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FWent prairie dog shooting in Wyoming 7/9-7/11. I would have posted sooner, but came home and got picked for a Jury. Thats a story for another day. Probably, the story can be told by the outcome, a hung jury, 11-1.

I flew on this trip. Shipped ny ammo ahead of time, so I wouldn’t be limited by the airlines. Took my model 38 Cooper .20 Vartarg and a Dakota Arms .222. The Vartarg is really a favorite of mine. An efficient cartridge, that sends those 32gr Vmax’s down-range in a hurry and is very accurate. The .222 is very accurate, I’m shooting 40gr Vmax’s out of it.

I shot several different areas on one very large ranch. The shooting was steady, not barrel melting, but it kept me busy. The grass was tall in several areas, as Wyoming has had lots moisture this year. In these areas, you really had to hunt your targets. My buddy used a weed whip on the first area I set up, to give a clear view down on to the pastures I was shooting. The first areas I shot, had shots ranging out to roughly 250 yards. A canyon area, I shot later, had unlimited range opportunities.

I did have a funny thing happen to me. I got adopted! The first day I shot, I had my muffs on. They are electric to enhance hearing, I had not turned them on. Between shots, I noticed a noise. When I turned around, 20 yards away was a young Pronghorn buck. He was squeaking and kicking up some dirt. He stuck around for awhile and watched me, then he disappeared. Next day, about a half hour into my shooting, here he comes. Watches me for awhile. Third day, I’m in a different area. After about 10 shots, over the rise comes the buck! He stopped at about 25 yards and bedded down. He would feed and then bed down for the rest of the day. I started to think, I might be able to take him on the plane home, as my “service animal”!

Most of my shots in the canyon area, were 250 to 325 yards. One of my favorite shots was a dog at 325 yards, on his mound in front of a large Cedar tree. I put down my binoculars and found him in the scope of the .20 VT. At the shot, he was lifted high off the mound and did several back flips, before hitting the ground in a heap. That must have boosted my confidence, as I found some dogs close by this one and had a short run of 6 in a row. The pups were up an afforded me several chances for doubles. In the grassy areas, many shots were head and partial body, not covered by the grass. I really had to concentrate on those shots. The VT got most of the work. The .222 got its share also and was fun to shoot. I did lighten its trigger a bit more when I got home. It will see lots of use in the future. I like Vmax’s and use them almost exclusively in my varmint guns. They are accurate and explosive. They also send back a loud report when they find their target.

My last day, as I was picking up to leave. I had a dog that had been scolding me all day, start chirping at me. He was behind my shooting position, so I didn’t bother with him. I got my bench in the truck. He was really talking now. I put a round in the VT and let one fly offhand. I thought I would just scare him, but much to my surprise, he exploded! I had another one start in also, he got the same treatment!

A great few days on the beautiful prairie. I can’t wait to get back.

Sent from my iPad
 

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Nice

Nice report and nice pics. Like those "air dogs"! What area of Wyoming were you shooting? We shot near Hulett, Wyoming years ago. Far NE corner of the state. The pics bring back memories. Not just of the shooting but of the days when I could fit a shooting table like that one. :D
 

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Doug- NE Wyoming. Hulett/Sundance area. Beautiful country for sure.
 

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I enjoyed reading the report, especially the part about you being adopted. Pretty country where you were.
 

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JC I really enjoyed you post and thanks for sharing. It brought a flood of memories back to me.
I shot PDs in northeast Wyo back in the 80’s in the Niobra Grasslands. There was a dog town there that was 5 miles long and a couple miles wide. It was huge! There was on occasion that you would meet other hunters but that was the exception rather than the norm. We would take 5 or 6 rifles each to shoot. Allowing us to have rifles cooling down while warming up one. We had tanks of argon that we used to cool barrels down. We were able to shoot hundreds of rounds a day. Matter of fact you could very easily ruin a rifle if you weren’t careful. We hunted one day and the next day we reloaded ammo and cleaned rifles. Next day we did it all over again. We never saw the dog population decrease. We shot there several years.The last year we went there we saw signs telling us to stay on the road and don’t go into the grass because of the plague. As we drove down the road through the grasslands we never saw a single dog. They were gone.
Back then all you had to do was stop at a ranch and they were glad to have you go shoot PDs on the ranch. They weren’t charging fees to hunt, there were very few guides that were available. Plenty of PDs, plenty of places to hunt. We made a lot of memories and best of times out there. There were 5 of us who used to go PD hunting, two have passed on and the three that are left can’t get that far from pick up any more. LOL
Thanks again, my heart skipped a beat when I saw the pictures.
 

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Memories here- 2nd PD trip for my FL partners. Some GoGo guys let us pilgrims join them for a Wonderful Wyoming Weekend which was kind of a regular thing then - great guys. Shot with them near Gillette for several days and moved down to Medicine Bow area. We’d shot West KS a few years earlier and I’d describe both trips like summiting Mt Everest- not to be equaled....ever. True that.

Couple of friends just returned from WY - had fun but few small PDs on a ranch that hadn’t been shot - maybe 100 .223 fired, rest were rimfire -.22, .22 WMR and .17 HMR.

Not crying for them or me but from our initial hunts where the ground was literally crawling with PDs to now where plague and aggressive poisoning have almost eliminated the populations in many previously productive areas is sad at best.

So doubly enjoyed this post- the BEST OF TIMES - is still alive, just not where we got started in 2006...but that is OK.

Best.
 

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Thanks for the report and photos. Your sure had some tall grass in a couple of those photos. The "pet antelope" was a big bonus memory for your hunt.
 

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LOVED the adventure - even if living it vicariously, and especially like the "pet" antelope story. (Sad to think tho - that little guy won't be long for this world, come hunting seasons. It almost seems like he was once someone's pet or was raised on a ranch maybe? I've had cattle come running up to me while shooting over a PD patch. But, that wasn't especially surprising at all. Cattle are curious...to a fault!)
 
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