Author Topic: woodchuck in the area  (Read 9054 times)

Offline surfivor

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woodchuck in the area
« on: May 07, 2013, 01:15:34 PM »
 
There's a woodchuck in my area, I saw him at a neighbors house just 2 doors down and the houses are close together. I may have to think about dealing with this I'm concerned. It's illegal to relocate wildlife in my area and I could not use a 22, so I may have to use my bow and arrow even though I don't like the idea. I am concerned it is very likely he will start to disturb my garden.

 I just moved into this house and have been trying to grow a bunch of food crops and greens.

 I have a 45 pound recurve bow, what kind of arrow heads would I use ? Broadheads or something else ?  My compound bow is someplace else and I'd have to get that. I think it is 55 pound or so and probably more accurate.

nkawtg

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2013, 04:30:29 PM »

Offline joeinwv

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2013, 07:27:49 PM »
Are you capable of making a humane shot on a woodchuck at reasonable range?

If so, then yes - get a broadhead. For the weight of your bows, probably 75 or 100 grain.

Woodchucks are tough and you will need a solid hit in the vitals to be humane and get a quick kill. Your town may not allow you to shoot this animal with a bow - even if it is a nuisance - check your DNR and city regulations. 

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2013, 12:03:50 AM »
it's kind of a bummer that I saw this animal in the area and I am not sure what to do about it. I have gotten to be a halfway decent shot with a bow, but I am probably not the best. It's sort of a little depressing to think my gardening aspirations could be over just like that and partly due to various laws I guess. In my plant research I did find that Aconite is something you can grow and it is a deadly poison that can be used on arrows. Perhaps that could be a possibility. Maybe you could put some aconite in with some fresh apple slices or other things too ?

I don't like to harm animals or cause them pain, but if I can't grow my own food it's perhaps myself who is slowly being poisoned by the food from the supermarket to some extent. I would never learn enough about gardening to be able to feed myself when I become a senior citizen if woodchucks and the like are going to do that.
It's seems like these animals are pretty well protected. Your need to want to be able to feed yourself by growing food does not seem to be part of what's accepted.


 I'd probably have to build a fence, but that will take time and I am not sure which area to fence in, before I figure out all that it could be too late for this year and some stuff seems to have some promise that is coming up.

I have some pretty strong pepper extract (caspium), but some websites seem to indicate it may not be effective though it is so strong you have to wear rubber gloves in applying it. 



-------------------------------------

There is a website on woodchucks for our state that appears put out by state government:

http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/living/living_with_woodchucks.htm

Shooting: Shooting is quick, simple, and effective in rural areas where firearms discharge is safe and lawful. A .22 caliber centerfire rifle is commonly used for this purpose. At close ranges (<25 yards), a 12-gauge shotgun with #4-6 shot may be effective. This method will be most useful when targeting a few persistent animals. But, again, during population peaks, or when foods are particularly attractive, new woodchucks will quickly move in to replace those that have been removed.

Because they are abundant, Massachusetts has a 50-week hunting season on woodchucks. A hunting license is required. Nevertheless, they are not a particularly desirable game species for most hunters. If you have questions or are experiencing problems with woodchucks, contact your nearest MassWildlife district office. Further information on other wildlife is also available.



-----------------------------
http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/aconite.html

Scientific Name: Aconitum napellus
Common Name:  Aconite
Other Common Names: Aconite, Carmichael's Monkshood, Fischer Monkshood, Monkshood
Plant Type: Perennial
Where To Plant: Full Sun to Partly Shady
Soil Types: Average
Zones (See US Zone map): 4-9
Germination: Medium - Needs to be sown in fall or winter. 
Number of Seeds Per Pack: 25
Uses: Medicinal
Notes: Recognized as a poison since antiquity. Be careful! Contains Aconite, a useful sedative for many conditions.
ACONITUM NEPELLUS (Monkshood) Striking bright blue flower spikes. Recognized as a poison since antiquity, especially to poison arrows. Contains aconitine, a useful sedative for many conditions. Not to be used without medical supervision.

Price: $2.50/pkt 
« Last Edit: May 08, 2013, 12:09:52 AM by surfivor »

nkawtg

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #4 on: May 08, 2013, 12:06:54 AM »
Maybe trap and relocate them...

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #5 on: May 08, 2013, 12:44:55 AM »
Maybe trap and relocate them...

