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Thread: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

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    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    I will give this rundown in journal type form, with 's (My host and spotter) thoughts included in quotation marks.

    I haven't been Rockchuck hunting for around 20 years.
    I made up for it on Thursday afternoon, killing 23 rock chucks in 4 hours.
    Started off with a bang with seven chucks in seven shots.
    Three of those were standing using bog-gear, and the other ones were from a double kneeling type position with semi-steady rest.
    The two longest first shot connections were at 501 yards and 530 yards. All killing on Thursday was done with the my HSP 6XC.


    Friday afternoon around 1:30:
    Wind has been blowing around 15 miles an hour today, so we took our time before we went out hoping it would lay down, but it's not going to...
    Killed my first chuck today with a little Remington factory 223 Remington XP-100 ('s XP) at 154 yards.
    First time of ever pulled the trigger on it, using 40 grain V-MAX's.
    The second chuck I killed today was it at 362 yards with the 7mm Dakota.
    A 180 grain hybrid right at 2900 hundred feet per second, translates into that chuck had a violent death.
    Since he was in front of a rock face, not only did the bullet kill him, but hundreds of shards probably destroyed him as well...as my spotter noted.
    I only shot at two different chucks today, they both died, and we didn't see hardly anything, so we're going in for lunch and then going to go back to where we were yesterday.
    These guys don't like the wind.

    After our Friday late afternoon hunt:
    As I posted in the early afternoon yesterday we had a pretty slow morning.
    Even after we ate late lunch we weren't seeing that much, but it begin to get a little bit better as we moved to a different location.
    I'm guessing we got started around 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I killed around five or six more chucks at this different location, but the wind was still blowing and they were not wanting to come out much.
    In this location I finished up the rounds I had left for the 7 Dakota.
    It made some extreme kills again.
    /six-shot (username) was keeping track of the amount of kills and most of the distances as well. After spending about an hour and a half in that location we moved to a similar place where we were the evening before.
    On a side note, I can't tell you how much I enjoyed being with . He is a great person, and he is also very good at describing where the chucks are and is a good spotter as well. When you are shooting with and spotting with an experienced shooter, it just makes everything easier and more enjoyable.
    So we got moved to the different location at around 4:30 in the afternoon and still there are not many chucks moving.
    At this point, even if I did not kill anymore, it had been a wonderful time.
    The winds finally started going down below 10 mph and when they got to around 8 miles an hour they begin to show up, slowly at first.
    As the time progressed, the winds got lower, and more and more chucks begin to come out.
    Game on!
    Up until this time I had been shooting from odd shooting positions that were harder to shoot from, and not completely stable.
    In this last set-up I shot from a rest like does when he goes chuck hunting. Basically, a portable solid bench rest.
    Before it was all said and done our total for the two days was 50 rock chucks.
    Several times I went on fairly long strings without a miss.
    My longest string was 10 rock chucks in 10 shots with distances ranging from about 150 yards to 380 yards.
    I reserve the right to be wrong on some of the details as is a great at statistics.
    I was in shoot mode.
    The 6XC did all of the late afternoon killing at the last shooting position.
    will probably be able to tell you how many chucks I killed in about an hour and a half but it was a lot.

    Other thoughts:
    I really didn't know much about rock chuck shooting until these past two days.
    I will definitely wear darker colors next time.
    I used bungee cords to hold down the counter-top on my four wheeler and it was nice and solid as well.
    It didn't take me long to realize that they don't like wind, and they don't like movement, and they have really good eyesight.
    I think my spec-rest would also work really good from the sitting (on the ground) position with that kind of shooting we were doing.
    Shooting from 's portable BR table made things very easy on the knees, neck, legs and arms.
    Shooting from the double knee position for long periods of time or kneeling position or a standing up but squatted down/crouched position tends to make you tired after a while.
    At the same time, it's kind of fun to shoot from odd positions or less than perfect positions, and try to find a way to make it stable enough to make a precision shot (on critters it seem to constantly move) that's the fun part!
    If we do this again I want to get and I together so that we can shoot at the same animal or you could call it synchronized shooting or shoot at different rock chucks at the same time. To do this consistently and successfully we will both need to be using specialty pistols that are set up so we can spot our own shots.
    is a good shooter and I know he's up to the task. He picked up my 6XC and immediately killed a rock-chuck on the first shot with it even though he had never even dry fired it before.

