Arizona Prairie Dog Shooting

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by centershot, May 18, 2017.

  1. centershot

    centershot Silver $$ Contributor

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    Looking for an area to shoot prairie dogs in Arizona. I know that it is in the northern part of the state, but have heard that many of the "old" places are not open anymore.
     
  2. Kurz

    Kurz

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    Arizona has gone through some changes with laws regarding animal protection such as those for hunting prairie dogs only during certain parts of the year.

    The last time I shot Arizona for prairie dogs was some years ago on The Big Boquillas Ranch before it went to the Access Permit System. Four of us camped and shot for 3 days without interruption except for one check by the ranch manager. This is not even possible anymore.

    https://huntbigboranch.com/notices/


    Fall 2016 Prairie Dog Access
    • Prairie Dog Hunting Access permits will be available to purchase online beginning the 3rd week of July 2016 along with big game permits.
    • Prairie dog Hunters can purchase Access Permits for $20 per day per person for any of the dates between August 5th and Sept 30th, 2016. The ranch will not be open to Prairie dog access until August 5th 2016.
    • Prairie dog access is limited to the grassland portion of the Aubrey Valley only. There is no access by foot or vehicle to any area outside of the “grassland portion” of the Aubrey Valley with the Prairie dog access permit.

    From AZ Game & Fish:

    Furbearer Species

    Fur-bearing mammals are defined as muskrats, raccoons, otters, weasels, bobcats, beavers, badgers, and ringtails. Of these, only the bobcat is also considered a predatory animal. All mammals not classified as game mammals, predatory animals, or furbearers are considered "nongame mammals." These include opossums, coatis, black-footed ferrets, Gunnison's prairie dogs, black-tailed prairie dogs, wolves, jaguars, ocelots, and porcupines. Of these, only Gunnison's prairie dogs and coatis may be taken during an open season, with the bag limit on coatis being one per calendar year. No season for the taking of jaguars, ocelots, wolves, or porcupines exists.


    Most of the other shooting I've done has been in the Williams/Seligman area which is located along Historic Old Route 66. There are still some ranches which will cooperate with shooters but always ask first. The precedent has been set now so you may be asked to pay for the privilege. Far too many of the prairie dogs we saw at first were in the safety zone of the railroad right of way.

    Do a search for Arizona Prairie Dog hunting and you'll get a few of the groups to contact.

    Regards.
     
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  3. centershot

    centershot Silver $$ Contributor

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    Thanks, Kurz. Up Please.
     
  4. RabbitSlayer

    RabbitSlayer

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    I know this is a couple years old, but I am looking for the same info. PM incoming centershot.
     
  5. centershot

    centershot Silver $$ Contributor

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    I want to renew this thread. Still am looking for suggestions on where to hunt in Arizona. I have tried the Big Bo ranch in Seligman and heard there is some action around Snowflake. Any other input will be appreciated.
     
  6. IdahoSharpshooter

    IdahoSharpshooter Gold $$ Contributor

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    is there any possible means of extortion, oops, revenue enhancement, the various states have missed?
     
  7. snert

    snert Gold $$ Contributor

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    New jersey is passing a rain tax. Not kidding. Not an issue in AZ...
     
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  8. STOMP442

    STOMP442 Silver $$ Contributor

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    I was invited on a prairie dog trip a few years back up around Holbrook. I want to say we were on public land but honestly, I don't know. It was fun but definitely, nothing like I have seen online or in magazines. It was not what I was expecting at all. There was just enough brush and cover you could never really get a shot at anything beyond 100 yards. I ended up just walking around with the .22WMR and killing way more dogs than I did from my shooting bench.
     
  9. IdahoSharpshooter

    IdahoSharpshooter Gold $$ Contributor

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    Many years ago, Boyd Mace and I spent three days shooting Prairie Dogs up in Zortman, Montana. This was on the Gros Ventres/Assinaboine Reservation. I took four rifles, and over a thousand rounds. Did not bring any ammunition home. I had the honor of being asked to shoot the first day with Bill Jordan. He had remembered me from visiting at Elmer Keith's home a couple times. He told me that he figured I could tell him from a Prairie Dog at the breakfast.
     
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  10. RabbitSlayer

    RabbitSlayer

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    I was driving across 40 to texas a few weeks ago. Did see PD holes near seligman. Looking to go scout for them on public land when it starts to warm up. I have been around holbrook area to go to the petrified forest and rock hounding on BLM land. Never seen any holes. The area I was in was more like sage, and not the grassy meadow like near seligman. Thinking need slightly more elevation and find similar grassy areas. If anyone wants to go let me know, or maybe try utah.
     
  11. benchracer

    benchracer

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    I have seen prairie dogs over toward Snowflake/Show Low, but am not familiar enough with the area to know good places to shoot. On the west side, there are plenty of prairie dogs on publicly accessible land in the Seligman area. Look south of I-40. Do your homework. Check out AZ Landowners compact. Obtain and carry maps. Know the relevant hunting regulations. SCOUT the area!!! There are Black Footed Ferrets in the area, too. I have seen them. Be careful not to shoot them!

    An excellent way to learn the country would be to do some yote hunting in the area. An organized hunt is being held in about two weeks:

    https://www.mohavesportsmanclub.com...fnBfAO4EJoF_j67qeGOi5N33VD7y04mHdN8OE7Q5q3OjE

    Also, pay close attention to your background when shooting. I know that is basic stuff to most shooters, but it is also commonly violated. There is no shortage of jacka$$es who get themselves on the wrong side of the ranchers, locals, and other hunters by being careless.

    Prairie dogging in AZ is nothing like what might be expected in Wyoming or Montana. It is harder to spot the little rats and typically slower paced. Relax and enjoy it for what it is!
     
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019 at 10:46 AM
  12. RabbitSlayer

    RabbitSlayer

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    Do you happen to know what the best time would be to go scouting? I'm thinking May? Also, do you know if I should bring my bench or is it going to be more of a walking type deal?
     
  13. benchracer

    benchracer

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    AZ prairie dog season runs from July 1st to March 31st. The coyote hunt that is supposed to take place in early March is normally a good time to scout for prairie dogs. One major bonus to attending the Antelope Eaters Coyote Hunt is that it is attended by local fish and game officers and by biologists who live in the area. Both are an excellent source of information.

    Last year, conditions were warm enough that the prairie dogs were already active by that time. This winter has been colder and wetter than recent years, so the prairie dogs will be hiding in their dens. If there is a break in the weather, decent luck might be had near the end of March, before the season closes. Otherwise, July 1st and later will be the next opportunity, unless you intend to scout during the off season.

    Definitely bring your bench! That is, by far, the best way to go!! However, be prepared to shoot awhile and move on. Whatever bench you choose, it would be wise to go with one that is easy to set up and take down.

    If you do decide to pay to hunt on the Big Boquillas Ranch, it is a place where you can set up and shoot all day. But, it is only open for prairie dogs from early August through the end of September.
     
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2019 at 8:03 PM
  14. centershot

    centershot Silver $$ Contributor

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    Thanks for the info. Afghanistan?
     
  15. benchracer

    benchracer

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    You're quite welcome. That's where I was when I first set up my account. Have covered a few miles since then...
     
  16. RabbitSlayer

    RabbitSlayer

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    Thanks a bunch. I am looking to do a scouting trip in the off season when the weather is nice and take out some coyote and jack rabbits while I am at it. Then I will return when the season opens for the PDs. How much ammo would you recommend bringing? I plan to take a 10/22, 17hmr, and .223.
     

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