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Method of Killing Sage Rats

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by gallogiro, May 13, 2009.

  1. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Hello everyone, I'll be heading out east in a couple of weekends to shoot some sage rats. This will be my first time doing so. What is the method you use to shoot the critters?

    Do you walk and shoot? Do you just sit at one spot? I heard some drive a couple hundred feet, jump in the bed of truck and shoot, then repeat. Any tips would help.

    Thanks
     
  2. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Sandy, OR Active Member

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    i prefer the drive, park and shoot for a while then drive a few hundred more yards, and repeat. i wouldn't walk. they aren't smart animals but they do know to hide. just take a chair and a card table set that up in the bed of the truck or on the ground and watch for movement. when they stop moving around, you can either wait a little bit (10 - 15 minutes) or go to another spot.

    I prefer the move to another spot so there are more targets and it keeps the excitement up for me. but waiting works also. there are a lot of rats in every hole.
     
  3. gallogiro

    gallogiro Willamette Valley Active Member

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    Thanks for the tip. I am so pumped for it.
     
  4. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Sandy, OR Active Member

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    Sage rat hunting is by far the most rewarding. all the excitement and none of the hard work of big game hunting. no tracking, no skinning, no gutting, no butchering. just shooting, and usually lots of shooting. I hope i can go again in the next weeks before the grass gets to tall or the temps to high.
     
  5. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    I prefer to just walk slowly. Never a problem seeing lots of them if you're among the mounds. I like to shoot offhand for the practice.
     
  6. JAYROD9528

    JAYROD9528 PASCO WA New Member

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    We shoot off of fence lines. Good rest and nothing to pick up ie. bench and chair.
     
  7. eldbillbo

    eldbillbo clackamas New world samurai and a redneck none the less Bronze Supporter

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    once the gunfire starts does that usually chase them into their holes ?

    is there a peak time of the year to do this ? do they drop off at any point as far as activity
     
  8. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Yes, gunfire sends them into their holes but they are very curious and come back out within about ten minutes at most in my experience. If you're in a really good spot, you can just keep walking slowly and find lots more.

    I can't tell you the best time of year. I got a BUNCH of them last week at a private place in Wallowa County between Wallowa and Enterprise - a ranch.

    I'd still like to see folks try the walking, offhand method at least once because it's so much fun and cheap (with .22 LR) practice at shooting offhand. When you roll 3 or 4 of them from the same mound in rapid fire from about 75 feet, it feels pretty good. :) Auto loader needed for that...

    I LOVE my Remington Nylon 66 and there was a nice one for sale here in the rifle classifieds a day or two ago for $200. Most fair imho. Might still be there. Holds 14 +1. Great ergonomics, nice fine and adjustable sights, nice crisp predictable trigger and dead on accurate. Never a mf for me.

    Good luck. :)
     
  9. Pnutz

    Pnutz BEaverton Member

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    I go the truck route.
    Find a field with Rats setup and park with a good angle so that you won't have any houses or people in the back drop.
    I us my door, mirror, and the roof of my truck as shooting rest.
     
  10. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I've done a lot of sage rat shooting, over a lot of years. Depending on where I'm at, I very well might combine all of the above "methods".

    If I'm at a field that is truly "crawling" with rats, I park my truck, pull out the shooting benches, and get comfortable. In a good field, I may not move my position, all day long. On the other hand, when the shootable rats finally get smart, and stay down, I might grab a rimfire, and walk the fence line, shooting as I go. Eventually, I make my way back to the truck, and if the rats are up, again, I sit down at the bench and resume precision shooting. If the rats do get shot up, where I'm set up, then I'll move my bench one way or the other, where the rats are again, abundant.

    I've also done the tailgate hunt, where we sit on the tailgate, driving the dirt roads. When we see a rat, or a chuck, or even a jackrabbit, we slap the fender, alerting the driver we have bogies. He stops, and we shoot. When the shooting stops, the driver continues his putt down the road. This is heaven, and I'll do this for days at a time.

    Now, when I say shooting bench, that could very well be a portable shooting bench, or even just a card table.

    Good shooting!

    WAYNO.
     
  11. afrank250

    afrank250 between Salem and Albany Member

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    shooting bench is great but if you walk around grab some shooting sticks or mono pod
     
  12. WAYNO

    WAYNO Oregon City Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    And, see?...Everybody has got their own favorite methods. I've never done shooting sticks, for rats, but I do have a surveyors tri-pod that's got a shoulder strap for carrying it. The closest I've come to using shooting sticks, for rats, is a fence post.:)

    I can see how shooting sticks, or a mono-stick could also be very handy.

    WAYNO.
     
  13. ironhead

    ironhead East of the liberal masses in Oregon Member

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    Hey WAYNO, good to see you here. Ironhead aka haywire.
     
  14. MarkAd

    MarkAd Port Orchard Well-Known Member

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    Does this require a permit? any state residence requirement?
    Can someone take me.
    What are sage rats?
     
  15. leftym4

    leftym4 Milwaukie New Member

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    i already have my hunting licence but a buddy of mine wants to know if he needs one its on private land . what time of day do they pop up or do they come out with the sun?
     
  16. Pnutz

    Pnutz BEaverton Member

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    I don't think you Technically need one if you are shooting on private land since they are not a controlled hunt. But I would spend the few $$ as good cheap insurance in case you do. In the 13 years I've been doing it I've never encounted any game wardens or LE or even heard of anyone either.
     
  17. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Good question and I hope someone has a clear answer.

    I've never thought I needed a license except to hunt controlled species. Lordy, how many times have I gone out plinking?

    Even during deer season "I've been told" that I don't need a hunting license to carry my .270. I'd just better not be hunting deer or any other controlled species. I believe I can go out in the woods and target practice...

    ?? Someone know better? Flame away... :)
     
  18. Anoldbaldman

    Anoldbaldman Oregon Member

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    Yes he does. They have a landowner license for the owner and a regular license for everyone else.
     
  19. leftym4

    leftym4 Milwaukie New Member

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    so is early mourning good i'll need to pre zero and wonder if i could do that in the mourning or if i should get it done before going

    from what i have read so far they prefer the heat of the day right?
     
  20. majcl5

    majcl5 Oregon City Member

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    Sit and rotate , blast , and splat
    rathunting5-4001.jpg