Almost varmint season

Its getting to be that time of year for the prairie dogs to be on the run. One of my all time favorite past times.

Any one else spend their days hunting varmints?

Nosler Varmageddon in 6mm Creedmoor and .308 Win.


Good googly moogly, heck yes! Armadillos! HATE them. They tear up the garden and the turf grass. At home and at work. At work we pay the local kids to come in and shoot them at night! We hit these with a shot gun as we DON’T want to miss otherwise they got smarter and will come back at maybe 0400 after they know we all have left.

When the wife and I go on our evening walk I carry my 10/22 for the dillos. Yesterday I hit 3 on the walk, a good walk indeed!

Also opossum, raccoon, porcupine and hogs. The porcupine girdle the peach trees and that can kill a full grown peach tree in 1 night.


See, I saw this topic, and thought: Wait a minute, November mid-terms are still 6 months away. :roll_eyes:


Been 18 springs ago since a dog trip to west river SD. Haven’t been back since dad passed. The swift still gets a yearly oil change. Was good times. Except for the occasional chigger outbreak. :joy:


The Swift is one of Dad’s go-to guns for 'dogs. Nothing like watching them get turned into red water balloons at 300 yards.


@Shawn17 >> First time I saw a vapor trail was from a swift. They can be barrel burners if you crank them up. I loved to hunt wood chucks in Vermont years ago. The big dogs at 400 to 500 yards were the 7mil. Mag
& 300 Win. Mag. The lighter bullets didn’t tolerate the wind as well. Back in the day there was a lot more farm land and people welcomed us to shoot chucks. Not so much any more in my neck of the woods.

This is when the first focal plane shines.

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New for me; wondering how it works.

Is it safe out there to bring our toddlers, grandma’s? Is that a large private property? Should I wear an orange vest? Do you eat them? Heard porcupine taste good, but not easy to skin. What do you do with them? Is it like “a farmland” though? Guessing they damage crops. What do I know. Wanna be country boy I am. Might wanna partake one day. IDK.


Clueless student

My wife has a garden and a few fruit trees. The gofers destroy everything if not taken care of. Unfortunately I live in a neighborhood of one acre lots so I can’t use them for target practice with my .22:( We mostly use traps though I did take out one with my cheap bb/pellet rifle. It was very satisfying to see the little fruit tree killer meet his end.

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It’s allot of fun. Had a native lady I’m SD that wanted a bucket of them one trip. So…I picked up what pieces we could find. She asked if I would take them with me, said she was kidding.

30 years ago it used to cost 10 bucks for a tag and the ranchers welcomed you. Until it got popular and the Rosebud reservation started charging 100 bucks a gun and “guide fees”. We always hunted west river private ranches. We kept our costs down by bringing a case of real maple syrup for the main ranchers we hit. They always remembered us.

As for the swift I kept mine about 3650. My dad on the other hand was into the Ackley improved stuff. Did watch him try to put soft points into a target at 100 yds. Bullet would speckle cardboard. Yeah, the vapor trails were pretty cool. Guess soft points aren’t supposed to do over 4000.

Only as safe as you are. Biggest issue is noise, fast small caliber rifles have quite a CRACK to them. Especially if you got a comp on one. Toddlers need hearing pro, grandma not so much she can’t hear anyway. We used to camp by a little river on a ranch that we hunted. So if you had some supervision for the young ones and didn’t shoot from or into camp, would make a decent family event

Maybe, public lands I would and would avoid all together.

Don’t know if you were being sarcastic about shooting the dogs that compete with cattle for grass or not. Anyways they eat their dead (look it up if you don’t believe me) as the eagles and coyotes only get to eat a few of them.


Thanks for allowing me be lighthearted.

Guess it’s a part of country living I’ve been shielded from. What got me thinking was during the ammo drought a year ago, I picked up “shot shell”, for my .22 rifle, then I learned a local range allows us to use shot shells, later to find out they come in different calibers.

Trading with delicious syrup, cool, I’m humbled.

I added copper versions to all of my calibers out of respect to the land.

Deep inside I wished I lived country, working in the city is taxing. You got class.

Bless you all.

Well, like I said it’s fun and does have a purpose. A dog town will destroy acres of pasture.

We ain’t any better than each other just different. If you’re so inclined to try it, I actually came across the purple binder. Full of maps with notes and ways into some of these dog towns. Would be willing to share info and contacts.

There were allot of “city” guys with all latest gear paying guides that took them to shot out dog towns. Find a rancher.


Can you eat prairie dogs? How about armadillos? Opossum is the original white meat but. it takes work to clean it and cook it! The same with racoons!

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I can see the beauty in the life style. Even more humane than how we normally obtain our meat from grocery stores.

Hunter/educator Steven Rinella mentioned one of the advantages of skinning small game at the scene, is it reduces chance of ticks or fleas being transferred from animal to human.

In this film on Netflix, at the very end of it, one of the elders speaks about three generations of hunters he experienced; The learning about respecting safety, and hunting.

Stars in the sky”:


Don’t have any prairie dogs down here but we do have ground hogs/wood chucks. Been hunting it the last cpl days since it has dug a hole under an out building. Got a cpl shots off at it last night. Not sure if I hit it. Hope it didn’t go back into its hole and die.

That reminds me of when my father had me kill several squirrels that were getting into our attic and tearing up the insulation. I gave them a “sporting” chance by only shooting them while they were running and jumping on the top branches of the trees. I used a pellet rifle. The last one, the largest, I shot at about the farthest range of the pellet rifle, about 75’ up and at least 75’ away. I have to say it was an amazing shot as it was running and jumping, and I hit it in the head on the first shot. It fell into a crook near the top of the tree and did not fall to the ground like the others. It was not moving, but I could not confirm the kill. I shot it twice more in the head and three times in the heart. It did not move when hit with any of those shots, so I felt confident that it was dead; I did not want it to suffer.


About the same chance of getting something from an opossum too!

The best view of a prairie dog…


Maybe more fun, but there is a higher use for prairie dogs…



I hear hunting falcons are highly praised by Saudi sheiks, and go for $ multi-million price. Wonder what a trained ferret would fetch in that clientele.