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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5010 posts

Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
Every summer I try to go on two prairie dog hunts. This year, the first hunt was to be a guided hunt in the panhandle of OK for the third week of May. Unfortunately, just two weeks before the hunt I found out the guide had been hospitalized for 60 days and was still quite ill and week. Since he couldn’t guide the hunt he put me in contact w/ a landowner he'd hunted w/.The landowner repeatedly said, “Just come on.” I was worried about the weather as thunderstorms and high winds were predicted for the area and there'd already been a lot of recent bad weather in OK. Our party of five included my son, my brother in law and a father/son duo; the father had been on one pd hunt 20 years ago, but it was his son's first hunt.

The drive from NW LA went well. En route, we picked up my son at the Oklahoma City airport; he’d flown in from Lafayette, LA to Oklahoma City, OK to save him a lot of driving time. We stopped at El Reno, OK to eat “onion burgers,” a local favorite. While eating my onion burger, a friend from work who’s a “storm chaser,” sent me a screen pic of the weather around the town we were travelling to. There were numerous thunderstorms in the area. As we neared our destination, we were detoured by the local Sheriff’s Dept because a tornado had just passed through, knocking down power lines and blocking the road.

The weather ended up being just fine despite dire predictions. Although both days were predicted to have a 70% chance of rain w/ “damaging thunderstorms” and wind gusts to 30 mph, both days were nice. The first day turned out sunny and dry w/ no wind in the AM and manageable wind in the PM. We were afraid our 2 WD trucks might have problems getting into the fields, but it was ok (although we did take a running start once and made a point of staying out of the ruts). We had a really good hunt the first day, shooting at the same spot all day until near dark. Shots were mainly 200-350 yards. At the end of the day we were alarmed to see a 3-4’ long prairie rattler near the trucks.

My main pd hunting guns are Remington XP-100 bolt action pistols in 22 BR and 6mm BR. Although I started out shooting the 22 BR, I quickly changed to my two “guest guns” so I could spot my own shots since I didn’t have a spotter. I can’t see the impact of the bullet w/ my handguns, but I can w/ the guest guns. Both guest guns started life as Stevens bolt action rifles in 270 Win, but I converted them to 221 Remington Fireball and 20 Practical (basically a 204 Ruger, but using 223 Remington brass). As it turns out, both guest guns were off so much that I ended up having to rezero them. After making adjustments to the scopes, I shot much better w/ the Practical. I’m not sure what happened to knock off both guns, but they were carried in the same gun case.

Our party used a number of rifles, including a Savage bolt action in 204 Ruger, a Remington M700 in 223 Remington, a Remington M788 in 243 Winchester, an AR 15 in 223 and bolt action rifles in 17 HMR and 22 Magnum.

The first stop day #2 was at a dog town beside a dirt county road. The shooting was much slower since the town had been shot fairly heavily. Since the shooting was slow, we decided to move to a second town the landowner told us about. The new town was really good. The dogs were plentiful and acted as if they’d not been shot. Ranges were fairly close with most shots 150-200 yards, but many were less than 100 yards. Since there was a moderate crosswind and my son was spotting for me, I used the 6mm BR and it’s heavier bullets. The 6 BR made a good showing for itself. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to explore the other half of the dog town as we were chased in a few hours early by a big thunderstorm. Although the thunderstorm had heavy rain and high winds, there were no tornados. Unfortunately, a tornado did hit El Reno, OK that evening, (the town we’d eaten at 48 hours earlier) killing 2 and injuring 30.

All in all, it was a really good hunt. Although the weather had me worried, it ended up being fine. It was unfortunate our guide got ill, but it enabled me to establish a contact for future private land hunts. I hope to have more hunts w/ the landowner or his friends. In fact, I’m hoping I can make a second OK hunt later this summer.

We saw a lot of sheet metal in the fields from the storm the prior night.


Relaxing while shooting dogs.


XP-100 in 6 BR


A size 11 pd. That’s a big dog.






This post was edited on 6/12 at 5:15 pm


4LSU2
LSU Fan
Madisonville
Member since Dec 2009
33162 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
Looks like a damn fine trip.


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wickowick
LSU Fan
Head of Island
Member since Dec 2006
39763 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
Nice


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Duckhammer_77
Mississippi St. Fan
St. George Country Club
Member since Nov 2016
1302 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
What grain bullet in the 243? Been thinking of trying some long varmit shots with mine...but have only reloaded with 95gr deer loads. Also, did any of your guys use a 22-250?


TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5010 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
quote:

What grain bullet in the 243?

I'll check tomorrow, but I'm pretty sure it was a 70 gr bullet. In my 6 BR, I use the 65 gr Hornady V-Max, 70 gr Nosler Ballistic Tip and 70 gr Varmageddon plastic tip. I've never shot the 55-58 gr bullets, but may try some next year. I've tried nearly every other 65-75 bullet and have settled on the ones I mentioned. To me, it's important to hunt pd's w/ a fragile bullet so one doesn't have to worry about ricochets. The muzzle velocity in my 6 BR handgun is 300-400 fps behind a 243. Although 243 caliber bullets can perform well on pd's, most folks don't enjoy shooting it as their main gun because the muzzle blast/recoil usually become noticeable shooting 150-200 rounds/day. No one shot a 22-250, but one of my friends shoots a 22-250. It's a fine gun, but I think 204 Ruger and 223 are better unless the wind gets bad.


Got Blaze
LSU Fan
Youngsville
Member since Dec 2013
3111 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
Always enjoy your write-ups and adventures brother
Didn’t realize your son lived in Lafayette, holler next time you’re in the area and we’ll talk custom rifles and wildcat cartridges


TigerAxeOK
USA Fan
Antarctic Transmutagen Base
Member since Dec 2016
6345 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
If you're referring to the tornado that touched down in the Eastern Panhandle, I'm happy to hear you weren't there when it happened. I was watching it live on OKC News 9 and it's miraculous that that thing missed populated areas. It was an absolute monster and by far the most violent tornado we've seen this year in Oklahoma.

A good hunt is always a nice bonus but your fortuitous timing was a blessing. We really got hammered all across the state during that 3 week stretch.


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ChatRabbit77
Baton Rouge
Member since May 2013
4907 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
IDK if you have ever addressed this, but have you ever eaten one? It seems like they would taste decent.


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GeauxBichGeaux
Atlanta Braves Fan
Meraux, Louisiana
Member since Apr 2017
178 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
quote:

IDK if you have ever addressed this, but have you ever eaten one? It seems like they would taste decent.


they carry the plague. might be why his guide was hospitilzed for 60 days.


TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5010 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
Thx for the kind words.
quote:

Didn’t realize your son lived in Lafayette, holler next time you’re in the area and we’ll talk custom rifles and wildcat cartridges
That sounds like a good idea. IIRC you've got some interesting guns. Right now he's working near NO, but he just bought a house in Laffy so I'm sure we'll be there visiting him. In fact, he moved into the house the next weekend after the hunt.


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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5010 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
quote:

IDK if you have ever addressed this, but have you ever eaten one? It seems like they would taste decent.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

they carry the plague. might be why his guide was hospitilzed for 60 days


No, I've never eaten a pd nor heard of anyone eating one. There's not usually much meat left on one after it's been shot. And yes, they do carry the plague. Consequently we don't really handle them. In areas where the plague has hit, it decimates the pd population. That's one of the reasons I was hunting in OK. I used to hunt the Rita Blanca National Grasslands (NW of Dalhart, TX) but the plague hit there 3-4 years ago and killed off >90% of the pd's. After that I hunted the Kiowa NG in NM, just across the state line from the RB. This year the plague has hit the Kiowa and killed >90% of the pd population. It takes 10 years or more for the pd's to recover from the plague. Other areas I've not been able to hunt in recent years due to the plague include SW KS and SE CO.

The guide developed a lingering illness, but fortunately it wasn't the plague.


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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5010 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
quote:

What grain bullet in the 243?

DH, my friend's loads used the 70 gr Sierra TNT, a highly fragile varmint bullet. I've used it in my 6 BR and it's a good varmint bullet. It can also be bought deeply discounted in a bulk pack of 1000 bullets.


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tigersownall
Nicholls St. Fan
Thibodaux
Member since Sep 2011
11568 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
You eat dat baw?


TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5010 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
quote:

You eat dat baw?

Nope.
This post was edited on 6/15 at 6:26 pm


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Dale Doubak
LSU Fan
Somewhere
Member since Jan 2012
4881 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt #1, “Dances With Tornadoes”
Great story. I felt part of the trip


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