Predator Masters using UBB.threads ô Infopop Corporation.
PM Gear Moon & Weather

Welcome to the Predator Masters Forums
Be sure to visit the main Predator Master website at





PM Gear
PM Gear
PM Gear
The Official Predator Masters Search Engine
Search Predator Masters

Topic Options
#2994286 - 09/18/16 11:54 PM ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016
Silverfox Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 4984
Loc: Williston, ND
The plan for last Friday, September 16, was to head out early in the morning for a full day of pottiní prairie poodles. Unfortunately, the weather on Thursday turned very wet. My rain gauge in the back yard in Williston showed we had received .75" of moisture. I checked the rainfall total in the area I planned to hunt in and the report said they had received .35" to .40" of rain. That put a ďdamperĒ (literally!!!) on my plans because the area I wanted to shoot in has some nasty clay soil that makes it pretty hard to get around in plus I had a very wide creek bottom I had to cross that is kind of boggy even in the dry season. I put my hunting plan on hold.

Well, Friday morning rolled around and the weather was gorgeous. The sun was shining, the wind was blowing 2 to 5 mph, and I wondered if I should go hunting. I decided to take my wife out for breakfast, but our daughter called and invited us to meet her at Pizza Hut for lunch. So thatís what we did. After lunch, the weather was so nice I decided I was going to head out to see if it was dry enough in my hunting area so could get across the creek bottom. I arrived at my parking spot around 2:30 p.m. and the bright sunshine and slight breeze had dried out the area a tiny bit, but the area down by the creek was MUDDY, MUDDY, MUDDY!!! I gathered my gear and headed out at 2:50 p.m. If I couldnít cross the creek there would still be some prairie dogs on the side of the creek where I had parked. I found a place where the fence line crossed the creek and did a balancing act on the bottom wire of the fence which had a plank attached to that wire. I made it across without getting wet, but I sure got muddy boots when I headed across the flat on the other side of the creek to get up off the creek bottom and up onto the plateau.

I was going to use my .17 Remington caliber rifle built on a blueprinted Remington 700 BDL action. I installed a Jewell HVR trigger in the action and adjusted it to one pound of pull. This rifle has a 24" stainless steel 1 in 9 twist, 4-groove Lilja barrel in the Remington Varmint contour and is threaded for my Gemtech Trek-Ti suppressor. I had my gunsmith flute the barrel and after he got it installed I went to his shop and broke the barrel in using his indoor tunnel setup. Then he removed the barrel and sent it in to H&M Metal Processing where it got the salt bath nitride treatment.



I had purchased a bunch of moly coated 25 gr. BTHP Kindler Gold bullets from a fellow online several years ago. I removed the moly coating and coated them with hexagonal boron nitride and worked up a pretty accurate load for them. I used this load on PDs last summer and it worked fantastic! In the meantime, I bought a Leupold VX-III 8.5-25x50mm scope with the Varmint Hunter reticle and installed that on this rifle. That is one fine scope. Iím very happy a friend of mine sold the scope to me!!! The barreled action is mounted in an H-S Precision aluminum pillar bedded stock that has been skim bedded. The Gemtech Trek-Ti suppressor is on the end of the barrel.

Back on April 16, 2015, I loaded every 25 gr. Kindler Gold bullet I had on hand and had shot a bunch of them last year so I only had 94 rounds of loaded ammo with, but since I only had a little over 5 hours of shooting light, I figured that would be enough ammo. I did, though, want to shoot all of those rounds up so I could start using my 30 gr. FBHP T-000 Nagel bullets in this rifle. I am using a load of 23.6 grains of IMR 8208 XBR, Tula magnum small rifle primers, and Remington factory brass with the neck walls turned to about .00985" thick with the 25 gr. Golds. The chamber neck ID is .1945". Last summer I chronographed these loads and I was getting a muzzle velocity of 3,991 fps. This summer my chronograph readings tell me my muzzle velocity has dropped to 3,870. What is with that???? That is a drop of 121 fps with the same components???? Do you suppose my powder is getting old and tired? LOL As I mentioned earlier, I did load these rounds back on April 16, 2015, but Iíve never experienced a drastic drop in muzzle velocity like this even with loads for other rifles that were older than these were???

