Long Range Hunting Online Magazine

Go Back   Long Range Hunting Online Magazine > Hunting > Varmint Hunting

Varmint Hunting Techniques For Prairie Dogs, Woodchucks, etc.


Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Unread 06-10-2007, 05:30 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 237
Re: Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet

Redbone : just got back from S, Dakota. Weather was dismal for first two days , so I just scouted the back roads and nearly got stuck twice with just a fwd car . Next 4 days were as good as anything I've seen in over 25 years of Trips to SD , Wyoming , and Montana . I just blundered into some Ranchers who had great shooting Fields and I think took pity on a dumb Easterner who drives a car Pdog hunting . You should have seen the look on some Ranchers faces in the 80s when I drove way back in with a HO Camaro . It's really surprising where you can go when it's dry , and you go slow and straddle the ruts . Sorry no Pics ( I still use film ). Pretty tired yet , but I did count the first good day ....about 400 Rounds . Lots of WIND , lots of rain , lots of green grass , lots of Dogs . And did I ever have to keep an eye peeled on the storm clouds to beat a hasty retreat to hard roads . My favorite rifle was a Rem 700 with Hart heavy Barrel ( 1:14 ) shooting 40 Gr. Vmaxs and topped with a Leupold 16X . With that Wind , I didnt even bring out the CZ 17 HRM except to let a Rancher try some 25-50 Yard shots . He actually sat in his new F150 and spotted for hours for me . I also took a 1:8.5 Swift with 30 inch Barrel . I should have had a Brake installed as I could not see hits very well . The Smith who also did the work ( out of business now ) did not Throat it the way I wanted . I supplied a dummy Round loaded with a 60 Gr. Vmax , but he Throated it so I have to seat the 60 so the Bullet Base lines up with the Neck base . If I had it to do over again , I would pick the long 700 Action ( or a Custom ) , and a heavier Contour with a brake . I put together the Swift to shoot 60s , but it grouped the 40s in the 3s with no load development , so I think I will only put on a Brake and leave well enough alone . I also had knee replacement surgery a while back , so I wanted to see how I would walk . My favorite Dog Town is roughly Rectangular ....about 500 X 700 Yards , and by the time I walked out-and-back both ways ( sorta looking like a gimpy stick-man )..... I was beat . My favorite shooting is off a stand-up Tripod , and I'm pretty good out to about 300 Yards . Trip started out bad , but it sure turned out great . Sometimes it just pays to hang in there for awhile . Oh , those 40 gr Vmaxs sure don't like grass !
Reply With Quote

Unread 06-11-2007, 03:52 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 237
Re: Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet

Wanted to add a couple of things : Poisoning on the Rosebud is supposed to start this week according to those I spoke to in the Area. Locations , amount , and poison supplied by the US Gov't. .....so check ahead if you have planned to hunt Pdogs in that part of SD . I also picked up a bullet for my Collection . It is a 100 Gr. 224 manufactured by Hornady . Lots of strange stories about when these were made and why no one can get more now . It measures 1.144 inches OAL .
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-11-2007, 07:31 PM
Platinum Member
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Potomac River
Posts: 5,088
Re: Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet


Recheck the diameter. P O. Ackley built a 228 to get around the ban on hunting deer with a 224. Unpleasant surprise for the unwise if you load it up in a a normal barrel.
The Smokin Fur Rifle Club
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-12-2007, 06:39 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 237
Re: Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet

Buffalobob , I just checked the Bullet . Diameter is 0.224 in. , and weight is 99.9 Grains . These were made very recently , in the last year or two from what I heard , and looks like a PSP Design .
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-17-2007, 11:14 AM
Posts: n/a
Re: Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet

