Almost ready for prairie dog season.

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by Randall Hardy, Mar 16, 2019.

  1. 260AI

    260AI Silver $$ Contributor

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    What benches are those in the photo?
     
  2. Rick in Oregon

    Rick in Oregon

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    That would be the BR Pivot Lite. One of my inventions from the late '90's. It was in production for ten years before I sold the patent to Battenfield Technologies (MidwayUSA) in 2007. They sell it now under the Caldwell name, but do not make the sweet "Lite" model shown in the photos.

    They cheapened it up even more by bringing out a bare bones version called the "Stable Table", that lacks all the features of the BRP.

    [​IMG]

    My two personal BRP Lites have served in the rat patch now for 20 years and are still going strong. I think I"ll hang onto them for while. :)

    Oh, and see all those rat mounds out there? Figure at least 6 rats per mound; easy to burn through copious quantities of handloads.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2019
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  3. slancey

    slancey Gold $$ Contributor

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    Rick,
    You are right about the Caldwell. I just bought one and it doesn't much resemble the BR Pivot I used years ago. Any idea where I could get one of the "real deal" BR Pivot tables?
    I figure I'll let my daughter use the Caldwell. She smaller and doesn't know any better.
     
  4. mikehotel

    mikehotel

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    Mine came from Cabela's, I added a garage sale office chair, and the front adjustable rest is made from an old 12 inch C clamp.
     

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  5. Rick in Oregon

    Rick in Oregon

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    slancey: Sadly, the answer is "no". I see them occasionally on the net, even Craig's List here locally, but Caldwell does not offer the Lite, nor my original design that was 50% alloy. The BRP they offer now is all steel, and weighs about 80 lbs. "Vehicle Served" would be the appropriate terminology.

    The BRP Caldwell offers at this time is rock solid sturdy, rotates 360*, looks like the original, but is just a bit heavier. They offer a synthetic bench top (much too small) and the original edge-glued/laminated butcher-block hardwood bench top with lots of room for gear, and is the preferred choice.

    HTH
     
  6. slancey

    slancey Gold $$ Contributor

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    It looks like I just start with a new BRP and customize.
    Thank you both.
     
  7. KY-Windage

    KY-Windage

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    You guys have fun out there, but don't lose your heads!

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. DirtySteve

    DirtySteve Gold $$ Contributor

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    Went and shot a few with my wife and a neighbor. A good time was had by all. no pictures this time but will take some next time. My wife connected at 205 yrds with a 17 WSM. Not bad for a little rimfire.
     
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  9. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    I can't be in command of the situation if I am sitting. When I was young I shot from a bag on top of rail road tie posts used to tension long runs of barbed wire but now I like this type of tripod - EW Calls makes them - lots easier to set up for quick use and tote around than a Stable Table. Works good with AR types. Look, there's a bunch of them way over to the left behind that bunch of grass.

    The rifle then was a .243 but now it is a .22-.250 - I stocked it my self - murkan walnut - nice blank - old M77 MKII push feed - 7.7 twist McGowen - longest hit 515 yards - 75 Amax with H4350 - shoots good - single shot, no magazine, drilled & tapped just behind recoil lug for Rem 700 front screw (can't remember size) Real good rock chuck rifle. I completely detailed it this winter. It now has a 6.5-20X40 VX3 with Leupold rings. Timney trigger.

    I don't use this for hi volume shooting preferring a .20 Practical -- Bang zip splat. See the filth scattered around the rodent head - pathogen carriers for lots of stuff that can make a person real sick. Clean your boots with a bleach solution but don't get it on your nice truck carpet.

    Last year, 2018, after the snow melted, it flooded - access was difficult, many roads closed. With added moisture the rock chucks might come back.
     

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  10. slancey

    slancey Gold $$ Contributor

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    That's a nice stock! I like your setup, especially the tripod. I use that same scope on my .222 for the dogs. I'll be shooting the .243 as well.
     
