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Road Trip for Prairie Dogs: Out with the Renegade!

Posted by on February 7, 2019

Deep in the throws of winter, and having gone through multiple days of -25 degree weather, I started daydreaming about warm weather hunting and a prairie dog shoot we’re in the process of planning. This will be the third year my friend Brett Waibel over at Bad River Birds and Bucks in South Dakota has hosted this airgun hunting event, and it’s always a blast!

I selected the Daystate Renegade for this outing as I wanted something easy to carry, and a rifle I felt comfortable shooting off sticks at longer ranges. During many hours of plinking with this rifle I knew it was capable if I was up on my game!

Last year in advance of our hunt, I loaded up some gear, and made the five hour drive from Minneapolis, to look over a few of the towns and discuss some details with Brett. Along the way I stopped at the Cabela’s in Mitchel to pick up my small game / varmint license and a few other bits and pieces, before moving on. You can always get the licesnse online, but I use this as an opportunity to stop and stretch my legs, plus a layover at this store is never a bad thing!

I could have purchased my license online, but always like stopping at the Mitchel Cabelas about 3 1/2 hours into my drive…. its a good way to break up the drive. A non resident Varmint/Predator license is only $40.00.

Leaving the paved high way for a small country road, then turning off on a dirt ranch road for my last eight miles, I rolled along. There’s an old abandoned homestead a mile or so before turning off at the Ranch gate, that always signals the drives about over. Arriving at the lodge, I unpacked my compressor and topped off my tanks then headed off for a quick scouting trip.

I wasn’t planning to do much shooting on this trip, and still I packed several rifles……. my name is Jim and I have an airgunning problem…….
I have an Omega Compressor source from Airguns of Arizona that is one of the most useful bits of airgunning gear I’ve ever owned. This freed me up from dependency on dive shops and paintball stores. I coupled it with small carbon fiber buddy bottles this time around.

The rifle I carried on this quick outing was the Daystate Renegade: A high performance, compact bullpup hunting gun, mine is a .22 caliber version that is an absolute tack hammer with the JSB Exacts. It was early in the year, a bit cold with on and off again rain. I hiked a town carrying minimal gear in my day-pack; range finder. binos, shooting sticks and pellets.

Planning on a short scouting trip, I went light on the gear carrying only binos, range finder, pellets shooting sticks and a bottle of water.

I saw a few mature dogs up out of their burrows for a quick look-see, but nt anything like the number that would be out as soon as it warmed up a bit. Shooting off sticks from a sitting position, I was offered a couple long shots between 75 – 150 yards, and managed four hits with two clean misses. My longest successful shot of the day was a good sized PD at about 125 yards, that rolled over on a head shot.

I like the Renegade a lot: very accurate, powerful, a great trigger, ergonomic design, fast cycling side-lever action with a very reliable magazine that smoothly auto-indexes, high shot capacity. It has a lot going for it. My only hangups I have are; the side lever is situated further rearwards than I prefer, and the gun has some heft. However, the cocking action is so smooth, I can’t really complain about how quickly I could get off subsequent shots. And the weight is not oppressive, plus the bullpup design pulls that weight into the shooters center of gravity making it very stable to shoot offhand.

I only saw a handful of dogs where normally (and in fact a month later) I’d see hundreds. But I did get a few long shots in, and thankfully the conditions were calm with virtually no wind.
The Renegade with one of my prairie rats, this gun is a great choice for this type of hunting!

I scouted out a couple towns with low hunter impact, and when the 2nd annual event kicked off, I guided one of the visiting hunters for a day of great shooting. I’ll post more on this years shoot over on my YouTube Channel, stop by for a look if you’re interested in joining us this year!

Tomorrow morning I’m off to Texas for a few days of hunting, going to do rabbits, predators, and hogs. I’ve got another Brocock Sniper being shipped out, and want to use it for both jackrabbits and a fox or bobcat…. we’ll see how that goes. Besides the regular hunting videos, my plan is to do a kill it and grill it segment ….. wait and see what culinary masterpiece I come up with….. I can guarantee it will be simple, we’ll see if it is palatable, I’m not a very good cook.

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