 I'm not sure if you are supposed to do that either, and I am not sure how easy to get them in the trap either. Maybe they could be relocated to another state, but then I have to catch them at the right time when I am planning a trip or keep them caged up for several days. If you kill them, it seems it is supposed to be done humanely, though I am actually not sure if that is possible though I suppose if certain experts where hired it would at least bring in some money for those people.

I wonder if it would be hard to create a powerful red pepper mixture and load it up in one of those super soaker skirt guns ? Is it likely the mixture would clog the gun ?

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2013, 07:09:15 AM »

 Maybe I have a couple things going for me, not sure. My two biggest beds are within 20 feet from the house so maybe he will be hesitant getting that close. The backyard is probably between 1/5 and 1/6 of an acre and is largely fenced in by an 8 foot tall wooden fence. By adding 30 feet of wire fence and fixing some broken sections and other things I can fence it all the way in. A woodchuck could still burrow under it, but then I'd see where he is coming in. Perhaps I could set a trap near that point of entry or put some vegetation heavily drapped in pepper extract in the hole so when he enters the hole he'll have pepper extract all over himself. The side yard is pretty big and goes far away from the house, maybe I could plant more stuff down that way and spray some of it with pepper extract, either to encourage him to stay away from the backyard or think about eating something else because of the pepper extract.

Offline DrJohn

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #7 on: May 08, 2013, 07:48:39 AM »
What about a fence?

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2013, 08:10:05 AM »
What about a fence?

 Yes, a small fence around the smaller beds, when I can get to that ..

Offline fnfalguy

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #9 on: May 08, 2013, 10:50:40 AM »
Only my dos centavos, but I would stay the heck away from the poisoning route for a wide variety of reasons, one of the largest being that unless you happen to hand feed the woodchuck, you cannot guarantee who will be injecting it, be it birds, pets, kids, etc.  There are several types of non-lethal traps that we have had success with wrt them at our place.

it's kind of a bummer that I saw this animal in the area and I am not sure what to do about it. I have gotten to be a halfway decent shot with a bow, but I am probably not the best. It's sort of a little depressing to think my gardening aspirations could be over just like that and partly due to various laws I guess. In my plant research I did find that Aconite is something you can grow and it is a deadly poison that can be used on arrows. Perhaps that could be a possibility. Maybe you could put some aconite in with some fresh apple slices or other things too ?

I don't like to harm animals or cause them pain, but if I can't grow my own food it's perhaps myself who is slowly being poisoned by the food from the supermarket to some extent. I would never learn enough about gardening to be able to feed myself when I become a senior citizen if woodchucks and the like are going to do that.
It's seems like these animals are pretty well protected. Your need to want to be able to feed yourself by growing food does not seem to be part of what's accepted.


 I'd probably have to build a fence, but that will take time and I am not sure which area to fence in, before I figure out all that it could be too late for this year and some stuff seems to have some promise that is coming up.

I have some pretty strong pepper extract (caspium), but some websites seem to indicate it may not be effective though it is so strong you have to wear rubber gloves in applying it. 



-------------------------------------

There is a website on woodchucks for our state that appears put out by state government:

http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/dfw/wildlife/living/living_with_woodchucks.htm

Shooting: Shooting is quick, simple, and effective in rural areas where firearms discharge is safe and lawful. A .22 caliber centerfire rifle is commonly used for this purpose. At close ranges (<25 yards), a 12-gauge shotgun with #4-6 shot may be effective. This method will be most useful when targeting a few persistent animals. But, again, during population peaks, or when foods are particularly attractive, new woodchucks will quickly move in to replace those that have been removed.

Because they are abundant, Massachusetts has a 50-week hunting season on woodchucks. A hunting license is required. Nevertheless, they are not a particularly desirable game species for most hunters. If you have questions or are experiencing problems with woodchucks, contact your nearest MassWildlife district office. Further information on other wildlife is also available.



-----------------------------
http://www.sandmountainherbs.com/aconite.html

Scientific Name: Aconitum napellus
Common Name:  Aconite
Other Common Names: Aconite, Carmichael's Monkshood, Fischer Monkshood, Monkshood
Plant Type: Perennial
Where To Plant: Full Sun to Partly Shady
Soil Types: Average
Zones (See US Zone map): 4-9
Germination: Medium - Needs to be sown in fall or winter. 
Number of Seeds Per Pack: 25
Uses: Medicinal
Notes: Recognized as a poison since antiquity. Be careful! Contains Aconite, a useful sedative for many conditions.
ACONITUM NEPELLUS (Monkshood) Striking bright blue flower spikes. Recognized as a poison since antiquity, especially to poison arrows. Contains aconitine, a useful sedative for many conditions. Not to be used without medical supervision.