  11. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    Thank you for the kind compliment. If you only knew how long it took to scrape, gouge, and fit this. The gunsmith roughed shaped the outside but I had to inlet the other metal stuff. A second stock was made using the original stock as a pattern - saved lots of time. I recently did a post on the scope section regarding Prairie dog scopes which may be of interest. We once unloaded the whole works in time to shoot some hapless coyote at 200 yards or so in a matter of less than 30 seconds.
     
  12. TheOtherZilla

    TheOtherZilla

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    Looks like you baited em..
     
  13. tstowater

    tstowater

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    Give me a half hour to 45 minutes and I can be packed up. Guns, ammo, binoculars, rangefinder, cleaning supplies, benches, etc. Done it enough times that I know the drill pretty well. Still haven't decided where to go yet. Probably going to be 5 or 6 weeks as we generally want to introduce the pups to the real world. :cool: Can't wait. A new toy or two to take along.
     
  14. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    Strategy includes concealment of vehicle, the rodents are stupid but not that stupid. A good tactic is to park behind some rise to conceal vehicle, then set up just in front of rise as to not skylight your operation. Seek a relatively high spot to provide a good vantage. I recently have got into drawing a diagram that describes various features like rock outcrops, masses of sagebrush, fence gates, ditches, rodent mounds and what ever and laze-range these. All this stuff is arranged in a fan like pattern of about 210 degrees. Usually targets occur near these features enabling quick shooting. Wind can also be noted. Jump from one end to the other.

    In Montana, it is legal to shoot from a vehicle on private lands. This gives rise to drive-by shooting. I don't like this and don't do this anymore but have tried it. The rodents get jumped by the vehicle and shooting is short but productive. The tactic involves slowly driving on a gravel 2 track; then when the rodents are first encountered at some forward postition the front wheels are turned away from the target presenting a more "broadside" shooting opportunity. Semi auto weapons are preferred, brass is ejected away from the vehicle. All this demands strict attention to safety, chances of a bad event are more probable. Lots of folks that don't like to walk or stand get into "drive-by" shooting. Have not seen it yet, but the possibility of seeing a Cadillac Escalade cruising the rodent grounds is a possibility.

    Since a large amount of shooting occurs barrel heat is a concern. I stock my rifles so there is about .050 clearance between stock and barrel. This enables me to pass a wet doubled up paper towel between barrel & stock cooling off stuff. Free float also helps accuracy. After the wet towel a dry towel followed by a towel dampened with small amount of moisture absorbing stuff like WD40.

    For sustained shooting I like the .20 Practical - 25.5 grains of IMR 8208 and a 40 grain Vmax. This is to be preferred over some 51 grains of 4000 MR in a 6mm AI, or 36-39 grains (depending) of H414 in a .22-250.

    Nothing like nailing a rodent just below the horizon.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
  15. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    Continuing on with the next planned rodent shoot. Mrs. Fyrewall's parents were olde time Montana residents. They settled in Belmont, MT, unfortunately Belmont is sort of sad abandoned town - a ghost town full of memories of the dead and what was then. Each year's rodent expedition demands a visit to Belmont. Most of the buildings were relocated to Lavona, a nearby town. The Belmont church was burned to the cement foundation to prevent desecration from demonic savages. Mrs. Fyrewall's grandparent's house stills stand strong and straight - a testimony to her grandfather's carpentry skills - he built this almost by himself. A visit to the Belmont cemetery, near the olde rail road station, shows many graves of people killed by the Spanish flu epidemic of 1917 - so sad. The cemetery was built at some distance from town, across the rail-road tracks to prevent corruption of the towns water supply from the dead - this was customary then. My east coast immigrant family were employed by an east coast lady who was the richest young person in the U.S. but volunteered her services as a battle field nurse in WWI - the Spanish flu wiped out probably 1 mil humans and this nice lady saw lots of it.

    Belmont is real close to large rodent populations.

    232 - steps going to church, 233 church, 246 grampa's house, 220 hero's memorial but not a grave, 212 entrance to cemetery.

    After each visit I shoot lots of rodents.
     

