Prairie Dog Hunting: 7 Reasons to Hunt Some Vermin this Summer

You may be asking yourself, “why on earth would anyone ever want to hunt a prairie dog?” It seems like there isn’t much of a point, right? Wrong, while they aren’t something you would want to eat, and their pelts aren’t worth anything, there are reasons why this is an excellent summer pastime. There is more than one reason why you might want to hunt these furry little varmints, from stopping them from spreading diseases, to preventing them from destroying farms and ranches. It turns out that hunting prairie dogs in Colorado isn’t as pointless as one might think. Here are the seven best reasons to hunt the little bastards. 

Reason #1: Prairie Dogs are Rodents

Colorado is home to three different spices of prairie dog. There’s the black-tail, the white-tail, and then there’s also Gunnison’s prairie dogs. What this means is that they’re everywhere! These little rodents make their homes in fields all across Colorado. They dig large burrows and live in communities called coteries. Populations of these pesky vermin can grow out of control due to a lack of natural predators, and that’s all the more reason to help keep their numbers in check.

A prairie dog standing outside his hole on the high plains - Colorado Prairie Dog Hunting

Reason #2: They Carry Fleas that Can Transmit Bubonic Plague

One of the worst parts about most rodents, especially prairie dogs is that they can be can harbor fleas and ticks that carry nasty diseases. Bubonic plague is one such ailment that most people associate with the middle ages, but this disease is far from eradicated in the modern world. It is very deadly to humans, and we can catch it through the air by simply being exposed to a rodent carrying infected fleas. Like we mentioned, the prairie dog is no exception to this unfortunate reality, and the fact that they live in crowded burrows only exacerbates spread of the disease even more as the infected fleas are able to easily jump from pdog to pdog. Hunting these potential vectors for transmission helps to keep the population low and prevents the spread of the disease amongst prairie dogs and humans alike.

Reason #3: They Destroy Farm Crops & Compete with Livestock for Forage

These little devils are all over Colorado and can wreck crops quickly. Understandably, most farms don’t want to deal with them destroying their yields. So, making an effort to curb their populations from growing out of control is actually an agriculturally friendly practice. Farmers aren’t the only ones to have to deal with the setbacks of playing host to these little rodents, as ranchers have their own share of problems when it comes to prairie dogs. When livestock and cattle have to share their pastures with these pests they end up having to compete with them for forage. As you can see, a large enough coterie can be a real problem for both farmers and ranchers alike.

Reason #4: Their Burrow Holes are Dangerous to Cattle & Horses

The burrows that prairie dogs build are expansive and deep, and unfortunately they can be a real big problem for cattle and horses. The holes tend to be the perfect size for livestock to break a limb. One careless step and you may end up with a horse or cow with a broken leg. This is extremely dangerous for these large animals and can many times result in the animal having to be put down. It is best to make sure that your land is clear of prairie dogs and their homes before allowing your livestock to graze there. One of these best, and most fun ways to do so is by declaring open season on these nuisances.

Reason #5: Due to a Lack of Natural Predators They Breed at an Alarmingly Fast Rate

In Colorado most populations of prairie dogs can get out of control quickly due to a lack of natural predators. That makes hunting prairie dogs in Colorado one of the best ways to deal with overpopulation. Without many other predators it’s left to people to control an over abundance of these pesky rodents in a given area. Prairie dogs have a very high reproduction rate, which makes population control that much more important.

Prairie dog peaking his head out of the hole
A group of guys shooting from the prairie dog trailer at Longmeadow Game Resort, Clays Club, And Event Center

Reason #6: Improve Your Shooting Skills

Hunting prairie dogs is normally done at long range with a high-powered rifle and scope. This prevents the hunters from scaring them back into their burrows. Most of the time you’ll be shooting at anywhere from 200 to 500 yards, making it a great way to practice your aim. If you’re looking to improve your shooting skills this summer then Colorado prairie dog hunting should be at the top of your training regiment.

Reason #7: Prairie Dog Hunting is Fun!

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, the best reason to hunt these varmints is that it’s a downright good time. Trust us when we say that it’s a great way to spend your day with friends or family. Practice your aim, help local farmers and ranchers, and keep the bubonic plague from rearing its ugly head. Overall, hunting prairie dogs in Colorado is good for people, the environment, and bottom line, it really is a ton of fun.

prairie dog mid air after being hit

So, it’s plain to see why hunting prairie dogs is actually beneficial to the environment, landowners, livestock, and really everyone except the rodent unlucky enough to pop his head out of the ground at the wrong moment. The reasons to hunt the vermin are plain and simple, and it’s time to hunt some of your own little devils with us here at Longmeadow this summer. Check out the links below to get an idea of what one of our prairie dog hunts looks like. Thanks for reading and we hope to see you at Longmeadow Game Resort soon!

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