ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Blowing Up Little Furry Things
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Silverfox
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ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Postby Silverfox » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:12 pm

I left the garage at 7:38 a.m. and at 8:21 I was headed north on the section line to see if I could get to the south gate on the PD town. Unfortunately, there was seeded crop growing on the trail I usually take to get to that gate, so, I headed back south to the gravel road than then drove east another mile and then north and then west a bit to get to where I could park my pickup north of an oil well site. At 8:31 I was parked south of the oil well and began to get my hunting stuff ready. I was going to use my Savage 12VLP in .204 Ruger. It has a 25″ SS barrel with a 1 in 11 twist and thrives on 40 gr. V-Max bullets coated with hBN. Muzzle velocity for this load is 3,840 fps.

It had been a long time since I was last out shooting prairie dogs so it was taking me some extra time to get ready to go. It was cloudy and 64º out and the winds were calm. I had lots of prairie dogs south of my pickup that needed shooting so I took the time to shoot 8 PDs before I was ready to head out. I placed my backpack on my left shoulder and bent down to sling my rifle over my right shoulder and there was no sling on my rifle. So, I opened up the pickup and took a sling off my tight neck .17 Remington.

The sun had peeked out from under the clouds and by 9:45 a.m. I had shot the last of the 16 shells I had in one special box and hit on 15 of those 16 shots. I missed on the 16th shot so I had 15 hits in a row until then. I broke out the other box of shells and there were 37 rounds in there. It was getting very warm so I had a good long drink of ice water. I noticed what looked like a very tiny prairie dog off to the SE of me, but when I got my scope on it, I could see it was a striped gopher. I lined up on it with my range finder and it was 39 yards away. I introduced it to a 40 gr. V-Max and completely ruined its day. Here’s a photo of what’s left of the little striped gopher.

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Around 10:30 my barrel was getting too hot, so I stopped and used my Barrel Cooler to cool down the barrel. I took a 15 minute nap while the Barrel Cooler was doing its work. After I woke up and got the Barrel Cooler put away, I started walking SSE. I spotted some blossoms and stopped to take a few photos. Here’s a collage of some of the blossoms I saw:

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Here’s a photo of one of the mounds in this dog town. I had to zoom way up to about 200x and was probably 300+ yards away from the mound so the photo isn’t top quality. There were seven prairie dogs on that one mound. The one on its back is not dead, just rolling around and there is another PD right behind its back legs. I never took a shot at any of these:

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By 11:40 a.m. I had shot 44 total shots and missed on 4 of them. Once I figured out that I was hitting low, I went 9 for 9 on my 9 last cartridges. Here’s a photo of the Savage 12VLP and what’s left of the striped gopher.

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I managed to nail one double, 48 singles, and had 4 missed shots so I shot 1 striped gopher, 47 single PDs, and one double on PDs for 50 dead varmints with 53 shots. I headed back for the pickup at 12:21 and got my gear loaded into the pickup and headed for the rancher’s home.

It was lunch time when I got to where I wanted to park my pickup so I got my lunch out and polished off my sandwich and a couple cookies. I had planned on taking a 45 minute nap after lunch, but decided I had taken a couple naps during my morning outing and probably needed to just get out and shoot more prairie dogs instead of sleeping. By now it was 81º above!!!!

I replenished my ice water bottles; got out my .17 Remington built on a Stiller Predator action for this afternoon shoot. This is the rifle I formed casings for using WW .204 Ruger brass. That was a lot of work and if Norma and/or Nosler would have been making brass for the .17 Remington back when I formed these casings, I would have purchased brass from one of those companies. I have tested only 9 loads using my 30 gr. FBHP Starke bullets coated with hBN out of the Nosler casings using a load of 22.9 gr. of Varget (that’s .4 of a grain over max so don’t try it!!!). The Nosler casings have a wee bit less case capacity than factory .17 Remington casings so start your loads well under the max loads listed. There were no visible signs of excess pressure and muzzle velocities were approximately 3,830 fps but that isn’t a real good indicator.

