First it was Satan’s Seed and then came the damn woodchuck! Have I ever told you how much I HATE woodchucks? Yes, I did. Well another one came this year, laying waste to all of my hard work. Look at this ….
D-E-V-O-U-R-E-D – overnight. If it was a TEOTWAWKI situation and I’d planted survival seeds, the little bastard would have been the death of me! Cabbage – gone! Broccoli – gone! Beans – gone! Peas – gone! Spinach, lettuce and radishes – all gone! This really drained the life out of my gardening spirit. All that work, time and money – digested in the belly of the beast.
I don’t have any pictures of the groundhog, because by the time I finally saw the thing I had already determined it was game on. I wasn’t interested in shooting it with a camera. No, think compound bow.
Killing it wasn’t something I really wanted to do, but I tried the Havahart trap once to no avail. So after a few attempts, from a 2nd story window at a distant shot, the groundhog went down.
I’m okay with hunting and killing a deer or other animal that I’m going to eat; in fact, I think it’s far more respectable than just going to the grocery store for pre-packaged, growth hormone and carbon monoxide injected beef. At least with hunting you’re closer physically and mentally to your food source, but killing a critter that I’m not going to eat is harder to …. “digest.” I had to justify the entire process as defending food rather than getting food. I know, I could have eaten the groundhog and made soap from its fat, but ….. maybe next time.
Of course, the thing about a groundhog is that there is no such thing as “A” groundhog. So it wasn’t a big surprise when another one showed up. I really didn’t want to go through the slaying process again (I truly felt bad), so I tried the trap ….. again ….. only this time a SHTF homie told me to skip the vegetables and throw potato chips in the trap. He said it worked for him. So that’s what I did …..
As I was setting the trap I sent telepathic communication singles to the ground hog, saying “Here you go, buddy. This is your chance. Walk in, dine on tasty chips and wait for me to transport you to a magical land where you can live the rest of your days in peace and freedom …… or die.”
The trap sat there – empty – for days. Eventually I set the bow aside and opted for the very quiet, .22 single-shot rifle with sub-sonic rounds. I know, I could have also eaten this groundhog and made soap from its fat, but ….. maybe next time.
Nothing zaps your gardening energy like seeing your crops get devoured and having to kill to defend it. It sucks.
Tomorrow – the damn deer!
– Ranger Man