The targets now available worldwide run the gamut from prairie dogs and groundhogs in North America to rabbits and small feral animals in New Zealand to jackals in South Africa. Unquestionably, going on a varmint shoot is the best possible practice for shooting at big game animals, as it presents the same problems one encounters when shooting big game - shooting at angles of elevation and depression, wind drift, heat mirage, range estimation and bullet drop. Anyone who can consistently hit prairie dogs at 250 yards can easily hit a mule deer or antelope at 300 yards or an elk at 350 yards. With all that in mind, here's a glance at a high-quality varmint shoot being offered in Canada.
In Canada varmint shoot outfitters can take advantage of this country's abundant population of gophers. These animals are much smaller and more challenging than prairie dogs, and therefore the stricter disciplinarian in the demanding school of rifle marksmanship. The top gopher specialist in Canada is Cam Jensen of International Flyway in southern Alberta. Jensen has access to enormous tracts of private land, where he sets up special rifle rests. Shooters usually fire 500 to 1,000 rounds per person per day, and a party of four generally kills 500 to 2,000 gophers per day. The season runs from mid-April through mid-June, when the grass gets so high it is no longer possible to see the critters. Clients stay in a very comfortable log lodge built to house Jensen's waterfowlers, and his food is famous. He charges $250 (US) per day, which does not include ammunition, but does include lodging, meals and pickup from the municipal airport in Lethbridge, which is reached via Calgary.
Further information on varminting is available........(continued)