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Doggin’ It

Doggin’ It

Bob Rogers

Weekend, February 24-25, 2018 – When winter exits the Wyoming sage country the broad expanses of nothingness seems to come back to life every year. Early signs of prairie dogs going “up periscope” marks the emergence of those little blackfooted critters that have a habit of making holes for cattle, sheep and horses to inadvertently step into. That frequently means another house call for the local vet. So you can see why cowboys and Indians both have “a thing” about prairie dogs and that “thing” often involves a rifle and plenty of ammo.

Our turn came on a day when the good folks at Trijicon decided to invite a passel of outdoor writers to a big ranch just covered with ‘dog turrets,” those spongy holes in the ground that the ‘dogs call home. It doesn’t require much skill to shoot a prairie dog, as long as you can see them. Normally, that’s not a problem.  But on that day I was unaware that my vision had slipped a notch or two and what I was looking at through my Trijicon riflescope didn’t appear to be alive. Fortunately, my wife was “along for the ride…..”  Ha!  But she was just as anxious as anyone to try her luck on dog elimination.

Naturally, I was on the portable shooting bench first. A guide from the ranch who knew every inch of the territory barked instructions: “There’s one over there!” “Where, I responded.” “There.  ‘bout 40 yards out.” “Hmmm,” I responded. “Don’t see anything.” That’s when my wife took over, shouldered the AR, squinted her aiming eye and touched the trigger. Up flew the little dog, about four feet airborne. Embarrassing. It took awhile before I realized my old eyeglass prescription was not just old but ancient. Good enough for an excuse, anyway.

Truth be told, I had a difficult time seeing – much less hitting – the target. But when I did, hits became more often than misses and a day ridding the world of doggie vermin made the ranchers happy.

The controversy over prairie dogs still wails. Folks who don’t like hunting or are PETA-ized have a habit of making us feel like the rats we really are. Yet, we’ve been back to that same area of Wyoming several times since and the same old prairie dogs that hung out there were, once again, hanging out there. And that’s something akin to what you’ll see this time around at…

Flying Prairie Dogs | AR-15 Varmint Hunt 2:10 min.

Flying prairie dogs in North Dakota. Join expert marksmen as they zero in on prairie dogs in order to help manage the population.

Prairie Dog Hunting Management HD: Dogs go boom! 5:34 min.

Prairie Dogs: America’s Meerkats – Ecology 8:13 min.

This program discusses the relationships between the five species of prairie dogs (Black-tailed prairie dogs, Mexican prairie dogs, Gunnison’s prairie dogs, White-tailed prairie dogs and Utah prairie dogs) and their endangered North American prairie grassland ecosystems. A number of prairie animals are at risk of extinction (as well as prairie dogs themselves) because prairie dog numbers are so low. Five animals that are dependent on prairie dogs and are at highest risk are Black-Footed Ferrets, Swift Foxes, Mountain Plovers, Burrowing Owls and Ferruginous Hawks.

Prairie Dog Snake Alarm | American Serengeti 3:47 min.

It’s springtime on the prairie, and the prairie dogs emerge in the morning chill to find an intruder in their midst.

Prairie Dog Emergency Alert System 2:06 min.

Prairie dogs in Grand Canyon National Park exhibit an interesting behavior after a kit fox kills one of their own.

Black-footed Ferret vs. Prairie Dog 3:27 min.

Award winning footage with Travis Livieri from Prairie Wildlife Research and Patrick McMillan from Clemson University. Expeditions brings you the first ever broadcast footage of a Black-footed ferret interacting with a prairie dog in daylight. Check it out…it’s prey versus predator as this prairie dog defends himself in the early daylight hours.

Prairie Dog Hunting Management 5 HD: Hunters Gaze 8:21 min.

Cinematic HD and slow motion prairie dog hunting. Experimenting with some camera angles.

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