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Sage Rats!!!!

Discussion in 'Northwest Hunting' started by Angler, Feb 22, 2010.

  1. Angler

    Angler North Bend, OR Active Member

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    A rancher near Klamath Falls called me on Wednesday February 17 to come over and shoot sage rats in his fields. I asked him how many were out, his answer was “thousands”. Well the weather forecast was for clouds and rain so it was difficult finding anyone to go on such short notice. I did recruit my friend Pat and we left on Thursday morning. We arrived on the ranch at 10:30AM under clouds and fog. The rancher pointed out a field and said “please start there” We started shooting but found very few squirrels. Then the sun came out and the field came alive with sage rats. The shooting was so good we ran out of 17HMR on Sat and the rancher gave us 5 boxes and we purchased another 10 boxes at Bi-mart. We ran out again at noon on Sunday and so headed home. In 33 hours of shooting we shot 2650 rounds of17HMR, 450 rounds of 22LR and 20 rounds of 410.

    We had 30 to 40 bald eagles following along behind cleaning up. It was the best shooting I have ever seen. Everyone has seen blown apart squirrels so I will include only a couple.

    ruger.jpg
    charliezulu.jpg
    eagles.jpg
    ammoboxes.jpg
     
  2. the4thshake

    the4thshake Portland Active Member

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    They are out early this year. It looks like you guys had some serious fun. Thanks for sharing a bit of the action with us here.
     
  3. FlyGuy

    FlyGuy Portland, OR Member

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    That does look like fun! Pesky lil varmints... :gun20:
     
  4. ZX10Aviator

    ZX10Aviator N. Bham Member

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    whistle pigs, shot a ton of them last year in idaho, hope to go back! Wish I knew of a closer place!
     
  5. Dyjital

    Dyjital Albany, Ore Flavorite Member Bronze Supporter

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    Wow, I need to find one of those locations.
     
  6. Mutoman

    Mutoman North Bend Active Member

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    I'm jealous!
     
  7. Stomper

    Stomper Oceania Rising White Is The New Brown Silver Supporter

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    Pest control AND feeding our National symbol.... COOL! :thumbup:
     
  8. Yankeefan

    Yankeefan Southern Oregon Member

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    Sounds like fun!!

    I am headed over east in a few weeks for a bunny trip but am hoping to pop a few sage rats too!!

    I gotta get me a 17hmr one of these days...I hear great things about them.
     
  9. wolfwistle

    wolfwistle lebanon Member

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    so cool ..I want to go..Thank you for sharing.
     
  10. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    Thanks for sharing.
    Do you shoot from a stand, your truck, prone, chair?

    I have an opportunity to tag along this season somewhere near North Powder I think, and didn't know what to prepare for.

    What do you do about brass? Just throw down a tarp or blanket?
     
  11. PeakResources

    PeakResources Portland (past) Colorado (now) Member

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    Wow. I had planned a trip in a couple months. I might want to pull that trip in... Thanks for sharing! I would also be happy to hear other range reports as people head out in coming weeks / months.

    Orbrit, I put down a tarp and pick up where possible. Sometimes (like, if I'm just walking a fenceline), I just let the 17hmr brass fall. For shooting my centerfire, I salvage all my brass for reloading.
     
  12. elsie

    elsie Way over there on the left Well-Known Member

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    Arg. I want to get out there so bad... And I would have been available...

    elsie
     
  13. Angler

    Angler North Bend, OR Active Member

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    We shoot from the truck. I told the rancher if he wants a bunch of dead squirrels we have to drive the fields. He is believer now. Most of the brass ended up in the truck.

    YankeeFan: Buy the best you can, Pat had trouble with his Savage, I had no trouble with my CZ and Ruger. In fact Pat is buying a CZ this week.

    Here is Pat drawing a bead on one. I had just helped him on his side with the Ruger.
    pattruck.jpg
     
  14. ZX10Aviator

    ZX10Aviator N. Bham Member

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    533960199_goz77-M.jpg
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    533960651_RrYFh-M.jpg

    Too much fun!
     
  15. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    What problems did the savage have? I have the same but right handed.
     
  16. Angler

    Angler North Bend, OR Active Member

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    It wouldn't feed, the mags were difficult to put in and take out, But most of all it was not very accurate beyond 100 yards. It was shooting 1 inch groups at 100 yards which opened up pretty wide at 200 yards. There were two guys shooting the other side of the road and I went over to see what they were shooting. Both had Rugers and one had tried a Savage but sold it after one season of being outshot by other rifles.
     
  17. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    thanks for the reply.
    Do you remember what ammo you were using? Hornady, Federal or CCI or something else? 17Gr or 20Gr?

    I already know my Savage won't shoot Federal well at all. It seems to do well with Hornady 17 and 20Gr.
     
  18. Angler

    Angler North Bend, OR Active Member

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    You know that is a good point. We had 17gr HP, 20gr HP, 17gr BT and 20gr FMJ by CCI, Hornady and Federal. My two rifles digested it all with only a vertical adjustment but the savage when he changed was all over the place.
     
  19. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    So never having hunted sage rats before, here's another couple questions.

    Does anyone put range markers out in the field you plan to hunt for quick reference?
    How often (if at all) do you clean the rifle or pull through the barrel?
    I imagine 500 rounds of any rimfire will get pretty fouled up. I wonder what effect that has.
     
  20. Angler

    Angler North Bend, OR Active Member

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    every time we moved the truck we would use a laser range finder to find 100 yards. If we saw a squirrel out there a ways we would hit him with the laser first then dial it in on scope. We cleaned barrels every night. But I shot 800 rounds before cleaning and there was no difference.