Laying Waste to Groundhogs that Lay Waste to Gardens

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

24 comments… add one
  • SD September 2, 2010, 7:17 am

    i had 3 groundhogs this year,that attempted to eat my garden but the 20 ga came through. i killed em all haha sorry but i felt good…now i have over 40 jars of pickles,dilly beans and tons of tomatoes…

  • Bitmap September 2, 2010, 8:03 am

    It’s the rabbits that destroy gardens around here. Bobcats have been the biggest problem for my chickens.

    Don’t feel bad about killing critters that eat your garden, fowl, or livestock.

  • sput September 2, 2010, 8:32 am

    Groundhog pups are big enough to eat by late July, and are delicious. The Adults are gamier, but edible in a pinch. They can climb trees and fences.
    Anything that eats your food is a threat to your survival. Just about anything is edible if you are starving, including foxes, hawks, coons, etc.

  • JeSter September 2, 2010, 9:47 am

    I think Creekmore sent the ground hog!

  • Cacatua September 2, 2010, 9:53 am

    We had a whole family of woodchucks one year, under a shed. I have wild lettuce around here, and had noticed the stalks were snipped off about a foot above the ground, and finally spotted the woodchuck family, which gave me an explanation. Then mama woodchuck made a hole under the fence and ate off the lettuce in the garden. In this case they liked lettuce, so I baited the live trap with a fragrant chunk off a head of lettuce, which proved to be very effective. Caught the whole family and relocated them, one by one, as well as one who was trying to move in under the house.

  • Survivalchick September 2, 2010, 10:32 am

    You let a *rainbow* Groundhog out smart you? So because of this you *unicorn* kill it?!

    There are a MILLION *rainbow* ways to protect your garden without being a *unicorn* dumbass by killing everything that gets in your way.

    Let education be your guide, fight those manly urges and learn to outsmart something other than with *rainbow* force.

    *changed certain profanity words to “rainbow” and “unicorn” so my comment would not be deleted! ;)

  • Hokie Magnum September 2, 2010, 11:29 am

    Survivalchick *glitter* nailed it.

  • Molon Labe September 2, 2010, 12:17 pm

    Survival Chick, are you kidding me? This guy feels bad about killing a large rodent thats eating his food and you come down on him for it? I’m not sure where you are but in my neck of the woods we kill these things for fun. In fact, we even use absurdly large calibers just to watch them blow up. If your not capable of killing to live and or protect your resources, you might wanna consider changing your name to “not gonna make it chick” or something along those lines.

  • c57asey September 2, 2010, 12:32 pm

    Had one chuck turn up his nose at my baits untill I just put a few little braches of white pine [new shoot tender green needled] in the “hav a heart’ as the bait. Next A.M. he was there.

  • Survivalchick September 2, 2010, 12:40 pm

    I’m Rangerman’s biggest fan. Because of this I know how intelligent he really is, just surprised he chose this path. I see him mapping out elaborate dimensional scales of how to solve the problem. (Because he really works for the Pentagon you know.)

    But come on Molon it’s just a comment!

    Take whatever is stuck up your ass out, and relax. If everyone went around agreeing with everyone else, you’d all bore me to death.

    And that would be more tragic than your use of the english language.

  • Molon Labe September 2, 2010, 1:57 pm

    Wow survivalchick, it seems as though you were far more riled up about my comment than I was about yours. It almost seems hypocritical for you to blast me for not agreeing with your assessment while at the same time asking me to remove things from my ass. Come on survival chick, it’s just a comment! And as for my inability to present a coherent thought through the use of the English language, I must blame that on my heritage and upbringing. You see it is a well known fact that all of us “gun nuts” and hunters, farmers, etc… that are willing to kill for sport and survival are for the most part retarded. You see, we are intellectually inferior in every way and it’s simply amazing that we even manage to survive, let alone continue having children and passing down our redneck traditions to our offspring. I’m sorry that I presented an opinion that differed from your own and even more sorry that I wasted your time with my inability to utilize the English language in a thirty second blog post. Now if you will excuse me, I’m off to the proctologist.

  • Ranger Man September 2, 2010, 3:35 pm

    It’s getting hot in here. I think my biggest fan is actually MD Creekmore.

    Regardless, I know exactly what I have to do. I need to lay a 2nd layer of fencing along the bottom, something with smaller holes that also moves out about 3-4′ from the bottom of the fence to prevent burrowing. That’s all more time and money, though. The fencing I put up cost enough as it was. I didn’t like slaying the groundhogs, but I don’t regret it either.

    • JeSter September 2, 2010, 6:09 pm

      Nope. I told you the Groundhog was sent by Creekmore!

