Prairie Dog

Discussion in 'The Hunting & Fishing Forum' started by Martin S, Jan 20, 2011.

  1. Martin S

    Martin S New Member

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    Are there any Prairie Dog shooters on here? What do you use to shoot them? I use a Savage Model 12 bvss-s .223 and a Rem. 700 22br. I've shot them in Kansas, Neb. and SD. I would like to go to Montana next year if things turn out.

    Martin:D
  2. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    The plague has hit most of the towns in the Mtn. states. The population in Wyoming where I live is very low. The big town near my home that covers 1,300 acres is about wiped out. Some of the towns may never recover. Another problem is shooters killing dogs before June 1st. This killing of females that are pregnant takes out 10 dogs for every one shot. The prairie dogs should not be shot on the snow and until the young are born. To answer your question on rifles I like the .220 Swift and the 25-06 for shooting across the windy sage brush country. The .223 is good for still days and close shots 300 yds or less. Wyoming does not require a permit to shoot prairie dogs. The only rule being you can not shoot from inside a truck. If you have not been in the west look for public land area. You can contact the Wyoming Game and fish they used to put out maps for nonrez P'dog shooters.

    RC
  3. Gene Seward

    Gene Seward Member

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    Hey if there are too many prairie dogs in anyones back yard (area) just let me know. I would love to try a dog hunt. I have seen it on tv and it looks like alot of fun. I think the .223, .204 and maybe 22-250 would be good.
  4. wyoredot

    wyoredot New Member

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    if you come to Montana. bring your check book. Most public land has been shot to bits and you won't get within 300 yards of them. The private landowners manage to get over 100 bux a day per person.... That is how tuff it is getting around here.
  5. Martin S

    Martin S New Member

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    I went to Kansas last year. The guy had 9,000 acres. He divided it up in three sections and had hunters in all three. I didn't like it at all. We had to stop shooting one time because of hunters driving infront of us. The dogs had been shot at so much that you had to wait for ever before they would come up. I shot three hundred rounds in two days. The wind was 25 mph the first day and 35mph the second. As far as I can see it wasn't worth $250 bucks.
    Martin S:(
  6. al45lc

    al45lc New Member

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    6MM Rem. Model 700 H.B. is my favorite 'long range' gun, .223 Ruger no.3 and a m-77 sporter barrel in 6mm for shorter ranges, and a .17 Hornady for up close. We have a season on em now, to keep the animal rights wackos from putting them on the endangered list.
  7. whip

    whip New Member

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    22/250 Remington Model 700 and most recently a RRA Predator Pursuit .223. The dog towns in my area of Wyoming vary year to year. The plague comes through periodically and wipes out a large portion of the dogs but they rebound in 3 or 4 years and then the plague hits them again. My area of Western Wyoming has been fortunate the last few years and we have quite a few dogs still but you have to hunt around a little to find a big town. I hunt an area where the prairie dogs are spread out over lots of acreage with small towns of 10 to 50 scatter out throughout the area. I have a couple of big towns that are still going strong but all that can change on a dime if the plague comes through.
  8. Martin S

    Martin S New Member

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    Whip,
    That would be a dream to live that close to towns where you could go out and shoot when you wanted to. Driving a 1,000 miles to shoot is a bummer. It takes this old body a while to get over the long drive out and back. It sure is fun though.
    Martin
  9. whip

    whip New Member

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    Thats just one of the reasons that encouraged me to move here 31 years ago. In the last 30 years I have watched the prairie dog population fluctuate due to the plague. But after the low population comes the high population years. It varies and as far as shooting them on the snow it can happen. My own observation has been that towns that get hunted suffer fewer outbreaks of the plague than those that are not hunted. I believe that the plague spreads much more easily in dog towns with large populations than those with fewer dogs. I will admit to shooting prairie dogs in the snow primarily when a landowner wants to reduce the population and is threatening to use poison if the numbers are not reduced. I have noticed that during March especially the majority of prairie dogs shot are males. But Carson is correct in that lots of shooting early can reduce numbers significantly and leave some smart prairie dogs that go down at the sound of the first shot. I have a relative in Iowa that goes to South Dakota each year and pays to hunt and has been really happy with his hunts out there.
  10. Martin S

    Martin S New Member

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    Whip,
    Are there many ranchers that will let you shoot for free? Out of state'ers? I never had much luck in SD. We were shooting free there. The place we shot on was well used. The dogs that were left were very weiry. I'm to old to make a move now. I would have to do it by my self....lol..My wife would never go along.
    Martin
  11. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    Whip read the Wyoming Game and Fish reports on the plague. This is a new more deadly form. They say many towns will not recover. I don't think this is the old Too many dogs die offs we have seen in the past. I don't care what some greedy rancher wants. I will not kill starving animals on the snow. And I don't believe that most dogs killed early are males. Shooting in very small towns of 25 or so to keep them healthy is a new concept I must say. Prairie Dog shooting when at prime is covered with thousands of critters. We have some of the best dog shooting in Wyoming here in the South Western deserts. I can tell you the plague is real and winter shooting and early shooting before June 1st. is poor sportsmanship.

