Rimfire prarriedogs

Sawtooth

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Jan 14, 2012
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Idaho
The 17hmr is my go to round on calm days out to about 200 yards. My 243 gets the nod on windy days or when I want to work on reaching out and taking a few longer shots.
 

TimeOnTarget

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Feb 13, 2015
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SD
I agree, 17hmr for dogs, Has a lot more splat factor than the 22 mag. I'll take a .22 mag for most other chores though.
 

MKotur325

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Oct 10, 2013
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Standing in a river waving a stick
I have used both a .17HMR and a .22LR for Prairie dogs. For the most part, the .17 Stays home. I shoot CCI QuickShocks out of the .22lr and my box stock Ruger 10/22 will keep them to about .75" at 75yds. I find the Quickshocks to be just as lethal as the .17 at 100. Hits are certainly not guaranteed, but it's absolutely fun, lethal and less expensive than the HMR. At 100yds they will typically leave about a golf ball sized exit on a full sized prairie dog. I have not had the greatest success with a .17 beyond about 150 yds, but that's me. A calm day where I prairie Dog hunt is about a 5-8mph wind, with a windy day being 20+. In those conditions, the .223's and .22-250 come out... I'd really like to try one of the newer .22Mag 30gr V-Max loads, I think it may be a better balance.

This all being said, I'm talking about North Central Montana Prairie Dogs. Some of these buggers might stand 16-18" Tall and weigh a solid 3-3.5lbs. These aren't your average back yard whistle pigs... Were I looking at options for smaller ground squirrels, or rodents; a .17 sounds about like the right balance of accuracy, velocity and terminal performance. I just have not been very pleased with the terminal ballistics of the .17 beyond about 150 on the larger rodents.
 

Rooster52

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Feb 18, 2014
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I used to shoot a 22-250 and a 223 but my wife and I got into shooting rimfires and we have lots of fun.Every year we head to north Dakota and Wyoming to shoot a few dogs.
 

Mthuntinfool

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Oct 7, 2014
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579
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Noxon Mt
I love my HMR for gophers, prairie dogs, and jack rabbits, I have had great results with the hornady v-max above all others, and they are accurate to 200yds for me. my longest shot with a .17 was 317yards on a jack rabbit, and one shot put him down. with how hard it is to find 22lr ammo right now, my 17 always gets a workout.
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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8,723
Location
Montana
I like being able to head shoot them at 200 yards with my .17 HMR

That is amazing stuff right there, John. Never... (admittedly) have I shot a .17. Is 200 yard head shots out of the picture with a bit of wind or is that still on the money?
 

Sytes

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Sep 25, 2009
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Montana
I'm gonna have to threaten a visit - that sounds like a good time! :D Good beer, lap dancin' gals out in the field, sunshine...hmmm what else?

Married life is great - though secretly can sometimes be the bain of goodness. :)
 

Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
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6,109
17 hmr's definitely aren't the most fiscally responsible way to kill a gopher (at least that was the case the last time I stocked up on rimfire 4-5 years ago), but they really are a blast to shoot. 200-300 yards isn't out of the question at all on a calm day. The wind does push them around everywhere, but it's still fun to shoot into the wind and see how bad you are at guessing drift.
 

MKotur325

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Oct 10, 2013
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Standing in a river waving a stick
That would be a big prairie dog.;)

Next time I'm out there I'll have to take a tape and measure some dead ones... I seem to remember them being bigger than 13"... Could be my memory, after all I have a "Fisherman's memory":D (hope this makes sense...). All I know for sure is that they are big prairie dogs. Hopefully I have a chance to get out there soon to thin them out some. If I do, I'll take a tape and see just how big they are.......
 

Randy11

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Jan 12, 2009
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6,109
That would be a big prairie dog.;)

Ha! does he have a name?

For a west-sloper though, I'm with MKotur on being blown away at prairie dog size compared to the ground squirrels we shoot over here. I was so naive I didn't even realize there was a difference until I started antelope hunting over there when I was probably 20.

Me walking up to a dead P-dog is probably similar to a midwestern deer hunter walking up his first dead elk.
 

Greenhorn

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Dec 19, 2000
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7,845
Location
Montana
Like house cats - don't be under gunned on pdogs. I suggest an ultra mag.
 

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elkmagnet

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Jul 14, 2011
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3,810
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Hodale, Idaho
I see 17s on the shelf in most sporting goods stores. 22 are cheaper if you don't have to buy them from a scalper. Clifs reloading in Boise Id has 22lrs for $60 for 325# on the cheap. If you want good ones It will be $120 fo 500! He looked me in the eye and said "im not making much at that price they cost more now". Scalpers can kiss my butt! I haven't checked on the price of mags around here but I haven't see any on the shelf either.

I'd buy a 17 if I was in the market today.
 

mtmiller

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Joined
Jul 7, 2001
Messages
10,376
Location
Montana
Next time I'm out there I'll have to take a tape and measure some dead ones... I seem to remember them being bigger than 13"... Could be my memory, after all I have a "Fisherman's memory":D (hope this makes sense...). All I know for sure is that they are big prairie dogs. Hopefully I have a chance to get out there soon to thin them out some. If I do, I'll take a tape and see just how big they are.......

I have never measured a prairie dog, but 16-18" seems pretty big. I will wait to call BS until I see a picture of one with a tape.:D

As for weight, I can buy 3#. I killed a few thousand with my bare hands and it wasn't too unusual to have one tip the scales into quad digit grams eviscerated. Yes, I am going to hell.:D
 

.280 Remington

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Aug 21, 2012
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I'm going to buy a .17 just so I have a gun I can feed. This 22 ammo crisis is starting to piss me off.
 

MKotur325

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Oct 10, 2013
Messages
850
Location
Standing in a river waving a stick
I have never measured a prairie dog, but 16-18" seems pretty big. I will wait to call BS until I see a picture of one with a tape.:D

As for weight, I can buy 3#. I killed a few thousand with my bare hands and it wasn't too unusual to have one tip the scales into quad digit grams eviscerated.

Thanks for Staying the pitchforks for now...

I cannot think of many times that I've had my hands on a prairie dog; but, I have had to shake a few off of my arrows... Oh, it's such a satisfying sound when you thump a big fat p-dog with a blunt
 

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