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Varmint Hunting Techniques For Prairie Dogs, Woodchucks, etc.


How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?

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Unread 01-21-2010, 07:01 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Aberdeen, SD
Posts: 557
Re: How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?

loaders loft.

The first time i went o SD to shot prairie dogs I saw the darndest thing. You would have a couple dogs sitting on the edge of their mound. We would shoot one and the prairie dog next to it would grab his buddy and pull him down the hole. I was actually feeling kind of bad - mind you i did not feel bad enough to stop shooting - I thought I just shot his buddy and he's trying to save him. We talked to the land owner that night - he told us that they are cannibals. Every town has always been cleaned up - no dead dogs anywhere when we have gone back the next day.
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Unread 01-21-2010, 10:25 AM
Bronze Member
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Helena, MT
Posts: 51
Re: How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?

Ya, they like grass and meat. One of the reasons you will get PD "greese" spot on the road. One dies and their buddies come over for a bite and get hit and so on.
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Unread 01-28-2010, 03:40 PM
Silver Member
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Ronan, MT
Posts: 111
Re: How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?

I have shot 90% of my PD;s from a setting position. I don't shoot from a bench as I like to walk and cover the entire PD town. I don't shoot from a prone position as I don't care to lay prone in PD schitt.
Good luck, good hunting and good shooting!
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Unread 02-02-2010, 04:06 PM
Gold Member
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Great Falls, MT
Posts: 712
Re: How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?

Where I shoot prairie dogs there are a lot of small burrowing owls. FAT burrowing owls. Most of the time once the shooting starts the hawks and eagles come in and start cleaning up before we even leave. Talk about a "Pavlov's Reaction"!! Kinda like grizzly bears during elk season!!! The towns always have badgers in them too, and they certainly help on the clean up, as does the occasional coyote and fox. We prefer to slowly drive through the town and take our shots of opportunity as they come. Four of us have on occasion taken as many a 500 for a day. That's several trips through the town.
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Unread 02-03-2010, 01:00 AM
Gold Member
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 502
Re: How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?

Two of use, three rifles total. 12 hours in two different fields (about five sections total). We shot 1800 rounds and figured a hit percentage of 70% (98% of the shots were 150 yards or less).
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Unread 02-09-2010, 12:11 AM
Silver Member
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Laurel, Montana
Posts: 311
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. Reason: spelling
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Unread 03-01-2010, 08:26 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Posts: 7
Re: How many Prairie Dogs have you shot in one sitting?


Last edited by Westro; 03-01-2010 at 12:53 PM.
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