I have a Lilja 26″ stainless steel Remington Varmint contour barrel with a 1 in 9 twist on this rifle. The barrel is fluted and threaded for my Lane suppressor and I use a mirage shield to keep the sun off the barrel to keep the shimmering mirage waves out of the field of view of my scope. I had been using 29 gr. FBHP VLD Genco bullets coated with hBN in this rifle from 2011 through 2014, but ran out of those bullets and since they were no longer being manufactured, I tested various bullets for a couple years and finally settled on using my 30 gr. FBHP Starke bullets. I had used the 30 gr. Starke bullets on coyotes out of my old .17 Remington back in the 1990s and into 2007. The load I settled on for the 30 gr. Starkes is a load of 22.3 gr. of IMR 8208 XBR, Remington 7½ primers, with bullets seated .005″ off the lands. The muzzle velocity for this combination is 3,840 fps. Here’s a photo of the rifle:

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I left the pickup at about 2:05 p.m. and the wind had picked up considerably from this morning and was wafting along at 8 - 12 mph with gusts to 15 mph out of the north. By 2:43 I had nailed 18 singles and one double. By 3:19 p.m. I had shot 26 shots and had 1 double and 25 singles for 27 dead PDs with 26 shots. I looked back at my pickup and the bed sheets I hang over the passenger and driver’s side windows had blown over the top of the cab and weren’t keeping the sun out of the cab so I walked back and fixed that situation. I walked east of my pickup for some more action. My barrel got hot enough to need the Barrel Cooler again. I inserted that into the chamber and took a 40 minute nap. I shot a few more PDs and I missed on my 40th shot!!! That PD didn’t move after my miss and I nailed him on my 41st shot.

I had only 10 shells left and began walking to the south and stopping to shoot at targets of opportunity. I spotted one mound that had 5 prairie dogs on it and proceeded to hit four of them. They just didn’t seem to get scared and stayed on top of the mound for me. One made it down into the den after I shot it, but here are three of them posing for the “Hero Photo” for the day:

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I managed to shoot 51 shots in the afternoon. I nailed 3 doubles, 46 singles and missed on 2 shots for a total of 52 deceased PDs with 51 shots. With the 50 victims for 53 shots in the morning I accounted for 102 dead varmints for 104 shots. None of the shots were any longer than 150 yards and the closest shot was 39 yards on the striped gopher.

As some of you know, I had back surgery on April 10, 2017, and this was my maiden voyage for PD shooting since last fall. There were many times I had some pain while laying a certain way and had to shift my weight. I’m typing this the day after the hunt and I have some sore spots, but I don’t think I tore anything up. It was GREAT to get out and do some shooting again. I am thankful to God for helping me heal up as well as I have and I thank all of you for your prayers. I still have a long way to go before I’m completely healed up, but I am encouraged by the progress that has been made.

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870slugger
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Re: ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Postby 870slugger » Tue Jul 04, 2017 4:55 pm

Is the shield on the barrel to stop the heat mirage in the scope?
What's it made of ? looks to be stuck on with Velcro?
Good Idea on the hot days of summer PD shooting
:thumbup: :thumbup:
Hold my beer and watch this! :bonk:

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Silverfox
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Re: ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Postby Silverfox » Tue Jul 04, 2017 5:17 pm

870slugger--The mirage shield is made out of aluminum and you used to be able to purchase them from Sinclair International. It keeps heat mirage from messing up your view through the scope. I use adhesive backed Velcro to keep them on the barrel. They also work well when you are doing load development and shoot many shots in succession.

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manc-munsters
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Re: ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Postby manc-munsters » Wed Jul 05, 2017 4:50 am

I always look forward to reading your reports, and seeing your photos Silver Fox. Without exception, they put us right there with you.

It's great that you are feeling well enough to get back in the saddle, and getting out on the PD's.

Thanks for sharing. It is much appreciated
Struggling to become half the man my dogs think I am and forever trying to make a daily advancement :shh:

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bullseye-69
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Re: ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Postby bullseye-69 » Thu Jul 06, 2017 12:06 pm

That was a very nice day for you. Once again great pics silverfox.
May have to look into making my own shields.
“Lifes hard,its even harder when your stupid.”―J Wayne
http://hunt-indiana.com/

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Silverfox
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Re: ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Postby Silverfox » Sat Jul 08, 2017 8:37 pm

Thanks for the nice comments on my PD shooting trip. I appreciate hearing from you Board members. I was out again this past Friday and I'll get that story posted in a couple minutes.

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bullseye-69
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Re: ND PD Shoot 7-1-2017 by Back Surgery Patient!

Postby bullseye-69 » Mon Jul 17, 2017 4:07 am

Silverfox wrote:Thanks for the nice comments on my PD shooting trip. I appreciate hearing from you Board members. I was out again this past Friday and I'll get that story posted in a couple minutes.


Cant wait SF.
I was out in SD in June. Need to get my butt in gear and get some pics posted of it.
“Lifes hard,its even harder when your stupid.”―J Wayne
http://hunt-indiana.com/


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