Help a Gal--Need Prairie Dog/Varmint Trip Info

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunting' started by Gunslingingirl23, Mar 11, 2014.

  1. Gunslingingirl23

    Gunslingingirl23 New Member

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    I'm new to the forum, have read many prior posts, and still would appreciate any advice you can offer. I am trying to plan a surprise prairie dog/coyote hunt out west for my fiancee and myself, as this is on our "bucket list." We are both avid shooters, reloaders, and hunters, but have never done the prairie-doggin' thing before. We are considering SD, ND, MT, or WY. We'd like to spend 3-4 days shooting.

    As we'll be traveling a great distance, we don't want to spend the time scouting and trying to find free public land; thus, I'd love to get some tips on general locations to consider, outfitters/guides, semi-guided options, and any other input you can offer. Cost is always a factor, but I realize you get what you pay for. I hate to use the word romantic in conjunction with varmint hunting, but we don't want to end up staying in a bunk house with a bunch of other guys. Since we don't get to take many trips together, we'd like to have the option of staying in decent (clean) accommodations and a few dining options would be nice. Short of calling local DNR agents, picking guides and locations is like finding a needle in a haystack, so any suggestions or guidance would be greatly appreciated!
     

  2. Ariver-RAT

    Ariver-RAT Active Member

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    He's a lucky guy.
    Best wishes. And happy dogging gun)
     

  3. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    My hunting partner and I went to Wy. year before last around the New Castle area. I contacted the Ag. extension office in New Castle(1-307-746-3531) and they sent me a list of ranchers that would let you shoot PD's on there land. The first 5 we went to gave us permission actually we were greeted with open arm, great people out there. The ranchers we went to did not ask anything in return. One lady told us she would charge $1.00 for every dog we missed:D. We stayed at the Sundowner Inn (1-307-746-3344). Didn't go last year as the population was way down so you might want to check if the PD's have recovered yet. In my opinion shooting PD's is the most fun you can have with your clothes on!:cool:
     
  4. Gunslingingirl23

    Gunslingingirl23 New Member

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    Thanks for the replies, guys!

    @rick523 I will check into the Wyoming hunting opportunities. Looks like Newcastle would not be a terribly long drive, as other places further west might be when coming from WI. Sounds like the people are friendly, too, which is great. We don't have to shoot 500 rounds a day to consider the trip a success; I'd just like to see some dogs, fire some rounds, and enjoy the company.

    I'll try to make some contacts for info on effects of the plague. I've gathered from some research that early June would be a good time to head out there? If you were going for the first time, would you consider a guide, or would you try to make local contacts from home? Normally, I don't mind putting in my scouting time, but I just want to enjoy this trip. I'd love to hear from anybody else who has had positive experiences with guides/outfitters. I'd also appreciate any packing tips...is there any gear you wouldn't usually think of packing on a hunting trip? Thanks!:)
     
  5. rick523

    rick523 Well-Known Member

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    I don't feel a guide is necessary if you can make some contacts, everyone of the ranchers took us out and showed us the dog towns, and were more helpful than I could have hoped for. You also build some friendships along the way, which is always a good thing. You can never have too many friends. Unless it's on facebook:).
     
  6. Gunslingingirl23

    Gunslingingirl23 New Member

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    I sincerely appreciate the input on planning a dog hunt. After much research into guides and hunting areas, I'm torn between northeast Wyoming (near either Hulett or Buffalo) or the Miles City area of Montana. Can anybody offer any pros or cons on either area? I've found guides and ranchers who seem both reasonable in price and honest, hardworking people who will give it their best effort...at least I'm hoping for the best. Thanks again!gun)
     
  7. ShtrRdy

    ShtrRdy Well-Known Member

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    NE Wyoming is a nice area since it's right along the Black Hills of SD.
     
  8. tuck2

    tuck2 Well-Known Member

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    Contact the game and fish department of each state you may be interested in going to. Get the regs ,license cost if any, and ask about which area in the state plague has reduced the p dog population. Some counties within a state have rural road maps which you may find at a county court house and or road department. The first week in June is a fine time to be in p dog country , by then the dumb pups are out of their holes. There are plenty of shots within the range of an accurate 17 HMR rifle with a 4-14 X AO scope and for longer shots a accurate 204 Ruger rifle with a 6-18 X AO scope. But you need to learn how to hold into the wind. When I retired 16 years ago I moved into prime prairie dog country but since then plague and poison has decimated the population. I grew up in p dog country and started shooting them with a 22 RF rifle in 1949. Since then I looked for the perfict p dog shooting cartridge. I v used 17 HM2, 17 HMR, 17 Fireball, 17 Rem, 204 Ruger , 22 RF, 22 WMR, 22 Hornet, 221 Fireball, 222 Rem, 223 Rem, 22-250 Rem, 220 Swift, 243 Win, and some big game cartridges. This spring I ll be trying out a 17 Hornet rifle. P dog rifles must be accurate , that is five shot 3/4 inch and better 100 yard groups with good quality scopes. If you get into some good p dog country its eazy to shoot 200 rounds per day so its handy to have extry rifles so the barrels have time to cool off.
     
  9. wyowinchester

    wyowinchester Well-Known Member

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    pm.
     
  10. D.Camilleri

    D.Camilleri Well-Known Member

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    If you are torn between Wyoming and Montana, just come to Wyoming, I did 17 years ago and have been blessed with some of the nicest people I have ever met. Buffalo is nice, Sheridan is close by with lots of nice places to eat and put up for the night. Make your trip a truly great on and plan on spending an evening in Deadwood S.D., it is a pretty cool place to visit. Most of all, have fun. Wyoming weather can be unpredictable in June, usually it is nice, but it can be cool also.
    I was looking for elk sheds yesterday in the Big Horn Mountains and came across a prairie dog town and they were out and about in the snow. Well, there are five less now. Saw lots of coyote tracks, but no coyotes.