Petzal: How I Spent My Summer Vacation

The photo you see here was taken in the deep and rolling hills of old Virginia, by Mr. Jerry Cox … Continued

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The photo you see here was taken in the deep and rolling hills of old Virginia, by Mr. Jerry Cox of Tazewell, VA, to whom I am indebted. The people standing behind me are also Virginians, except for the fellow on the left, whose name I did not get, but whom I know to be a pensioner from Tennessee. The rifle in the rest in front of me belongs to him. He insisted I use it, because my gun “…would be embarrassing to take to a dump and shoot rats.”

It’s a shining example of how the groundhog, of all species, seems to have the absolute in high-tech hardware brought to bear on it. The rifle, whose name is Old Blood and Guts, is a .22/250, built on a Stolle left-hand action, a Canjar trigger (which you can’t get no more), 26-inch Jarrett barrel, and a McMillan stock. It weighs 15 pounds, which means it recoils so little you can see the fur part. The scope is a massive Nightforce variable.

Old B&G is actually a prairie dog rifle, and when I asked its owner how well it shot, he answered:

“The trick is to fire four very fast 5-shot groups [five shots per minute or so] and check the final point of impact. If it heats up and scatters shots it gets an F. But if it shoots into a half-inch and in the same place you can take it to the prairie-dog patch.”

It works pretty good on groundhogs, too, as the three in the foreground of the photo would tell you. If they could speak.