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Got up at the crack of dawn today and loaded up the 4x4 to trek off to a distant gunshow, even though high winds and snow were forecast!
100 miles into my trek I am driving by a cultivated field that has at least 12" of snow evenly spread out on it.
What do I see but not ONE, not TWO but FIFTY or SIXTY Ground Squirrels up atop the snow - none were moving as I passed, they just all were standing up at attention (I assume a bird of prey was overhead?).
I have no idea why the little Varmints would claw their way up through the snow and stand around atop the snow in barely above freezing temperatures?
Anyway it was great to see the little vermin up and standing around - come on spring and my first Colony Varmint Safari of the season.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

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I was traveling through the Cortez CO area last Monday where there was a foot or so of snow but it was 35 and sunny and there were literally hundreds of PD's sunning themselves. It has got me anxious for spring and warm weather so that our gophers start popping up.

drover


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Yes, I've been seeing them too. They are stupid at this point. A lot of young ones running around. Almost without a care in the world. I was 5 feet away from one the other day, when I was getting the mail. It just laid there sunning itself. They think spring is here, even though we are still getting snow. Looks like it's going to be a good year for them. Good plinking for those of us that use them as targets as well.


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.
Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.

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snow goph's are the funnest.....

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I saw my first gopher yesterday. Not a good day but he was out. Prairie dogs have been out for about a month off and on. I think in southern Colorado the dogs are pretty much out year around.


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PD's have been hiding from the wind, down here.


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I figure in Montana the gophers are usually "up" by St. Patrick's Day.

I'm not sure why if their grassy food is still buried. Maybe there are already some sprouts under the snow? Things like winter wheat germinate under the snow.

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Huntsman22: Up here we call Hunting Ground Squirrels this time of year "painting the snow"!
Saw a few more today (temperature 31 at the time) and they were quarreling/wrestling/biting each other.
Might bonk a couple tomorrow - its been a LONG winter - and "Alexa" just informed me that a "winter storm warning" will be in effect at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning here - iffy now.
Come on spring - please.
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GrouseChaser: Yeah I have seen them at this elevation (5,400') as early as March 1st - but not really in Huntable numbers at all then.
This has been a harsh, cold and snowy winter hereabouts - I think they are just done hibernating and are either low on food stores down below or just restless?
What little grass/crops are available here are dried out and probably poor fare.
Was chasin guns over Missoula, Montana way yesterday and saw an extremely dark colored Rock Chuck alongside I-90 on my way home.
Things are starting to stir but spring has not sprung hereabouts.
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They have been out all year long, not in large numbers and it depends on weather. Shot a lot on snow mounds last 2 months, been shooting colonies down here when the wind ain't blowing 20mph +


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I saw the first one Feb. 26th this year. Saw a couple hundred ded ones a few days ago.

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They were out, then this happened:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.
Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.

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Originally Posted by bsa1917hunter
They were out, then this happened:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Where this at?


"Faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money." -Tom T Hall

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Smoked a bunch with my sons yesterday. Great fun.


"Faster horses, younger women, older whiskey, and more money." -Tom T Hall

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Originally Posted by nemotheangler
Originally Posted by bsa1917hunter
They were out, then this happened:
[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]

Where this at?

My house..


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.
Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.

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Originally Posted by nemotheangler
Smoked a bunch with my sons yesterday. Great fun.

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


Originally Posted by raybass
I try to stick with the basics, they do so well. Nothing fancy mind you, just plain jane will get it done with style.
Originally Posted by Pharmseller
You want to see an animal drop right now? Shoot him in the ear hole.

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Nemotheangler: Nearly dry enough to start getting serious here abouts.
Touched 50 degrees here yesterday for the first time in 155 days.
Hold into the wind
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Which species of ground squirrel do you start seeing mid-March? Do all species come up at the same time or is there a pattern?

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Bsa1917hunter: It snowed here again this morning - most melted off but supposed to snow again tomorrow (April 19th!).
I declare, winter, the winner - now let us have some spring - PLEASE!
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy
P.S.: Great picture by the way.

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24HourCampFireGuy50: Pardon my slow reply - been super busy hosting out of state Varminters, going fishing, gunshows, relatives and some travel.
I am pretty sure the Ground Squirrels here in SW Montana are the "Richardson's" variety.
I am NOT sure about states like Nevada and kalifornicationkopia as to when their Ground Squirrels "appear"? Maybe they are up all year in some latitudes?
I do know our Richardson's Ground Squirrels are among the very rare animals on earth that partake of "estivation" (or aestivation, is also correct) - which means they go underground and dormant in the heat. Kind of a summer hibernation. Here in my elevation they go down (for the very most part!) right at August 8th each year and don't re-appear above ground until early/mid March.
My Gopher Hunt this morning was hampered by the thick (and tall) grasses and crops - in many places the grass/crops covered even the standing adult Ground Squirrels.
Still fun and worthy opponents these Ground Squirrels.
Hold into the wind
VarmintGuy

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