Pdogs in February

Discussion in 'Varminter & Hunting Forum' started by Witchhunter, Feb 27, 2014.

  1. Witchhunter

    Witchhunter Site $$ Contributor

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    Well I know it's early, but the weather here in way northern California has been warm. So warm that I had to check out one of the ranches I shoot pdogs at last Sunday. It got windy early but I still got to pop some caps at em. It snowed last night here, so it may be awhile before I can get out again.
     
  2. drover

    drover

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    Didn't realize there were Prairie Dogs in CA, I thought all you had were ground squirrels.
    Where are they located in CA?

    drover
     
  3. A_Gamehog

    A_Gamehog

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    There are no P-Dogs in Ca. or the West coast. He's mistaken, they are Belding's Ground Squirrels, (Squeaks, Sage Rats) etc. They have no P-Dogs west of Utah.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. drover

    drover

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    In all of my years of 'dogging I had never heard of any populations west of the Rockies that is why I was so surprised to see someone mention hunting them in CA.

    drover
     
  5. Otter

    Otter Site $$ Contributor

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    Probably a Belding ground squirrel, aka the sage rat. They look just like a miniature prairie dog though and are often mistaken as such. As for targets they are as much or more fun than prairie dogs because they are smaller. If you can catch a field right after the first cutting the young are out, which can make for a very challenging target cause they are tiny. They bunch up on the mounds looking around, so getting doubles and triples are not uncommon if your bullet finds a mark. My record is four. After the grass starts growing again it is next to impossible to see them.

    Just like everywhere else, it is getting harder and harder to find places to hunt. Guides are buying up the rights to fields and then charge $100-300 per day to hunt. They are such a nuisance (the sage rats, not the guides, although you could make that argument too) often farmers and ranchers will poison them off. Places that used to be hot now don't have a single rat.
     
  6. drover

    drover

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    We have Richardson's and Columbian ground squirrels here along with some areas with a smaller subspecies of the Richardson's. I do love PDing but by far the majority of my shooting is at ground squirrels since they are much more prolific.

    drover
     
  7. Witchhunter

    Witchhunter Site $$ Contributor

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    Yup, they are a lot smaller, maybe the size of a beer can standing up. I'll post pictures next time I go. We call em prairie dogs, picket pins, pasture pups, sage rats etc. Last time I was in Wyoming they had some bigguns up there, no wonder you guys shoot the big guns at em..... I had my .17 Remington and my 25/06 that I shot my goat with.
     
  8. A_Gamehog

    A_Gamehog

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    [​IMG]

    Squeaks, Sage Rats, Belding's Ground Squirrels. More fun than P-Dogs because they are STUPID, they don't spook as easily, and there are more of them number wise.
     
  9. Otter

    Otter Site $$ Contributor

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    Guess I've helped clean up the gene pool because the sage rats I hunt are getting smart. Soon as I park my truck they will go down within a 100 yard radius and not come back up.

    Don't shoot the great big ones early in the season! They are the pregnant ones. They sure pop, but keep in mind you are reducing the future generation numbers.
     
  10. Rick in Oregon

    Rick in Oregon

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    I shoot both PD's and squirrels, and for my fuel money, the squirrel shooting is MUCH better, more of it, and the critter is much dumber than any PD alive....they'll stay up while you pick off the crowd around them.

    Here's the Beldings ground squirrel found here in Oregon and in N. CA.....some young'un's just emerging from their burrow.....NOT a prairie dog:

    [​IMG]

    After just over 45 years of launching "Skippy the Flying Squirrel", it's become my favorite pastime with a rifle, and the season is just getting started for 2014! Oh yeah! :)
     
  11. Otter

    Otter Site $$ Contributor

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    Rick, one of my goals this year is to join the Raptor Feeding Society. Just a picture documenting the feed is required, right?

    Wish I had known this a couple years ago. I fed an entire flock of seagulls, crows and a bald eagle. The eagle was so stuffed when I returned the next day he could barely fly. It was like watching an albatross take.
     

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