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Old May 2, 2011, 11:17 AM   #1
McClintock
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Prairie Dog Weekend

I just wanted to share the great father-and-son experience I had with my dad over the weekend. My wife and I had gone to see a country music concert at a town a couple hours drive away, we decided to stay at my parents' Friday night, as the city the concert was in is only an hour away from my parents' farm.

Saturday was a beautiful spring morning, with sunshine and no wind (which is surprising for this part of the country), though the air still had a chill in it. Dad and I were the first ones up in the morning (like father, like son), so after we had our morning coffee, during which we chatted for a bit about farming and work (I'm an IT systems analyst), and then we hopped in the old Dodge Dakota that dad uses for a farm truck and headed out to check on his 90 head of cattle to see if there were any new calves (coyotes can kill newborns if you don't pay attention, and if a cow has trouble giving birth, you may have to play veterenarian). We took along a Savage 17 HMR and a Savage .223 in case we stumbled upon any varmints.

No new calves were sighted, so we turned our attention to the dozens of prairie dogs (Richardson's ground squirrels, actually) running around the area. We moved out of the pasture where the cattle were (wouldn't want to miss a p-dog and take out a new calf or a cow by accident).

We settled on a heavily populated ground squirrel village about a half mile away from the cattle pasture. Dad parked on the side of the road, and I hopped out and set up prone with the .223 on the bipod in the ditch. Dad had the binoculars out and was working as my spotter. We estimated the yardage about 125 to 150 yards (didn't have a rangefinder with us, but I'll remember it next time), and Dad would call out location of the p-dogs as he spotted them, and I'd whack them with the .223. I had a good day on the Savage, and only missed a couple. We were using handloads with 36 gr. Barnes Varmint Grenades with 26.0 gr. of Varget, and those are devastating on ground squirrels.

Once we were out of ammo for the .223 (40 rounds total), we switched to the 17 HMR. And, contrary to what he would have you believe, Dad is still a pretty good shot at 75 years old. He popped more than a couple prairie dogs from over 75 yards away with his 17 HMR. "I sure like that gun," he said with a grin, "I can pop 'em right out of their holes with it."

The morning passed before we knew it, and it was time for lunch. It was a great trip to the farm, we all had a great visit, and dad and I had so much fun playing "sniper team".

I hope I get to spend many more weekends like this one, shooting with my dad and visiting with both my parents.

Cheers!
McClintock

Last edited by McClintock; May 3, 2011 at 08:20 PM.
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Old May 2, 2011, 01:05 PM   #2
AZAK
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Sounds like a perfect day; except the part about running out of .223!

Seriously, since not a one of us is guaranteed another day, looks like you spent one of your days well!
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Old May 2, 2011, 02:11 PM   #3
Dave R
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Thanks for sharing a great day with us.
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Old May 2, 2011, 07:45 PM   #4
RedNeckWino
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Sounds like a day I would dream for. But I have close to 1000 rnds of .223 and no p-dog towns in Northern Michigan.
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Old May 2, 2011, 09:11 PM   #5
ndking1126
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Woohoo! Good times.
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Old May 2, 2011, 09:24 PM   #6
Cowboy_mo
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That is a fantastic day!!!!!!!

Congrats to you and your Dad on a great day and thanks for sharing it here.....
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Old May 2, 2011, 09:47 PM   #7
Deja vu
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Going Plinking with the old man is all ways a good day. Even if you never see any thing to shoot just enjoying the time with your father and a fire-arm out in nature is an automatic good day.

By the way what gun is your 17HMR?
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Old May 3, 2011, 11:39 AM   #8
McClintock
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My apologies for posting in the wrong forum...

First off, my apologies to everyone for posting this in the wrong forum.

Thanks to everyone who commented on my post. It was definitely a great weekend shooting with my dad, and just visiting with my parents in general.

Next time, I'll take more .223 ammo with me!

17 HMR is a Savage 93R17, with a Bushnell Elite 3200 3-9x40 scope with the DOA600 reticle on it. The only knock against this gun is that sometimes it doesn't feed the next round in the mag reliably, and you have to fiddle with it.

Cheers!
McClintock
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Old May 3, 2011, 04:26 PM   #9
Art Eatman
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Aw, housekeeping is what the Mods are for.

Back in the used-to-be, my father and I would get lazy about deer hunting, and just drift around the pasture in the Jeep, sorta hunting but mostly visiting and looking.

As a kid in the way-back-when, my grandfather and I did a lot of tromping around in his back pasture and woods, always with the .22 along.

Treasured memories...
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Old May 3, 2011, 09:38 PM   #10
langenc
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"And, contrary to what he would have you believe, Dad is still a pretty good shot at 75 years old." from original post

Since day aint reading this and Ill be there soon I have to ask-- "why would you think otherwise?"
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Old May 3, 2011, 10:18 PM   #11
McClintock
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Ah, good question, langenc.

My dad would have you believe he couldn't hit the side of a barn from the inside.

However, my dad doth protest too much. "Oh, I'm too wobbly to hit much. I shake all the time." he says. And then he pops a prairie dog between the eyes at 70+ yards in a full-value crosswind, from a truck window without using a rest.

If that is the case, he sure has that trigger squeeze when the crosshairs pass over the target down pat, because he sure doesn't miss very often.

He's still a crack shot, especially with a .22 or 17HMR.

Cheers!
McClintock
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Old May 7, 2011, 09:55 PM   #12
chatman_55
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Reading this is making it much harder to not think about the family reunion coming up in August. Wish it was sooner. Nothing better then Dad, Brothers, Cousins, and everyone in between enjoying good beer and shooting things out in Eastern Oregon for a weekend only downfall is having to come back to work after haha.
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Old May 7, 2011, 10:40 PM   #13
Deja vu
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Quote:
Reading this is making it much harder to not think about the family reunion coming up in August. Wish it was sooner. Nothing better then Dad, Brothers, Cousins, and everyone in between enjoying good beer and shooting things out in Eastern Oregon for a weekend only downfall is having to come back to work after haha.
love eastern Oregon. My family hunts deer out there. I call Vale home.

Family reunions are fun when the family gets along (mine does fortunately)
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Shot placement is everything! I would rather take a round of 50BMG to the foot than a 22short to the base of the skull.

all 25 of my guns are 45/70 govt, 357 mag, 22 or 12 ga... I believe in keeping it simple
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Old May 13, 2011, 03:09 PM   #14
iShoot17
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I recently picked up a CZ 452 American in HMR and I cannot wait to use it on groudhogs around the local farms. There are a bunch of fields, but it is hilly, so shots are limited in range. I could probably go out to 150, but it would be pushing it.
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