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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5383 posts

Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
I usually try to go on two prairie dog hunts every year. Last year I went on pd hunts in SE CO and the OK panhandle. This year’s first hunt would be at the Kiowa National Grasslands in NE New Mexico. Two years ago I went on a pd hunt at the Rita Blanca National Grasslands in NW TX. As the Rita Blanco crosses the TX/NM state line, it becomes the Kiowa. Prairie dog numbers were low on the Rita Blanca last year as a result of the plague. This year the numbers are even lower. Consequently, I found myself hunting the Kiowa for the first time.

I like to take 3-4 friends w/ me on the pd hunts. This year I brought 2 friends and one of my friend’s sons. The trip to Dalhart, TX went well. Our hunt was a semi-guided hunt w/ Jeremy Gugelmeyer of Sagebrush Hunts (http://www.sagebrushhunts.com/Prairie_Dogs.html). We stayed at his 3 bedroom/2 bath bunk house and use his map to pd towns on the Kiowa. The trip there went well, but a 740 mile drive is always going to be tiring.

Day 1 was sunny and 50 deg. We went to the Kiowa Grasslands office in Clayton, NM where we bought a map and asked for advice on dog towns. The wildlife biologist was especially helpful. PD’s had been hurt by the plague on the Kiowa, but not as much as the Rita Blanca. Acres of pd towns at the Kiowa were down from 7000 to only 700.

Driving the two track roads was a little tricky due to the combination of recent rains, driving 2 WD pick ups and pulling a 4X8’ U Haul trailer. We shot for about 4 hours at the first town. It was sunny all day w/ highs in the upper 70’s. The wind was minimal. It was such a pleasant day we never used the pop up canopies. Later in the day we moved a short distance to a different location. Everyone was very pleasantly surprised by how much we shot, especially considering the dire outlook given by some of the personnel at the office. I split my time pretty evenly between my XP-100’s in 22 BR and 6 BR. I shot 109 rounds, a fairly busy day for me. One of the day 1 highlights was my cousin killing a dog w/ his 17 Mach 2 at 235 yards. My wife’s red beans, rice and sausage tasted good for supper.

Day 2 was 49 deg, overcast and WINDY….. Unfortunately, the wind never slowed. We started off at a different town on day 2. The wind gusted to 20 mph. After about 3 hours we moved back to the first location from the prior day. The shooting was better at this spot, but not as good as the previous day. Although the temp got up to 84 deg, the wind never slowed. I found the constant strong wind very tiring. You know it’s a strong wind when your gun’s on sandbags and bipod but the wind still bounces the gun. I exclusively shot the 6 BR and it’s heavier bullets day 2. I shot a total of about 80 rounds. We knocked it off a little early as we wanted to have time to cook (grilled pork chops, corn on the cob and fresh green beans).

All in all it was a good trip. I was pleased w/ all my equipment. This was my first time to hunt w/ the 6mm 70 gr NBT and I really liked it. I plan on using it some more. My cousin and his son shot a lot of rounds in my Stevens Model 200’s in 221 Fireball and 223 Remington. For my brother-in-law, it was the virgin trip for his Savage Long Range Precision Varminter in 204 Ruger and Remington 700 SPS Varmint in 223 Remington. Both guns performed well. Both my XP’s have 3-12X Burris LER scopes w/ Ballistic Plex reticles. For pd shooting, I like that reticle better than the usual plex reticle. I'm hoping to make another pd hunt in June.

Looking for a target.
Image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4184/34012629704_790bb0f415.jpg


Image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4197/34012634524_9fd281b631.jpg


6mm BR XP-100 and equipment
Image: https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4218/35090162100_da14dcf10b.jpg


bbvdd
Alabama Fan
Memphis, TN
Member since Jun 2009
18173 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
Thanks for post. That looks like it would be a blast.


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257WBY
Baylor Fan
Member since Feb 2014
2174 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
Live targets certainly make you a better shot.


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Spankum
LSU Fan
Miss-sippi
Member since Jan 2007
49634 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
I always enjoy seeing your posts about these hunts...doesn't seem like a year since your last one.


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cgrand
New Orleans Pelicans Fan
HAMMOND
Member since Oct 2009
20573 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
explain prairie dog hunting to me...obviously there are none down here but i'm an enthusiastic nutria exterminator. what do they do thats destructive?

are the populations managed at all or are they just that much of a verminous nuisance?


The Dude Abides
Alabama Fan
Atlanta, GA
Member since Feb 2010
2181 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
quote:

explain prairie dog hunting to me...obviously there are none down here but i'm an enthusiastic nutria exterminator. what do they do thats destructive?

are the populations managed at all or are they just that much of a verminous nuisance?
population control, livestock steps into the holes and break legs, crop destruction too.


baldona
Auburn Fan
Florida
Member since Feb 2016
11703 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
OP you ever looked into getting one of those 8-10 ft tripod deer stands? I don't think they are that expensive. They have a swiveling seat and a shooting rail I believe. I bet that would be great out there in the flat country.


Uncle Gunnysack
Texas A&M Fan
Member since Apr 2016
5541 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
quote:

204 Ruger


want


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Got Blaze
LSU Fan
Youngsville
Member since Dec 2013
4105 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
Always look fwd to this annual thread brother


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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5383 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
quote:

explain prairie dog hunting to me...obviously there are none down here but i'm an enthusiastic nutria exterminator. what do they do thats destructive?

are the populations managed at all or are they just that much of a verminous nuisance?


quote:

population control, livestock steps into the holes and break legs, crop destruction too.


Yup, that's pretty much got it.
As far as population control, the options taken are:
Poisoning (expensive and not w/o complications).
Hunting. In this, both hunters and landowners want #'s of pd's "controlled", but not eradicated. Landowners who lease their land for hunting can make a little extra $$.
Back in the 90's, an outfit was using a huge vacuum machine to "vacuum extract" pd's from their hole and sell them at pet stores. Haven't heard of that being done for a long time.
In some areas of CO the federal government is paying some landowners to re-introduce the ferret . The ferret is a predator of the pd.

If you like hunting nutria, you'd prolly like pd hunting.


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TigerOnThe Hill
Springhill, LA
Member since Sep 2008
5383 posts

re: Prairie Dog Hunt May 2017
quote:

8-10 ft tripod deer stands

Baldona, I've been hunting pd's for 25 years and I can honestly say I've NEVER thought of that; actually sounds rather interesting. The extra elevation afforded by a short tripod would be VERY nice. There'd be problems transporting it w/o going to a longer trailer. We usually use a 4'X8' or 5'X8' trailer. The short tripods I have would take up a lot of the trailer space since they're not made to break down very much. Would definitely need to anchor it to the ground. Even on days when the wind is kinda quiet, it may still suddenly gust to 10 mph or so; I wouldn't want to be on a tripod that's blowing in the wind. The shooting rails would need some modifications to be more stable. Shooting a deer at 200 yards from a tripod rest would be nothing like shooting a pd at 200 yards or more. Nevertheless, I'll give it some more thought.


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