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#3215865 - 10/22/19 03:23 PM ND PD Hunt on 10-17-2019
Silverfox Offline
Die Hard Member with a vengeance

Registered: 04/20/01
Posts: 4986
Loc: Williston, ND
Well, another month has flown by since my last prairie dog shoot, but I managed to get back out for some prairie dog population control on Thursday, October 17, 2019. I got up early (early for me anyway) and got my equipment, lunch and hunting garb ready to go. I was going to hunt on National Grassland acres down southwest of Williston. I arrived at my parking place at 10:20 a.m. I put on my ear muffs, my camo wide-brimmed boonie hat and my insulated camo coveralls, got my Schwinn cart loaded and headed east in the PD town and found a few customers just begging for me to shoot at them. I was using 25 gr. V-Max bullets coated with hBN seated about .010" from the lands and used Tula small rifle magnum primers to light up the load of 21.9 gr. of IMR 8208 XBR from my .17 Remington Predator action. This particular load moves the 25 gr. bullet out of the muzzle at 4,055 fps. I had a new stainless steel 1 in 9 twist Pac-Nor medium Palma barrel chambered and installed on this action back in January of 2018. This rifle was used 3 times last summer for prairie dog shooting. I shot 38 shots at prairie dogs on June 21, 2018; 20 shots at PD on July 20, 2018; and 41 shots at PD on August 21, 2018; so I had only taken a total of 99 shot on those three hunts in 2018.

It has a silver Leupold VX-3 6-20x40mm scope with thin crosshairs and a sun shade, a Lane Scorpion 556 suppressor done in desert tan, my aluminum mirage shield, a 9-13" notched leg swivel bipod, and a shell holder on the stock. The action is a Stiller Predator action with Remington BDL conversion kit in silver and the trigger is Jewell adjusted to about 16 ounces of pull and I added a nice wide aluminum trigger shoe.

By 11:26 I had shot 4 shots a nailed 4 prairie dogs. I walked north to the first prairie dog I had shot and snapped some photos. Here’s one of those “Hero Photos” for your enjoyment!!!

I walked east and shot a few more. At that spot I hit on one PD that was 196 yards away and missed on one that was 211 yards out. Most of my shots were 100 to 175 yards, with a couple between 50 and 75 yards. The wind was blowing from the SE at 4 to 7 mph. I walked SE from there and set up on the top of a little round rise and hit on 7 shots out of 7 fired. I kept walking to the SE. The wind was picking up speed, but the sun came out so it didn’t feel quite so cold. I decided to take a 15 minute nap on the top of that little rise. I woke up and by 2:10 p.m. I had shot a total of 20 shots and nailed 21 prairie dogs. I headed to the east to a little gully that had a big elm tree and some short thorn bushes that broke the wind and set up to have lunch. Before I got to that spot, I spotted a few blossoms and some plants whose blossoms had faded and formed seed heads. I stopped and took a bunch of photos of those plants, which I made into a collage and are included below here, and then headed to my picnic spot:

I finished eating lunch and put my extra food back in my little cooler. I laid my insulated coveralls on the ground and made a pillow out of my two elbow pads and laid my camo jacket on top of them. I managed to get in an hour’s worth of nap time.

I loaded my cooler and other items back in the Schwinn cart and headed north towards the creek bottom. The creek bottom was covered with white alkali. It looked like there was snow down there as seen below here:

I needed to wade across that creek to get to the prairie dogs up on a little plateau north of the creek. When I got to the creek I noticed that my little camo bean bag I used under the stock butt was missing!!!!

I emptied everything out of the cart and started making trips across the creek by stepping on little mounds of dirt with tufts of grass sticking up out of the creek bottom. I slipped off of those a few times and got my boots pretty muddy but my feet remained dry. It took 4 trips to get my gear and the Schwinn cart across the creek. Now that I had that accomplished I needed to walk back and try to find my camo bean bag. I went back to where I had eaten my lunch and took my nap but didn’t find it. I hiked back to where I had crossed the creek and discovered I had lost my two pink elbow pads on my quest to find my camo bean bag so I hiked about 300 yards back towards my lunch spot and found them. I went back and crossed the creek for the 9th time and loaded my gear back up in the Schwinn wagon and proceeded to hike to the foot of the plateau.

