Sage Rat Excursions in Southern Oregon
If you have never hunted Sage Rats you don't know what you're missing!
I'm sure many of you are wondering just what a sage rat is? well it's a small rodent that is basically a Prairie Dog but these are located in Southern Oregon and Northern California and they aren't called Prairie Dogs. Why because if we called them Prairie dogs the ODFW and CDWF would soon declare them an endangered species and you wouldn't be allowed to hunt them. Why would they do that? Because Prairie Dogs are cute and cuddly and everyone likes to see them bouncing around and wrestling and fighting. But to a farmer or cattle rancher they are the scourge of the earth and anyone who knows them and lives around them know them to be a totally different creature. The true name of these rodents is called a Belding's Ground Squirrel. Or as the locals call them "Sage Rats", "Squeakers" and several other names that I won't put in this article but are very colorful!
These are some of the most destructive creatures every devised by nature. To start with that cute little furry critter in the photo is covered with fleas! If it bites you, I am sure you would end up with an infection because those teeth gnaw or chew on everything! Not only plants and food sources but fence posts, tents, car wires and insulation and anything you leave lying around on the ground or parked nearby. The little rascals will crawl up inside your engine compartment and chew up your wiring. You go to start your car and, if you're lucky, it won't start if your unlucky it catches fire. So yes, the locals have all kinds of names for these monsters and have no love for them at all.
I love hunting these critters and go up to Northern California hunting them every year. But with the high cost of ammo, it gets expensive quick. This is primarily due to the "non-lead" requirement in California. A box of .22 Long Rifle ammo that is lead will cost you around $8.00 for a box of 50, but a box of 50 rounds of copper will run you around $13.00 a box! that's a huge difference when you're shooting 500 and 600 rounds a day.
But the good news is that I have found an alternative to buying expensive copper ammo and still having a great Squeaker hunt. It's called "Oregon" there is not a Non-Lead requirement in Oregon for taking rodents. So if you can find public land to hunt Sage Rats then you're all set.
"Sage Rat Excursions"
But there is an even better deal out there for you it's called "Sage Rat Excursions it is located near Bonanza Oregon just north of the California Oregon Border. You can pay a small fee around $100 and you can shoot all day. They even have dry camping for RV Parking and as a bonus you can even shoot Badgers! They do require the smaller varmint rounds, .17 HMR. .22 Long Rifle and .223 or I am sure calibers within those margins. This is a really good deal and money will be well spent. I will be honest with you I have not been able to hunt with this outfit but plan on going up this year and wasting an excessive amount of ammo to rid the world of these Sage Rat monsters. You should do the same, I know the Bonanza area well and there are things to do in the area when you're not shooting including sightseeing and hitting a couple of nearby casinos if that's your thing.
Their contact information is below along with some photos of the hunt areas. Please Contact Anna at Sage Rat Excursions, and please tell her Ken at Norcalhunter.com sent you.
Sage Rat Excursions