ND PD Hunt on 6-25-2019

Posted by: Silverfox

ND PD Hunt on 6-25-2019 - 06/27/19 08:46 PM

The last prairie dog shoot I was out on was back on May 23, 2019, that’s a little over a month ago. Going a month without exterminating any prairie dogs was making me chomp at the bit to get out and SHOOT!!! I had surgery on June 12, 2019, so the doctor could relocate the battery pack of my spinal cord stimulator a bit deeper under the skin. Being it was too close to the skin caused lots and lots of pain for me. On June 24 I had the 11 staples removed from the incision and I was still suffering from a bit of pain. However, it was my solemn duty to thin out the prairie dog herd out on this rancher’s land so I headed down to his place.

I had been watching the weather forecast for a long time, looking for a day when it wouldn’t be raining. I had also loaded up a bunch of ammo for this hunt. The ammo was for my tight neck .17 Remington built on a Remington 700 BDL action. It has a stainless steel 1 in 9 twist four-groove Lilja varmint contour barrel on it. The barrel was given the BLACKNITRIDE™ treatment done to it back in October of 2013. It is threaded for my GEMTECH Trek-Ti suppressor. The ammo I had loaded was in Remington factory casings that have been neck turned and fired over and over, some maybe 8 to 10 times. I have annealed most of these casings 4 times and use my Redding Type S full length bushing dies for resizing. I was using 23.8 grains of Varget powder, Remington 7½ primers and Chan Nagel’s 25 gr. hollow point T-000 bullets coated with hBN. The muzzle velocity for those bullets is 3,837 fps. I left Williston mid-afternoon with the wind blowing at about 5 to 8 mph; the sun was shining brightly and temperatures were in the high 70s and got up into the low 80s later on. The wind also picked up to blowing a steady 8 mph with gusts to 18 mph as measured on my Caldwell wind gauge. That made the shooting interesting.

I arrived at the prairie dog town and parked my vehicle in the NW corner of the dog town on the north side of a fairly big hill and out of sight of the main part of the dog town. There weren’t many prairie dogs in the immediate area. I had my Schwinn two-wheel cart and the Caldwell DeadShot FieldPod along with my three-legged swivel stool. I got my gear loaded into my Schwinn cart and started walking westward. I spotted a few prairie dogs across the fence line to the west and hunkered down on a prairie dog mound. That caused a wee bit of pain, but it was manageable. I managed to shoot four prairie dogs from that position. Two of them were young pups and the other two were adults. Here’s a photo of the first pup with my tight neck .17 Remington which is topped off with a Leupold 8-25x50mm scope with the Varmint Hunter reticle. I have been using it set at 25x almost every time I have used it.

There hasn’t seemed to be any problem with mirage even when the temperature was up to the low 80s. The white thing on the barrel is a mirage shield made out of an aluminum slat from a Venetian blind. I use Velcro to keep it on the barrel. I also have a temperature strip on the left side of the fluted barrel that you can see just back from the Gold Ring on the scope in the shadow of the scope. The white thing on the left side of the stock is my wind deflection and elevation chart. I also have a shell holder on the back of the stock for easy access to ammo. The bipod is a 9-13" Harris swivel bipod.

I had to walk back to my pickup because I had failed to take my little bean bag rest I use under the butt of the rifle. I had also failed to bring my SIG KILO2000 7x25mm range finder. I thought I had it in my back pack, but left it in another bag with ammo I was going to test at the rifle range—BONE-HEADED MISTAKE!!! I did manage to get along without it, but it was a struggle what with 8-18 mph winds and not knowing the exact distance on the longer shots. By 4:23 p.m. I had taken 10 shots and killed 10 prairie dogs—mostly adults.

My back and ribs were telling me to use the Caldwell tripod and swivel seat. By now the wind was blowing a pretty steady 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 18 mph and the temperature was up above 80º. By 5:15 p.m. I had shot 11 more shots and had missed on one shot so I had hit 20 prairie dogs with my 21 shots. At 5:27 I decided I needed a snack and a little drink so I stopped. The only shade I had was the Schwinn cart and that was only tall enough to give shade to my rifle. The walking and the wind had played me out so I decided to take a much needed nap. I laid down and put my big handkerchief over my eyes and snoozed. After about 15 minutes a prairie dog started barking at me from its den which was only 15 feet from where was sleeping and woke me up. I tried to move real slow and get my scope on it, but it ducked down into its den. I decided I’d better get up and start shooting a few more prairie dogs. Before I started walking I managed to shoot a PD that was only about 25 yards away. I could see lots of pups and adults to the south of my position and managed to shoot 9 more prairie dogs for a total of 30 dead PDs with 31 shots before moving further south. I folded up the tripod and swivel stool and did the rest of my shooting from the prone position. Here’s one of the adult PDs with my trusty rifle.

After walking a ways south, I started shooting again and managed to take 9 more shots. I missed on one shot, but nailed an adult and a pup with the next shot. By 7:05 p.m. I had shot 40 shots and nailed 39 prairie dogs. At 7:10 I started heading back to the pickup and nailed 10 more prairie dogs with my next 10 shots. I was pretty happy with the accuracy I was getting out of my reloads using Chan Nagel’s 25 gr. T-000 bullets since I killed 49 prairie dogs with 50 shots!!! I need to contact him to see if I can order some more of those fantastic bullets.

I got back to the pickup, unpacked the Schwinn cart and loaded it into the back of the pickup. I headed back towards the rancher’s home and saw him and his son fetching water from their well and stopped to thank him for letting me shoot. We had a good chat and then I headed for home at about 8:10 p.m. I arrived at my house at 8:54 p.m. and I was extremely sore and tired, but very happy I had been able to get out and do some shooting. Here’s the “Hero Photo” for the day. There weren’t many blossoms, so maybe I’ll get some blossom photos next time out.

Posted by: reb8600

Re: ND PD Hunt on 6-25-2019 - 06/28/19 04:36 AM

Outstanding story as usual!!
Posted by: why

Re: ND PD Hunt on 6-25-2019 - 06/28/19 06:59 AM

Staples out on the 24th and out shooting pd's on the 25th. You gotta love it. Good to see your feeling better, great story.
Posted by: muskrat30

Re: ND PD Hunt on 6-25-2019 - 07/13/19 06:51 PM

Sounds like a great time.
Posted by: rudymontana

Re: ND PD Hunt on 6-25-2019 - 07/14/19 09:36 PM

Silverfox Great job getting after it after your surgery! Keep moving and flinging the lead... I grew up in that country. Just across the border to the West of Williston. We used to take our cream to the Peterson Creamery in Williston. Rudy