Had a spur of the moment hunt Saturday. Buddy stopped friday and wanted to go shoot PD,s Wouldn't you know it I didn't have a single gun ready except for my .300 Rum. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] Talk about getting caught with your pants down. Friday night after work I grabbed 4 rifles and started putting scopes on them and getting them boresighted. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] All I had on had was some old scopes I had been given and which worked pretty good but none of them did I trust to do more than hold a zero [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] Oh well were going to go kill something. What more did I need. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
1st rifle
Kimber K22 SVT .22 LR. It got a Simmons Pro Hunter 6X18X40AO Bought it new in the late 80's I think. Needed a cheap scope and I got it. Holds zero really well though. You have to focus the AO each time as its never focused where it should be according to the range finder. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
Was using a brick of Remington Target Green/Blue box ammo standard volocity. Sighted in it was shooting into 1" at 100 yds. Good enough for PD's to start with anyway.
2nd rifle
Ruger 77/22 Mag Walnut/blue. I mounted an old Bushnell Sportview 6X18X40AO on it. Also holds a zero well but if you add clicks it has to be taped with a screw driver to make it move. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] This was the shocker. All I had for ammo was a brick of HSM .22Mag. After getting it on paper the darn thing settled down and started shooting 1/4" groups at 100 yds. Scope was pretty clear in the center but [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] the edges were bad enough that you couldn't make out a PD with it. Still [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] Its holding a zero.
Third rifle.
Remington 700 VS I had picked up new in the box a week ago. Traded in my 700 Light Varmint for it. Wouldn't stay on target to watch the pink mist. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] That one I mounted a Cabela's 4X12X40AO Cabela's Alaskan guide premium on it. Great scope, just wish I would of had a 6.5X20X40AO on it instead. Worked very well out to 500 yds though. I didn't have time to reload any ammo for the .223 but had 200 rnds of Ultra-Max Nosler BT's in 50 grain bullets on hand. Another shocker. It shot those into less than 3/8" with that stuff. Volocity is only 3100 for it but I think that gun likes the NBT's. Trigger had to be 7 lbs at least. Couple times I reached up to click off the safty and found it was already off. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] Got thats a bad trigger. Its getting a Jewel today. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
4th rifle.
Remington 700 VFS. .22-250 with Cabela's Alaskan Guide 6.5X20X44 AO
It was already to go. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Fired a couple of shots to check zero and done. Get this, it loves Federal Blue box 55 grain sp. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] I bought a case of this stuff as it shot so well I figured that what the heck, don't mess with perfection. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] I'm going to have to figure out a load for it sometime when I get that stuff shot up. Too many other guns to get loads worked up for. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] Shoots under 1/2" all day and sometimes 1/4" Keeps me happy. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]
Got finished sighting in by dark and headed home to pack spotting scopes, binoculars,ammo,and everything else I needed into the Expo. Finally got to bed and couldn't sleep. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
Got up about 5:00Am and headed out to pick up my buddy. He had only two rifles to pack. His Bushmaster Varmint S.S. And a Ruger 77V in .223. And his shooting bench. Didn't take long. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Headed north over along the Nebraska Wyoming border to find a dog town to shoot. Did I tell you we didn't have a plan for where we were going. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] I thought he had some places lined up and he thought I knew of a couple. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img] Well I did sort of but hadn't been there or talked to the guy since last year.
Driving north we happened upon a small dog town along the road and get this. It had sign's all the way around it stateing that there was public access. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] It also had sighns stating no vehicle access but there were parking areas every so far around it. Well my buddie had a semi-portable shooting bench and I had a folding chair. What more do you need. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] OH, did I tell you that the wind had started blowing about 30 MPH [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] Well we sat up and to begin with there were PD's all over in front of us. I started shooting with the Kimber K22 but quit that very quickly as the only place we could set up without having a house or cattle in front of us was a place where we were shooting into a cross wind. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] Oh well, were PD hunting. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img]
I was sitting in a low folding camp chair using my knee as a rest. I would try to get onto a target and about the time I would be ready to pull the trigger the wind would blow me off target. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/mad.gif[/img] You could fire about every 4th time you got on target. My buddy with his shooting bench was doing a bit better and was shooting my .22Mag but neither of us were conecting with much. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] We finally gave up and put the .22's away and grabbed out .223's Me the 700 VS and him his Bushmaster Varmint. Thats when things began warming up for the PD's. We started shooting and were getting about 25% of the dogs we shot at out to 300 but past that it was getting ridaculus. We shoot for about 2 hrs and by that time we wern't getting many that would poke their heads up. I had shot proably 50 rounds and my buddie probably double that as I had been spotting for him on most shots. Thats was ok as watching a PD flip into the air and do 3 360's before making it back down is fun also. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] I did have one at about 150 yds that did come unglued at the seams when I shot him. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] But for the most part neither one of us had many PD's that did that. Most just Bang/Flop and lay there. Only a couple crawlers out of the bunch. Good time but not long enough. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
We then headed north again along the border and about 75 miles from the NE/Wy/SD border where the guy I knew had invited me to come shooting PD's any time lived. We found his house but when driving up we didn't see any PD towns. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img] Well we stoped at his place and were informed that he had poisened them and plowed up the town. Why would someone do that [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] He did know of a town that we could shoot about 2 miles away though and we headed there and talked to the owner of that property who informed us that yes we could shoot but there were some requirements. We could not quit till we had gotten at least 100 PD. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] The property was a full half section with a road on two sides. One on the South and one on the east. Shooting south would put you shootin towards the guys house. Shooting west we were fine. Except we were again shooting into a cross wind. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
Well he also didn't want us driving around in the pasture so again we set up just inside a gate about halfway between the South road and his place giving us a good field of fire without worrying about bullets. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] Oh he also said we probably shouldn't walk about much as what wasnt' cactus and wasn't PD mounds had snakes. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ooo.gif[/img] That or be real careful. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img] I think he is still laughing about the look on my face when he told me about the snakes. Rattle snakes that is. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
Again we tried that Rimfires but man a 30MPH wind can raise hell with a bullet. We both got a couple before we quit but that got really rough trying to hit one at 100 yds and boring from the misses.
We again switched to the .223's At least you could connect once in a while. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] I was sitting on a wooden chair about 8"s off the ground using my knee as a rest for my elbow and the wind would literly blow my gun sideways. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] Sometimes it would take two or three tries to get a steady rest before you could fire. Something must of been working though because it wasn't long before we were connecting. One I was real proud of was a 450 yd shot (using the range finder) with no clicks on the scope just Kentucky windage [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/cool.gif[/img] and one shot Bang/Flop. I had held about one PD high and somewhere between 2.5 and 3' to the left. My buddie says he can tell when I get one as I always giggle when I do. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/laugh.gif[/img] I didn't even notice the fact.
Well we didn't get 100 PD's there but I bet we got close to that. Might of got more but with it being in the mid 90's and the wind blowing 30MPH plus we were getting wore out and then a storm came in and it started raining. I didn't care but my buddie must melt in the rain as he was more than ready to quit by that time. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
All in all a good day and like fishing, my worst day doggen is better than my best day at work. [img]/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img]
Reply With Quote
Unread 06-17-2007, 11:12 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 502
Re: Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet

