I couldn't help but be excited, it was my first P dog trip in almost a year, and my first ever with a fellow LRH member. Between the 4 of us, we had 7 rifles, 2 pistols, and enough ammo to invade Canada. I brief stop in El Reno, OK added 250rds to the number, and offered a chance to briefly meet two more LRH members. Pulling into the parking lot, Jimm and I found Lerch demonstrating how to use a spotting scope to glass for oilfield tanks to a customer. Lerch informed me I could find Bill Bailey inside by looking for "the short ugly one" after finding Bill and doing some bullet swapping (thanks for the hookup on the hummer ammo btw Bill) we were back on the highway pointed west. Within an hour im sure the other two passangers, Bryce White, and Jimm's son Jessie, were probably absolutely sick of reloading talk. Fortunately, there was only 3 more hours to go! We rolled in about 10:00, and were settled into the on location bunkhouse within an hour. We all got a kick out of the signs just inside the door.
Morning broke cold and clear, and most importantly, virtually no wind. A rarity in the texas panhandle. we headed 3 miles to the west to a town that the owner told us hadn't seen a lot of shooters recently. After a few close dogs fell to the 17 hummer out to 250yds, Bryce and Jessie broke out the factory rifles. after some zero adjustment via Exbal and Jimm, they were killing dogs with supprising consistance out to 400yds or so. Once all of the close dogs learned how to duck, jim reset their zeros to 500yds. We were quickly directing bullet strikes with the "2 dogs high, half a dog left" method, and then some supprising stuff started happening. Dogs started falling to bryce's Savage 7mmREM with one shot kills at improbable distances considering a stock gun. then the impossible happened: Bryce stroked a dog with one shot at 680yds. I just happened to be running a camera when it happened, and caught the expressions on everybody's faces about a half second after impact.
note jimm's open mouth, and Jessie's big smile. unfortunately, the video camera was stowed, so the victory dance isn't on tape.
For the next few hours many more bullets went downrange. I think Jessie accounted for a 700ish dog shooting his fatory Ruger 300WM, and Jimm connected on a few at that range with several around 600 with his 243AI. I managed to reach two of my three goals on the first shooting session, of the first day. I had a lot of fun, and had 2 witnesses spotting hits when I dialed up from a 830yd dog kill to a dog at 1091yds with my 300WM Savage. The dog was even nice enough to cartwheel through the air at the first shot.
Several more dogs and one rattlesnake (that Bryce almost stepped on) died before we packed up to relocate.
The row of rifles.
Jimm spotting, Bryce shooting, and Jessie operating the lazer.
Jimm picking on some 600-700yd dogs. I know a certian state to the north is ofter refered to as gods country, but the skies we had made you think that sometimes Texas does a pretty good impression.
After a brief trip back to the bunkhouse, we setup for the evening shoot. After a few spactacular kills at 300yds and closer, Jimm and I started harassing some dogs on some distant mounds we later ranged at 688yds. It was not hard to tell the differance between jimm's 110Vmax, and my 220SMKs at that range. More importantly, we got lots of kills on video. I suggested setting the action to R Kelly's "I believe I can fly".
For those who have never shot P dogs, there is one aspect of shooting them that is a little odd at first. They are canabalistic. It was not at all uncommon to zap the middle of 3 dogs on a mound, watch the 2 survivors scurry for cover, only to return seconds later to devour their buddy, dragging the larger pieces down the mound for dinner. Consequently, we found very few dead dogs.
Day two broke just as cold, and just as clear, and with no wind as well. We arrived about an hour earlier planning to do some long range shooting in the first couple of hours while the dogs were still warming themselves in the sun, and before the mirrage got up. In the process of setting up, we notticed this about 3 yards from the truck.
Its a shed snake skin, presumabely rattlesnake... nobody volunteered to reach into the hole and find out.
As it turned out, the longest shots we had avalable for the morning shoot were just over 800yds, and by the time we figured that out, we decided it would be too much work to relocate, so we just blasted the dogs that were around. After we had a few kills in an area between 300 and 600yds, we drove downrange to see if the dogs had left any of their fallen buddies behind.
Jessie blasting some 600yd dogs from atop the "Battlestar Moronica" Jimm's homemade swiveling benchrest.
Talking Bryce onto a dog to point the camera at.
Heres the obligitory dead dog pics.
One of the most comical events of the trip occured while driving through the town, and spotting a rattlesnake. After a number of missed shots with a pistol at about 5 yds by Jessie, Jimm nicked it on the first shot, only to discover he was now out of ammo. not having a rifle among us, Jimm, always quick thinking, lept from the truck, grabed a breaker bar from the bed, and proceeded to chase the 4ft rattler across the prarie. Its pretty sad when you drive a whole day from home, with 7 rifles, thousands of rounds of ammo, and you end up using a tire iron to kill a snake!
In the evening shooting session, I was trying to reset my longest dog shot, and did, with a 1129yd shot.
The windmill is 931yds away. With the terrain as flat as it was, we had to improvise a bit to get a reading.
Jessie tried a few around a thousand, but didn't score untill he backed up to the 700yd line. With the failing light, Jimm broke out the 243AI and fireformed some brass, leaving the plans for a 1000yd dog for next trip.
All in all, it was an awesome trip. We were blessed with great conditions, and had a minimum of problems. Hopefully next year, jimm will get a 1000yd dog, and ill get a shot at a 1500yd dog.