Varmint Shooting In Montana


Published: June - 2001

Increasing numbers of big game hunters are taking up varmint shooting. And the reason's simple: Varmint shooting offers high-volume, no-limit, no-season shooting that provides the best possible practice in field marksmanship. Not only does it force you to deal with problems of range estimation, heat mirage, crosswinds, and acute angles of elevation and depression, but it provides an opportunity for the ambitious gunner to try all the new precision long-range shooting equipment that has been developed recently - things like laser rangefinders, high-magnification scopes, refined bedding techniques and ultra-accurate barrels and bullets.

The big problem with varmint shooting today is gaining access to places with sufficient populations of animals. You used to be able to find all the shooting you wanted on public land and easily do it on your own. Not so any more. Nowadays, most serious varmint shooters engage the services of outfitters who lease prime tracts of private land, or at least do the hard work of finding willing owners of private land.

In previous issues, I've filed reports on a number of varmint outfitters. This month, I would like to tell you about Wade Keyes, represented by Safari World Adventures. Keyes offers shooting over virgin prairie dog towns in Montana. If you do a lot of this kind of shooting, you know how difficult it is to get any shots at dogs that have been shot over before. You can't get within 300 yards of the town without the dogs popping down their holes and staying down for hours. Keyes is able to consistently provide fresh towns because he has exclusive access to over 150,000 acres of prime dog territory between Billings and Miles City, Montana. The dogs in most of that vast territory have never been shot at. In fact, it is entirely possible to get within 22-caliber shooting range of them in many areas. One can usually expect to fire 200 to 300 rounds of centerfire ammunition a day.

Wade accommodates his dog shooters in a comfortable ranch house, about 30 minutes from most of the........(continued)

 
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