The sky was clouding up and the sun was setting so it was going to get dark pretty soon. I managed to kill 4 more prairie dogs on 4 shots up on the plateau and started looking for a place to get back to the other side of the creek. Once again I made 7 trips back and forth across the creek to get my gear to the other side.

I was pretty tired from all the walking I had done, but spotted a prairie dog up above me on the plateau to the SW. I moved around to a spot where could crawl up to the next bench and where there was a very high hill behind the PD and squeezed off a shot and heard the familiar WHACK of the bullet striking the intended target. I went back and grabbed the handle on the Schwinn cart and was going to move up to the top of the rise but I spotted an animal that was WAAAY bigger than a PD off to the SW. I dropped the handle of the cart and got up onto the bench and into shooting position. It was a badger! I tried to make it stop ambling away by doing a bunch of lip squeaks. Finally it stopped and I estimated him to be 175 yards away so I held the crosshairs right behind his right front elbow and squeezed off the shot. I could hear the bullet hit and the badger fell over on his left side—dead right there. I checked the distance with my range finder and got reading of 185 yards to the badger. I got my cart and hustled up to the badger. The entrance wound was right about where I intended to hit him and there was no exit wound. I got out one of my drag ropes and got his two front feet and bottom jaw in a loop and dragged him back to the next creek I had to cross. I got him across and went back to my cart and just pulled my loaded cart across. I was tired of unloading the cart and making 4 round trips.

Here are a couple photos of the badger. He has some nice digging tools!!

I loaded my cart into the pickup box and strung the badger up between the two sides of the pickup box and used a couple of old bed sheets under him so he wouldn’t bleed all over my pickup box. I headed home at 8:15 p.m. and was parked in my garage at 9:15 p.m. My wife came out to the garage to help me carry in my coolers and rifle. I had opened the door on the topper and the end gate and she reached in to “feel” what was in there. She made a little scream and said “there’s something hairy and slightly warm back here!” I told her it was my badger. So she said, “Let’s name it Benny the Badger.” One of my nicknames back in my grade school and high school days was Benny so now I have a dead badger named after me.

Here’s one more “Hero Photo”for the end of my story. You can see the alkali creek bottom in this photo too.

I wore my ear muffs all day long. They felt good in the cold wind that was whipping along at fairly high speed. I took 27 shots at prairie dogs, missed one shot and killed 26 of them. I went 1 for 1 on badgers!!!

I had quite a few Charlie horses during the night—ouch!!! I guess my old legs aren’t used to that much walking so now I’ll have to start riding my recumbent bike to get in better shape. I’m still hoping I can get out prairie dog shooting one or two more times.

#3215867 - 10/22/19 03:39 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 10-17-2019 [Re: Silverfox]
wicka Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 03/28/13
Posts: 256
Loc: South of Canada
Good story as always & thanks for sharing.

#3215886 - 10/22/19 08:08 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 10-17-2019 [Re: Silverfox]
DesertRam Offline

Registered: 04/26/01
Posts: 8840
Loc: Las Cruces, NM USA
I went 1 for 1 on badgers!!!

Ha, that's a good one! Love it. Nice story, and as usual, enjoyable pictures.

Edited by DesertRam (10/22/19 08:08 PM)
"A person is smart; people are dumb panicky dangerous animals and you know it." K as played by Tommy Lee Jones, Men In Black

#3216007 - 10/24/19 12:06 AM Re: ND PD Hunt on 10-17-2019 [Re: Silverfox]
Treerat-sniper Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/19/18
Posts: 116
Loc: Iowa
Good show! I haven't been prairie doggin since the late 90s, miss those days.
NRA Life Member, NRA Pistol Instructor. SCI, NWTF (former VHA, HHI).

#3221143 - 12/04/19 12:42 PM Re: ND PD Hunt on 10-17-2019 [Re: Silverfox]
UncleHef-A. Offline
Seasoned Member

Registered: 12/14/13
Posts: 101
Loc: Northern MN. MT
Well done! While shooting coyotes I have often taken time off mid day to knock down and stay sharp over prairie dog towns. I have found towns in some of the darndest places from up hi to down low.
I'm looking forward next summer spending time doing it with a newly purchased .17



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