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#3208274 - 07/20/19 11:28 PM ND PD Hunt on 7-18-2019
Silverfox Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 4980
Loc: Williston, ND
My son is a master electrician and has been working some long hours. He hasn’t had time to go out prairie dog shooting with me very often—not since 2017. Anyway, he got an offer from a bigger company to come to work for them. He decided to switch jobs and received a healthy increase in wages and fringe benefits. He had given his two-week’s notice to his former company and his new job won’t start until July 22 so he had a week without a job. Back in July of 2017 I had given him my old Savage 12VLP .204 Ruger that has a 1 in 11 twist three-groove stainless steel Douglas barrel on it. I had also loaded up about 190 rounds of 40 gr. V-Max ammo for him but like I mentioned he never seemed to find time to go out after prairie dogs. Well, he didn’t have his job holding him back this week so he and I decided to go prairie dog shooting on Thursday. We arrived at the dog town we selected around 10:00 a.m. The wind was blowing at a steady 9 mph with gusts to 17 mph!!! I decided the 39 gr. V-Max bullets leaving the muzzle at 3,860 fps from my .204 Ruger would fight the wind better than the 17 caliber bullets out of the .17 Remington. I used Norma brass and a load of 27.2 gr. of H4895 fired up by Remington 7½ primers. I lost my love for the Accu-Trigger and replaced it with a Rifle Basix Model SAV-1 trigger back in November of 2013 and adjusted it to pull weight of 18 oz.

Jeff’s rifle hadn’t been shot since July of 2017 so I had him shoot 5 shots at 100 yards to get the scope adjusted for his eyeballs. I took out my rifle, which I hadn’t shot since May 23, 2019. I had cleaned the barrel after that and had to work hard cleaning several carbon deposits out of the barrel. So I shot 5 shots and “thought” I had my scope adjusted properly. It was 10:45 a.m. when we left the pickup. I acted as spotter while Jeff shot prairie dogs. The wind was now blowing a pretty steady 10+ mph and gusting to 20 mph. He hit on 2 shots and missed on two shots at distances between 145 to 180 yards. He shot more shots at distances from 200 to 240 yards and hit on 5 of those shots so he had hit on 7 of 11 shots. He wasn’t too happy, but I told him the wind is pretty wicked so make sure you are allowing for the wind from now on. By 11:45 a.m. he had taken 17 shots and hit on 13 of them. I had taken 1 shot that resulted in a dead prairie dog; however, my shooting accuracy would take a nosedive after lunch and a nap!?!?!?!

We decided to walk back to the pickup and drive further east into the dog town and set the pickup in the shade while we took a noon lunch break and sneaked in some nap time. The cows and calves in the pasture were bellowing and carrying and prairie dogs were barking at us and that made it hard to get to sleep, but we managed to take a nap that lasted almost two hours!!!! We woke up and Jeff dispatched a PD about 25 yards west of our sleeping spot. The cattle were all around us and we decided to drive further east to get away from them. We parked in the shade of a great big cottonwood tree and got in quite a few shots right from around that area. Here’s a photo of one small PD that took the full force of his 40 gr. V-Max bullet that leaves the barrel at 3,799 fps. The loads are in WW brass, filled with 27.2 gr. of H4895 and fired up with Remington 7½ primers. The bullets are seated about .010" off the lands.



We fired off a few shots north and south of where the pickup was parked. Jeff was getting used to the .204 Ruger and wasn’t missing many shots. He was making head shots on prairie dogs at over 100 yards away when all they would have out of the den was their head. Here’s the fur from the top of the head of one of those prairie dogs.



There is a small colony of prairie dogs to the SE where we parked the pickup so we decided to walk over there. We could see a few cows over in that direction and when we got there, the cows were lying all around the colony. We managed to find some prairie dogs that were away from the cattle and cleaned up on those. The wind was wafting at 12 mph with gusts to over 20 mph. It made the shooting and hitting our target animals a wee bit difficult. Here’s a “Hero Photo” of my son Jeff and one of his victims.



I did manage to find a few blossoms so here’s one photo of a dainty plant with white blossoms for you blossom photo enthusiasts.



We shot at targets of opportunity on our way back to the pickup and Jeff wound up hitting on 25 of 35 shots for the day and lost one casing down a PD hole. Old dad didn’t do so good, hitting on only 8 of 15 shots. After missing quite a number of shots I could see I was hitting high and adjusted the scope to hit lower. I managed to hit on 5 of my last 6 shots. I cleaned the barrel and treated it with Lock-Ease. I’ll get the scope adjusted properly BEFORE going out again.

Here’s the “Hero Photo” of me.



We had a good time together today. I did shoot a few shots from the prone position, but decided that was going to cause me lots of pain so I took out the Caldwell DeadShot FieldPod and my three-legged swivel stool and that worked GREAT! We got back to Williston around 7:40 p.m. and I started soaking the barrels. I’ll clean my barrel completely and wait for my son to come over to my house to finish cleaning his barrel.


Edited by Silverfox (07/20/19 11:55 PM)
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Silverfox


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#3208352 - 07/22/19 09:25 AM Re: ND PD Hunt on 7-18-2019 [Re: Silverfox]
zr600 Offline
Die Hard Member II

Registered: 02/21/14
Posts: 1322
Loc: North dakota
Sounds like a good time. What do you use to clean your barrels? What’s your cleaning process?

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#3208412 - 07/23/19 12:21 AM Re: ND PD Hunt on 7-18-2019 [Re: zr600]
Silverfox Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 4980
Loc: Williston, ND
zr600--I have been using BoreTech Eliminator and C4 Carbon Remover according to the label instructions. Once in awhile, on slightly stubborn carbon deposits, I might use Flitz. I use nylon brushes, but when I find a really stubborn carbon deposit I will use a bronze brush.
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Silverfox


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#3208694 - 07/27/19 11:46 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 7-18-2019 [Re: Silverfox]
tripod3 Online
PM senior

Registered: 09/27/04
Posts: 7890
Loc: WA
Great report with great pics. Glad to see your post.
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Can't Have Good Without Bad

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#3211558 - 09/03/19 10:25 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 7-18-2019 [Re: Silverfox]
DesertRam Offline
Moderator

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 8574
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
What a great outing! Thanks for sharing your day afield with us.
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"A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K as played by Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black



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