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I just returned from an annual trip to Eastern Oregon to shoot "Sage Rats" by the grundle.  Sage rats, for the non-locals, are the Richardson Ground Squirrels, "Picket Pins", Gophers, etc, depending upon location.

My 17 year old son and my brother shoot for 2 1/2 days, about 6 hours per day.  (Sunburned&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->  We fired over 4,500 rounds total and killed between 1,200 to 1,500 squirrels (although I tend toward the lower number, as I had to remind my son that "volume shooting" refers to the number of rats killed, not the number of rounds expended in that effort.  He does like to shoot&#33<!--emo&;)--><img src="http://beartoothbullets.com/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/wink.gif" border="0" valign="absmiddle" alt=';)'><!--endemo-->  Most of this was offhand shooting, which provides the most challenge and the lowest average.  Good time, and stayed with my in-laws, so they got to see the kid a lot.  Good hunt!

dclark
 

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I was raised in the Klamath Falls area of Southern Oregon, and we too shot the fire out of "sage rats" every spring, especially when the young squirrels came out of the dens.  The squirrels we killed there were Belding's Ground Squirrels, but went by many of the same local names mentioned in the previous post.  

I've sat along or under an irrigation wheel line, in order not to be shooting towards irrigation pipes, and expended a full carton of 22's on nothing but squirrels while sitting in a single location!  I miss that springtime fun!

The Idaho Panhandle really lacks small game hunting and varmint shooting in general.  We just don't have the shooting opportunities here as is found even in central and southern Idaho.

Thanks for bringing back good memories from days gone by!

God Bless,

Marshall
 

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My father is to blame for the demise of so many sage rats that they can not be counted!  He got me started, and I am simply passing it to my sons.  Hopefully, we will go to Eastern Oregon for the other annual ritual of shooting rockchucks.  My older son is finished with college and coming home.  Before he starts summer work, I hope we can go shoot 'chucks.  Younger son may, or may not go, but brother will meet us there near Jordan Valley.  Last year we shot about 300 rounds at the critters, but the weather was cool, so not many out at a time.  Looking for warmer weather this year and going later by a couple of weeks.  If I remember, there were a few 'chucks in the K Falls area.

dclark
 

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In May I was lucky to receive an invite to shoot rats in the Fort Rock area. Well we all showed up, some brought RV's. I just took my pickup with shooting bench in the back and my new .223 Ruger VT77, and 200 rounds of Nosler BT's. I was pumped up for this because the only rat shootin' I'd done before was on local ranches with my single shot .22 thirty years ago.

Wouldn't ya know it, it turned cold that day and the clouds blocked the sun, so I never fired a shot. Bummer. Maybe next year. :(
 

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Another area you might want to try is between Post and Paulina. The ranchers up there have always allowed shooting, but I am speaking of nearly 20 years ago. The rats were in GREAT numbers in May and June and the growth was low enough to shoot lots.
 

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Don't even think of the area around Post or Paulina, that area has been over run with tree hugging ranchers that love the ground digging critters. The last time I was out there and asked the land owners if I could hunt their property you would have thought I was asking them to drink poison. Look farther east out towards Indian Prairre. there is alot of open land with sage rat hunting opportunities.
 

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Wow, I live in the northeast and actually had to look up what a Richardson Ground Squirrel was. They must reproduce like **** if you guys are getting that many. May have to take a visit to Oregon.
 

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Pivoting shooting rest

You guys that shoot sage rats should look at the 360 degree pivoting seat/rifle rest that I build. It's only $65 and will way up your kill ratio. Go to (advertising deleted, site admin MikeG)<UNAPPROVED admin site MikeG, - deleted advertising> sage rat.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Note that commercial advertising is prohibited on the forum, unless you have permission from the owner. Please see the rules in the Trading Post forum for listing personal items for sale.
 

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Over here in this part of Idaho I spent a bunch of years shooting ground squirrels. We also have a few rock chucks around, but they are harder to find. Even our ground squirrel population has fallen in the last few years. There was a time that you could shoot from dawn to dusk and shooting several hundred a day was not a problem. Now more folks have discovered what fun that is and populations have gone down.

Used to be the folks that ran cattle really liked us cleaning out the ground squirrels. A dozen ground squirrels can eat as much grass a day as a cow. I still get out every spring before the grass gets to high and hunt a few pockets I won't tell other folks about, but nothing like back in the early 60's.

We have one protected species of ground squirrels here in Idaho and the first year Fish and Game did that they didn't identify where these were located. I stopped at the Regional office at Lewiston and inquired where the protected species was as I didn't want to violate the law by shooting the wrong squirrels. There was a young lady at the reception desk and when I posed that question to her she ask me why I would want to shoot those cute little squirrels?

I know I shouldn't have, but the first thing that came out of my lips was something about how warm and fuzzy it felt when I blew them up with my varmint rifle. The next thing I ask was how any non hunter could stand working in a hunting oriented place like a fish and game office. I don't think I left her with a very good impression.
 

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LOLOL Bob.....

Was she a blonde ? forgive me all you blonde's out there, I just couldn't resist.....

I also have shot the squeaks...Son and I went over to around Fort Rock a few years back....took the Travel Trailer...spent Saturday night came home Sunday...we actually only shot about 8 hours....went thru over 1400 rounds...mostly .22 long rifle, couple hunnert .22 Hornet, couple hunnert more .223 .... we had 3 Bald Eagles and a HUGE Golden Eagle following us, cleaning up the carnage...we're both fair shots and have good equipment, and we purty well cleaned up that end of the pivot..( pivot is a circular pivot-in-the-center irrigation riggin' for the alfalfa) great fun...and the old farmer came out after the first couple hours and exclaimed, "you guys are serious, aren't ya"..... :)
 

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Sage Rats

In May I was lucky to receive an invite to shoot rats in the Fort Rock area. Well we all showed up, some brought RV's. I just took my pickup with shooting bench in the back and my new .223 Ruger VT77, and 200 rounds of Nosler BT's. I was pumped up for this because the only rat shootin' I'd done before was on local ranches with my single shot .22 thirty years ago.

Wouldn't ya know it, it turned cold that day and the clouds blocked the sun, so I never fired a shot. Bummer. Maybe next year. :(
Search Sage Rat Central for info on rat shooting
 

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Looking to head out for some sage rat shooting this weekend. Is it too early? Anyone seen if they're up yet? I'm curious about central as well as southern Oregon.
 

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Sage rat hunting location needed

Mr. Clark
The place we had set up for months has just called and cancelled. would you e-mail us some informaiton for a location for my son husband, and best friend to go. FYI we are not interested in paying 200 per day to go either.

AW
 
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