Not as many sage rats this year?

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Otter, Apr 25, 2019.

Tags:
  1. Otter

    Otter
    Oregon
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    540
    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.
     
    WAYNO likes this.
  2. Kruel J

    Kruel J
    Orygun
    Moderator of the Coriolis effect Staff Member Lifetime Supporter Gold Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    12,654
    Likes Received:
    44,022
    Well that stinks. :(
     
  3. SparksFly

    SparksFly
    Portland
    Well-Known Member 2017 Volunteer 2018 Volunteer

    Messages:
    533
    Likes Received:
    1,152
    It sucks for the hunters but is good news for the farmers but I have noticed that there are fewer than usual when driving in the Maupin area. I usually hunt greydiggers in the Gorge near White Salmon though, lots of them around in that neck of the woods.
     
  4. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo
    Milwaukie
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    898
    How were the bunnies??

    Headed that way next week for the yearly misadventure.
     
    Flymph likes this.
  5. Otter

    Otter
    Oregon
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    540
    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.
     
  6. Unka-Boo

    Unka-Boo
    Milwaukie
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,291
    Likes Received:
    898
    Yup....Ive had didnt bring enough ammo years followed by didnt shoot a round years. Always a crap shoot.
    Thanks!
     
    WAYNO likes this.
  7. WAYNO

    WAYNO
    Oregon City
    Gold Supporter Gold Supporter Silver Supporter

    Messages:
    2,001
    Likes Received:
    5,780
    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.
     
    Tarawa86, SparksFly and Otter like this.
  8. Otter

    Otter
    Oregon
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    675
    Likes Received:
    540
    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.
     
    WAYNO likes this.
  9. 284guy

    284guy
    Albany
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    992
    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.
     
  10. 141

    141
    Estacada
    New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    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?
     
  11. Deavis

    Deavis
    Mid Willamette Valley
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    987
    Likes Received:
    441
    Tumalo area same thing.
     
  12. 284guy

    284guy
    Albany
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    1,045
    Likes Received:
    992
    Out in Crane, my son and I each shot 500+ rounds in bolt guns by lunch. 22 mag for me, and 22lr for him.
     
    2ndtimer and beavernation like this.
  13. beavernation

    beavernation
    Baker City
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    356
    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: Apr 28, 2019
    Pete F, SparksFly, 308 and 2 others like this.
  14. RHarrel

    RHarrel
    Rainier
    New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    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: Apr 27, 2019
  15. 141

    141
    Estacada
    New Member

    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    7

    What table is that? Is it steady enough for shooting larger calibers?
     
  16. Retread Ted

    Retread Ted
    Coos Bay
    New Member

    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    8
    Same story for Christmas Valley. Week before last we saw 40, shot 40. Looks like the farmers should improve their breeding program.
     
    SageRatSafaris likes this.
  17. RHarrel

    RHarrel
    Rainier
    New Member

    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    I’m curious to see how well the unity sage rat shoot went this weekend, anyone hear anything?
     
  18. beavernation

    beavernation
    Baker City
    Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

    Messages:
    282
    Likes Received:
    356
    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
     
    141, SparksFly and 308 like this.
  19. 308

    308
    In the Free State
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    7,088
    Likes Received:
    21,030
    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.
     
  20. coop44

    coop44
    Tacoma ,WA
    Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    3,064
    Likes Received:
    1,724
    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: Apr 29, 2019

Share This Page