I've never hunted, but I'm definitely curious about hunting prairie dog as I hear it's a great way to get into it and have a lot of fun in the process. Anyone know of any coming up? How does one go about getting into this, maybe with a group?
Its one thing to go on a one day trip with people you are not familiar with. Quite another to go on a multi day trip.
Especially where there is a several day car trip in each direction.
Even people youve known can end up being different people after a few days.
And that could no doubt include all of us. lol
I personally need little company when im hunting prairie dogs.
Time is your friend, get to a good area and ask around about places to shoot. One place will lead to others.
If you have the time, dont allow others who dont to ruin a trip.
Trust me, its best to go alone if necessary.
Pdog shooting; some of my best vacations ever. If you have the time, go by yourself. Study satellite imagery for active colonies. Go to a town near by, the feed mill, and ask for ranchers that allow shooting. If that doesn't work out move on. I viewed it as great vacation either way. Newcastle WY is a great place to start. Mill is in the south west part of town. Pines motel 5 stars. Dont bother with the government agencies, they are a waste of time and clearly don't want you shooting the rats. Ranchers hate them by the way. I would shoot 6 or 7 days, ware out a couple of 22-250 barrels and have a great time. Couple of beers and a picknick lunch, be sure to have some shade and a chair suitable for taking a nap.
One of my favorite subjects.
Another thing to consider.
I carried a tool box / voltmeter and a few odds and ends and some canned green beans from my garden. Helped install a window AC unit, repair a green house, worked on a well pump, helped with a cattle roundup and several other things over the years. Got invited and went to cookouts, fishing trips and just kind of fit in. That part of the country reminds me of my part of GA when I was a kid.
Too much info maybe.
Our US gov. controls 1000's of acres of land in the western US, like BLM. Some of this acreage has pdogs. Going to Google maps, the pdog dens may be seen, even at hi altitude satellite photos. This is a good start. The next step would be to ask farmers in the area for permission to shoot the rodents, assure them that you are responsible & will respect their property.
Find a place, for as little as $50 per person per day the landowners will provide access & direction. Land trust membership requires a background investigation & photo. If I were a landowner, I would want to keep criminals and gangsters off my property.
We are real olde & like to stay within cell phone range, have med-evac insurance & always carry a case of bottled water & lots of ammo.
Good advice on the guide for 1st hunt.
If new to this type of this terrain, there are some cautions:
Snakes - especially near wet areas & under fence lines.
2 track, no gravel roads what turn into slippery sticky goo when it rains.
Stream bed (wadi) that could turn into blasts of water like flash floods even if no rain at location.
The farmer/rancher's pet bull.
Ticks & fleas - they might transmit disease
My 2 cents: I find it's nice to have several caliber rifles. Good scopes and an accurate range finder are a must. Shoot the near dogs with an accurate 22 lr, 22 Mag, or a 17 HMR. Then go after the farther out dogs with something center-fire like a 22-250, 223, 204 Ruger. I've heard of people shooting them with a 6.8, expensive but I suppose if you reload, you'll have a lot of brass. Expect a lot of heat mirage as the day heats up. Wind may also be a problem so it's a good way to practice your ability to judge the wind on the longer shots.
As already mentioned most western states have vast areas of public lands with native grasses. Google Earth shows Pdog mounds. Of course you can drive to that spot and find it was wiped out by the plague. It will be back in just a few years.
There are some pay-to-play hunts that are a better guarantee for a first timer. Do a search and some should come up. Example I have seen would be a combination antelope/Pdog hunt in Wyoming on private land that isn't too expensive. Just a good way to start.
Living in Colorado I have visited Wyoming a lot searching for public land Pdogs. Some years they are everywhere, but some they are hard to find. Still it is just fun to go on an adventure looking at new places.
Best of luck in your search!
Last time I shot dogs was in1993. From the late 70's to '93, my hunting partner and I killed around 20,000 per year, it was awesome. N. Woyming, NE Nebraska, and South Dakota was our stomping grounds. I am in SC now, where I grew up. Wife's health has me grounded for a while.