First time, last minute Prarie dog trip. Questions.

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by 59f100292, Jul 8, 2019.

  1. 59f100292


    Jul 6, 2019
    I got an invite to tag along on a PD hunt for the first time. I’ve got a few guns that should be acceptable, but I’ve not really ever prepared for this type and volume of shooting. Shots will be under 500 yards.

    I’ve got a fast twist 6XC, and about 1000 107 SMK Moly bullets, which I assume are no good for varmints. What bullets would you recommend for a fast twist 6xc? I’ve only got maybe 200 PCs fire formed brass, so use of the gun may be a bit limited.

    Round it out with a 22-250 and 223? Leave the 22-250 at home? Not sure where to go from there.

    Side note, what equipment would most first time PD guys overlook when packing?
  2. Just Say Moe

    Just Say Moe

    Dec 13, 2016
    Take the 223 and 22-250. Leave the 6XC at home. Go for volume not long shots! I would rather shoot 50 at 200 than 5 at 500. 22LR just for fun.

    Don't forget
    Ballistic charts taped to ammo box or rifle or phone app
    Range finder with extra batteries
    Anemometer along with a strip of grocery bag tied to your antenna
    Sun protection - hats, long sleeve shirts, sun screen etc.
    Bifocal Clear and Shaded shooting glasses (awesome!)
    Hearing protection
    Poncho if you get caught in the rain - then shovel, tow strap, etc....
    Shooting bench, Chair/stool, Rifle rests and bags if not provided.
    Cleaning stuff plus broken shell extractor if you have one - sometimes a bore brush will work
    Tools - screwdriver or allen/torx wrench for stock and scope ring/base screws
    Notebook to write on - better yet county or BLM maps printed out where the landowner can mark dogtown locations for you if not a guided hunt
    Tackle or tool box for all the above
  3. jpx2rk


    Dec 21, 2015
    Cooler with lots of water or powerade,etc.
    Food if applicable (lunch/snacks)
    get some fingerless fishing gloves like the fly fishing guys use for sun protection on the hands, you can still deal with empty brass, etc., w/o taking 'em off.
    WyleWD and Bc'z like this.
  4. pdog2062


    Jul 3, 2012
    Don’t forget sunscreen and lip balm
    WyleWD and Mark W like this.
  5. people


    Feb 21, 2007
    I would take all three. You do not need a ton of ammo for your 6.5. I would just use the bullets you have a load for. It might be real nice for those longer shots.
  6. xring

    xring Silver $$ Contributor

    Mar 8, 2008
    Moe has a pretty extensive List . I would add an Emergency Med Kit , Insect Repellent , good Maps , Garbage Bags ( don't leave any junk on the Ranchers Land and your old clothes will get pretty ripe in the Sun ) . I used to take Fence repair stuff because Pdogs seem to hang around Fence Lines ( Ranchers always said to not worry about Fence cuts , but if I did clip one , I fixed it ) . Some other advice : Always leave gates like you found them ( open or closed ) and some of these rope ties on Gates are difficult to loosen . We always left some sort of gift to the Rancher who let us shoot on his Land . Have fun and watch where you step if in Rattler Country .
    Totosdad, Alguapo, Angela71 and 4 others like this.
  7. Mark W

    Mark W Gold $$ Contributor

    May 6, 2016
    I would like to take the opportunity to respectfully disagree with this statement except for bringing the 22. I’ve been on a few PD trips with the most recent being last weekend.

    Shooting those 100-300 yard dogs is a blast for a couple of hours and I’m looking for longer stuff. I was shooting over the heads of closer ones when I got my personal best of a 655 yard confirmed kill last weekend. I wouldn’t trade that shot for 100 shots that I took at 200 yards.

    I would advise the OP to bring what you got and decide what you like. You will be more prepared next time. It’s the most fun you can have with a gun.
    tcob68, Damon555, DHuffman and 3 others like this.
  8. drover


    Nov 6, 2007
    Good advice from above My only addition is to take lots of 223 ammo because it will be the one that is shot the most if you have a good supply of PD's. The 22/250 heats up too quickly if shooting is fast and furious, if you are like most first time PD hunters you will want to get in as much shooting as possible that is where the 223 comes into play. The 6XC will be fun for a few long shots if that is your game.
    Good shooting and enjoy your first time out after PD's.

