tbates66 View Post
When I started shooting dogs about 12-15 years ago, I had access to 5 or 6 different ranches and open invites to shoot as much as possible. My brother and I started with one .204 each, a couple of .22s, and my bro had a .223 and a 22-250. Over the first 5 years we expanded to about 5 rifles each and 1,000s of rounds of ammo, mostly reloads. We actually ran out of .204 ammo on one shoot and believe it or not I almost ran out of 17HMR ammo this last hunt. You would think I would learn.
Now, almost all of the ranches have poisoned all the dogs and only one ranch remains active because it's so big that poisoning the whole thing would cost a fortune. I, too, used to tell my brother how lucky we were to have such unfettered access and that we should go often. We did and had many crazy good times. Now I'm introducing my young friend to the fun. My brother is 83, not doing well, and can't hunt any more. I'm 73 and healthy, so I'll keep going. I agree with DRob, go if so inclined, don't wait, get going. I can't count the number of fellow hunters who say, "I would love to go, always wanted to, but".......and a list of reasons follows.
TBates66,
well, I'm one of those guys that has always wanted to go, but never was able to because of thousands of excuses I guess! now at 62, I made a promise to myself this coming year I'm going somewhere to shoot them....maybe with somw help from my rimfire friends here I can find a place to shoot within a 12 hour drive....
Rick
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Old 10-04-2019, 11:43 PM
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I'm a Blessed man and live in an area that I hunt pretty much every day of the season; Feb.-Sept./ Columbian ground squirrels
Poisoning of the gophers has been happening around here as well, but many frown at the chemicals with the raptor populations controversy...$ and allow the local varmint hunters access; some of us has been around for 40 years knocking them dead.
When the flood irrigation gave way to overhead the population of varmints soared.

Years ago we were offered bounty of .10 cents a tail and free ammo by others,
all long gone now

A lot of out of state people come by....but, not the best...from what I hear

I've seen some dude people with some weird creation driving around in the farm fields with their clients




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