Where are all the hardcore Varmint hunters gone ?

Ryan28

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2020
Messages
15
As per title .

are there any varmint hunters out there . I’m not talking about some who shoots the odd magpie with a lucky shot at 250 m

I’m talking about The type that takes the time and effort to be effective , the type that actually does there homework on there quarry and then goes into the field with a properly set up rifle and all the associated kit and the skill set to be able to use it to it max .


I know back in the early part of 2000 - 2008 there was a bit of a following , a lot of people had some fantastic set ups and there where quite a few very proficient hunters out there And many accounts of peoples forays .Even in some of the magazines. but seems to have dwindled away , I don’t believe it’s an ethical call as there are as many people now game shooting and stalking As ever , maybe more ? Has it just gone out of fashion ?

I have been a hunter for 40 yrs now and cut my teeth as a pigeon shooter , which I still do today and find a very effective method of pest control , but many years ago I sort of fell into the varmint hunting scene as a means of increasing my effectiveness and found it to be a very successful Combination at different times of the year and over certain Types of crops .

my first varmint rifle was a Sako L579 .220 swift , then the mandatory .22-250 And then the 243 ackley improved . And now days have gone back to the .223

nowadays I don’t get as much time as I like to what with farm work , gamekeeperIng And crop protection for various farms . And of course our Horses , but I still have a great passion for the long range surgical approach . And still try to spend as much time as I can to maintain my ability to deliver a Single clean ethical shot based Experience and the correct skill set NOT an inflated ego .

so if there is still any of you still lurking away , show us what you got , what and how you go about it . Why you decided on the set up you have .


I know your out there 🤔😁
 

NevadaZielmeister

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 29, 2016
Messages
674
Location
Reno, NV
Well I definite take it seriously. I hunt on a regular basis, but mostly Coyote since they run through our community with reckless abandon. I want to be the sound they will never hear from a place they will never see. But I digress.

I guess I am saddened that certain Predator websites haven't been upgraded and slowly shrank over time. I also see the diehards who are tired of helping people get into the sport.

As for Varmint hunting, I would LOVE to find a good place to hunt, but have not found anything exciting. The last prairie dog hunt I did was after we completed a long range hunting competition and noticed prairie dogs all over the Colorado countryside. After the final stage, we all lined up and started shooting this little furry guys from distances between 300 - 700 yards. It was one of the funnest times I ever had with a rifle. I hope to do it again.
 

rayporter

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 3, 2014
Messages
3,086
Location
arkansas or ohio
i cut my teeth in the east hunting for groundhogs. it got me into accurate rifles and longer range shooting.

while there are no g hogs in the flatlands where i live i still take a trip to shoot prairie dogs. when we get tired of hitting the close ones we stretch it out till we miss them. i got a new barrel for my 6,5x284 this winter and will get a new barrel for a 6mm grinch in the mail soon. also have the obligatory 243 ai as well as 6br and 6mm rem. the list goes and goes.
 

BRTreedogs

Senior Member
Joined
Nov 16, 2017
Messages
2,826
Location
Central Oregon
I used to hunt coyotes quite a bit, and I will says my skills at game shooting have dropped considerably and I should take it up again.

I had hours for a few year and thats lead to the quitting of calling. By the time I got rid of the dogs I was wore out on the woods and it took a few years to even get back into be game hunting.
I've also fell head over heals for shed hunting. And have made a commitment to carry a rifle everywhere with me this year avast year I had more then a few opertunity to dispatch predators.
But between no night hunting, the fact every one pop shots at them and being harassed by the cops for having a rifle on winter range. It just not worth the effort anymore.
 

ericwh

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 9, 2017
Messages
327
Location
PA
I dunno how hardcore I am, but I love shooting groundhogs! Just started eating them too; not bad at all. Quite good actually...

I'm going to try and get permission from some farmers this spring, see if I can find a spot with longer shooting. Behind my parents is pretty target rich but only 200yards.
 

joker338

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2021
Messages
14
Few things I enjoy more than a good day of gopher, woodchuck, or prairie dog shooting. I have dedicated weapons for the task, but I’ve recently decided that it would be great practice for hunting rifles in the off season at least on the bigger targets such as a woodchuck/rockchuck/groundhog. It seems pretty pointless to expend my ammo shooting steel at distance if I could use the same ammo in a more applicable hunting scenario with a more rewarding splash at the end.

That being said I’ve now moved far enough away from my known spots that it’s not a convenient opportunity. If I’m able to seek out some local areas though, I plan to keep the copper fouling fresh in all my hunting rifles.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Ridge86

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2016
Messages
135
I love my coyote hunting, if I’m calling, driving around shooting them or sitting on a dead pile! Coyotes will always be in my sights, I get a lot of enjoyment out of smoking a dog hahaha
 

PanhandlePilgrim

Junior Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2018
Messages
31
We have a guys trip every year to the Burns, OR area to a family friend's ranch to shoot primarily ground squirrels but always wind up getting a few jackrabbits, rock chucks and a couple badgers.
Here in north idaho you can find good colonies of ground squirrels in the clear cuts which is a lot of fun. You have to hunt for them but I have killed over a dozen off one mound on a warm spring day. I dont know why but I love shooting those damned things. I'd like to get after some prairie dogs again in the future, I think they're about twice the size of a squirrel and they don't seem to be spooked by gun shots quite as easily.
 

Laramie

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 17, 2020
Messages
832
Fur prices stink so you have a lot fewer people out there pursuing. I like to do it. I'm good at it. However, I can't justify doing it all the time while losing money.
 

Moose63Pa

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 24, 2020
Messages
15
We spend most of our summer shooting groundhogs off of our hayfields. I'm not sure I would consider myself dedicated to it, but it sure is great practice and a lot of fun! Not to mention it saves alot of headaches on the equipment!
 

WCB

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 12, 2019
Messages
1,064
I have no idea what a hardcore varmint hunter is....If they are around I shoot them...do I go around and ask permission because I saw a woodchuck in some ones field...no. I do a bunch of prairie dog shooting and some rock chuck shooting when I go out west but I don't know how hardcore pulling up to a prairie dog town laying a mat down and shooting is.

I chase coyotes almost every weekend in the winter and do a few tournaments...but I hunt deer, elk , antelope, waterfowl, upland and do a bunch of fishing. Over shooting Red Fox as I have killed a ton and they aren't worth anything to sell and I have enough furs hanging at home.

I think the biggest problem with "varmint" hunting is the over publication of it. Look at Prairie dogs out west. late 90s early 2000s you could go to any state that has them and have unlimited places to hunt them by just asking. Then geniuses decide to tell everybody and their brother about it and it quickly turned into pay to play. I still have a few public spots I go to that I don't think every get shot.

I have 3 dedicated varmint/predator guns.
-Savage 110 Varmint (26" heavy barrrel) with a Bushnell 12x LRHS
-Built AR15 18" heavy Wilson Combat barrel
-Savage Walking Varminter .17 hornet 4-16 Weaver V-series
 
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