    • Adele January 26, 2011, 3:56 pm

      I was told by old timers in the area we are moving to to actually bury about 1-2 foot of 1/2″ square fencing and come up the side of what I would normally use to fence in the garden. That was for the ground hogs and chipmunks and skunks, they said to do the same with the chicken yard also. As for deer, use 2 fences about 3-4′ apart so that they have no running to leap space. I also was thinking of having hoop houses since we have a short season where We are moving to. This would help with the deer and if I used raised beds with the bottoms covered with the rat fence then that should work for the underground critters too. And ground hog I have been told tastes a lot like chicken :)

  • Hokie Magnum September 2, 2010, 4:18 pm

    What are the effects of electric fences around gardens? Not a big charge….don’t have to go Bill Murray on the lil furry bastard….but just enough to snap it’s brain into conformity.

    Eh…I still vote for a silenced 22.

    • Ranger Man September 2, 2010, 4:27 pm

      They work, and they can run off a marine battery that you just recharge once in a while. I might go that route as well … next year, but if I’m not going to take out groundhogs whenever I see one (regardless of fence improvements), there’s absolutely no sense spending time and money on a vegetable garden.

      If this was a post-Doomsday situation, I’d skin them all and wear their pelts over my shoulder, like Boba Fett and wookie scalps. The level of one’s manliness is determined by how many pelts you wear.

    • MdKnighthawk September 2, 2010, 4:28 pm

      Had a problem with them, found that Epsom Salt sprinkled on the beans discouraged them, also ammonia (pis) around the perimeter.
      Got the 10/22 by the door, haven’t seen one seance.

  • Mel September 2, 2010, 4:42 pm

    Dunno about woodchucks, but we kept the cute n fuzzy bunnies from eating our baby watermelons and pumpkins by slipping a knee high pantyhose thingy over each one. Seems they don’t like to chew through the fabric. I didn’t think it would work at all but we tried it and they left the stuff alone.

  • Survivalchick September 2, 2010, 4:43 pm

    Molon, I often ask people to remove things from their ass. You should come to my blog, God knows it could use the comments.

    I do accept your apology, thank you. And I wish you and your blood related mate a life time of happiness… full of NASCAR and budweiser!

  • nate November 7, 2010, 9:11 am

    I grew up on a horse and cattle farm in the south. wood chucks were a very very bad thing for us as their dens could get an animal’s leg stuck in them and break. Then you have to put down your own animal.

    One of my chores on the farm was to take care of the pest species like wood chucks and pigeons. We never ate any of these, but left them in a certain valley on the farm for the foxes and wild cats to eat and they were always gone by the next day.

    The way I would hunt chucks was with my .22 lr from the early 1900s. Though to get them out of their burrows I’d have to walk around the fields looking for holes and then using a small shovel plug up as many holes as I could. Once that was done I’d take a smoke bomb (military grade) and lob the bastard down there. Go about 50 yards away from the last hole and as they stuck their little heads out *pop*

    We had to control our pests to keep animals and gardens safe. Also the pigeons would destroy barns and hay lofts with relative ease.

    Other animals that were hunted were consumed.

    • Grey July 18, 2011, 12:51 am

      Just FYI, pigeons are actually quite tasty if you like game birds at all.

  • gat31 February 25, 2011, 2:58 am

    You can also go to your local barber shop, sweep hair to a bag, then spread it around the garden. They smell it and stay away. If they still come watered down hot sauce on the plants deter them as well. :)

  • sunflower March 6, 2011, 12:36 am

    .223 – Poof

  • Tim "Commo" McAwsome March 21, 2011, 6:50 pm

    Let me say this much. I have read alot of the blogs on this site the last 6 months I have been in Afghan. Thank god there is a place to go that has interesting, and dare I say manly, things to read about that does not revolve 100 percent around “SHTF is here.. everyone grab the guns, put on the shoulder pads and roam the lands hoping something awsome happens.” I dont know if this is considered profainity but you sir, are Tits. Big ones. I just seen a “red kneck” use better grammar and spelling then me, a girl tell his to remove things from his butt and something about sleeping with this sister… and for the life of me I really want to eat rodents now. Awsome.
    As far as the actual topic at hand, my wifes all about animal rights and loving the worldy critters and i grew up shoot quirl in the back yard and hanging tails up to dry on the back porch… yes i at the squirls. So basically she wont let me kill anything and man let me tell you im starting to inch for some kinda hunting experiance. Personally… if it comes down to the end of the world… Im doing a few extra sit ups and seeing if survivor girls available. Nothing sexier then survival…
    Since the cherry is now popped, I will be posting something on ever subject I read.


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