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Prairie Dog advice
Driving cross country with my son this summer. He's coming home after a 5 year Marine Corp enlistment. We are looking to celebrate with some activities, including flyfishing near Casper. We want to have some fun with some prairie dogs as well. Can I get some recommendations for locations, preferably on some federal lands. We are open for various states, as it will be a long celebration and drive across and around this beautiful country. Shooting the dogs with bows would be a hoot, but and open to taking rifles too.
I wish I had a recommendation for locations, but I don't. A couple of .22-250s and plenty of ammunition sounds like a great time on prairie dogs though. Good luck.
Just get out the Wyoming maps and look around. I don't think you'll have too much difficulty finding dog towns.
Also look at the walk-in areas for that county.
S.D. is loaded with them. good luck with a bow. Forrest
I can't recommend locations but I can share a little info. Prairie dog shooting is often more than 22-250. Begin your morning with a silenced .22 so you can enjoy some time without ear protection. Then when the wind picks up after the first hour of so of daylight switch to the .22 magnum because many shots will still be close. As the prairie dogs catch on pick up the .223 which to me is a better prairie dog gun than the 22-250. .223 gives you a much better sight picture of the prairie dog doing back flips and more red mist in the scope. The 22-250 has enough recoil that you miss a lot of the show. When we were just driving around shooting out the truck we use the.223 and less powerful guns. Most people are on some kind of budget and the 22-250 is really just too expensive to shoot. A good dog shoot for us was always 1100 rounds each x2 so 2200 rounds can be pricy. We could never afforded 2200 rounds of 22-250 and that much of 22-250 would make you recoil sensitive way before you got to even half that round count. 22-250 is great off the bench for long range dog shooting but .223 wins for the ones inside 200 yards because 1. it's cheaper 2. less recoil 3. better viewing. I won't claim to be an expert but a 6.5x20 magnification is plenty. High volume shooting is different than low volume. If you only got a few dogs to shoot at far away then take the 222-250. If you got an unlimited amount of targets start out with small guns and shoot them close. My favorite ones to shoot are the ones with the white chest patch that sit straight up on their hind legs! Finally, since we are on bowsite don't discount your bow but make sure to keep your hands clean because they carry disease.
I've tried to shoot prairie dogs a couple times on the way into my stand. After loosing several arrows I quit. This suckers can duck a string unbelievably fast. Arrows would skip or bury in the dirt and make it hard to find. I would use a cheap throw away head for them, maybe a rage. :)
Thanks for the responses! Will continue the homework on the dog shooting and trout fishing near Casper. Will plan on searching maps and satellite pics.
I love to bow hunt them! If you end up in eastern co I'd be happy to take you to our town to shoot some dogs!
I've taken hundreds of them with firearms. My first with a bow was on an antelope hunt in WY and that experience topped every other.
Did a guided prairie dog hunt in Kansas, good time but pricey. $400 a day and shot about 200 rounds each. Gun is a custom AR15 in 204 Ruger
Triple Three out of Buffalo offers prairie dog hunts. Not sure what the cost is.
I would never touch one of those nasty little suckers like Pat is doing in his photo! I just got into the pdog thing last year in Wyoming with a 22 Hornet and .243 Sako and it was fun.
You're right. Some PD have the plague
Those are mighty small backstraps!
Look for the USFS National Grasslands ranger stations in Wyoming or SD and call and ask for the biologist. The one I worked at in Hot Springs SD we had a map of all the P dog towns on forest service lands that we handed out to hunters. Our biologist also knew which ones were well populated and easier to hunt. Thunder Basin in Eastern WY, and the Buffalo Gap in extreme SW SD are good areas to start with.
Piere National Grass Land right outside the capital. You could get maps in town from the USFS. They had tons of dog towns.
Best advice I can give you is take ALL your guns. As much fun as it is, it can still get boring banging away with those little barn burners. A 30-06 with light weight bullets do wonders to those dogs, and I have exploded 10 or so with my Ruger #1 in .375 H&H! Remember your not bringing the meat home so go for the hydraulic displacement :-)
I've shot quite a few w/gun but with a longbow they are never there when the arrow arrives. Frustrating but still fun.
Drove down to SE Colorado one year with a buddy. We found a small town, got a room at the local motel and hit the coffee hangout in the morning to talk to the local farmers. 2 hours later we had more prairie dogs to shoot than we could in a week. They loved us spending $ in town, so pd infested land was there for the shooting.
Triple 3's Link
I shot a ton with a bow, the little bastards with still a judo tipped carbon if you don't stone them.
I don't know any towns really worth shooting, just a few here and there we shoot in between coyote hunitng.
If you do an outfitted shoot, most will be pretty crazy with action.
Triple 3's Link
Like Mule Power stated. I have some great P-Dog shooting in a 60 mile radius of Buffalo, Wyoming. $300.00 per day includes lodging at the ranch, noon meal, transportation and over 200,000 acres of private land. I can add horseback and ATV tours to your trip. Warning bring 2 dozen cheep arrows you will loose a bunch. Camo really helps. Good tune up for spot and stalk Mule Deer hunting. Most rifle shooters shoot over 300 rounds per day and you will never see another human being the entire day! Been in the P-Dog business over 20 years not crazy yet but close.
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Another one bites the dust!
Had a prairie dog town next to my apartment complex outside a Denver suburb and let just say I launch a few arrows using traditional equipment... They're quick buggers and never killed one but had some fun... They got to know me personally from other people in the neighborhood...8^) True story, they seem to get smart enough to distinguish me from others. Maybe it was the strange thing I was carrying in hand...8^)
A few years ago a guy and I found a place in northeast CO on open prairie and spent a day and a half shooting prairie dogs with a 22/250. We must have killed around 200 of them. As we were letting the rifle cool down a coyote come running in as he could smell blood. He picked up a dog and ran to another hold and dropped the one that he had for a larger one. He couldn't make up his mind on which on he wanted. He waited too long because we zinged him too.
Thanks for the posts!! Looking forward to the adventure and spending quality time with my son. Should be a great summer.
Your input is appreciated. Will try to avoid outfitter simply due to homework and DIY is a part of the adventure.