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#192747 - 06/02/18 07:28 PM Idaho Adventure: rockchucks
wvhitman
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Registered: 12/04/05
Posts: 772
Loc: WV

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Groundhog hunting, which I'm known fairly well for, is in a sorry state in eastern WV. The problem is that I've taken over 13,200 in the last 40 years, and coyotes have finished off the rest. I dearly love this type of hunting, so I began looking for new adventures.
Western rockchucks seemed to fit the bill. I talked a lot to Dick Thompson(Sixshot) about this. He offered to take me and PaMike to some places. I knew he, like I, guarded these hot spots. I politely refused. I figured I'd find some places.
What a struggle. All the internet sites guarded their spots with zeal. I finally emailed a guy that advertised, but found out he no longer hunted the chucks. But, he sent me names of 3 friends that had a lot of land in southern ID. I lucked out when the first one I called agreed to let 2 unknown guys to come to his property. He also got permission from his neighbor for us to come.
We set the trip up easily, but were a little concerned, not knowing exactly what we were getting in to. My equipment was similar to what I use here in WV: Leica Geovid binos, Bog Pod with PSR, backpack. Guns, though, required some more thought. Based on the brutal wind on my SD prairie dog hunt last year, I eliminated my .223 T/C and .22-250 XP. I went with my 6mm AI Encore and 70 gr. BTs and .250 Sav. AI XP and 85 gr. BTs. Both guns had Burris 3-12 BPlexes. My pristine 50 year old Colt Trooper would go, too.
For you non western chuck hunters, these chucks don't dig holes and live in fields like our groundhogs. Rather, they live in lava rocks left over from million year old volcanos. I had a hard time with this. How could they do that? Well, very efficiently. All these rocks have cracks that extend to the ground. The chucks drop down them and dig their holes there.

Our first farm had received a lot of rain. The fields had 2-3" of water in them. Our high Bog Pods were indispensable here. Luckily, I got on top of a large rock pile and got my first chuck at 35 yards with a 158 gr. Sierra JHC in my Trooper. The rest of the day was spent walking the fields (in water) and shooting a bunch of chucks.

We kept this pace up for several days. Luckily , I had shipped a bunch of ammo to Dick.
I couple cool scenerios. First, I saw a little chuck at 204 yards. Took it easily with the 6mmAI. A few minutes later mamma came out and pushed it all over the place try to get it up on its feet. I couldn't resist. #2. A few minutes later another little came out looking for momma. #3. A few minutes later another little one is out looking for its bro. #4. I gut shot it, and it made it back to the hole. A near family annihilation in less than 10 minutes

Cool #2. This small 8-10 foot wide pile of lava produced close to a dozen chucks in 15 minutes. Most were small, and most fell back down the multiple crevices, but we experienced times like this multiple times on our trip

The scenery was just awesome. Large wide valleys with tall mountains in the background

The final day one farmer directed to a "hot spot". Was it ever! My best groundhog day kill in WV was 36. This day I took 52!, and that was with a 2 hour thunderstorm that we were trapped in.
This was easily the most awesome non big game hunt I've ever been on. I killed more chucks than anyone has a right to.
Exactly where was I? As Col. Potter on MASH says, "It's none of your bees wax". and as Arnie said, "I'll be back".

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#192749 - 06/02/18 07:47 PM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: wvhitman]
jamesfromjersey Moderator
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Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 8466
Loc: New Jersey

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What a good time you had....wish I was there......
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#192750 - 06/02/18 07:48 PM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: wvhitman]
cmnash
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Registered: 07/23/10
Posts: 758
Loc: Clarkesville, GA

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I think an adventure like this is truly epic! Shooting that many chucks in a day or trip would be a dream hunt for me. Thanks for sharing.

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#192752 - 06/02/18 10:28 PM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: cmnash]
KRal
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Registered: 04/06/05
Posts: 6185
Loc: MS

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Awesome hunt, Doc! Thanks for sharing the story.
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#192753 - 06/02/18 11:40 PM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: KRal]
Chance Weldon Administrator
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Registered: 09/20/13
Posts: 4038
Loc: Martin, Tennessee

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Looks like a lot of fun!
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#192760 - 06/03/18 08:18 AM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: Chance Weldon]
45MAN
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Registered: 08/13/17
Posts: 750
Loc: brownsville, texas

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DOC: DON'T FORGET TO KEEP COUNT.
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#192763 - 06/03/18 10:52 AM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: 45MAN]
BRASF0311
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Registered: 12/12/13
Posts: 274
Loc: VIRGINIA

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That looked like an awesome hunt, wish I had "Hot Spots" like that where I live.
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#192764 - 06/03/18 12:29 PM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: BRASF0311]
sixshot
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Registered: 11/20/09
Posts: 551

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Doc & Mike were hard core hunters, staying out all day, dodging the rain that haunted them off & on each day. If they would have had 3-4 good days they would have went over 50+ every day but the weather just didn't cooperate, that's spring time in the Rockies, mother nature calls the "shots".
The last day after loading up the 4 wheeler's I took them on one last trip hoping to get a Badger. That didn't happen but Doc made a run of 12 straight with his 250 Improved in about 45 minutes & it looked like the 4th of July when he lit them up, what a sight to see them launch! The front on hits were just a red mist.
Both of them were fun to be around!

Dick

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#192765 - 06/03/18 12:39 PM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: sixshot]
Badubet
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Registered: 11/22/08
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Loc: Virginia

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Looks like fun
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#192769 - 06/03/18 01:07 PM Re: Idaho Adventure: rockchucks [Re: Badubet]
Gregg Richter Administrator
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Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 4024
Loc: Pine, Colorado

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What a trip! You can't beat a good varmint hunt!
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There's more than one way to skin a coyote.

The only man smarter than a wise old coyote is the one that gets him.





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