The weather is finally starting to break here in Northern Arizona, so I decided to pay one of the local prairie dog towns a visit. Since they start coming out from hibernation about now, I figured I would check the activity level. It was AWESOME! They were running everywhere. In my experience, most of the dogs out and about at this time, will be males. They are busy grooming their bachelor pads, in the hopes of finding a hottie or five to make whoopee with in the next few weeks.
I spent a fun few hours taking pictures of this years casanovas. They are very, very busy redecorating. Dirt was flying everywhere. Here are a couple that are going to need to clean up a bit before the ladies will be seen with them.
The below picture, is pretty typical of the shot you'll get if they are around 40/50 yards away. The closer you get to them, the smaller the target they present you with. You had better make your shot pronto too, because they don't hang around for long. Very challenging and a ton of fun.
Weather wise, tomorrow is supposed to be a repeat of today. I'll be back out there again, only this time it won't be with a camera. I'm going to give my HW100T in .22, the honors.
This town is about 700 yards long, by about 150 yards wide, and is surrounded on three sides by a Ponderosa Pine forest. The town runs north to south. I'm going to go past the town on the north end, and over to the east side. Then I'll hike south, out of sight of the town, about 700/800 yards, and staying just inside the tree line start hunting my way back north. The forested area is higher than the dog town, so I'll be shooting down on them with the sun at my back.
Here we're looking south at part of the dog town. I'm going to sneak in from the left, back in the tree line along where you can see the snow. You can see, in the below picture, how the forested area is elevated compared to the dog town. You can also see some prairie dog mounds in the foreground. I'm going in full camo, and expect to spend three to four hours on the hunt. I will also be packing in some energy bars, and water. I can hardly wait to get this PD safari started.
The season ends the 31st of this month. I hope to make a couple more hunts before the 2014/15 season's a wrap. The 2015/16 season starts the 16th of June. It's going to be a loooonnnng two and a half months.
One of the very cool things about this particular dog town is, it's located in a part of the county where the only legal methods of take are, get this, slingshots, falcons, archery, and pneumatic weapons, AKA air guns. The air guns were added just last year. I have never seen anyone out there hunting these guys with anything. It would appear that I have my very own prairie dog town to wallow in. For obvious reasons, I plan on keeping its location very close to the vest. I encountered a Game Warden one time, and in talking with him, he said he never runs into anybody hunting anything up here with air guns. Works for me.
Check back soon. If my plan works out tomorrow, I'll hopefully have some video, and a story to tell. If not, well I had a heck of a nice walk in the woods on a really nice day.
Until next time, thanks for reading.
Footnote: Never mind. Weather didn't cooperate. Hunt didn't happen.