Be A Road-ent Warrior

Are you an accuracy zealot? Do you have a love affair with plinking? Do rodents invade your dreams more than Jennifer Aniston (or insert your own heartthrob of choice)?

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be a candidate for the small stuff. What’s the small stuff? Rodents are the small stuff and it’s the season for diehard rodent control.

These pesky critters provide a huge payoff when it comes to varmint action from coast to coast. To go through the list of hunt-worthy species would bore you and turn this blog into a small mammal term paper. Suffice to say that nearly 5 dozen species inhabit environments from the Arctic to the Southwest deserts. You don’t have to invade your prepper room for extra Magpul (www.magpul.com) magazines because, in reality, only a handful deserves your attention for serious varmint hunting.

So why go after these tiny targets? High on the list is the opportunity to put your smaller caliber centerfires and rimfires into play. Shooting paper and metal sharpens marksmanship, but if you’re a hunter nothing compares to tipping over a 13-lined ground squirrel as it scampers through grass 125 yards away—and all you’re armed with is a .22 long rifle.

The .17 Hornet is also rocket fun to shoot, but you can’t really put it into play for serious predator chores, especially on 30-pound coyotes. You can, however, engage a variety of rodent targets with the .17 and .22 if you really want to challenge your shooting skills at a reduced cost.

This time of year is great for rodent wars. Short grass in pastures, the emergence of young-of-the-year and a lack of other meaningful species to hunt opens the door to rodent hunts. Farmers, ranchers and landowners are open to rodent warriors as well. Gophers and ground squirrels thrive in most settings. They dig holes, munch grains and mow grass. Those reasons spur landowners to welcome culling activities.

13-Lined Ground Squirrel
What are some of the heavyweights in the diminutive world of rodents? First, look at the previously mentioned 13-lined ground squirrel. Found in pastures across the Midwest, across the Great Plains and into the West, this sneaky rat-sized rodent provided me with my first varmint adventure. Armed with an open-sight rimfire, I cruised my grandpa’s pastures in his old golf cart looking for the beady eyes of the striped bandit. Some areas are so overrun with these gophers that you can literally shoot a brick of .22 LR ammunition in an afternoon.

Richardson’s Ground Squirrel
A favorite of the Northern mixed grass prairies is the weightier Richardson’s ground squirrel. They bobble across the southern Canadian Prairie Provinces, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and even into Minnesota. Weighing in at 8-10 ounces with a 10-inch length, this rodent is definitely a heavyweight worthy of the zip a .17 can produce. Best shooting opportunities occur from June through early fall. Pups emerge in June to provide ample targets. When temperatures spike, expect the ground squirrels to be in the shade of their dens, but in average temperatures you can shoot all day long. Bring lots of Hornady ammunition because it could be a long day in the field.

California Ground Squirrel
If you still want a bigger target look to the West and Northwest. Although not quite as big as a ground hog, but getting awfully close to the size of a prairie dog, is the California ground squirrel. Its 2-pound body extends 16 inches in overall length, making it the perfect target for your hotrod plinking machine. From southern Washington to southern California, these ground squirrels thrive in rolling hills that favor agricultural production. They prefer dry-land barley and irrigated alfalfa fields, but they have also been known to raid fruit and vegetable fields, irritating weekend and professional farmers alike.

Spring is again a top time period to stalk these plump rodents, but in some arid areas you can also see them easily throughout the summer months and even into winter along coastal stretches. Pack along lots of ammunition and get off the beaten path for permission. Everyone on the “left” coast isn’t opposed to shooting, especially if their discovering huge holes in their pastures, gardens and yards.

Most hunting seasons are winding down or closed. Fortunately rodent season never ends and gives you the shooting practice to stay sharp for future hunts.


North American Hunter Top Stories

\r\n\r\n

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be a candidate for the small stuff. What’s the small stuff? \r\n\r\nRodents are the small stuff and it’s the season for diehard rodent control.