Price: $2.50/pkt

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #10 on: May 09, 2013, 09:41:53 PM »
How about predator urine?  You can buy concentrated urine in liquid or granulated form and spread it around your yard.  Used properly, it does a good job of repelling small critters (as long as you match the right predator to the pest - probably fox or bobcat for woodchucks/groundhogs).  Fix your fence, sprinkle the urine repellent around the base of the fence, and you should have a pretty good defensive perimeter without having to resort to poison arrows or napalm...

My advice:  don't panic.  You saw a woodchuck a few days ago a couple houses down, and it sounds like you've already written off the garden completely!  Everybody who has a garden has to deal with squirrels, rats, mice, rabbits, chipmunks, and a hundred species of birds who will all gladly eat everything you plant and more.  You'll figure it out (and the woodchuck might never actually come into your yard anyway), just don't freak out.

Offline Freebirde

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2013, 04:25:46 AM »
The problem with woodchucks/groundhogs and fences is that they are accomplished climbers.

Offline never_retreat

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2013, 09:40:08 PM »
Just get it in a cage trap then kill it.
Be careful they are nasty once they are in the cage. I get them with the trap then shoot them with the 22.
I can legally discharge a gun in my town, but I have many directions I can not shoot in because of houses in the distance.
Now bearing in mind I'm not up on the hunting rules, I just don't care. If its munching my veggies its going to die.

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2013, 07:11:39 PM »
The problem with woodchucks/groundhogs and fences is that they are accomplished climbers.

 I saw on the web where people said use a fence that wobbles so they will be afraid to climb it or put barbs at the top slanted out. Any fence recommendations ? Maybe a fence might help, not sure if it would be any guarantee.

Offline Nate

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #14 on: May 12, 2013, 05:36:57 AM »
I am glad I live in ohio!  We have open season no limits on woodchuck hunting.   The only time you cannot shoot them is during deer gun season.

As for taking care of it quietly.....use a road flare and a shovel.  Ignite the road flare and toss it down the hole.  Fill in the hole with the shovel.  Watch for smoke rising from other holes.  Fill those in too.  In a day or two check where the holes used to be and if you see flies circling, you know you got him.

Offline MaddoginMass

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #15 on: May 20, 2013, 07:16:59 AM »
I hate woodchucks.  We  had one last year that completely wiped out everything I tried to plant in the back garden.  Fortunately it left my front gardens alone.  I had them fenced in with 3' chicken wire. 

Given the state we are in, the bow is a good solution.  Live trapping and relocating is illegal.........if you get caught. 

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #16 on: May 20, 2013, 09:11:00 AM »
I hate woodchucks.  We  had one last year that completely wiped out everything I tried to plant in the back garden.  Fortunately it left my front gardens alone.  I had them fenced in with 3' chicken wire. 

Given the state we are in, the bow is a good solution.  Live trapping and relocating is illegal.........if you get caught.

 How far is your back garden from the house ? .. Alot of my stuff is kind of close, I am hoping that may help except I am not always home to  make him feel scared to come in close

Sorry to hear about that .. that's my worry also

Offline Canadian Prepper

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #17 on: May 20, 2013, 10:33:17 AM »
How far is your back garden from the house ? .. Alot of my stuff is kind of close, I am hoping that may help except I am not always home to  make him feel scared to come in close

Sorry to hear about that .. that's my worry also

From my experience they are not frightened by houses. We used to have a huge one living under our cottage years ago and even had a young one venture into it via the back door. We weren't gardening much at the time so I never shot them, though a .22LR is what I'd have used.

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #18 on: May 20, 2013, 11:43:13 AM »
I wonder if some capcium pure red pepper extract would discourage them ? I have some stuff that you need rubber gloves to handle, it's extremely strong ..

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #19 on: May 22, 2013, 10:12:37 AM »
Maybe if I keep my grass long and have a few weeds around, he'll eat something farther out in the yard away from the garden.
I been mowing the lawn, but I only mow a little here and there and I have alot of taller grass and some weeds. I've only lived in this house for a few months and just bought a lawn mower a couple of weeks ago.

