Sen. John Thune Says We Need AR-15s For Hunting Prairie Dogs.

Of course on the face of it, that’s absurd. There are plenty of hunting guns in America’s civilian arsenal that will effectively kill prairie dogs. But yes, Senator John Thune (R- SDak) touted AR-15s as a weapon of choice for prairie dogs.

“They are a sporting rifle. And it’s something that a lot of people for purposes of going out target shooting — in my state they use them to shoot prairie dogs and, you know, other types of varmints,” Thune told CNN this week. And so I think there are legitimate reasons why people would want to have them.”

Now when you stop laughing, there’s a reason he’s taken this position, and it probably isn’t the efficacy of the AR-15. It’s the fact that ranchers and hunting guides in the central and upper great plains have carved out a bit of a tourist industry for prairie dog hunting.

If you Google prairie dog hunting, you’ll find dozens of different firms that offer the experience. A number of them do in fact include AR-15s as a weapon of choice. But most of them seem to be more subtle and recommend weapons that are .223 caliber, which just happens to include the AR-15. But given the propensity of an AR-15 to destroy flesh, if you shoot one of those 2 pound critters with an AR-15, I can’t imagine there’s too much good eatin’ left.

Actually, most of the photos show long rifles with elaborate scopes…looking more like a sniper rifle than an automatic/semi-automatic weapon. Which makes far more sense given the ranges mentioned in the ads run from 100 to 1000 yards from hunter to target. But they often mention that you may need 200 to 300 rounds a day. So either they are wiping out the prairie dog pretty effectively or they encounter a lot of really really poor shooters. This all despite the fact that prairie dogs are apparently really good for the maintenance of the prairie and are started to be protected.

But shoot on…explode those little suckers with your manly guns. And Sen. Thune, just be honest and say you are protecting local tourism instead of sounding like you are fighting the deadly threat of prairie dog infestation.


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1 thought on “Sen. John Thune Says We Need AR-15s For Hunting Prairie Dogs.

  1. The popular internet meme reply to Thune’s statement was of Indigenous Native Americans recalling their ancestors hunting buffalo with bow and arrow.

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