ground hogs

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by maddysdad, Jan 2, 2020.

  1. maddysdad

    maddysdad

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    given a bullet that hits a hog in chest area and dups all is energy there I assum it will most likely kill said hog.am I right on this.i saw that a 17 cal. with a 25 grain bullet that hit a hog at say 350 yards will kill it.the bulldoes not come out but dups all the energy on the target.
    gary b
     
  2. snert

    snert Silver $$ Contributor

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    ya it does. Just not with the authority of a 20 cal, a 224 cal....

    The hog flinches and deflates. DRT

    Hit with a 50 grain vmax from a Swift, it scatters parts. DRT and T and T and T...
     
  3. painter

    painter Gold $$ Contributor

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    I used a 25gr bullet in a 17 rem for quite a few years after 250 yd bullets started to exit still worked well from there on out it lost a lot.
     
  4. 357Mag

    357Mag

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    Gary -

    Howdy !

    Saw also....your recent varminting questions about shooting a 35gr .204” cal varmint bullet ( I’d imagine, you again had groundhog in-mind ).....

    Let’s run some comparisons, using vel & energy numbers generated by a Hornady ballistics calculator, fed by data extracted from Hodgdon’s reloading data site....

    For a starting reference, let’s use 450 ft lb as the minimum desired level of energy, for whatever distance you might engage a typical groundhog at....

    Compare external ballistics obtained from notional 24” barrel varmint rifles:
    Max distance example 450 ft lb could be delivered.....

    .22 Hornet 45gr 2,787fps 155yd

    .17 Remington 25V-Max 4,120fps 260yd

    .204 Ruger 35 Berger. 3,991fps 275yd

    .220 Swift. 55 Varminter 3,839fps 480yd

    Now I realize, many shooters will say 450ft lb is a higher level of deliverable energy than what might be required for a clean kill on a “Soybeanus Digestus”.

    At the same time..... how many would want to press a shot w/ a Hornet
    out past 155yd, expecting and then actually realizing a clean kill; any and every time attempted ?

    Yes... a lower sample energy level could be used as a guide. But...the progressively increasing engagement distances obtained by the sample cartridges would not change in their listed order. And, as shown by the included .22 Hornet data ....there is as a practical matter; energy level limits that would prove to be too low; when tried in the field.

    Hence the energy threshold guideline. 450 ft lb put on a groundhog
    by a suitably designed and constructed varmint bullet; will repeatedly provide reliable clean kills; given a reasonably well placed shot.

    I and my best friend use Hornady’s .224” cal 55 SX . These are old school
    “ super explosive “ [ SX ] varmint bullets w/ thin jacket side walls.
    I’ve successfully had these up to 3,690fps w/ no in-flight blow ups, and they kill cleanly w/ no drama.


    With regards,
    357Mag
     
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  5. Bindi2

    Bindi2

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    Try some 35gn vmax in a K hornet. Your data will go out the window and the size of the animal will be larger with no exit.
     
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  6. maddysdad

    maddysdad

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    thanks for imput.
    gary
     
  7. hogpatrol

    hogpatrol Don't criticize the farmer with your mouth full. Gold $$ Contributor

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    In my experience, Every shot is different and distance for groundhogs depends on the individual groundhog and where it's hit. Fat, old ones may take more of a hit than the first year ones and need a head shot. The little guys can go DRT with a gut shot.
     
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  8. K22

    K22

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    I've been hunting them now over 50 years. I've never used either a 17 or 20 caliber rifle - instead I've used 223 Rem & 22 250 w/ 50 & 55 grain bullets and the 243 Win with 70 to 85 grain bullets.

    The 22 250 and 243 are more forgiving for imperfect shots meaning "gut" shots. These calibers tend to "blow them up."

    With the 223 Rem the size of the hog makes a difference when it come to imperfect shots. You can anchor small hogs with imperfect shots but the larger one's tend to be able to make it back to their holes if the distance isn't too great. I've retrieve many of large hogs at the entrance to their holes that have been gut shot with the 223 Rem. Some have even made it inside the hole and were not retrieved. The large ones have a strong constitution. However if you make a behind the shoulder shot on a crawler or a head/ sternum shot of a standing hog they go down.

    Of course nothing is absolute when it comes to hunting. I try to keep my shots to a distance where I'm 90% confident that I can hit the vitals without wounding the hog. The caliber and field shooting aid you use also has to be taken into account.

    The best advice is to know your limitation with the system you are using.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  9. snert

    snert Silver $$ Contributor

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    So true. Groundhogs are NOT prairie dogs
     
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  10. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    Assuming your talking about the .17 Rem and not the .17 HMR. I've shot ground hogs at 200 yards with the .17 HMR and the bullet does expand but not great at 200 yards on Ghogs. At 300 yards, they do not expand and hogs crawl in the hole and die.
     
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  11. 284winner

    284winner Gold $$ Contributor

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    While my ground hog years don't exceed yours, those of us that shoot ground hogs do have some experience with what they use. I too prefer .223 and up. Close 150 yards and closer, the .17 HMR does great. Ideally I use my deer rifles in 6.5-.284 or .284 for shots that go beyond 400 yards. Great way to get to know your deer guns and loads at LR on game and in different environmental conditions. Don't sell a ground hog short on toughness. I've hit several dead center with .224 - .264 bullets only to watch them crawl in there holes. They can be tough to anchor. Usually not the case but occasionally I've had that happen.
     
