Sage Rat Hunting – Fun Times in the Field

Heather Shooting From the Stand

After a wild night at the local Rocky Mountain Foundation dinner, my husband and I ended up with a sage rat hunt.  I just couldn’t be outbid, but I had no idea what I was really bidding on.  Since I was up against all the men, I just decided to put up a fight.  So, we get home and kind of laugh because I didn’t know where this hunt was located and with whom, or even when for that matter.  It all turned out ok though, actually it was more than ok, and it was such a blast.

We found out the hunt was with Predator Paradise in Crane, Oregon.  The host’s were Nikki and Justin Aamodt, and they were wonderful. We drove out to Crane on a Friday night and we had no idea what to expect.  I had never been to Crane, but heard the hot springs were amazing and when we pulled in we were pleasantly surprised.

We met some of the other hunters and had some good laughs.  They fed us a great dinner. I am sure I gained 5 lbs from it because Nikki sure can cook.  We soaked that night in the natural hot springs private room and we were really relaxed.  We ended the night by watching hunting videos and went to bed with dreams of a bountiful kill the next day.

Our Sage Rat Hunt Stand

After a hearty breakfast Justin took us out to our hunting grounds for the day.  He parked the old handy Ford with the tower mounted on it, and the fun was ready to begin.  As the sun began to shine over the fields, the sage rats came out in mass amounts.  They were running all over the place, I couldn’t believe all of them.  My husband and I both had our .17mm guns and we blazed away.  What a crazy thing to be taking them out one by one.

I didn’t realize the damage those little critters do, so I didn’t feel bad when I found out that 200 sage rats can eat the same amount as a 1000 lb steer.  That is simply mind boggling.  Three hours into the morning hunt, I was beginning to wonder if we had brought enough ammo to last the whole day.  With 1400 rounds of 17 shells and a few hundred 204 shells on hand, it seemed we would blow threw those pretty quick.

A lone pheasant running across our hunting area

We took a break for lunch and hoped the rain would hold off for the rest of the day so we could get a few more hours of sage rat hunting in.  So, after our bellies were full we headed back out to the stand, but we moved it into a field that had not been hunted in many years.  We hit pay dirt out there, as there were really fat sage rats running a muck all over the field.  One by one we touch our guns off and down they fell.  We even managed to get a few healthy sized jack rabbits down.  I had never had so much fun and I have to say we are going to have to stock pile a ton more bullets for next year.  We ended the day with another excellent meal prepared by Nikki, and then went for another soak in the hot springs.

One of many trophies for the day

The accommodations and the company was truly top notch and we plan to make another trip there next year.  If you ever want to experience some beautiful scenery, while thoroughly having fun, look up Predator Paradise.

About the Author

Heather Moore

Heather Moore

Heather Moore is a field staff shooter for The Bow Rack in Springfield, Oregon, a field staff member for PursueTheOutdoors.com, a member of the local archery club, Oregon Hunters Association, Women in the Outdoors, Mule Deer Foundation, Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, and Farmers and Hunters Feeding The Hungry.