Re: How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?
I have hunted prarie dogs all over the state of Montana and Wyoming. It is truly the best form of long range practice to do in the "off season." I normally take 3-4 guns mounted on a converted baby stroller made for running(16 inch wheels). Always have my Cooper pheonix in 204 ruger shooting dogtown 34gr bullets or hornady vmax 32gr, savage 22-250 with shillen1-8 twist shooting 75gr a-max, and a savage target action with mcgowen 30 inch 6mmBR shooting 105 a-max or vlds for shooting out to 1100 yards+. I sometimes take a 22 or 17mach2 if it is a known "unshot-overpopulated" town. If there are 3-4 of us, there is usually a "dollar a dog" bet going on that has a long shot bonus and doubles bonus. I put a doubler on my videocamera and have great footage out past 1000 yards!
I easily reloaded 8,500+ rounds last year. Anymore, we have a three hundred yard rule in a lot of towns-no shots under that is! And it is much more about distance than Quantity. When I first moved here, it was much more about Quantity!!! Burned up 2 barrels my first summer:-)
There are some misconceptions about prariedogs that most don't know about. They do not breed like rabbits!! They have one litter per year after 1-2 years old, usually 1-8 pups with 4 being the average! They only inhabit 1% of their original range.
Actually, prairie dogs and cattle have a relationship that is mutually beneficial. Prairie dogs improve the forage for cattle, and cattle grazing allows prairie dog colonies to expand in midgrass prairie. Both cattle and prairie dogs have demonstrated a preference for grazing together, just as bison and prairie dogs historically preferred each other's company. However, given the extensive ecological damage cattle grazing causes in the American West, cattle are not the best substitute for the environmental benefits of a bison- and prairie dog-grazed Great Plains.
Despite the belief that prairie dogs and cattle compete for forage, three decades of scientific research finds the claims that prairie dogs are destructive to ranching are grossly overstated. Scientific data has repeatedly proved that cattle who graze on prairie dog colonies do not weigh significantly less than cattle who weigh on uncolonized areas In fact, prairie dog burrowing actually aerates the soil and helps it to absorb water. Their waste even fertilizes the soil. Further, by grazing, clipping and maintaining their grasslands, more nutritious and succulent vegetation grows. Elk, bison, and pronghorn, even cattle all benefit. The myth that cattle break legs in prairie dog holes is just that: myth. I know most ranchers will disagree, but it is what it is.
Prarie dog colonies are very susceptable to bubonic plague. If a town gets it, normally 90-95% will die as they have no natural immunity.
How do I know all this? I sometimes do volunteer work outside of my nursing career. I helped do a 4 year study on Black Footed Ferrets(which only inhabit p-dog towns) in Montana that covered from Harlowton to Glendive to Broadus. Have all the GPS coordinates on googlemap of every prariedog town immaginable on public and some private land. I live in Laurel, Montana and starting at Molt 15 miles north of me and heading northeast through Roundup on up to Grassrange is some of the most infested prarie in America!!! You do have to watch for the Burrowing Owls, especially north of Roundup. They look alot like p-dogs at 500+ yards, but alot different when shot(picture in mind exploding down pillow) not suppose to shoot them and the spotter or camera guy usually calls off the shot before its too late!
Please don't get me wrong, I'm not an anti p-dog hunter, as I shoot more than most people! But I think that sooner than later- they will be on some sort of endangered list!!!!! Oh-yeah, and they are not rats, more so cousins of the squirrel!!
Last edited by elkoholic72; 02-09-2010 at 03:36 AM.