Varminting with the Mini
Got the Mini out a few times last week to get a few early season prairie dogs. This dog town covers a good square mile. There are several hundred dog mounds in all directions. The prairie dogs out now are from last year and are good size adults and have been shot at before. I'm usually content after I shoot 8 or 10 for the year. The new crop of youngsters will be up soon, but I don't shoot at them, they are not wise to humans and will stay up looking at you. I'm sure others are not so inclined and some will blast at the juveniles all day long. These prairie dogs feel pretty comfortable if you are 300 to 400 yards from them, but if you come upon them closer they go down their hole and stay down. They are 2 or maybe 3 times the size of a squirrel, and half the size of a big eastern woodchuck or a western Marmot or rockchuck. I got 2 with the Mini by getting close to the top of a hill, then crawling to the top. Doing so I can get a 100 or 200 yard shot. I don't have a bipod on the Mini so use the rifle rest and sandbag to get steady on the long shots. The Nikon variable set at 8x helps. It's almost always windy on the plains, and even at 3000 fps. the .223 bullets can get blown off a bit. The Remington R-25 in .243 is much easier to get hits beyond 200 yards. I use an 87 grain Hornady V-MAX in it, it's traveling the same speed as the 55 grain V-MAX's the Mini shoots, but they do much better in the wind. A pic of the 100 yard sight in target with the Mini, and the poor quality cell phone pic is of one shot with my other varmint load, a Sierra Blitzking 55 grain over 26.5 grs. of Varget. A fist size section was just gone out of the middle, with only a bit of chest fur connecting the head and lower half.