Prairie Dog Hunt #1

I'm in western Colorado. I have shot PDs here, and in Wyoming and Utah. At certain times and places, I and a buddy with me would each fire over 500 rounds in a day. We would each have 2 or 3 rifles - you can overheat just one shooting like that. --- When the mounds are that thick, I try to not get out of the truck at all, preferring to shoot out the window. PDs are notorious for having fleas, which can carry several diseases. If you are going to be out walking around where they are thick, by all means use permethrin or other such potent insect repellant on your pants legs and shoes!!!!
View attachment 465654XP-100 in 223 Remington Ackley ImprovedView attachment 465653Nosler Custom Handgun in 22 Nosler

"Oklahoma! Where the wind comes sweeping down the plain!" That was the theme song tor my first prairie dog hunt of the year. I usually go on 2 or 3 pd hunting trips every year. I just got back from this year's first hunt. The drive to the OK panhandle went well. My brother in law traveled with me. He took his Savage bolt action in 204 Ruger I took a Howa mini-action in 20 VarTarg, a Remington XP-100 in 223 Rem Ackley Improved and a Nosler Custom Handgun in 22 Nosler. All my specialty pistols have rifle scopes and have threaded barrels. I used a SilencerCo. 300 Harvester on the XP and a brand new Dead Air Nomal-L on the Nosler. A friend from SW AR also hunted with us on his inaugural prairie dog hunt.

Since we left very early in the morning, we were able to get in a brief hunt the afternoon of the first day (Tues). In what would become a recurring theme, it was very strong, gusting to 43 mph. Consequently, there weren't many pd's to shoot at. Sometimes I just had to get out of the wind and sit in the cab of the truck. I start out shooting the VarTarg, but because of the stiff wind, I quickly went to the 223 Ackley Improved and it's 50 gr bullets. I didn't take many shots on day #1. The next morning we visited the feed store looking for new dog towns. Our landowner doesn't have as many dog towns as he used to, having sold one property and poisoned another on. We met a rancher who offered his land to us to hunt the next day. Day #2 the wind gusted to only 37 mph, a slight improvement. I shot close to 100 rounds, a busy day for me. Day #3 was a repeat of the other days with winds gusting to 44 mph. We shot the new pasture and found it to be a pretty good field. Although the rancher had seen 2 prairie rattlers the past 2 days, we didn't see any. Because of the stiff winds, the VarTag didn't see any action. Our third shooter shot with us on day $4. Although it was his first pd hunting trip, he caught on quickly and was a pretty good shot with his Savage bolt action 204 Ruger. I had another busy day, again shooting close to 100 rounds. The wind was improved, although it still gusted to 29 mph. Day #5 found us back at the new pasture. During a 30 minute span, the shooting was as busy as I've ever experienced. Not only was the wind was at our back, but the pd's were young and seemed uneducated to gunfire. There were so many dogs, we quit spotting for each other and changed to "fire at will." Unfortunately, a light rain set in that afternoon. Although the rain slowed to a drizzle just before dark, the pd's didn't come back out. The town had been in the middle of a drought, having received only 2" of rain this year. While the rain messed up the end of our hunt, the area had been blessed. It continued to rain all night and was still raining when we left the next morning.

While the hunt wasn't perfect, I felt it was a success: despite the winds and rain, we had plenty of shots; we found a good, new town; we made some good contacts; I shot a lot of fire forming loads; and we introduced a new prairie dog hunter to the game. I was pleased my equipment performed as expected. I guess it's just my bad luck, but the past few years my OK hunts hav had really strong winds. I'm hoping I've just had a bad draw and future hunts will have calmer winids.The hunt confirmed the 20 VarTarg is basically useless in the wind unless the wind's at your back or in your face. As the wind picked up, I moved to heavier bullets, 50 gr in the 223 Ackley Improved and 55 gr in the 22 Nosler. All rounds shot in the 223 Ackley were fire forming loads using a "blend" of Vihtavuori N133/135 (don't ask me how I got the "blended" powder) and 50 gr Hornady and 50 gr Speer spire points. In the Nosler I shot loads with various 55 gr bullets powdered by CFE 223 or Hodgson 335. I shot a new bullet for me, the Speer TNT. In the VarTarg, I shot loads using Accurate 2200 and CFE BLK and my standard bullet, the 32 gr Hornady V-Max. All the bullets were sufficiently destructive and fragile. Since there's frequently cattle in the pastures, I don't use bullets that might ricochet. Short barreled specialty pistols can have a lot of. Muzzle blast in specialty pistols can be a problem, but both suppressors tamed the blasts nicely. So now I'm crossing my fingers, hoping the winds die some for the next pd hunt. I'm hoping to go on another hunt in June and possibly September, as well.
I just got back from Denver on a PD hunt with 3 of my friends we had a blast blowing up them dogs I shoot a 20 Vartarg too with 40 grn v-max wind was 10 mph farthest shot was at 505 with tail wind average shot was between 100 to 400 yards 3 of us were shooting 20 Vartarg and one 204
Any guided trips out there that are reasonably priced
I would like to go next year
I'm not aware of any guided hunts in OK. A guide I once used, Les Karlin, developed health problems and is no longer able to guide. I had a couple enjoyable hunts w/ He's in southwest KS, but the last time I hunted w/ him the hunt was actually in southeast CO. I also had nice hunts w/ in northwest TX and northeast NM. The plague hit both guides 5-7 years ago, but I believe they're still guiding. I hunted one time w/ No Mercy Hunts south of OKC, but I do not recommend them.