Shooting a prairie dog with a Savage rifle equipped with a Nightforce NXS 5.5-22×50 scope firing Hornady 338 Lapua 250 gr BTHP cartridge is the dictionary definition of overkill—even at 789 yards. That is a seriously large bullet. So why, you ask, is that dog intact? Hornady’s Facebook page: “The bullet clipped the top of the prairie dogs neck. We rolled him over for the photo.”

13 Responses to Gun Tweet of the Day: “Outdoor writer and TV personality J. Guthrie with a Wyoming prairie dog taken at 789 yds with Hornady 338 Lapua…”

    • Touche! Chase raises a good point. Many of us (including myself) took offense to watching that golf-cart riding wanna-be cowboy “cap” a snake with his .45 acp, and yet for some reason most of us view Prairie Dogs as nothing more than a cheap (free?!) embodiment of moving reactive targets. Is there some hypocrisy there? Perhaps. I guess if Coachwhip snakes were overpopulating and becoming a nuisance in the same way that Belding Ground Squirrels, Woodchucks, Marmots, and Prairie Dogs have become, then I would be more sympathetic to their population control. Out here in Oregon, the Belding Ground Squirrels (or “Squeakies” as we call them) have become a total nuisance and their populations cannot be kept in check due to restrictions on the use of poisons. So shooting them has become a sort of public service for the farmers. For some reason I see that as being different than simply shooting every random snake that I see. In the unlikely event that squeakie / prairie dog populations started to decline in a manner that healthy populations were not sustainable, then I would find it appropriate to limit their killing as well. Incidentally, on a related note, I believe it is ethical to remove non-native nuisance species from the environment in situations where they are causing an ecological imbalance in biodiversity. For example, Florida has in recent years become infested with Burmese pythons and non-native lizards – an occurrence that is having grave consequences for native species. I see no issues with sportsman eradicating these non-native snakes and lizards.

      • Shooting a snake which will probably reduce populations of pests is not right. Killing one which could be a threat to you is not. We used to kill copperheads all of the time at the lake where I live because they were all over the place and breeding like rabbits. However, we would always let the water snakes and racers go, because they are almost always helpful.

        I’m an East Coaster, and have never dealt with prairie dogs, but even I can understand why they could be a very harmful and costly pest to a rancher. I’m planning on a squirrel hunting trip with a friend this weekend because they are becoming a nuisance at his home. Apparently one of the little guys tried to kill him last week by gnawing through a propane hose on his grill. He almost lit up a cigarette before he noticed the odor. They have also apparently tried lines and wires on his cars and are not scared of humans anymore. They need to go.

        In short, killing a pest or animal that could pose physical or monetary danger is fine. Killing with no purpose is not acceptable.

    • Prairie dogs carry bubonic plague, you know the Black Death. There are cases in the Southwest every year. As prairie dogs expand their range so does plague. So go ahead and blaze away.

    • I coulda plinked that with my Springfield XDm 3.8 compact with new hair curler attachment and rabbit ears sight. Easy! I greased the barrel with honey so as to attract vermin if I miss.

    • If a .45 can knock a man clean off his feet at 400 yds I think it would make that prairie dog disappear in a red mist at 800, so then you wouldn’t have any proof that you made the shot.

  1. I knew the. 338 Lapua was powerful, but I can’t believe the size of that crater it left behind the dead prairie dog! Wow…

  2. He shot a prairie dog with his Lapua magnum? What would move a rational human being to do that? Oh, I know. He left his Barrett .50 back at the motel.

    • I occasionally shoot rock-chucks and squeakies with my Blaser LRS2 (.308 Win). Overkill? yeah, but making a 300 yard shot on a squeak is pretty kool. In other words, the answer to the “why do it?” question is “because I can.” Admittedly, it gets a bit expensive, now that factory match ammo is up at the $25-35 per box range.

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