I LOVE my .17 HMR. I think it's the perfect gun for anything prairie dog sized out to 175 yards, and anything chuck sized and under, below 100 yards.
Just remember the bullet is LIGHT and although it has great terminal performance on the right target at the right ranges, IMHO it's too light for heavier varmints past 100 and especially in the wind.
My experience is as follows: I'd estimate that can keep 80% of my shots on a coke can at 175 yards and 100% of my shots on a cola can at 100 yards. My scope is a cheap bushnell and I only consider myself a very average shot.
Shots out to 200 are doable but you gotta hold WAY over!
If I'm hunting p-dogs or squirrels or plinking out to 175 I love my .17. But if the game is chucks or anything bigger than that and past 100 yards, I reach for my .204!