    's thoughts:

    A post from /Six-Shot:
    "The rest Ernie is talking about is a formica counter top cut out from a kitchen sink. This is laid across the back of the 4 wheeler & then sandbags can be used or the short Harris bi-pod.
    This makes for a very solid shooting platform & I've used it for years.
    We just sit on a folding stool or chair & settle in behind the 4 wheeler & start shooting.
    It almost takes a Humvee to hide Ernie, he takes up a little room!
    Also his WY-SHOT shirt was a very light color & each time he moved those sharp eyed Chucks would be gone, their eye sight is amazing, switching to a neutral color is much better.
    Ernie started off hot right from the jump & ran 7 straight, all from different distances & angles, much different than shooting Prairie Dogs.
    Many times you are shooting at part of a Chuck or he's at an odd angle, no problem for Ernie, he was on his "A" game.
    Early on I learned not to take my muffs off to talk, the first time I started to say something after a shot he shot again before I could even speak..... LOUD!
    I didn't think he could shoot that fast.
    He kept passing on the easier, 300 yard shots & taking the longer 400-550 yard shots, sending out lead poisoning at 2750 fps.
    I'll cut this short & let him pick up from here when he gets home.
    We had a great time & the second day he really put the pressure on them.
    There will be Rock Chuck Funerals all day today."



    ERNIE:
    Salt of the earth folks.

    We didn't take hardly any pics on Thursday afternoon, as we were to busy shooting. Here are some pics from Friday.
    Also we didn't even try to recover all of the rock chucks....Time that we had we spent shooting for the most part.






    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  2. #2
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    More of 's thoughts (I could only have so many words in one post):
    "It didn't take long for me & Ernie to hit it off, I guess when you've both done a lot of shooting you sort of speak the same language when it comes to locating targets in fields, rocks, brush, etc. We got along great & getting on target was easy. In two days of shooting in some tricky conditions the wind only got him twice, actually only once. The wind was hard to the left at 500+ yds & Ernie slipped the shot just off the left side & before I could even speak he sent another 107 grs. of lead poison down range & it landed on the right side.....the wind had stopped just for a brief second, just enough for the impact to swap sides.
    All the rest of the time his windage was spot on, every time, fast & methodical & from some rather tough positions. I think he was getting a kick out of making it tough.
    Several times he would pass on a 350 yd. shot in order to take a 500+ yd. shot. On the second day I finally talked him into using the folding chair & the flat table top on the 4 wheeler & he immediately ran off 10 straight.
    In less than an hour & 30 minutes he shot 19 Chucks out to 380 yds for a second day total for 27 & a grand total of 50 with his very last load."
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  3. #3
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    His name is D-i-c-k.
    The filter here kept removing his name.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Other than their preferred habitat, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of difference in appearance in rockchucks and Tennessee woodchucks (groundhogs). I've managed to take quite a few of them at 300+ yards, but the terrain around home doesn't allow for many shots into the next zip code. I've got a couple of .22-250's and a 6.5-06 that work pretty well at those ranges.
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    Just an old fart making the PC Patrol earn their pay!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    Other than their preferred habitat, there doesn't seem to be a great deal of difference in appearance in rockchucks and Tennessee woodchucks (groundhogs). I've managed to take quite a few of them at 300+ yards, but the terrain around home doesn't allow for many shots into the next zip code. I've got a couple of .22-250's and a 6.5-06 that work pretty well at those ranges.
    Jerry
    They are of the same family. Yellow bellied marmots
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  6. #6
    Senior Member early's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Dad used to go after em' long range with a rifle.
    Ive only shot two. One with a 686 S&W and one with a mini 14. Believe it or not.

    Hit one accidentally once with a minivan. I tried to miss the first one and got the next one during the swerv. X wife laughed herself horse.

    You guys are highly skilled.
    My thoughts are generally clear. My typing, not so much.

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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Bishop View Post
    They are of the same family. Yellow bellied marmots
    Didnt we used to call them " whistle pigs"
    THE DEFINITION OF GUN CONTROL IS HITTING THE TARGET WITH YOUR FIRST SHOT

  8. #8
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by jaywapti View Post
    Didn't we used to call them " whistle pigs"
    Yes!
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member Jeff in TX's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    I always love going back east and hunting whistle pigs with my buddy! It's just too much fun, especially when you have a place you can shoot for as far as the eye can see. We lobbed 175 gr mortar rounds out of my .308 tactical rifle at one at over 1600 yards once. On the 5th shot we walked it in and hit him. I was using mildots as holds over and wind adjustments as I was beyond dialing in with the scope. There was blood and he ran down his hole, but it was a hit. He couldn't tell what the bullets were hitting around him, he'd just turn and look at the dust kick up where the bullet impacted. That's been my longest kill!

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    Senior Member CaliFFL's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Do you keep the carcasses?


    The question isn't who is going to let me; it's who is going to stop me.

    Ayn Rand

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    Senior Member CHIRO1989's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    That last picture is a good one. It is your fault I keep my eyes open for a Savage Striker, nice day hunting and shooting there hey.
    I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn away from their ways and live. Eze 33:11

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    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Part of the credit for the last pic goes to Zee. He did his magic with some color adjustment.
    Okay, I accept responsibility if/WHEN you get a Striker
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member Diver43's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Good times and Great shooting. Thanks for sharing your experience
    Logistics cannot win a war, but its absence or inadequacy can cause defeat. FM100-5

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    I had a neighbor who would eat every one I shot- - - - - -but I never did work up the nerve to share one with him! Around here, they're a one-shot proposition- - - they're -never more than a few feet from their hole, and a miss sends them running for it with the afterburner lit!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    Just an old fart making the PC Patrol earn their pay!