    CT10ring, bloc, snert and 2 others like this.
  9. long40shot

    long40shot Silver $$ Contributor

    Feb 20, 2006
    Heck, take all three. After a few years of going to p-dog town, here are the few things i wouldn't be without.
    Front/ rear bags
    Sun screen
    Bread, bologna, mayo, cheese
    Baby wipes
    Trash bag
    And maybe a elbow pad of some sort. The old elbow tends to get a bit tender after several hundred rounds.
    Skunce and Bc'z like this.
  10. Rustytigwire

    Rustytigwire Gold $$ Contributor

    Mar 20, 2017
    Take a full brim straw hat and mosquito head net just for that chance you need it
    You are going to have an EPIC ADVENTURE!!! And learn how small we really are.
    Part of you will stay in the west and distract your daily thoughts forever!!
    Ps shoot some far ones first then work in. Shrapnel from a miss makes the distant ones pop their heads up then dive for cover.
    Bocephus and Mark W like this.
  11. Bojo


    Jun 28, 2017
    Post up a pic or two of that f100 !!!!
  12. WyleWD

    WyleWD Gold $$ Contributor

    Dec 13, 2009
    Great advice on equipment so far. I'd emphasize lots and lots of water and or Gatorade, and keep a sharp eye out for snakes. JME.WD
  13. rayporter

    rayporter Silver $$ Contributor

    Aug 10, 2009
    this late in the season there is the definite possibility that there will a lot of long shots, if the town has already been shot.
    Tommie and Mark W like this.
  14. fyrewall


    Oct 28, 2017
    Did I miss seeing paper towels and hand soap on the list? With zillions of rodents out there you will be treading on or near acres of filth. Be sure to spray the insect repellent on your pant legs & boots to discourage fleas. Don't touch any of the deceased rodents and try to stay on the gravel (if any). The water (like, take plenty of it) and paper towels can be used for rifle cooling.

    Hazards will be heat, no shade, snakes, fleas, filth and flash flooding. I did miss flash flooding on the above lists. This spring/summer has been an unusually unstable weather year with periodic intense storms. When storms hit, often dried up stream beds are turned into raging torrents of water, mud, and debris. On my 3rd rodent engagement we considered crossing a wide and dry stream bed using a two track that crossed the bed. Real good that we did not try to cross because about 4-6 feet of muddy water flushed down stream before the rain hit in our area. Good idea to check out area on Google maps (earth mode) and weather forecasts before trip.

    Rifles - On my first trip I used a .22-.250, .243, & 6.5-06. On my second trip the following year, it was a .204R, .22-.250, & .243. Now it is a .20 Practical, .22-.250, & 6mm AI. The week before leaving on my first trip I made up a 87 Vmax .243 load for my 8 twist rifle and it worked much better than expected. Testing was done at the local range with paper @100 & 200 and steel targets at 500, 700, & 1100 yards. I debated whether to take 105 Amax (used at 1100 before) or 87 Vmax loads and compared each at up to 1100 yards. I decided to take the 87 loads because they were adequate at long range but much flatter and explosive at ranges up to 500 -600 yards. The .20's were used after the 1st year for volume shooting. Now it is .20 Practical (.204 40 Vmax), .22-.250 (.224 75 ELD), 6mm AI (.243 87 Vmax).

    Don't forget TP.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
  15. Tommie

    Tommie Gold $$ Contributor

    Apr 12, 2007
    Your 6XC is a poodle killer deluxe! Definitely bring it. Use 87 grain V-Max bullets with powder in the 4350 burn range (assuming you have time to work up a load).

    Be sure to take plenty of photos. After your first prairie dog shoot, paper targets will never again have the same appeal.
    Ken, dedeadeye, CT10ring and 2 others like this.
  16. powderbrake

    powderbrake Gold $$ Contributor

    Sep 18, 2015
    Here is a list that I use, made up by my hunting partner. I have put an x mark in the things I bring. The other guy brings a lot more, as he may shoot off the ground occasionally, or decide to brew coffee.

    I generally put one x mark next to the stuff as I dig it out and get prepared to load the truck. I put the second x in when I actually load it into the vehicle.

    You will find that ranging the dogs is important for the longer shots, and the 22-250 will shoot flat enough that it isn't too necessary within 250 yards. Enjoy yourself, keep up the sunscreen and insect repellant. DON'T touch or get too close to the prairie dogs you shoot, the plague is carried by the fleas on the dogs.

    Attached Files:

    Totosdad, jepp2, xring and 1 other person like this.
  17. Randall Hardy

    Randall Hardy Silver $$ Contributor

    Feb 22, 2016
    If your shooting off the ground be sure to tuck in your shirt and if you want tape you pants cuff for chiggers. Really nasty if you get into them. Old socks will make nice elbow pads if needed.
  18. fyrewall


    Oct 28, 2017
    Photos - take shots of anything and everything. If you have never been out on the open prairie it is an event to remember. Lots of prairie creatures, hawks, eagles, badgers, burrowing owls, antelopes, deers, and very rarely bears. Many interesting sights/sites like abandoned farmsteads, corals, sheds, barns, abandoned vehicles and machinery. Huge cloud formations when it warms up including anvil shaped cumulus clouds. Get and record GPS fixes relate to your photos and Google earth views.
  19. rayporter

    rayporter Silver $$ Contributor

    Aug 10, 2009
    tools for truck repair
    tow chain in case it rains. that gumbo mud can be rather unique !!!

    extra scope and screwdrivers for minor gun stuff.

    also add

    be prepared for any weather--I have seen 104 temps one day and 39 the next.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2019
    fyrewall likes this.
  20. fyrewall


    Oct 28, 2017
    Be nice to the locals - be cautious of farm animals & don't make dust!

    Attached Files:

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