I took my first shot at 3:10 pm. at a standing prairie dog about 75 yards away. The bullet appeared to hit the PD on the right side, but it did kill it. The next shot was at a prairie dog in the horizontal position and the bullet appeared to hit to the right of where I had aimed, but it was hard to tell for sure. I cranked the windage knob two clicks to the left based mainly on a target I had shot with this load last Tuesday. That adjustment worked on another PD at 100 yards and then I nailed a standing prairie dog at 171 yards. I quit fiddling with the windage and elevation knobs. I got down below the level of the plateaus and began sneaking eastward along the plateau edge out of the view of the prairie dogs. I did notice lots of coyote tracks in the mud that had probably been made last night or this morning. No coyotes were spotted though. I had taken 4 shots and nailed 4 prairie dogs up to this point in time.

I sneaked back up to the plateau and found a very nice spot to shoot from. By 3:35 I had shot 6 more shots and nailed 6 more prairie dogs. The little 25 gr. Kindler Gold bullets really tear up the prairie dogs. I decided to take a break to fill my magazine and shell holder. I also took out a cookie to eat and my water bottle for a cool drink. I noticed some scat that looked bleached by the sun. Was it coyote scat or owl scat???



Back to the huntóI crept along the side of the hill and found a spot where I could crawl up and have a great vantage point for shooting. I went 6 for 6 at that spot and then moved further east. I spotted four PDs on a mound and got set up so I could use my bipod and nailed a few more. At that spot I wounded one, but took another shot at it and put it down for good. By 4:05 I had taken 21 shots and killed 20 PDs. I stopped for a snack and a drink of water and filled the magazine on my rifle and also filled the shell holder on the stock. I was going to walk further east, but now there were more PDs up north of me so I stayed right there. By 4:20 I had taken 10 more shots at distances from 150 to 171 yards and nailed 10 more PDs. Most of them were within 5 yards of each other. Iíd shoot a couple and a few more would come out to check out their dead buddies and meet the same fate their buddies met. At 4:25 I decided to take some photos so I walked up north, gathered up a few PDs and posed them by my rifle for a family photo. I shot 2 more PDs before taking this photo below and shot 2 more after finishing the pictures.



I was about half a mile from my pickup, but it sure looked farther away than that.



Shot and body count to this point was 37 shots and I had 1 miss and 36 singles. No doubles YET!!! I began walking east again towards another colony just on the other side of a ravine. I was sneaking up to a mound and spotted a dark prairie dog about 100 yards off to the NE. I didnít pick a very good spot to set up because there were prickly pear cacti every place I wanted to rest my elbows. I finally hurried up and squeezed off a shaky shot and missed!! I found a better spot to shoot from and by 5:20 I had finished off the box of shells that had 42 loaded rounds in it when I started and had killed 40 PDs with those 42 shots. The next box of shells had 52 rounds in it so I loaded up the magazine and shell holder and got ready for action. There were no PDs out and about so I took some time to have another cookie and a looong drink of ice cold water. I walked a bit further east and set up at what turned out to be my best spot of the day. I went 20 for 20 at that spot. Many of prairie dogs had dark fur. I wanted a photo of some of those so at 6:29 I walked up there and gathered some of them up for the family photo below.



I took another drink of water and figured I was about 3/4 of a mile from my pickup so Iíd better start hiking back there. I was at a spot where I would have to cross the creek two times to get to my pickup and I wanted to get to the last spot I had to cross the creek long before it was dark. There werenít a lot of PDs out as I walked back but I managed to get off another 9 shots. I missed on two shots, hit 6 singles and on the last shot of the day I bagged my first double!!! These two PDs were lined up so I could see the back one under the belly of the front one. I knew Iíd get one and maybe two. The front PD went cart wheeling through the air and wound up 6 or 7 feet behind the mound.