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    Senior Member cpj's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    We don't have many ground hogs here. There's a few that have been relocated from my wildlife control buddy, relocated to his farm. However, they have a permanent stay of execution. His wife likes watching them, and since he has a 350 yard range 5 minutes from my house....I can't shoot them. And they know it. They will slink out into the firing line and just spread out and soak up the sun. Many times I've had the crosshairs on their heads, trying to figure out how to hide the blood stains in the grass.
    Quote Originally Posted by Zee View Post

    I'm here for the guns, hunting, and skirt wearing men.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by CaliFFL View Post
    Do you keep the carcasses?


    I'll pass
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Looks like a great time, Ernie. That's a varmint I've never had the privilege to hunt, but I'd imagine it's a hoot.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by cpj View Post
    We don't have many ground hogs here. There's a few that have been relocated from my wildlife control buddy, relocated to his farm. However, they have a permanent stay of execution. His wife likes watching them, and since he has a 350 yard range 5 minutes from my house....I can't shoot them. And they know it. They will slink out into the firing line and just spread out and soak up the sun. Many times I've had the crosshairs on their heads, trying to figure out how to hide the blood stains in the grass.
    "Slink" is a very good word for how they move around.
    Peroxide or bleach????????
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Six-Gun View Post
    Looks like a great time, Ernie. That's a varmint I've never had the privilege to hunt, but I'd imagine it's a hoot.
    It was a lot of fun.
    But what always makes it good, is the people you are with.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  20. #20
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    The more I use that HSP pistol the more I love it! Everything about the action is everything the XP should've been but never was. Add to that how accurate their barrels are and then just the aesthetics of how it is finished it makes it just outstanding! I don't get excited about things, or say things just to make someone happy. My feelings and assessments come through actual use. These thoughts came to me on Friday morning when I was with D-i-c-k.
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

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    Senior Member Six-Gun's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Bishop View Post
    It was a lot of fun.
    But what always makes it good, is the people you are with.
    Absolutely. Some of my best memories in the field are from the days spent with several members from this board on the open ranchland in eastern Colorado popping prairie dogs.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Zee's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    That sounds like a pretty good time. I've never shot marmots before.
    "To Hell with efficiency, it's performance we want!" - Elmer Keith

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    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Ernie, I'm toying with the idea of making a specialty pistol chambered in .300 WSM, using a shortened 98 Mauser action with a Timney trigger and a braked Shilen barrel about 16" long or so. Any suggestions?
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    Just an old fart making the PC Patrol earn their pay!

  24. #24
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Zee View Post
    That sounds like a pretty good time. I've never shot marmots before.
    Emphasis on "good time!"
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  25. #25
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    Ernie, I'm toying with the idea of making a specialty pistol chambered in .300 WSM, using a shortened 98 Mauser action with a Timney trigger and a braked Shilen barrel about 16" long or so. Any suggestions?
    Jerry
    Non-designated action?
    Rear-grip?
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  26. #26
    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    The pre-1898 receiver I'm considering using is a "non-gun" according to the alphabet soup agencies. ("98" in the OP was a typo- - - -I meant to type "94") Yes, I'll probably make a rear-grip setup and extend the forend out near the muzzle to make a good place for a Harris bipod to attach.
    Jerry
    Last edited by Teach; 05-13-2017 at 04:48 AM.
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    Just an old fart making the PC Patrol earn their pay!

  27. #27
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    It should good if the barrel is good. I would encourage the use of a good brake too.
    Looking forward to seeing the end result, MV, and accuracy.
    Scope-Handgun or Rifle?
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  28. #28
    Senior Member Teach's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie Bishop View Post
    Scope-Handgun or Rifle?
    Probably a "scout" type mounted over the receiver- - - - -getting my eye close enough to the back end of a rifle scope to get a good sight picture on a SP sort of spooks me!
    Jerry
    Hide and wail in terror, Eloi- - - -We Morlocks are on the hunt!
    Just an old fart making the PC Patrol earn their pay!

  29. #29
    Senior Member Ernie Bishop's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    Quote Originally Posted by Teach View Post
    Probably a "scout" type mounted over the receiver- - - - -getting my eye close enough to the back end of a rifle scope to get a good sight picture on a SP sort of spooks me!
    Jerry
    Roger that
    Ernie

    "The Un-Tactical"

  30. #30
    Senior Member bellcat's Avatar
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    Re: Rock Chucks! You shouldn't wait 20 years to go again...

    What fun! Not as much for the woodchuck, but oh well!
    "Kindness is the language the deaf can hear and the blind can see." Mark Twain

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