    RC
  12. whip

    whip New Member

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    Carson I will disagree with you on one point. On private land I would rather shoot them on the snow than have them poisoned. The poison is way more effective than shooting. Many land owners are currently worried that they will soon ban the use of poison and have decided to take drastic measures to eliminate the prairie dog population on their private land before a ban takes place. If shooting the prairie dog population down to a level that is more acceptable to private land owners keeps them from using poison I'm willing to help. I assume you live down near Rock Springs, Green River or Evanston where a majority of the land is UP or public and poisoning isn't allowed. Here in the basin the prairie dogs on private land are getting hammered not by shooters but by poison peanuts from ATVs. As for the plague being more deadly I have not yet read that report. I hope its not the case but if it is, the future for the prairie dogs doesn't look good.
    I spent some time in the Southwest desert last summer with my son who works for the Game and Fish. He didn't feel there were nearly as many prairie dogs there as we have in the basin but he did feel there was a lot more access due to all the public land. I traveled in the Red Desert between Rock Springs and Rawlings and also from Green River to Kemmerer and down to Evanston south through the Bridger Valley to Flaming Gorge up to Green River. I did see some prairie dogs but never did see a really big town. Pretty big country so I may not have been looking in the right direction. Also we have white tailed prairie dogs in the basin and even though I didn't shoot any I think the ones in the Southwest are black tailed prairie dogs.
  13. redwing carson

    redwing carson Former Guest

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    Most of our Pdogs are Mexican Pdogs not white or black tail. Government hunters and trappers poison dogs on the BLM. If the dogs are being poisoned on any land they will b gone in short order. I do not participate in this war to destroy the prairie dog in Wyoming. Winter shooting and early shooting serve the same purpose as poison. The big towns of 50 years ago in the Big Horn Basin are long gone. The little towns in the Basin are only a shadow of the past.

    RC
  14. whip

    whip New Member

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    Carson, I'm on the local predator board and was on the weed and pest board. We are not allowed to poison prairie dogs on BLM in this region. I believed the ban extended to all BLM in the state. Also our ADC trappers don't do any prairie dog work in this area. I can't speak for down your way but according to my contacts its a function of the Sweetwater County Weed and Pest Board. As far as poison and shooting in the winter and spring I will inform you that the new poison and application techniques are far more effective than shooting. I have seen the results of the poison and its extremely effective. I'm not in favor of it but if I was a rancher trying to scrap a living off the land I might be tempted. I have read many studies about the white tailed prairie dog in the last 5 years with the purposed ban and looked at the historic population maps of our region. Our numbers have not accoding to the BLM experts suffered much. However they are currently mapping all the prairie dog towns on BLM not only with ground survey but also from satellite and aerial photos. We will have a better handle on the numbers in the future. So I'm optimistic enough about their future to not feel to guilty about shooting a few in the summer. When I go to coffee in the morning and some local rancher asks if I will come shoot a few prairie dogs to help him out? You can bet I will show up as soon as possible. I don't grind them to pieces regardless of the time of year. Mostly its in mid to late June after the pups are out that they notice the increase and want a little control done. I like to hunt before the grass gets really long but after they emerge from the dens with young.

    Mexican Prairie dogs only live at low elevations and are not normally found in Wyoming according to my mammals of Wyoming resource. They are also protected as a threatened sub species of the common black tailed prairie dog. You may have a few Utah prairie dogs in the area. According to the literature you have the white tailed prairie dog in southwest Wyoming primarily.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2011
  15. al45lc

    al45lc New Member

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    At one time it was estimated that the feds were poisoning over 3 million P.D.s a year in this state alone. Any concern about the future of the P.D.s should start there. I believe that the feds have backed off on that.
    Having said that, when I first moved to Colorado in 96, the P.D. shooting on public land was awful, especially in the Grasslands, due to poisoning.
    Now there are several areas to shoot that were formerly near barren of P.D.s, and the DOW is encouraging shooting them, and of course they sell more licenses that way too.
    I see no problem with the future of the P.D. here, but it is different state to state.
    BtW, I'm a member of the Wildlife Hunters Assoc. of Co.(WHAC), and we have a self imposed moratorium on shooting during the birthing and early life season. But I wouldn't call it poor sportsmanship to shoot during that time, dependent on the reason. To many out there, they are simply a pest, year 'round.
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