\r\n\r\n

These pesky critters provide a huge payoff when it comes to varmint action from coast to coast. To go through the list of hunt-worthy species \r\n\r\nwould bore you and turn this blog into a small mammal term paper. Suffice to say that nearly 5 dozen species inhabit \r\n\r\nenvironments from the Arctic to the Southwest deserts. You don’t have to invade your prepper room for extra Magpul \r\n\r\n(www.magpul.com) magazines because, in reality, only a handful deserves your attention for serious varmint hunting.

\r\n\r\n

So why go after these tiny targets? High on the list is the opportunity to put your smaller caliber centerfires and \r\n\r\nrimfires into play. Shooting paper and metal sharpens marksmanship, but if you’re a hunter nothing compares to tipping \r\n\r\nover a 13-lined ground squirrel as it scampers through grass 125 yards away—and all you’re armed with is a .22 long \r\n\r\nrifle.

\r\n\r\n

The .17 Hornet is also rocket fun to shoot, but you can’t really put it into play for serious predator chores, \r\n\r\nespecially on 30-pound coyotes. You can, however, engage a variety of \r\n\r\nrodent targets with the .17 and .22 if you really want to challenge your shooting skills at a reduced cost.

\r\n\r\n

This time of year is great for rodent wars. Short grass in pastures, the emergence of young-of-the-year and a lack of \r\n\r\nother meaningful species to hunt opens the door to rodent hunts. Farmers, ranchers and landowners are open to rodent \r\n\r\nwarriors as well. Gophers and ground squirrels thrive in most settings. They dig holes, munch grains and mow grass. Those \r\n\r\nreasons spur landowners to welcome culling activities.

\r\n\r\n

13-Lined Ground Squirrel
\r\nWhat are some of the heavyweights in the diminutive world of rodents? First, look at the previously mentioned 13-lined \r\n\r\nground squirrel. Found in pastures across the Midwest, across the Great Plains and into the West, this sneaky rat-sized \r\n\r\nrodent provided me with my first varmint adventure. Armed with an open-sight rimfire, I cruised my grandpa’s pastures in his old golf cart looking \r\n\r\nfor the beady eyes of the striped bandit. Some areas are so overrun with these gophers that you can literally shoot a \r\n\r\nbrick of .22 LR ammunition in an afternoon.

\r\n\r\n

Richardson’s Ground Squirrel
\r\nA favorite of the Northern mixed grass prairies is the weightier Richardson’s ground squirrel. They bobble across the \r\n\r\nsouthern Canadian Prairie Provinces, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and even into Minnesota. Weighing in at 8-10 \r\n\r\nounces with a 10-inch length, this rodent is definitely a heavyweight worthy of the zip a .17 can produce. Best shooting \r\n\r\nopportunities occur from June through early fall. Pups emerge in June to provide ample targets. When temperatures spike, \r\n\r\nexpect the ground squirrels to be in the shade of their dens, but in average temperatures you can shoot all day long. \r\n\r\nBring lots of Hornady ammunition because it could be a long day in the field.

\r\n\r\n

California Ground Squirrel
\r\nIf you still want a bigger target look to the West and Northwest. Although not quite as big as a ground hog, but getting \r\n\r\nawfully close to the size of a prairie dog, is the California ground squirrel. Its 2-pound body extends 16 inches in \r\n\r\noverall length, making it the perfect target for your hotrod plinking machine. From southern \r\n\r\nWashington to southern California, these ground squirrels thrive in rolling hills that favor agricultural production. \r\n\r\nThey prefer dry-land barley and irrigated alfalfa fields, but they have also been known to raid fruit and vegetable \r\n\r\nfields, irritating weekend and professional farmers alike.

\r\n\r\n

Spring is again a top time period to stalk these plump rodents, but in some arid areas you can also see them easily \r\n\r\nthroughout the summer months and even into winter along coastal stretches. Pack along lots of ammunition and get off the \r\n\r\nbeaten path for permission. Everyone on the “left” coast isn’t opposed to shooting, especially if their discovering huge \r\n\r\nholes in their pastures, gardens and yards.

