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Great day shooting ground squirrels #16018177 04/22/21
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drover Offline OP
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I went to one of the ranchs I regularly shoot yesterday, the owner asked me to stop in to see him on the way in because he wanted to show me a couple of fields that he wanted shot. When I showed up he handed me to bricks of 22 LR CCI Mini-Mag HP and told me that he had heard that 22 ammo was getting hard to find and he wanted to give me these to show his appreciation for helping hold down the ground squirrel ammo. I told him that I really appreciated being able to shoot there and that I had quite a bit of ammo but he insisted that I take it.
Not only was it a great day of shooting but I was shooting with some good free ammo - something really special in these days of shortages.

drover


223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.
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Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16018402 04/22/21
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Sounds like you had a good day too! While they have not exactly been crawling up my pant leg here in Gem county there have been enough to get some fine shooting in. Yesterday took out my .17 Hornet, .17 Remington, .221 Fireball and .22 rimfire rifle and got plenty of action with them all. I wish that it was as much fun cleaning the guns and loading the ammo back up as it was shooting whistlepigs!


Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone with free monthly minutes,food stamps, free section 8 housing, a forty oz malt liquor, a crack pipe and some Air Jordans and he'll vote Democrat for life.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16018643 04/22/21
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drover Offline OP
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I only used the 22 LR and a few shots from the 17HMR so no real cleaning chore, I had the 223 along but I was getting so many 50 - 150 yd shots that I didn't have to shoot it.
183 total from noon till 3:30 - not hot and heavy but for an early trip it was good enough.

drover


223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16018711 04/22/21
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I used to just take out my semi-custom 10/22 and a brick or more of .22 ammo and I was happy as could be. But, morbid as it might sound to some, it's a lot more fun for me to see those guts flying trough the air. My .17 Hornet and .221 Furball just make me giggle. My .17 Rem too but I do not need 4400 fps to kill a whistlepig so I load it down to .17 Hornet speeds or even a bit lower for my shooting pleasure. I get too many runners with rimfire ammo. Even my .17 HMR is not that reliable out past 150 yards. A body hit with a 20 grain Vmax at 3500 fps is pretty humane. Even more so when using the 40 grain pill in the .221 FB.


Give a man a welfare check, a free cell phone with free monthly minutes,food stamps, free section 8 housing, a forty oz malt liquor, a crack pipe and some Air Jordans and he'll vote Democrat for life.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16034169 04/27/21
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Have to agree with Rustydust on this .. I used to love going with my buddies rock chuck hunting and making astronauts out of those critters with our 22-250's and other launch vehicles. Seems like some of them would get 20 feet of air with the right hit. Can't seem to get the same air time with the sage rats, but knocking them over as fast as you can find them and shoot at them is a kick in the butt all day long if you find a good field. Unfortunately, it is getting harder to find good places these days and getting permission to hunt private property is getting tougher every day. I guess me and my buddy need to practice our puppy dog face when we walk up to doors to ask permission .

Heading out tomorrow to try to find some new places to hunt sage rats and coyotes. Probably going to put quite a few miles on the truck the next couple days.... if anyone has any leads to point us in the right direction in Oregon, let me know...

Bob


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Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16035648 04/27/21
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Just spent a week in Crane where it was so blasted cold and windy that none but a few popped up. It was the most disappointing time I have ever had there. Now I'm in Montana where it's supposed to be rather warm for the rest of the week.
All I can do is keep my fingers crossed.
Then next week it's back to Crane for another 3-4 days.
So far a lot of driving on $3.50 fuel just to drop a rat but hey, it's what I do for fun.

Besides,I got three rifles that I haven't shot on this trip yet.


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Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16039832 04/29/21
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drover Offline OP
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I went back to the same ranch yesterday, the temps were near perfect for gophers to be out but in 3 hours I only got 40. There were very few up and moving, they are doing their nesting/mating thing and so it will be slow for a couple of weeks until they get through with that and are back above ground and active again.

Good luck in Montana, my daughter lives in central MT and it has been cold and windy there also.

drover


223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16040054 04/29/21
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Originally Posted by drover
I went back to the same ranch yesterday, the temps were near perfect for gophers to be out but in 3 hours I only got 40. There were very few up and moving, they are doing their nesting/mating thing and so it will be slow for a couple of weeks until they get through with that and are back above ground and active again.

