For some reason some of my photos on Imgur don't appear, but the URL for them appears. To see those photos, just click on the URL and you should be taken to my Imgur album and will be able to see the photo--AT LEAST I HOPE THAT WORKS.

Thursday morning dawned and the weatherman had predicted lower temperatures and winds of only 2 to 4 mph which is unheard of in North Dakota. The weatherman was right!!! It was almost calm from early morning until I finished shooting at around 10:45 a.m. I had six rifles that needed fouling shots through them and also would need to do some tweaking on the scopes to adjust the point of impact. I had also entered the 2017 Five Shot Challenge and would shoot that target too. I have three .204 Rugers so whichever one shot the best during fouling and scope setting time would be my Five Shot Challenge rifle. I got out to my testing range, set up my target box, plus a box with the Five Shot Challenge target on it and drove back to the 100 yard line. My Savage target action .204 Ruger shot so good that I decided to go ahead and shoot the Five Shot Challenge target before I shot the other two .204 Rugers. Here’s what my target looked like—five shots in an almost perfectly vertical line. It won’t be a winner and I won’t send it in, but it will be good enough for shooting prairie dogs.


I shot two or three fouling shots for each of the other five rifles and then shot from 5 to 10 shots with the rifles depending on how much out of kilter the point of impact was. For one of my rifles, the .17 Remington built on a Jerry Stiller Predator action; I had 100 rounds loaded with 30 gr. FBHP Starke bullets coated with hBN and 37 rounds loaded with 30 gr. T-000 Nagel bullets, that were coated with Danzac. I adjusted the scope for the point of impact I wanted for the hBN coated Starke bullets and then shot four shots with the Nagel Danzac coated bullets. They averaged .204" lower than the hBN coated bullets. I figured would use the remaining bullets at prairie dogs the next time I went out. Little did I know that I would be heading out that same afternoon!!!

I had promised my wife I would take her out for breakfast this morning, so I headed back to town, parked the pickup, cleaned up a bit and we went out and ate. When we got back home, my wife went to the Senior Citizen building to play pinochle. I checked the weather forecast again and it was still GREAT for prairie dog shooting. Besides, I wanted to see if I could find the camo bean bag I had lost out there on August 4. So, I made a sandwich, packed in some cookies and other goodies, loaded up the little ice coolers, got my backpack, other necessary items into the pickup, and loaded the Schwinn cart into the back of the pickup. At 1:20 p.m. I was off to the prairie dog town for some recreation.

I arrived at the dog town at 2:32 p.m. and fiddled around getting all my junk into the cart, hanging sheets over the passenger and driver’s side windows, and at 3:09 I was off to the hunt. As I came up out of the creek bottom I had to cross, I spotted a prairie dog off to the SW. I parked the Schwinn cart and begin sneaking up to the edge of the creek bank. When I got to where I could see, the prairie dog had disappeared. At 3:14 p.m., I scanned to the south and there to my amazement was an albino prairie dog!!! I wanted to bag one of these albino PDs but when my bullet hits PDs they pretty much turn them inside out. The albino PD was standing up and I aimed to hit him low. I squeezed off the shot and could see lots of PD parts flying. I hurried up to the albino PD and his bottom half was pretty much disintegrated, but his chest, two front legs and head were intact. I’ll see if my taxidermist can do a mount where the PD has just his head and front legs sticking out of the PD hole. I had a couple of plastic bags along and placed the mangled bottom half in a small bag and sealed it as best I could and put that and the rest of him into a bigger bag and sealed it tight. Here’s a photo of the albino in his bag. He has pink eyes, but he’s fast asleep in these photos.

I hiked back to my pickup and place the packaged albino PD into one of my ice chests. It was 3:34 when I got back to my cart and started the search for my lost camo bean bag. I didn’t find it where my son and I had first set up to shoot PDs on August 4 and didn’t shoot any shots there. I kept looking and walking where we had walked on the 4th, but no luck again. I took my second shot of the afternoon at 4:05 p.m. and made a headshot from 47 yards. The victim fell back into the den, but left evidence of its demise on the edges of the den. I snapped several photos of the fur, head contents, and blood splattered around the entrance of the den as shown in the collage photo below this paragraph. When I heard this prairie dog doing his warning bark at me, I used my Leica rangefinder to spot him. There didn’t appear to be any mound I could set up on and still be able to get him in my scope to make the shot. I had to get up higher got on the side of my cart and used that as my rifle rest. As you see in the collage photo below, the cart served quite well as a rifle rest!

I kept looking for the camo bean bag and a few minutes later I spied the following!!!

My long lost camo bean bag was found and I was reunited with it again!!! LOL When my son and I were looking for it on August 4th we must have walked within 10 or 15 feet of it several times without seeing it. When I let my son know I had found it via text message, he was relieved. He texted me, “Now I don’t have to go online and buy a replacement bean bag for myself!!!”

Now I could concentrate on spotting and shooting prairie dogs. I shot 13 more shots before stopping to have supper at 5:00 p.m. So far I had shot 15 shots and nailed 14 prairie dogs. I had 18 Danzac coated 30 gr. Nagel T-000 cartridges left to use up. I ate my supper and was ready for a nap but shot a noisy PD at 5:27 p.m. and then settled down and took a 20 minute “Power Nap” I woke up a little before 6:00 p.m. and spotted a bunch of PDs off to the east of my location and was able to nail 3 more PDs there. I gathered my stuff into the cart and at 6:21 I was heading to the SW where I have had lots of good shooting in many years past. Today, I didn’t get one shot at any PDs in that location—BUMMER!!! The clouds were gathering and the wind was blowing a bit harder so I started back towards the pickup and had some decent shooting as I walked back. I got close to a PD colony and left my cart by some trees and sneaked up on the colony.

I still had three shells left to shoot at 7:27 p.m. and found a barking prairie dog straight south of me 145 yards. There was a bull thistle about 100 yards south of me and was right in line with that PD. The opening in the trees was so narrow I couldn’t move to get a clear shot so I tried the shot anyway and must have hit the bull thistle because I didn’t hit the PD. At 7:30 a willing victim was barking at me from about 45 yards away with only his head sticking up out of his den. I took aim, squeezed the trigger gently and could hear the bullet hit—SPLAT!!! I walked back to my cart to get my camera and pulled the cart over to where the head shot had been made. I could see the PD down in the hole so I found a stick and tried to pull him out. I got him part way up and then donned a nitrile glove and pulled him out the rest of the way. The contents of his head were missing, but his face was still intact as you can see below.

I snapped some more photos and began walking back to the pickup. There was a very large green ash tree in the little creek bottom than had an extremely large trunk with five individual trunks sprouting up out of the ground. I set my rifle up against one of the trunks and took some photos. There were also some beautiful blossoms on the bull thistles.


I also saw some beautiful white blossoms glowing in the setting sun on a scoria knob as I was driving home. The stark difference between the bright white of the petals against the ruddy reddish colored scoria made for a magnificent sight. The photo to the left doesn’t capture the sharp difference between the white petals and the red scoria. You had to be there to really appreciate the beauty of the sight.

I didn’t get to shoot the last of the 33 Danzac coated shells, but I’ll be out after PDs again and I’ll shoot that last shell yet! I started driving for home at 8:45 p.m. and was parked in my garage by 9:55 p.m. I know some of you seem to like the “Hero Photos” I often post with my stories so this one is for you. It is taken at the site of the 45 yard headshot on the last PD of the day.