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Thread: Prairie Doggin'?

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    Prairie Doggin'?

    I've always wanted to go out West to shoot prairie dogs and I'm putting out feelers to see if anyone can guide me in the right direction. I have a 13 year old boy and a father in law who would love to go try and remove some pests.

    I am on a tight budget so a public land, diy hunt would be what I'm looking for. I have a camper I can pull for accommodations. No problem boondocking in some national forest or grassland. I've heard plague has been hard on the dog towns but they are making a comeback. Open to just about any area, thinking SD or WY may be our best bet but I am a total noob. I'm sure you Westerners on the forum would have a much better idea on best places to go. Of course, I don't know any ranchers and can call chambers of commerce to try and get leads on private land, but if anyone knows public land that has good numbers, I'm all ears.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master
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    Wyoming, plenty of public land

  3. #3
    Boolit Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    Some of the state DNR's or Game & Fish will send you info on dog town locations.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blanket View Post
    Wyoming, plenty of public land
    Little farther to drive, but Wyoming looks pretty good. I found an article that Thunder Basin is lifting the shooting ban and will be 100% open for PDs for one year.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-Tecs View Post
    Some of the state DNR's or Game & Fish will send you info on dog town locations.
    Yes, I plan on contacting some to try and get info.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master
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    If I might suggest... lots of water, first aid kit, snake chaps/ tall boots, revolver loads with snake shot, very dependable vehicle, portable benches, easy lunches, friendly landowner nearby, clothes for any temperature,Ham License and gear, and stay off Indian Land. What am I forgetting?

    ( I have never gone- this is what my doggin buddies talk about.... Make sure someone knows where you are and checks on you...)

  7. #7
    Boolit Man
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    Petroid, PM me.

  8. #8
    Boolit Man
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    I will add that you should have more than one mounted spare tire with you. Frequently you drive along fences and they seem to have plenty of tire puncturing debris lying around. While we typically averaged a flat every second or third day there were days when we got two.

  9. #9
    Boolit Master


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    The Cimmaron Grasslands out in the southwestern corner of Kansas is National Forest land and I hear the prairie dog hunting there was very good a few years ago. Been meaning to get out there and give it a try, but haven't yet.

  10. #10
    Boolit Master 54bore's Avatar
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    Montana, Seek out big farm land and ask permission. Permission isn't easy to get, to many yahoo's ahead of ya that didnt 'do unto others the way you would have them do unto you'

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Contact the Forest Service in Springfield CO. They were very helpful to me when I started.
    The southeast co area doesn't have many residents but they are very friendly and helpful.
    Some people live and learn but I mostly just live

  12. #12
    Boolit Master
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    From Kentucky I would suggest Kansas, Oklahoma, or the panhandle of Texas. A lot closer drive for you. Farmers will be more receptive to your family group than a bunch of grown men. Good Luck and have fun. Best, Thomas.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Thank you all for the advice. I will check out KS and SE CO. I don't really relish the idea of driving to Wyoming but it is doable. I think MT might be too much.

  14. #14
    Boolit Buddy
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    I live in NY and have made the trip to Montana 3 times just for prairie dogs, 4 times for mulies and antelope. P-dogs was always to the Fort Belknap reservation, stayed in Zortman at the Buckhorn where you can get your Reservation license and make arrangements for your "reservation hunting companion" which I guess is now required. Wasn't when I went. We (partner and I) got to know some other out of state shooters that flatly stated that they would never, ever pay for a reservation license when they could just get a conservation stamp which at the time I think was less than $5 and hit all the BLM land for nothing. The thing was, they saved up for two years to make this trip, got less than 25 shots between 3 guys per day and were complaining that they thought they would get better shooting. Should have seen their faces when we showed them our tally sheets for a couple days, 250+ shots each per day. We hunted the reservation, they wouldn't. Plus the tag was good for a year. We went again 51 weeks later. Two one week long trips on one tag. First time I went was with my 10 year old son and I think the tag was $45, son was free. The last tag I got was $117. I have asked a few ranchers and never been turned down. Just don't march in like a Yahoo or look like you are from California and you won't have a problem. Stop in at the local BLM office and they will supply you with maps to the dog towns. Take LOTS of ammo.

  15. #15
    Boolit Master



    M-Tecs's Avatar
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    I have no problem paying for the Res license and or "guide" if you get a "guide" that shows up it can work well. One out of three days is past experience on the "guide" showing. Only did it once but several friends had the same experience. On Res's that require it if they don't show you don't go. Their land, their LE and their courts. The only way I would do it again is if I don't pay until the end of the trip.

  16. #16
    I haven't hunted PDs in Wyoming since 2003, but my boys and I had pretty steady shooting in the Kemmerer area. I was living in Utah at the time so western Wyoming was a short drive, and the town were way more plentiful than what Utah offered. I've never scouted eastern Wyoming, but if it is true that thunder basin is reopening, that would definitely on my list. I'm not sure if it has changed, but when we hunted PD in Wyoming, you didn't need a license unless you wanted to shoot furbearers. I think it was like $30-40 if you wanted to take coyote, badgers, etc. We have hunted early to mid summer, but I prefer late summer early fall. Let the pups grow up a bit; helps with the shot to hit ratio.

  17. #17
    The Cimarron National Grasslands in south western part of Kansas. Elkhart Ks. has 2 motels a couple of restaurants. Hunted it years ago. ask the KWLP to send a map of the grasslands, and ask how the dog population is. ps get your gas and beer early, they roll up the streets about 5:30pm..

  18. #18
    Boolit Buddy Ateam's Avatar
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    I hunted the Miles City area of MT and around Sheridan WY every year for the best part of 10 years. We would go spend a week on the prairie and shoot up about 1k of hand-loaded sierra B-Kings each. We always hunted on foot carrying water shooting sticks and a few hundred rounds. Once you get off the roads, even just a little, the dogs are usually much less skittish. I remember walking a dog town on the powder river in MT that never ended, I just ran out of rounds and day light. We usually hit something like 90 percent on average, though a few times I got the golden standard of no misses for a whole case (100).
    Some tips,
    -get off the roads (walk)
    -don't drive on the grass as fire is a huge concern and you will be told to get lost in no uncertain terms if you do
    -a spare is a good idea
    -don't shoot the little burrowing owls that look like pd's
    -spend the first day hitting the diners, feed stores, etc to make contacts
    -carry twice as much water as you think you need
    -a shower is worth its weight in gold after a few days on the prairie

    I am sure I have forgotten more that I put down here, its been a few years, j words are just too darn expensive to go hozin em on the prairie.

  19. #19
    Boolit Buddy Ateam's Avatar
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    Oh yeah, shoot as many cottontails as you can, watch out for rattlers, and dont sit on any cactus.

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by deerstalkerks View Post
    The Cimarron National Grasslands in south western part of Kansas. Elkhart Ks. has 2 motels a couple of restaurants. Hunted it years ago. ask the KWLP to send a map of the grasslands, and ask how the dog population is. ps get your gas and beer early, they roll up the streets about 5:30pm..
    Cimarron may be on the list due to it being a bit closer than anything else, so I will check on it for sure. Thanks

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