Gun Deals
Buster Beaver Cerakote
Low Price Guns
Simply Triggers
Advertise on Northwest Firearms
Defensive Arts
J&B Firearm Sales
HighLine Firearms
Oregon Rifleworks
Sporting Systems
Oregon Arms & Ammunition

Not as many sage rats this year?

Messages
700
Reactions
598
Just got back from our yearly sage rat hunt in the Lakeview area and there were far fewer rats this year. In two days I shot less than 150 rounds, it was that sparse. I take 1,000 rounds because in the past I have shot that much.

Anyone else experiencing less rats than normal?

Some details. LOTS of water. All the reservoirs are totally full and the streams in the area are flowing with lots of water. Our trip was beautiful weather, with day time temps in the 70s and very little wind. Ideal conditions for the rats to be out. Great beer drinking weather in camp at least.

It wasn't just the field I hunt either. We drove around trying to find some other fields and saw very few rats. I talked to one guy and he said the numbers were down last year and more so this year on his property. He blamed the water, but I'm not so sure.
 
OP
O
Messages
700
Reactions
598
Two of the guys drove up to Hart Mtn to the hot springs. Said they saw one rabbit, and they got out walked the sage brush for a while looking for them.

They were looking for antelope too on the refuge and didn't see any. Ironically, there were 15 of them bedded in our sage rat field.

With hunting anything you never know how it will go down. I was fine with how it turned out...any time away from work and going camping with the guys is a great time.
 

WAYNO

Messages
2,318
Reactions
6,915
I drove to Pendleton yesterday. The Columbia River was chocolate brown. The Deschutes and John Day were chocolate brown. Central Oregon must've got a whole bunch of rain. In past years, when the fields are completely saturated, the rat numbers are low, but when they dry out, the rats reappear.
 
OP
O
Messages
700
Reactions
598
I drove to Pendleton yesterday. The Columbia River was chocolate brown. The Deschutes and John Day were chocolate brown. Central Oregon must've got a whole bunch of rain. In past years, when the fields are completely saturated, the rat numbers are low, but when they dry out, the rats reappear.
The property owner did indeed tell us that exact thing. The field was so wet we couldn't drive on it. I do hope you are right. NOAA report for Saturday, the day before I left, the area got 1/2 inch of rain on top of everything else they got.
 

284guy

Messages
1,220
Reactions
1,415
It’s mostly snow melt. Lots of water drowns rats. Many ranchers are poisoning them because shooters can’t kill enough. It was good shooting where we go.
 
Messages
7
Reactions
7
I was in the Crane area and we experienced the same thing. I imagine the ones hibernating in the tunnels of the fields that got flooded probably drowned? We did notice that some of the fields only had the little guys, someone most likely shot the big ones. I don’t think Hawk predation could take that many?
 
Messages
296
Reactions
409
Just a bit up North of town ive been hammering them once a week. Got permission on a huge ranch with tons of irrigated alfalfa, higher ground so no flooding. Im trying to burn out a 17 HMR barrel as Im running the same Marlin 917VS that I bought in 2013. You wouldnt believe me if I told ya how many sage rats Ive killed in 6 seasons.......... 2019-04-18 09.02.17.jpg
 
Last edited:
Messages
2
Reactions
0
Hunted Tumalo and the outskirts of prineville yesterday, not nearly as many as years past. Farmer told me that at this time last year he had killed over 300 just going down and getting the mail and back each day, this year he’s killed 5....
 
Last edited:
Messages
7
Reactions
7
Just a bit up North of town ive been hammering them once a week. Got permission on a huge ranch with tons of irrigated alfalfa, higher ground so no flooding. Im trying to burn out a 17 HMR barrel as Im running the same Marlin 917VS that I bought in 2013. You wouldnt believe me if I told ya how many sage rats Ive killed in 6 seasons.......... View attachment 573692

What table is that? Is it steady enough for shooting larger calibers?
 
Messages
296
Reactions
409
Thats an MTM High/Low shooting table. It would be plenty sturdy for anything ya wanna shoot. It's got stout legs, but it can be carried by an included sling with the top still attached. You can use it either sitting or standing. I am getting better at balancing a tactical rifle bag, bucket and the table over my shoulder. It makes a huge difference in my kill percentage. It's a good peice of kit IMHO...... 2019-04-18 10.18.45.jpg
 
Messages
8,338
Reactions
25,338
  • Woke Up Like This
Plenty of ground squirrels and whistlepigs over here. I don’t think I would be exaggerating saying there are hundreds of thousands out where we go.
 
Messages
3,636
Reactions
2,741
  • Woke Up Like This
  • Howdy Y'all
They are evolving (mutating), getting smarter, faster, stronger. I blame Hanford radiation, and climate change. Next year I expect them to be armed, wearing little ghillie suits, beware!!

armed prarie dogs - Bing images

what if prairie dogs became super intelligent but only the French knew??
 
Last edited:

UPCOMING EVENTS

Oakanogan Gun Show
Oakanogan County Fairgrounds
175 Rodeo Trail, Okanogan, WA 98840, USA
Cerberus Training Group - Run the Gun Pistol
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA
Cerberus Training Group - Run the Gun Rifle
Cerberus Training Group
47 Cattle Dr, Goldendale, WA 98620, USA

LATEST RESOURCE REVIEWS

  • Adaptive Firing Solutions
    5.00 star(s)
    Steve is awesome. He's helped me with two Form 4 transfers so far. I live 45 minutes away and happily make the drive to support such a great vendor!
  • TJ Gun Sales
    2.00 star(s)
    My form 4 cleared on 04/10/2020 I had to fight tooth and nail for TJ's to find my tax stamp. There was never any urgency or concern in their...
  • Lucky Sporting Goods
    5.00 star(s)
    Excellent service
  • 36 Pit
    3.00 star(s)
    I'm probably just reiterating what others have said, but I like hearing (seeing) myself speak. This gets 3 stars because when the place isn't...
  • Cascade Loan & Sporting Goods
    3.00 star(s)
    I am giving this review because at one time I was a really big customer there. Back in the day, I bought at least a dozen used guns from Cascade...
Top Bottom