 I planted some spinach, bib lettuce, orach and kale in these wood core/huglkultur like mounds of compost mixed with topsoil. These mounds are about 20 or 25 feet from my back door and there is other stuff farther back. I am away on vacation next week and the greens where starting to get decent sized so I decide to make a little salad last night in case I get raided by the woodchuck. I could not believe how good this salad was, it was the best salad I ever had. I needed absolutely no croutons, cheese, tomatoes, or any toppings, just a little salad dressing. It was so good I went out and picked more for a second one. I wish I planted even more spinach and all, but it should be worth trying to add more fencing. I heard if the fence is loose that may help as when the woodchuck climbs on the fence it will shake a bit and perhaps discourage him. I won't have time to build any fences for a few weeks however. I got some bok choy out there and I think I will stir fry some of that tonite with some tofu and pine nuts. I was so pyched I may have a friend of mine come all the way over from her house from like 12 miles away just to try the salad and bok choy before I go away.

Offline MaddoginMass

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #20 on: May 22, 2013, 12:02:45 PM »
My garden was about 30' from the back of my house.  That being said, he had no fear.  He would come within 5' of the house and wiped out the peppers I had growing in a pot on our patio.  When I walked out the back door he would just look at me.  I'm pretty sure he was mocking me..........

Leaving some sacrificial plants around may help....but then again, my neighbor was actually feeding the damn thing and he still came over and wiped out my gardens.

Offline FoolishCop

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2013, 07:27:56 PM »
I'm currently dealing with the woodchuck/groundhog problem right now. He's got one hole by the front steps to the house and the other underneath the porch. I had set up a Hav-a-Heart trap by the front steps and he was simply avoiding it. So I took a large, heavy flat stone and set it on edge so that he had no place to go other than into the cage.

It worked, except it wasn't the big groundhog, but rather two  smaller "babies" I caught on separate occasions. I don't know if it's illegal or not to trap-and-release in my state/area, but I did it anyway. I took them a few miles away and released them into the woods (though I still had an image of some "Incredible Journey" type return to its nest).

The big kahuna was caught twice actually -- the trap was activated twice -- but it must've been a quite violent captivity because the first time the cage was found overturned and about 2 feet from where it was set and the second time the chain that held the release door closed was broken. I don't know how safe it will be to actually find him in the cage, though I'm still trying.

Just yesterday I planted two new garden beds and this morning found one of the cabbage heads eaten. So I'm ready to step it up now. I like the idea of the road flare in the front and back door. He's also got a summer house back by my shed (which is where I think he is now). I'll have to repeat the process out there too.

Rich

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #22 on: May 23, 2013, 08:21:40 AM »
 I'm sure everything is illegal over there  .. I had this idea however if you caught a woodchuck and left it in a cage for a few days while feeding it and treating it humanely then if you let him go, maybe he would have a bad enough memory of life in captivity that he would go someplace else. The only problem is you might need a tranquilizer, net or some other way to catch him the second time if he came back.
Of course tranquilizer guns are probably illegal too ..

 Funny how humans have no right to protect their garden basically without having to pay someone alot of money or whatever .. If you want to kill that criter legally you probably need a hunting license, and yet they make it impossible to be humane legally as well.
« Last Edit: May 23, 2013, 08:32:09 AM by surfivor »

Offline LibertyBelle

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2013, 12:13:08 PM »
We have one that lives under the garden shed and hangs out in the orchard. It's been a couple of years now and so far he/she hasn't bothered the gardens or damaged the trees but just seems content to feed on fallen fruit and grass/clover under the trees. The kids have named him/her "Forest" and we can get within a few feet before it takes off at a waddling run (Run, Forest, run!). :)   

A few years ago youngest son spotted a pair that lived under a storage building near the church, and as it was late fall he was worried that they weren't fat enough. So we started stopping by the local grocery and picking up old veg/fruit produce that they were tossing out, and as such we ended up feeding them for a few weeks until they went into hibernation.

