Gone Prairie Doggin’

A wet spring and early summer on the prairie has been good for prairie dogs. Ranchers welcomed our guns, though, as the rodents are expanding their populations and territories. Outdoor Life Online Editor

Choices, choices… Prairie dog shooters look over the arsenal of guns, mainly ARs from Colt, Smith & Wesson along with a couple of bolt rifles. All are topped with Trijicon optics. The Michigan-based company makes a wide range of illuminated optics, including the classic AccuPoint scope for big-game hunting, the combat-ready ACOG and the newer Reflex and TriPower optics for military, law-enforcement and sporting applications. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Strong medicine for prairie dogs. We shot 40-grain Fiocchi rounds in .223 but also loaded 160-grain pills in .308 for long shots in a strafing prairie wind. With sustained 30 mph winds, the light bullets drifted as much as 30 inches at 250 yards. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Trijicon's John Houghton draws down on a long distance dog. His shirt references the company's deep commitment to providing U.S. troops with top-quality illuminated optics. Trijicon's ACOG is standard issue for Special Ops forces. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Look close and you'll see an illuminated chevron on this prairie dog target. That's Trijicon's signature ranging reticle standard on the ACOG (Advanced Combat Optical Gunsight) scope that's the official rifle combat optic for the U.S. Marine Corps. The chevron is calibrated to specific calibers and bullet weights and subtends human-sized targets at known ranges. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Trijicon is best known for riflescopes featuring reticles illuminated by fiber optics and the element tritium, but the company also makes a compact and lightweight RedDot sight with adjustable LED illumination for handguns and shotguns. Outdoor Life Online Editor
The cast-iron prairie dog silhouette target weathers a near miss. In the lashing winds of South Dakota, flesh-and-blood rodents were relatively safe, but the silhouette took some pounding. Outdoor Life Online Editor
A miss! These prairie dogs are just a mil-dot away from oblivion. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Amy Brown of Bear EMG takes a turn with the .308 topped with Trijicon's 2.5-10x56mm AccuPoint scope. Behind her is a .223 topped with the same scope featuring an illuminated aiming post instead of a crosshair reticle. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Last supper. Moments after this photo was taken the prairie dog abandoned its lunch and started dodging 40-grain missiles from the muzzles of our crew's guns. Outdoor Life Online Editor
Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. This two-track road across the grasslands of western South Dakota led us to the most populous prairie dog towns. Outdoor Life Online Editor

What are prairie dogs good for (other than shooting)? Click here to see an awesome day of hunting prairie dogs.