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  12. 2506

    2506

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    The first groundhog that I ever saw shot with a 17 Remington was shot with the factory ammo, don't remember the bullet weight. It was around 200 yards shot. Fellow who had the rifle and shot it ask me to go with him to the groundhog he wanted to show me something. When we got there he said find the bullet entrance hole. if it had not been for a slight bit of blood I would have been hard to find. Then he took his knife and slit the hide from neck to butt and that thing was jelly inside.

    Smallest center fire I have ever used on groundhogs was a 223. I much preferred a 243 Win Rem. Varmint rifle I used for years. It about had a hit them anywhere with the 75 Nosler solid base and when that was discontinued the 70 gr ballistic tip and it killed them. I say it killed them but it blows my mind how just on instinct they can get back to their hole blown almost in half. I even saw one that my buddy shot with his 243 with a 60 gr Sierra HP the blew the hogs head clean off, vaporized it, and it sill crawled about a yard to it's hole. It like most that get to their hole are found just inside or half way in.

    Now if you want to see a groundhog red mist get a 25-06. I have one that I deer hunt with and a old fellow gave me two boxes of factory Remington 80 gr HP if memory serves me correct. I thought I would just shoot them up for the cases. Turned out they were bug hole accurate so I zeroed the scope for them and used them up shooting groundhogs that summer. It scattered pieces and left a red mist cloud when you hit one.

    Dadgum coyotes have about cleaned out the groundhogs everywhere I used to hunt them. Now I hunt the coyotes.
     
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  13. mikecr

    mikecr

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    For years I hit GHs with 95gr VLDs from a 6BR. In many cases the hogs separated into pieces, but if head and front legs were still assembled the hog would crawl toward & often into holes. I've pulled a bunch out by their intestines.
    Yeah they were dying, but I don't count kills until tossed into a fence line.

    Then I switched to 40gr FB BR bullets from a 223Rem, dropping my goal kill rate capability to 550yds. But in every case so far, a hog hit with this just tips over without so much as a death kick. They never know they are hit & die.
    Unless head shot, there is no exit wound, and I have to pick the carcass up and shake for a blood spot to see entry point.

    I'm certain that the shock wave with every bit of energy released internally knocks them out. Then, they lay there internally bleeding to death by the time I get to them. IMO, this is superior to my 6BR results, even while accuracy capability in 95VLD is good for a couple hundred more yards.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
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  14. K22

    K22

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    With the farming methods being employed here in eastern PA there isn't many long rolling hay fields anymore. They tend to plant in strips of alternating corn, hay, soybeans, winter wheat. I would say the five farms I hunt it's rare that I have a shot over 300 yards, most "long" shots are in the 200 to 250 category. Also it's rare to find holes in the field anymore - most are in the tree / brush lines because of the crop rotation every year.

    The limited distance and the long barrel life of the 223 Rem is the main reason I almost exclusively use it for 95% of my ghog hunting these days - it's idea for my purposes. I shot the barrel out of my 22 - 250 :(. I spend too much time at the range and hunting for over bore cartridges to last very long with me.:oops: Still, the superiority of the 22 250, 243, and 220 swift cannot be denied when it come to ghogs - they can be tough anchor.

    I forgot to mention, in my earlier post, that I used the excellent 222 extensively in the 70's and 80's. It's also a fine ghog cartridge but with the same limitations of the 223 Rem.

    A great way to test your skill is to use a 3 x 5 card as a target and shoot at various distance as you would shoot while hunting which for me is shooting off cross sticks. If you orient the card vertically it does a pretty good job simulating a standing hog; horizontally - a crawler. By shooting at various distances under field conditions you will soon get a good idea of your capabilities / limitations. It can also break up the boredom of a slow hunt provided you have a safe back stop. I have a portable target for such purposes that consists of a 8 x 10 brown cardboard with a 3 x 5 white card taped in the center. I anchor the target in the ground with a piece of bar stock pointed at one end and a binder clip screwed into the other end to hold the target.

    Talking about this has the fever rising in me - three months to go before I start ghogging again.:oops: I just can't get enough of it. :rolleyes:

    Yours truly, The Ground Hog Man, Professor at Groundhog University. o_O
     
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  15. snert

    snert Silver $$ Contributor

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    Sent my Swift in for a rebarrel. Another Swift. it wont be done till next fall. :(
     
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  16. Adam in WI

    Adam in WI Silver $$ Contributor

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    They are unbelievable tough. I can usually knock them out with my air rifle, if I'm close, but only with head or neck shots.

    I had one absorb a 53 grain vmax out of a 223 at under 40 yards and was shocked there was no exit. Immediate lights out, but I was still expecting a little splat.
     
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  17. maddysdad

    maddysdad

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    was reading more on the 17 cal. 25 grain bullets.the articles are in pression shooting from 1990s I think.they were berger made.
    gary b
     
  18. cooperve

    cooperve

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    I’ve shot a lot of groundhogs with 17 caliber. I’ve used 17-223, 17 Remington and 17 Mach IV. With a center mass hit on a groundhog you had to brush the fur back to find the entrance hole and the bullet never exit. Now most of the groundhogs are gone due to coyote’s. I have a safe full of varmint guns that don’t get shot any more.
     
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  19. Adam in WI

    Adam in WI Silver $$ Contributor

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    Then shoot the coyotes :D
     
  20. Treerat-sniper

    Treerat-sniper

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    I've shot a bunch with my .22 Hornet, when the 35 gr V-max hit the market, it was a game changer.
     

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