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Varmint Hunting Techniques For Prairie Dogs, Woodchucks, etc.


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Ranging prairie dogs

 
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  #8  
Old 05-09-2011, 10:08 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 17
Re: Ranging prairie dogs

I have been using a Bushnell 800 R.F. for PD's and sage rats for years, but I always range the mound and have never had a problem. I have never tried past 500 yds. as I probably couldn't hit at that disance anyway. I'm not a longrange shooter, but enjoy reading about it.
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  #9  
Old 06-03-2011, 10:39 AM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 118
Re: Ranging prairie dogs

We have tryed all types of range finders, most are good for 400 yds or less. But if you walk out into field before you start and range your buddy or truck then mark distance with flags or paint on mounts, that works great, because a dog ranged at 616 came out to 492 measured or ranged back to truck.
We don't use range finders anymore, we just shoot them from experence. Spot for each other and it doesn't take long to remember your hold over for the distance. Last week I hit three at 715 yds in Wyoming, couple at 550, a bunch at 460 to 490, and then lots of smaller dogs at the 180 to 300 yd range. Also a measuring wheel works good to check ranges when checking you finder....................

My friends this year used the best built tables you have ever seen, used range finders, wind meters, ballistic charts, levels on table and rifles, take 5 to 15 minutes per shot, then squeeze the trigger on their 30 pound rifles and miss! From .204's to 6.5x284, experence in the field beat out the tectical equipment this year...............have fun Dogging!

Their kill ratios were 15% and 22%, mine was 33%, not bad for the wind, rain!
We all had a wonderful time in Wyoming.
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  #10  
Old 06-03-2011, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Thunder Basin, WY
Posts: 1,788
Re: Ranging prairie dogs

Ranging the prarie dog itself is very difficult. Even with the 1200 and 1600 yd laser rangefinders. Sure, we can get mounds and grass and sage at far distances but the dogs themselves are just too small. Some of the pups right now aren't any bigger than a pair of pliers!

Flat ground is very decieving. The rangefinders really struggle then. Too often we get a reading from some grass or mound or brush that's either in front of or behind the actual dog. Having some elevation and "looking down" on the town will help though.

As Savage22-243AI mentioned, first round hits are not that common in the dog towns. Especially when the wind is blowing 15-25 mph.

I went out and did some shooting yesterday in those winds. Even though the furthest edge of the town was only 400 yds, it was taking at least 1 shot, usually 2 just to get the wind dope figured for that particular dog. If you get close without getting a hit, they'll go down their holes and then we gotta find another one.........then it starts all over again, because that one is a different distance or angle or both.
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  #11  
Old 06-03-2011, 01:12 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Superior, WI
Posts: 118
Re: Ranging prairie dogs

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAVAGE22-243AI View Post
(Partial snip)
My friends this year used the best built tables you have ever seen, used range finders, wind meters, ballistic charts, levels on table and rifles, take 5 to 15 minutes per shot, then squeeze the trigger on their 30 pound rifles and miss! From .204's to 6.5x284, experence in the field beat out the tectical equipment this year...............have fun Dogging!

Their kill ratios were 15% and 22%, mine was 33%, not bad for the wind, rain!
We all had a wonderful time in Wyoming.
33%? Just think how much better it would be if you used that field experience with the high tech equipment.

The human eye does not allow a person to accurately judge distance much over 300 yards.

Trying to remember ballistic tables for three different rifles in the field is pretty tough.

Until you have used a level on your rifle, you won't believe how off plumb your hold can be, and how much difference it makes in long range shooting.

Experience in the field is wonderful but if you're shooting a new field, the equipment will make the difference
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  #12  
Old 06-05-2011, 12:29 AM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 118
Re: Ranging prairie dogs

[QUOTE=jerrschmitt;513069]33%? Just think how much better it would be if you used that field experience with the high tech equipment.

You right! But the total kill would be so low over the four day period because the setup with all the tech equipment is very time consuming between shots.
I did try the tech equipment and still missed, but was closer on my first shots.
If you had a no wind day, then the equipment would increase the kill rate off the scale. But, normally wind does happen.
For people starting out and don't have ranges to shoot at all the time, then the tech equipment is the way to go.
We have a 900 yd range and then can move down the hill to almost unlimited range. We shoot all the time.
I do my tech work at home then move to the fun factor out in the Prairie Dog towns. This year in WY I killed three @ 700+ yds, long shot of the 3 of us, best to date is 1151 yds in ND. Tried a 2200 yds dog a few years ago and couldn't get him, very close, but no kill.
Thanks Guys, have fun and shoot the way that works best for you!

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  #13  
Old 11-24-2011, 08:20 PM
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Montana Plains
Posts: 289
Re: Ranging prairie dogs

I use a Bushnell Scout 1000 and it is adequate, but a Leica 1600 would be much nicer, or even a Leupold RX1000.

The Ruger .204 is my favorite PD caliber. I don't waste ammo on very long shots. I sight in at 200 yards, and rarely take a shot past 250 yards. I stalk through a PD town rather than setting up a benchrest. You'll get more PD's that way. Find a rifle that shoots like a laser beam.

Our ground is slightly rolling in most spots, and once you learn a town you know where to sneak up over rises.

Wind is worse than bullet drop calculation. With a ballistic reticle, you can get a failry good idea of range on an average sized prairie dog. My scope has windage marks on either side of the crosshairs.
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  #14  
Old 11-24-2011, 08:34 PM
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 118
Re: Ranging prairie dogs

Our last PD hunt in WY late this year really messed up our range finders that my friends have. A Bushnell 800yd Binocular and Bushnell 1000yd range finder. We went back to same location as last hunt, set up same place and range finders ranged different ranges. Short ranges became 150 to 250 yds farther and shorter ranges became very short. We knew the old ranges because we wrote them down.
The last day of hunt the range finders wouldn't range at all for half the day. Slight overcast, warm. We pulled out the bulky military range finder and got what we wanted.

Colorado hunt shot PD at 1200 to 1400 yds but couldn't range with finder even at broken distances. Gave up and couldn't walk it either due to terrian.

Three hunts this year and broke again.............having fun!
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