When I walked up to the den I saw the second PD down in the holeóGREAT, I got my first double of the day. I pulled the one out of the hole and posed them.





It was a great half day hunt!!! I did get a bunch of mud on my boots, but that will clean off. I didnít shoot all 94 rounds though. I managed to shoot 71 shots and had 4 missed shots, 66 singles and one gratifying double at the end of the day. So I had 68 dead PDs for my 71 shots. Not bad for a hunt that I almost didnít go out on!!!

I arrived at my pickup at 7:55 p.m. and was driving down the prairie trail to the main road at 8:05 p.m. I apologize for not taking any blossom photos, but Iím sure youíll be happy to know that I didnít forget to take the ďHero PhotoĒ to share with you.






_________________________
Silverfox


Top
#2994316 - 09/19/16 09:09 AM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
19rabbit52 Offline
New Member

Registered: 03/08/08
Posts: 19
Loc: Pleasant Lake Mich.
Love your stories. You have inspired me to try prairie dog hunting next year. just have to figure out where. I have a nephew in Colorado and may have to see what he can fix me up with.

Top
#2994321 - 09/19/16 09:57 AM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
K9 Stalker Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 01/16/03
Posts: 159
Loc: Lebanon, Wisconsin
It sure is fun!!!! Greta recap
_________________________
The only thing worse than losing......is quitting!!!
Lifetime Member WTA

Top
#2994449 - 09/19/16 08:40 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
Silverfox Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 4984
Loc: Williston, ND
19rabbit52--I'm happy to hear you enjoy my little stories. Your nephew should be able to find some good spots in Colorado for prairie dog shooting. Build a fire under him and get him going on that project. Summer 2017 will be here before you know it!!! laugh


K9 Stalker--As you know, it is easy to get hooked on blowing up those little prairie dogs. They sure make a nice popping noise when you hit them and the red mist is enjoyable to watch too. I'm kind of sick that way!! crazy sick crazy
_________________________
Silverfox


Top
#2994451 - 09/19/16 08:47 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
KyleWoods Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 08/07/16
Posts: 199
Loc: Pennsylvania
Another great read, as usual!

Top
#2994493 - 09/19/16 11:35 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
DesertRam Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 8772
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
Nice shooting Silverfox, and a great recap. Thanks for sharing again! I hope you get out another time or two before the cold weather starts to keep those little buggers holed up.
_________________________
"A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K as played by Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black

Top
#2994820 - 09/21/16 04:32 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
wicka Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/28/13
Posts: 242
Loc: South of Canada
Nice shooting and story. Who built your gun??

Top
#2994824 - 09/21/16 05:00 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
Silverfox Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 4984
Loc: Williston, ND
KyleWoods--Thanks for the comment on my story.

DesertRam--Thanks for the compliment on my shooting. It helps immensely to have a super-accurate rifle so most of the credit belongs to that gun!!! Here in ND prairie dogs often emerge from their dens in winter if we have an especially warm spell. That being said, keep your prairie dog rifle handy even in the winter!!!

wicka--Thanks for the compliment on the story. I'm sending a PM your way.
_________________________
Silverfox


Top
#2995782 - 09/26/16 09:12 AM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
Toby Joe Offline
New Member

Registered: 09/16/16
Posts: 2
Loc: Hot Springs, Arkansas
Nice writeup, Silverfox! Very detailed and so well written that you extend the adventure to the reader. Very good pics, and the rifle ain't shabby either. smile
_________________________
John

Top
#2995961 - 09/27/16 12:03 AM Re: ND PD Hunt on 9-16-2016 [Re: Silverfox]
Silverfox Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 4984
Loc: Williston, ND
Toby Joe--I see your post was your first on this website. Welcome to the Predatory Masters site.

Thanks for the kind words. It is good to hear you enjoyed the story and the photos. I rather like that rifle too!!! thumbup
_________________________
Silverfox


Top




© Predator Mastersô, All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.