Re: Hunting For Prairie Dog Towns by Jim Eid
Well the state with the most pds in it at this time may be South Dakota. A few years ago I would have said Montana or Wyoming. The reason is the plague has affected many of the towns in Mt and Wy. So far I have not heard of the plague moving east, but it may happen. The plague can affect some areas and leave others untouched. I have seen towns totally gone and others that have lost 50 to 75% of the dogs. There is a large concentration of pds in the northeast section of Mt. I don't have any recent information on how they are doing.
Sodak towns are a mixture of Reservation and private and a few public. The public ones will be shot up and the dogs will go down and not come back up when you drive in. Many of the private towns in Sodak are leased by guides or you will have to pay the owner to hunt them. Using the internet you can find many guides and what it will cost a day.
If I lived in New Jersey, I would search the internet for a reputable guide and pay the money to hunt Sodak. I would tend to look for guides that have private land to hunt that isn't on the res, and go as early in the season as you can.
How hard is it to get permission to shoot. Its not hard if the town is not leased. There is a lot of pd shooters out there with lots of money, (me not being one of them) that will lease the entire ranch for several thousands of dollars a year to keep all pd shooters like me off. Guides will lease large towns for thousands of dollars per town per year. If the town is not leased you will usually get permission to hunt.
In most areas of Mt and Wy you will be welcomed. But you have to decide if the bill for the fuel to find these towns way back in the middle of no where is worth it. You could have spent the bucks (for the fuel) on a guide and shot for a few days instead of beating up your ride on the back roads. Also the weather can shut you down for days if you have to get down back roads to get to the pd town.
This year I had to pack in 30 gallons of fuel and all my food and water for a week at one place I shot. It was over two hours on gravel and gumbo roads. If it would have rained any amount, I would have had to wait a couple of days to get into the back country. If it rained any amount while I was in there I could have spent a couple of days doing nothing at all waiting for the gumbo to dry out. I was very lucky this year.
I will be looking for new towns this year, that will be a little closer to fuel and a good road. The ones I have been shooting for years got wiped out by the plague, and haven't come back yet.
Hope this helps some. Anything else, just ask.