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4031 Views 3 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  applesmasher
I was talking to a student researcher recently on the topic of nutria. I farm across what is more or less the northern extent of their range, although people are whispering that they are pushing further north.

They're roughly cat sized critters, and I was wondering how tough they are, and what the appropriate ammunition choice for them would be. Anyone have any experience?

I'm guessing .22lr would be adequate with decent shot placement, but does anyone have experience with those .17 miracle rounds on them?
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Nutria are funny little beasties. Tough. But I honestly don't know what ammo would be good or bad - never shot one or known anybody that has. Plenty of my friends down Texas way use .17 HMR on groundhogs to great effect. Typically a nutria is gonna be about twice the size of a groundhog, but if natural predators are scarce groundhogs can reach their size or even slightly larger (up to 30 pounds. Yeah, I know, that's a hell of a groundhog).

I'm guessing a good varmint load in .17 would work acceptably well, but that is pure gut feeling. Got nothing to really back that up. If I was going after them the first thing I would reach for would probably be my 24" heavy-barreled AR15. But that would make quite a mess.


Apparently the cops down in N'awlins hunt them with .22 LR, and have good success: ... _17th.html

Sounds like sheer numbers are on the side of the nutria, for now.
The same student was looking up data for feral hogs, and telling me how none of the listed papers do anything more than grudgingly allow that hunters might pick off one or two once in a while.

I asked what the big plan is, if hunters aren't an answer?

Apparently they're all waiting for Miracle Chemical X which will wipe out piggies!

My opinion is that some Pb wrapped in Cu sounds about right. Certainly there's a large community of active and keen hog hunters out there, hunting them with everything from rifles to dogs and knives.
The nutria story has legs, it seems. ... 36261.html

The funny thing to me is that the state went crying to the feds for people to do the shooting. I think I understand what their thinking was:

  • Can't pay state employees enough to do this.
  • Don't want people walking around with firearms unless they have Magic Government Pixie-Dust which makes them magically better shots and more trustworthy
  • Let's throw money at the feds instead of paying some local hunters with appropriate equipment to do it!

I absolutely guarantee that they could have come up with half a dozen guys who already have night hunting gear, and suppressed .22lr varmint rifles, who could qualify at both marksmanship and a good background check, to get it done. And these guys would do it for free, or even pay a nominal fee for a ticket. Keep the money in the state, keep the activities local ... but no. Not enough Magic Government Pixie-Dust on their shoulders.

I am just thrilled that the elected representatives of WA are finding more ways to send money to DC.
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