For those of us who enjoy shooting sports welcome to the wonderful world of sage rat shooting. Each spring we host a number of families, couples and addicted shooters on our varmint hunts. These squirrels are affectionately known as sage rats, squeaks, varmints and pop-ups. Heck anything with that many nicknames has got to be fun to hunt. So, from March through May we shoot squeaks. We shoot them in the sun. We shoot them in the snow. We shoot them in the rain. We shoot them in the hail. Heck my friend, sage rats, they are everywhere. (Oops, too much Dr. Seuss)
We shoot from stable shooting platforms that we have dubbed VEU which stands for Varmint Extermination Unit. These shooting trailers have one or two levels, shooting benches and stabilizing jacks on all corners. The amenities, along with abundant sage rats equal a mobile outdoor shooting gallery.
It is not unusual for a single “rat hunter” to expend 500 rounds of ammunition in a single day. High season for this sport is definitely spring time, when sage rats are most active.
A 22-caliber rifle with a scope is the weapon of choice of the rat hunter because the ammunition is reasonably priced, although some hunters use the twelve-ounce “pop-ups” to sight in a big game rifle in anticipation of deer or elk season. A 17HMR is also a very popular gun for the sport. it never ceases to surprise me though when a group arrives and they begin to unload their arsenal. Its no surprise for a single shooter to bring 5 or more firearms for the day. We’ve seen some pretty amazing guns on our hunts; some rare, some custom and some fresh out of the box.
Sage Rat Hunt
It is a fact that Belding’s ground squirrels eat alfalfa plants and roots, damage fields, bury plants, and build mounds that damage swathers and other equipment. They also attract badgers, a natural predator that can cause major damage to fields as well. Badgers dig deep and they dig wide. They can cause perilous conditions for horses. That said, shooting these varmints does help curb a population often run rampant. But I have to admit that while it is nice to be doing a “good and helpful deed” for the farmer, varmint hunting is almost all about fun.
Hunts begin early in the morning. Typically you’ll meet your guide at 7AM and we wrap up the day by about 4PM. We recommend packing a lunch and bringing plenty of nonalcoholic beverages. Sunscreen and a hat are advisable and wear layered clothing. Eye and hearing protection are HIGHLY recommended. Hiking boots are suitable.
We hope you’ll join us in the high desert farmlands of the Klamath Basin for a shooting adventure soon.
- 1 or more days
Late March – May
Rates per Guide/Platform:
Double Level Platform:
Up to 4 shooters – $600 per day
Friday-Sunday – must hunt two or more days.
Monday – Wednesday – Hunt two or more days receive $100 per weekday discount
Firearms and ammunition not provided
- 8 with accompanying adult supervising at all times.
- No license required when hunting ONLY SAGE RATS/SQUIRRELS
- Klamath Falls Oregon – ROE office.
- Commercial – Medford Oregon (MFR)
- Private: Klamath Falls Oregon (LMT)
WHAT TO BRING…
A 204 or 223 are the most popular firearm on varmint hunts.
Varmint hunters should bring 500 rounds per day minimum for each person.
- Day Pack
- Bottled Water
- Lunch and Snacks.
- Eye Protection
- Hearing Protection
WHAT TO WEAR:
Dress for the weather. We hunt rain snow or shine so dress appropriately. We recommend waterproof boots, field pants, camo jacket and hat. Layer according to the temperatures.
Hunter Orange is required for hunters under age 18.
WHERE DO WE HUNT?
On varmint hunts we hunt private property throughout the Klamath Basin and Cascades. Most properties are about 20 minutes to an hour from the ROE office.
DO I NEED A HUNTING LICENSE?
If you plan to shoot ONLY varmints/sage rats you do not need a hunting license. If you hope to shoot any other critter that happens by you should purchase an Oregon hunting license.
DO I NEED HUNTER’S SAFETY?
Hunter’s safety is not required in the State of Oregon for those 18 and older and it is not required for shooting sage rats for any age. We do however recommend a hunter’s safety class for anyone handling firearms.
WHERE SHOULD I STAY?
You should stay in Klamath Falls. Most of our guests stay at one of the following hotels.
DO WE NEED A CAR?
Hunting groups will need a car during their trip. Four wheel drive is recommended. You will follow your guide to the hunting location each day.
DO YOU RENT GUNS OR SELL AMMUNITION?
NO, we do not rent firearms or sell ammunition. There are several stores in Klamath Falls that sell a variety of ammo. Like many places, some ammunition can be hard to find. We recommend that you come with some and then shop while you are here. No sales tax in Oregon! Its like an automatic discount!!
DO YOU HUNT IN THE SNOW OR RAIN?
Yes, we hunt in the rain and snow! We do not cancel hunting trips because of rain or snow. Please be prepared to hunt in all types of weather. Spring time is usually pretty weather friendly but it can also be all over the board for temperatures and precipitation.
WHAT IF SHOOT A PIPE OR OTHER FARM EQUIPMENT?
Guests are responsible to pay for any damage caused to a pipe or other farm equipment. Farming equipment can be quite expensive so please be mindful of your shooting directions. You must have a credit card on file in order to take care of any damages caused while hunting. We will bill your card as soon as the repair is made and the final bill amount has been invoiced for the repair.
DO YOU PROVIDE LUNCH?
ROE does not provide lunch on hunts. Please plan to bring a boxed lunch and plenty of nonalcoholic drinks for your trip.
WHAT KIND OF GUN SHOULD I BRING?
A 204 or 223 are the most popular firearm on varmint hunts. 17 HMR is also very popular.
HOW MUCH AMMUNITION SHOULD I BRING?
Varmint hunters should bring 500 rounds per day minimum for each person.
BOOKING & CANCELLATION POLICY
All reservations are charged in full at the time of booking. If you need to cancel or modify your reservation for any reason you are required to notify us 30 days prior to your scheduled tour. If you need to cancel prior to the 30 day notification period a 50% refund will be given. Reservations are considered final 30 days prior to your scheduled tour and are not eligible for any refund OR rescheduling.
We do not sell travel insurance but recommend that you purchase travel insurance for your trip. We recognize that plans can change and emergencies can happen. Our cancellation policy applies regardless of the reason for cancellation. Travel insurance can help if you must change or cancel your plans.
Hunting trips are not without inherent risks. ROE Outfitters LLC cannot assume responsibility for injury to hunting participants or loss of personal property.
All participants are required to sign a participant agreement before the hunt begins.
If under 18: A parent or legal guardian must also sign the participant agreement.
Please note and understand that our staff and management have the right to refuse anyone participation rights if they do not meet the hunting requirements or if it is deemed unsafe for them or anyone else in the group to participate. Hunter safety is the top priority. If any participant demonstrates unsafe behavior, appears intoxicated or under the influence of drugs or medication that may affect their judgment or abilities or for any other reason the staff believes they may present a risk to themselves or others by participating, they will not be allowed to participate in the hunt. Staff has the final say on participation.