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Bull Barrel

Dalhart Report

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Hi all
My nephew and I went up to Dalhart Sunday the 21st and we were very disappointed! Save your money / time go somewhere else. It appears that the drought has all but decimated the prairie dogs. We stayed five days. We were going to stay six but had enough and came home early. We were on our own the first two days as I knew of two towns. Then with a self-guided outfit that give a map of towns and a cabin. The towns I knew of had 500 to 600 each last time I was there. This time maybe 50 and they were really, really gun shy. We had nothing to shoot at under 300 yards, after 8 to 10 shots at the long distance ones they would all disappear and stay gone. I like to shoot long distance but the wind was also blown at 10 to 30 mph made it a real challenge. The map we received had ten towns nearby, that we visited and of the 10 three were completely dead the other seven were the same as the first two not much fun there. If you go up you may want to stay in Dalhart hotels were cheaper and clean. The cabin on the outfitter ranch was very run down and dirty, really it was filth!

 

Sorry I wish I had better news!

 

 

Good Hunting

Joe

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Dalhart has had poor shooting for a while . They plaqued out in that area some years ago and are making a come back , but it is slow !!

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Dang, I'm headed up there later this month

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Some pups are starting to come up , so maybe you can find some fresh ones when you go up !!

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Bull Barrel,

You may have been a little too early to get in on good shooting. We usually see the pups come out sometime late in the first week of May to the end of the second week. The older dogs that you saw have been worked over for a year and are naturally going to be gun shy.

In addition while most people consider March to be windy, April is usually our windiest month.

On the low numbers, drought may be a factor, as could disease, increased pressure as more towns die out and more shooters hit the ones you were in is a possibility (several towns north of Sunray died out last year and the last of ours died a year earlier), and the fact that Pds don't like bad weather could be a factor. They tend to stay inside on cold, wet, windy, or hot days.

 

HP :lol:

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So far we're having good luck here in Dalhart. Went out Friday evening and quite a few pups out. Tuff shooting with a cross wind but we wanted to keep the sun at our back. Having fun so far.

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Glad your having a good shoot , swing over and give Fred a hug while your up that way . Pups do make for some great shooting , other than your trying to hit a mouse size target , in a high wind it gets challenging !

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I had a great time on my trip to shoot P-dogs up in Dalhart Texas. Here's what went down for the most part.

 

I arrived Friday about 5pm. Mark from Scattered Shot Outfitters, contacted me about the same time and offered to take us out for a little shooting. The p-dog field we went to was 20 plus miles North West of Dalhart. off of 54. We shot from 7-8:45pm. We shot in a cross wind to keep the sun at our backs. I shot 92 rounds out of a pair of Savage .223 rifles. I probably only hit 10-12 dogs in the 20pmh wind. Range was between 200-500 yards as measure by my range finder.

 

Saturday was broken up into a morning and afternoon shoot. The morning started off great on the same town. We hit the town about 9:30 pm as we had a sit down breakfast. The winds were light around 5-10mph. Shot 8 dogs out of the first 10 rounds in the 200-300 yard range. Then the wind picked up to 20 plus mph and gusty. Tuff typical conditions for sure. Ended up shoot a total somewhere around 30-35 dogs using 120 rounds. The dogs seem to have decided to stay down about noon. So we headed in for lunch. We went I'd guess another 20 miles north on 385 this time plus a number of miles down dirt rods and thru fields. Same story with the winds. Shot a couple towns from about 4:00-8:45pm. I fired 218 rounds, I'd guessed shot about 40 plus dogs.

 

Sunday we went out earlier but only shot from 8-9:30. We had worked it out with Mark, the outfitter so he could take his daughter to a church softball game. This time there were lots of pups on the same town we had shot the night before. I shot 95 rounds and lost count of the dogs I shot. It was hot for a bit. I'm guessing bit I'd say I shot 30-40 dogs/pups. We went back out Sunday afternoon at 3pm and shot till 8:45 again. A different town(s) this time. Again, it was windy as usual. Seen a giant dust devil too!. Hit by a strong front that browned us out from all the sand. Even got rained on briefly. I wasn't able to cover one of my rifles up in time. It was done, covered in sand! dang!!! Ended up sitting in the truck for 30-45 minutes to wait it out. Still before the front came over us we had more dogs out than before. We also moved several times father along the town to as we ran out of dogs. Ended up shooting 250 rounds on Sunday afternoon. We had out best shooting about 8pm as we moved onto the very last part of this dogtown. Pups were everywhere, if it wasn't for the 20-25mph gusty winds this would have been a really great trip. Still overall I had a good time and have no complaints. I ended up shooting a total of 775 rounds out of pair of Savage .223 bolt action rifles at ranges mostly from 250-400 yards. Some were closer some were were as farther.

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We also seen some mulies and lots of Antelope.

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Sounds like the conditions we had on our shoot . Glad you got into some dogs . I have never figured out why shooters want to go before the pups come out , if you do your only shooting up your future targets , shoot one female carrying pups and you shot her and five or six more targets . Of course the Ranchers want them shot and you can't blame them , they are trying to make a living off the grass the pasture maggots eats .

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I like them pups! They just stay right there while you shoot at them. Of coarse, it's none to easy to shoot one of them maggots at 400 plus yards. Mom or pop is a different story. only get a couple shots at them. Of coarse they're a lot easy to shoot too! lol

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Great report, jhop, and it sounds like it was a good, West Texas kinda hunt! Lots of wind, lots of creatures; a good time was had by all (except, maybe, the p'dogs!).

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