\r\n\r\n

Most hunting seasons are winding down or closed. Fortunately rodent season never ends and gives you the shooting \r\n\r\npractice to stay sharp for future hunts.

\r\n\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\n

Talk With Other Hunters Here

\r\n","mobileBody":"
[MEDIA:1c15ad0839bd4e9f8fa7c37ed46dd208]

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be a candidate for the small stuff. What’s the small stuff? Rodents are the small stuff and it’s the season for diehard rodent control.

These pesky critters provide a huge payoff when it comes to varmint action from coast to coast. To go through the list of hunt-worthy species would bore you and turn this blog into a small mammal term paper. Suffice to say that nearly 5 dozen species inhabit environments from the Arctic to the Southwest deserts. You don’t have to invade your prepper room for extra Magpul (www.magpul.com) magazines because, in reality, only a handful deserves your attention for serious varmint hunting.

So why go after these tiny targets? High on the list is the opportunity to put your smaller caliber centerfires and rimfires into play. Shooting paper and metal sharpens marksmanship, but if you’re a hunter nothing compares to tipping over a 13-lined ground squirrel as it scampers through grass 125 yards away—and all you’re armed with is a .22 long rifle.

The .17 Hornet is also rocket fun to shoot, but you can’t really put it into play for serious predator chores, especially on 30-pound coyotes. You can, however, engage a variety of rodent targets with the .17 and .22 if you really want to challenge your shooting skills at a reduced cost.

This time of year is great for rodent wars. Short grass in pastures, the emergence of young-of-the-year and a lack of other meaningful species to hunt opens the door to rodent hunts. Farmers, ranchers and landowners are open to rodent warriors as well. Gophers and ground squirrels thrive in most settings. They dig holes, munch grains and mow grass. Those reasons spur landowners to welcome culling activities.

13-Lined Ground Squirrel
What are some of the heavyweights in the diminutive world of rodents? First, look at the previously mentioned 13-lined ground squirrel. Found in pastures across the Midwest, across the Great Plains and into the West, this sneaky rat-sized rodent provided me with my first varmint adventure. Armed with an open-sight rimfire, I cruised my grandpa’s pastures in his old golf cart looking for the beady eyes of the striped bandit. Some areas are so overrun with these gophers that you can literally shoot a brick of .22 LR ammunition in an afternoon.

Richardson’s Ground Squirrel
A favorite of the Northern mixed grass prairies is the weightier Richardson’s ground squirrel. They bobble across the southern Canadian Prairie Provinces, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and even into Minnesota. Weighing in at 8-10 ounces with a 10-inch length, this rodent is definitely a heavyweight worthy of the zip a .17 can produce. Best shooting opportunities occur from June through early fall. Pups emerge in June to provide ample targets. When temperatures spike, expect the ground squirrels to be in the shade of their dens, but in average temperatures you can shoot all day long. Bring lots of Hornady ammunition because it could be a long day in the field.

California Ground Squirrel
If you still want a bigger target look to the West and Northwest. Although not quite as big as a ground hog, but getting awfully close to the size of a prairie dog, is the California ground squirrel. Its 2-pound body extends 16 inches in overall length, making it the perfect target for your hotrod plinking machine. From southern Washington to southern California, these ground squirrels thrive in rolling hills that favor agricultural production. They prefer dry-land barley and irrigated alfalfa fields, but they have also been known to raid fruit and vegetable fields, irritating weekend and professional farmers alike.

Spring is again a top time period to stalk these plump rodents, but in some arid areas you can also see them easily throughout the summer months and even into winter along coastal stretches. Pack along lots of ammunition and get off the beaten path for permission. Everyone on the “left” coast isn’t opposed to shooting, especially if their discovering huge holes in their pastures, gardens and yards.

Most hunting seasons are winding down or closed. Fortunately rodent season never ends and gives you the shooting practice to stay sharp for future hunts.

Talk With Other Hunters Here

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