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Old December 5, 2009, 12:15 AM   #1
Join Date: November 28, 2008
Posts: 52
closest place to california to shoot P-dogs

Here in California we have plenty of coyotes to hunt. That in and of it self is a great thing. The catch is that I am also interested in something that requires less stealth and more trigger pulling. Hence my interest in p-dogs, ground hogs and such. Unless I am mistaken you pretty much don't find prairie dogs in California. I guess my question is are places like Arizona, New Mexico or Texas worth the trip from here in Southern California.(those places are close enough to drive) My ideal trip would be over a weekend (not counting drive time) at the shortest and up to 4 days if I can afford it.
I would rather lay my head down indoors at the end of a days shooting but if the price is right I am perfectly willing to camp.
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Old December 5, 2009, 02:01 PM   #2
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Where do you live in CA? When I lived in CA, there were lots of ground squirrels to be found. I mean lots. I burned out the barrel on my first 22-250 shooting ground squirrels all over CA from Mendocino to San Luis Obispo to Fresno. Ranchers that wouldn't even talk to you about shooting coyotes or hunting on their land would line up to talk to us about taking out a couple hundred ground squirrels a day. It was a lot of fun. Set out a shooting pad, bring along 200-300 rounds for the varmint rifle and a couple hundred rounds of 22LR for the closer-in shots. I would still be doing it if I hadn't moved. When I was in CA a few years ago, I saw thousands of ground squirrels on public land south of Elk Grove. When we were just outside of Fort Hunter Liggett, and we saw lots of them. Go scouting, and when you find 'em, git 'em.
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Old December 5, 2009, 06:59 PM   #3
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another for shooting ground squirrels - shot them a LOT in northern NV - a .22 or .22 mag works great, but while an AR is overkill, it will work
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Old December 5, 2009, 10:13 PM   #4
Join Date: November 4, 2009
Location: Marysville, WA USA
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Not to hijack your thread...but I am gonna hijack your thread...kinda.

Anyone know of huntable varmints in washington state? I am thinking about taking up hunting next year, and this got me wondering if I could smooth the way for getting permission to hunt private land if I offer to do varminting for the land owners as payment. I know we have coyotes up here, but anyone know of any other nuisance or crop damaging critters that land owners might be really eager to get rid of? I have heard so many horror stories about hunting public lands that it makes me hesitant to learn to hunt that way.
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Old December 5, 2009, 11:19 PM   #5
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+1 on ground squirrels. Lots of shooting if you get on a good spot...I use a Model 1885 High-wall in .22-250. Best shot I ever made was a ground squirrel at 315 yards...

Last edited by Fat White Boy; December 5, 2009 at 11:51 PM.
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Old December 6, 2009, 03:15 AM   #6
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We have prairie dogs, here in Utah, but... the limited seasons and 'protected' species among them really don't make it much fun. (Plus, I've never seen a P-dog area here good enough to warrant a trip back.)

My family hits SW Wyoming; dogs-aplenty, wind to challenge you, and the Kemmerer Pizza Hut (complete with antelope eating in the parking lot) to fill the belly on the way home.

However... most of us have come to love ground squirrels, as well. You don't get stationary targets, just asking to be plumped. You get quick, direction-shifting little buggers, with smaller bodies, that make shooting a lot of fun.
In areas where we'll have long shots, we take appropriate center fire rifles (and my .22 WMR). In areas where we'll be up close, and personal... we take rimfires and pistols. There's nothing quite like popping a squirrel at 3 feet, and having to wipe the entrails off your face.

It's very possible to get the "Red Mist" associated with blowing varmints up, but definitely more fun when you get covered in it.

Have you ever seen what a 4,200 fps, 40gr HP, from a .220 Swift does to a ground squirrel, at 6 feet? I haven't either. All I find are ears, and have to wash the mist off clothes.
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