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The 700LR is NOT a Walking Varminter
Old 08-05-2017, 12:00 PM
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Default The 700LR is NOT a Walking Varminter

I went shooting prairie dogs by myself yesterday, so here's the story.

I was up early in hopes of getting away before 08:00 were thwarted by 't missus".

"Dear?" (that's me she's referring too) "Can you put the new sticker on my car?" licence plate tags are "stickers" "And check the oil too?" Well, she does look nice in her going to work clothes so I obliged, adhering the sticker properly and having to add a quart of oil to the engine. "What about checking the tires?" Her car has cast aluminum wheels and one of them has a casting fault which allows air to leak out at a rate so slow . . . . . . . . anyway . . . . . . . 'T missus' car is all set for another week.

I started using an old cooler to "pack ammo" in. It also works quite well for putting food and drinks on the smaller side.

After I drove some 60 miles I ended up on some BLM appropriately named "Baking Powder Ridge". A dry expanse that is a "Protected Area" because of it's fragile nature. There is a "two track" down it's center and a couple more "trails" that lead to a stock pond. From the looks of the two track it gets a lot of traffic but there were still a few prairie dogs.

Seeing several within 300 yards of the truck I got set up with the 25-06LR.

The wind, did I mention the wind? Well, the wind was blowing from my 3 o'clock at at least 15 mph and gusting to maybe 25 making it very hard to shoot beyond 200 yards as the buffeting would move the cross hairs off target 4 to 6 inches even with the bipod, so, I tried the "Hawkins Hold" (You Brits should know this one, which I will "dwell" on later.) This position of shooting prone puts the shooter and rifle closer to the ground which lessened the winds affects somewhat.

I'm afraid I've ruined the backstraps on this one.

Elkhamr wanted me to keep him apprised of my progress and the carnage

I took a short "trek" to get closer and get a picture of the carnage (see above) I slung the 25-06LR (all 13 pounds of it) over my right shoulder, grabbed it's MTM box of ammo and headed west from the truck (sans range finder) to a knob some 300 yards distant. What I didn't see was a deep ravine cut into the terrain half way to my destination. I reached the "blow out" with it's almost vertical sides and spotted a goat trail down, across and up so I carefully started my traverse. I made the bottom in a cloud of dust and had a short walk up the bottom of the maybe 15 foot deep chasm to where the goat trail headed up. The bottom had some mud still in it from recent rains and there was no way to avoid it in the barely foot wide bed. Before ascending I scraped the mud off my shoes and started up. All went well until I found the only rock in miles and using it for a "step" I gingerly placed my left boot on it only to have my foot shoot out sideways leaving behind a smear of mud that didn't get wiped off. My only thought was "RIFLE!! MUST SAVE RIFLE!!!" By twisting like an arthritic ballerina and dropping the ammo box I managed to get the rifle clenched to my chest. With the left knee feeling like a knife had been thrust behind the knee cap and the searing feeling of freshly torn medial meniscus I got back up and checked the rifle to make sure it was ok. PHEW!!! Just some dust on the inside of the butt stock!!!

Hoping there was no one with in miles to have seen my wreck and thinking "I didn't need to go to that knob anyway" I headed back to the truck. As I was on my way back I looked down spotted this prairie dog skull in a pile of antelope dung.

On the way out I stopped to glass and shoot a few more prairie dogs and out of the sage a doe antelope starts walking towards me. 200 yards, 150 yards, 75 yards, 50 yards, 25 yards, just walking until she was down wind then OFF SHE WENT in a cloud of dust. This not a minute after I had shot a prairie dog and I was still laying on my shooting blanket behind the truck!! For a brief time I thought I was under attack by a suicide bomber speed goat

It was a great day, I got to see some new country, shoot a few prairie dogs and almost be set upon by a rouge antelope.

A few more pictures from earlier this year and last year.

My favorite set up:

A not too smart youngster:

And a Holeus Diggus Gigantus:


Oh the knee? It's slightly swollen and a bit stiff this morning. Nothing that can't be fixed with a replacement.
When you go afield, take the kids and please......................................wear your seatbelts.
Northwest Colorado.............Where the wapiti roam and deer and antelope run amuck.
Proud father of a soldier medic in The 82nd Airborne 325th AIR White Falcons
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