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    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  16. Randall Hardy

    Randall Hardy Silver $$ Contributor

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    Haven’t seen the Cadillac Escalade yet, but have seen an Avalanche LTZ and a Lincoln Navigator a couple times. Crossing the waterways and creek bottoms have gotten to rough, so now it’s load up the quads, usually 3 guns, bench, ammo, lunch and a couple coolers for beverages, a few good cigars and we’re out for the day.
     
  17. fyrewall

    fyrewall

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    Some folks would really like to get into rodent shooting but have never done it; they, probably like me, have come from the big city having parks with trees and lots of asphalt and cement. Please permit the following verbosity. I needed to be coached and tuned into this stuff many years ago.

    Some hazards, already mentioned, are snakes, cacti, and bugs having stingers.

    Water/rain - Creek bottoms and waterways have been mentioned and these present a hazard should even rain a moderate amount. Rain storms can come up quick and hard with dangerous flash flooding. A few years before, that happened at the Powder River in Wyoming - one moment dry lumpy gravel and random rocks the next 5 feet of raging water, mud, and debris. Mrs. Fyrewall's mother witnessed a flash flood at Careless Creek, just north of their family home - about the same, 5 feet of raging water, mud, debris including a small shed and even a dead cow or two. At one of my favorite fishing spots there is water born debris stuck in tree branches up to 8 feet high. In addition, the dirt 2 track roads turn into gooey gumbo mud with even a small amount of rain and just about any vehicle can get stuck. In error, I included the word, "gravel" in my previous description of two tracks - many of them are just dirt.

    Rattle snakes - most of them that I have seen are dark green in color with some exceptions. I have seen some real big ones. The snakes like to hang out near wet boggy places like near irrigation ditches and stock ponds. Just in case, get a good fix on the nearest hospital. I knew lots of stuff about bugs as a city person. My snake rule is: red winged black bird & snakes. The snakes can swim real good.

    Rodent filth - the rodent's horrible sanitary conditions kill more of them than bullets. Rodent populations are cyclic with plague periodically wiping out large numbers. Humans are not immune. Undergoing some anti biotic medical treatment can be tough and expensive. True, reported cases of plague in humans are extremely rare but I believe some cases have not been properly diagnosed as plague as the immediate anti biotic treatment would mask some symptoms. Rodent fleas and body fluids are the hazards - don't touch. Hanta virus from rodent poop is another hazard. In addition to the rodent's horrible health habits, they, at times are cannibalistic. The rodents are not cute.

    Creatures not to be shot - even city dweller's can figure this one out for cows and stuff. Unfortunately, many nice creatures may appear to be rodents and get shot. Examples are birds like the tiny burrowing owl. The rodents don't sit on wire fences. A legit target is the rock chuck, they often climb trees. Badgers are common. In Montana they can be shot but in Wyoming the badgers are protected. I like badgers and never would shoot one. The badgers can dig big holes some of which can be 3 feet in diameter. Some creatures like the ferret, black footed whatever, are vigorously protected; so if it looks like a weasel don't shoot it.

    Thank-you for reading this.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2019
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  18. sundance

    sundance Silver $$ Contributor

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    A good friend of mine used to shoot dogs off a mat until he got the plague from a flea bite. He almost died before the docs in a hospital here finally got rid of it just before he would have died. We all shoot off benches on trailers now and spray lots of deet on our skin and clothes. Now we just have to look under the trailer before jumping off to see if anything crawled under there while we were looking the other way!
     
  19. powderbrake

    powderbrake Gold $$ Contributor

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    I agree, use lots of bug spray around the shoes and pants legs for the fleas. I shoot off a rotating bench, I won't lie down in the grass anymore. I do not touch dead prairie dogs, I won't even touch them with my shoe. AVOID those fleas.
    Also use lots of sunscreen on the arms, face and ears. I always wear a long sleeved shirt, particularly all nylon "fishing" shirts which are cool.
     
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  20. 1lessdog

    1lessdog

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    I loaded up 3800 rds of 223 and 20 Practical last week getting ready to go. I have another 1000 rds to load in 22-250 and 500 rds 6.5 x 284.

    We go the 2 nd week of June as the little one are out then.
     

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