Good luck in Montana, my daughter lives in central MT and it has been cold and windy there also.

drover



I thought they did mating in March , went out to Emmett Id. near Firebird Raceway to do some load testing - big squirrels running around . Read somewhere that those are the males going den to den looking for love . Got my all-time best airtime that day 25-06 75gr. v-max at 50 yards .
When they get really rockin most of May I like sitting right in the middle of them with my fixed barrel Gamo CFX .177 ,9.3gr. RWS match flat-points . Have shot a 500ct. tin in one afternoon .
Seems like the louder cartridge you use the more they stay down altho at times they're coming out no matter what firepower you're using .


dang
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16041106 04/29/21
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drover Offline OP
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We are quite a bit higher elevation here, the ranches I shoot are at 5500' to 6200', it is rare to even see them up here until toward the end of March and even then only a few. Boise country is quite a bit ahead of us for warmer weather.
.

drover


223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16041742 04/29/21
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Was in Bonanza Oregon last week....was on a thousand acre field....noon to 5:30.... shot at 10 total.... hit 3...

most of the ones I did see were really small....the three I hit were really pregnant...

so I think their litters are late this year.... at least in that part of Klamath County....




"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

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Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16045728 05/01/21
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Just got back from running all over southern Oregon from the California line to Lapine and only saw a few fields where many rats were up at all. Concluded we were a bit early even though the temps were in the 80's . The few fields we did see some activity in we would stop and they would keep running around until we got out of our truck, then they went down and wouldn't come back up at all... we'll go back in a few weeks and hope we don't have to fight off other rat hunters to find a place to shoot. We did see lots of rats running around chasing each other off their mounds and lots of obviously pregnant mommas, so they are dropping now or very soon... I think we only shot about six the whole three days, but found some new country we can knock on doors next time out....

Lots of other guys wandering around doing the same thing we were doing- looking for rats to shoot at.
We did see a few guys sitting beside the road with benches in the back of their truck shooting at sage rats, but they seemed to be locals who knew exactly where rats were up and not... saw a couple of very populated fields right behind no trespassing signs, so we said some adult words and moved on...

Bob

Last edited by Sheister; 05/01/21.

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Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16047918 05/02/21
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drover Offline OP
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We are having cloudy, windy days here for the next couple of days but Wed is looking good so I will go check things out again, although I expect it will be another 10-12 days before they are up and moving very much.

I do about 90% of my shooting from inside the truck, the minute they see a person outside they truck they know something is up, which is odd because I have driven up to within 5 ft of them and they didn't move until they were in danger of being run over. It appears that they do not recognize a vehicle as a danger but the moment they spot someone outside of a vehicle they must think predator - Danger!

drover


223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16048088 05/02/21
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A dream come true!

Almost no one here will even let you shoot the chucks that are giving their soybeans and corn Hell and digging tractor-traps all over the fields. Guy at my barber shop was complaining about yotes killing his goats. Gave him my number; no cigar.


What fresh Hell is this?
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16053625 05/04/21
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Was over around Summer lake and Paisley last week with my Grandson.

We spent two nights in Paisley, and didn't see but a very few sage rats.

Either we were too early or the recent fires had a big effect on the squirrel population.

Virgil B.

Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16056474 05/04/21
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I'm back in Crane for the rest of the week and as far as today, the shooting was excellent. Four hundred rounds down the tube before noon. If this keeps up, I just might run out of ammo.


Most peoples' lives pass them by while they're making grand plans for it.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16060581 05/06/21
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drover Offline OP
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They are still nesting here in central Idaho. I was out yesterday for three and one-half hours and got 112, better than last week but there still were not many up. Usually in that amount of time I would have shot 300 - 400 of them. Another week and they should be running all over the place.

drover


223 Rem, my favorite cartridge - you can't argue with truckloads of dead PD's and gophers.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16063133 05/07/21
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Here in southwest Idaho they're out in full force. Big ones, little one and in between. We went out on Wednesday and shot 'em up good. We were out about four hours and only quit because it was getting late in the day.

Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16068109 05/08/21
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Was out the previous Thursday, and shot 3 squirrels in 6 hours...

was out this Thursday, and shot 120 rounds in 3 hours, killing about a 100...

they were little tho... each one I didn't explode, were 4 or 5 inches long at most...

This was down in Klamath County, out in Bonanza....

40 mph wind all after noon...

People who leave early are missing out....I find that the best time for high volume shooting at least here in South Central Oregon, is between
4PM to 6:30 PM.




"Minus the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the Country" Marion Barry, Mayor of Wash DC

“Owning guns is not a right. If it were a right, it would be in the Constitution.” ~Alexandria Ocasio Cortez

Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: drover] #16068140 05/08/21
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Just finished a week in Crane. Some good days and some sucked on account of the wind and low temps. The hay is getting high enough so that its mostly head shooting.
Seafire is right that good shooting is after four PM . Must be their dinner time or something..
I might be coming back for a couple days next month after first cutting comes off. It all depends on weather and money.


Most peoples' lives pass them by while they're making grand plans for it.
Re: Great day shooting ground squirrels [Re: Kenlguy] #16073005 05/10/21
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Kenlguy: Snowed here on and off all day today!
Cold and wet - been a funny spring.
If you get back out this way check in and best of luck this spring/summer.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

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