Four times, so far.

Savage Model 12FV, repeater, in 204 Ruger. Nikko Stirling 6-24x56
Savage Model 12FV, single shot, in 223. Nikko Stirling 6-24x56

Rem 700 in 17 Remington. BSA 8-32x50.
Rem 722 in 243 varmint barrel. Nikko Stirling 6-24x56

Been concentrating on making the shots count due to the cost of ammo. I reload, but it is still in the 20 cent per round for the 17 Rem, 204, & 223!

Longest shot this year, just under 500 yards. Hoping to stretch the 204 and 223 to 600.

The 243 is new to me this past month. Purchased a used 722, removed the barrel & installed a new takeoff Rem varmint contour in 243. Just beginning load development.

Hunting in Nebraska with one other person.

Will post pics at a later time.
Reply With Quote
Unread 08-04-2007, 02:05 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 145
After delaying our trip to Eastern Montana the first of June because of daily rains, we finally made it July 26. Glad we waited because temps were in the range of 103 to 106 the week before we arrived. Plenty of targets for the full three days spent. Together we had three Savages two were model 12 LP version, one a standard model 12. I was shooting my .223 the other two were using .204 Ruger.

The first two days we were all over the board with regard to ranges. The last day we agreed to work on dogs that were five hundred plus. The best for all three of us turned out to be 600 plus yards. That's not to say we were making one shot kills at these ranges but when we had a steady wind for any length of time it took fewer shots to come up with the needed sight picture. I was using nosler 40 gr. BT, the 204 shooters use hornady 32 grain V-Max.

Just back an looking forward to the next time.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Similar Threads for: Have you been Prairie dogs hunting yet
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Prairie dogs in CO? chrisdog51 Varmint Hunting 2 06-19-2008 10:16 AM
Prairie Dogs Hunting redbone Varmint Hunting 7 02-19-2008 01:14 PM
.308 for prairie dogs and elk tikboy Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics 16 09-06-2007 08:30 PM
Prairie Dogs? skip AI General Discussion 11 05-09-2005 08:23 AM
prairie dogs Clark Moore General Discussion 0 05-25-2004 08:58 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:43 PM.

All content ©2010-2015 Long Range Hunting, LLC