Montana 2017

As it has been for the last 3 years, this 4th trip would be a blast as well.

In 2016 we had made a new contact with a very large amount of land and enough prairie dogs to be fun while helping the landowner cut down the population some.

In the process we gained access to another chunk of ground that was incredible both in beauty and number of targets.

We also picked up another new contact that will likely become a big part of future trips. This man also owns a rather large chunk of ground and explained where we would find a couple of the towns. Keep the following in mind when reading about this piece of property. A) I grew up in Missouri and still live there. B) A creek in Missouri consists of 2 steep banks 3 to 40 feet apart and anywhere from 2 feet to 15 feet tall. C) A valley in Missouri is V shaped.

So as we are being told where the dog towns are located, we are told to travel up this creek 4 miles. "If it's dry, you can drive right up it." When you hit the 4 mile point, there is a dog town there. At 5 miles you'll be at the property line.

We locate the property and decide that what he meant by "a creek" was the flat land between 2 small mountains (a Montana valley). I suppose it had enough grade to drain but I'm gonna go with any water traveling through it would soak into the ground long before it had a chance to gain any speed.

It took probably an hour to travel the 4 miles to the dog town and from the shooting bench on my ladder rack I could see the fence at 5 miles. We arrived late in the day but wanted to shoot a few dogs and take a look at the place for future reference.

Off in the distance, out in the dog town I could see a cattle water tank. To the right of that were a few prairie dogs standing around. I fired a shot at one of them but didn't even see dust. The dogs stayed put. I aimed high and finally found some dust. There was a post behind one of the dogs so I aimed at the top of the post and hit below the dog. Never did get him. Before we left the property we drove over to the water tank. "the post" to the right of the tank was at least 100 yards further out than the tank was in relation to where I was shooting from.

I included some trip pictures with this update but they do not do justice to the size and distance across of a piece of Montana ground.

Gun and ammo wise I had a new 204 Ruger I had built on a Marlin action. Didn't fire it as much as I intended to but that's the way it worked out. The 17 Fireball I had built for last years trip was used for something like 60% of my shooting. I used a Remington 788 in 222 for part of the time and had my Savage Model 25 in 17 Hornet out of the case for maybe 20 rounds. The only thing I like about the model 25 is the accuracy. EVERYTHING else about it, I hate. You can't easily load 1 round at a time, the magazine sucks and cycling the bolt is about as smooth as trying to use a cheap ratchet in a tight spot on your truck. IT DON'T WORK !

OK, enough of that for now.

I ended up shooting just shy of 800 rounds in 5 days. Not as many as last year but fun none the less. We had a lot of wind on this trip. In fact, one dog I shot at 12 times and never got him. Typically, if you hit low you aim higher but that wasn't working consistently. And windage was just as challenging. However, I was there to shoot prairie dogs and my motto became you can't miss if you don't shoot.

Much more could be written about the trip but I'll just leave it at it's one hell of a trip if you ever get the chance.

CLICK HERE for some pictures.


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Last Modified: Monday, June 19, 2017 1:06 PM