Now I can tell you what the hype is all about for prairie dog hunts! I just returned from a customer hunt in Wyoming. We met in Denver, stopped by the HIVIZ offices for a brief tour and meetings before heading up to Albany, WY. The road sign says it all:A beautiful area and some very nice people! Of course in a town of 15 people, you either get a great bunch or you are pretty much out of luck for the weekend with your alternative. The guide met us and took us out the very first evening. I hadn’t done this before and was a little leery of whether or not I’d even be able to have success at the yardages we would be shooting. The shots ranged from 110 yards to 650+ yards at the different dog towns we set up at each day. Driving up, I’m thinking, there’s nothing out there I can see. Of course you’re talking about a the “blind woman shooting” (I think I’ll make a T-shirt!)…. But do wonders never cease?! I hit one, then another and another ! Wahoo….. this is kind of cool!
We stayed out just a few hours the first evening and headed back in to the cabin. The cook had dinner prepared while we settled in and relaxed. The next morning we got up early…some of us earlier than others. I’m early riser so I headed out to take a walk down the road from the cabin on the ranch. Lots of ground squirrels, two young elk, and one lonely badger. Absolutely gorgeous.
After a huge breakfast, fixed by our character of a cook, Kyle, we headed out about 1 hour drive north to another ranch to set up for a full day of dog hunting. Four shooters and the guide did some spotting for us. Now look beyond my scope…. there is a whole lot of what looks like nothing out there.
So, Brandon, our guide/spotter kept telling me, “you have one…look just left of the white spot by the sage”; or “there’s one in the tall grass”. “Tall” ….Believe me, there is nothing tall on this prairie! And white spots and sage bushes describe just about everything you can see! We had some good laughs at his vague descriptions… But anyone wanting a lot of trigger time, prairie dog hunting definitely fits the bill. We had expected 2 full days of hunting for four of us and ended up with that plus 2 half days in addition. Between the different rifles, the four of us had probably a minimum of 4000 rounds and went through nearly all of it.
It wasn’t the “killing” that was thrilling to me at all. After all, I did have my reservations about this before hand. But even while we were there, predators were helping themselves to the spoils. Lots of birds while we were still shooting were coming in to feast. The coyotes came in the evenings and you couldn’t tell we had even been in the area. All the brass was cleaned up before we left the area.
My longest successful shot was just around 550 + yards. Having my first elk hunt lined up for this fall, this experience really boosted my shooting confidence level. Afterall, if I can hit this little guy at that distance, surely I can place an accurate shot on an elk at 200 yards or so – right?
I would highly recommend Texas Specialty Hunts, www.texasspecialtyhunts.com, to anyone looking for a reliable and friendly guide service!