In saying that, I wouldn't hesitate to relocate or outright dispatch one (yes, even Forest) if it threatened my family's food supply.  Regarding the laws on relocation, it's a native animal, and as long as it's in the same county, IMHO it's not like releasing an exotic so what "they" don't know won't hurt them.  Same with dispatching...when squirrels were destroying my urban gardens, my oldest son (he was 14 at the time) would go into his bedroom, get out his compound bow, open his bedroom window, and using arrows with judo points, shoot the little beggers. 
http://www.abbeyarchery.com.au/p/MAB523/Zwickey+Judo+Point+Screw+In+5-16%26quot%3B+2+pack.html     
Not only were the pests eradicated, it was done without neighbors knowing about it (DS loved being "covert"), plus it improved his archery skills, and as such he helps supply the family with several deer during archery season each year. :) 

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #24 on: May 24, 2013, 10:18:27 AM »
We have one that lives under the garden shed and hangs out in the orchard. It's been a couple of years now and so far he/she hasn't bothered the gardens or damaged the trees but just seems content to feed on fallen fruit and grass/clover under the trees. The kids have named him/her "Forest" and we can get within a few feet before it takes off at a waddling run (Run, Forest, run!). :)   

A few years ago youngest son spotted a pair that lived under a storage building near the church, and as it was late fall he was worried that they weren't fat enough. So we started stopping by the local grocery and picking up old veg/fruit produce that they were tossing out, and as such we ended up feeding them for a few weeks until they went into hibernation.

In saying that, I wouldn't hesitate to relocate or outright dispatch one (yes, even Forest) if it threatened my family's food supply.  Regarding the laws on relocation, it's a native animal, and as long as it's in the same county, IMHO it's not like releasing an exotic so what "they" don't know won't hurt them.  Same with dispatching...when squirrels were destroying my urban gardens, my oldest son (he was 14 at the time) would go into his bedroom, get out his compound bow, open his bedroom window, and using arrows with judo points, shoot the little beggers. 
http://www.abbeyarchery.com.au/p/MAB523/Zwickey+Judo+Point+Screw+In+5-16%26quot%3B+2+pack.html     
Not only were the pests eradicated, it was done without neighbors knowing about it (DS loved being "covert"), plus it improved his archery skills, and as such he helps supply the family with several deer during archery season each year. :)

 Interesting that just because there's a woodchuck around it doesn't guarantee he will raid your garden. I guess they are all unique individuals.

Offline dakotadog

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #25 on: May 30, 2013, 07:40:58 PM »
I wage an annual battle with the Woodchucks...  My house is similar firearm discharge is a no go.  I did shoot one with my pellet gun and it just made it mad....  If I get a brazen one I too will get out the bow.  Had no luck with the live traps - and there are just too many to catch before the ruined my whole garden in one day.  I ended up attempting the fortress defense.  I fenced the entire area with welded wire and left the top loose, dug a trench and buried another section  bent into an "L" shape and then put rocks on top of it. 

Finally i went to tractor supply and put a solar powered electric fence in about 6" above ground level.  so far i haven't had any visitors inside. 

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #26 on: June 19, 2013, 12:43:43 PM »

Another thing ocured to me recently. Suppose you put out a have-a-heart live trap to catch a woodchuck and you caught a skunk instead ?

 Releasing the skunk seems possibly risky. A guy said, approach the trap holding a large tarp all in front of you, I guess but gee I don't know ?

  I suppose if I didn't catch a woodchuck after a while or didn't have clear indication he was in he area, maybe I wouldn't leave the trap out because I don't know what random critter might appear ..

Offline FoolishCop

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2013, 05:50:42 AM »
surfivor,

The very first time I ever put out a Hav-a-Heart trap that's exactly what I caught: a skunk. I sure as hell didn't want to come near it so I called the local animal control agency and for $50 they came out to remove it. But you know what they did? They simply threw a heavy, padded blanket over the top of the cage, carried it to a different part of the yard, and released the damn thing. I could've done that!

They said they don't take the skunks away and I guess that's proper, but I know in the future if I catch a skunk in one of the cages, I'll be pocketing $50 and simply throwing a blanket over the cage myself.

Rich

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #28 on: June 25, 2013, 11:29:19 AM »
I put out a trap Sunday night with a carrot and an apple in the trap. I came home from work Monday night and sure enough I had caught a skunk. So I let him go.

Offline surfivor

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Re: woodchuck in the area
« Reply #29 on: June 03, 2014, 11:46:15 PM »
last year I came home from vacation and snuck out in the yard first thing and I jumped a small woodchuck who ran into a hole he had dug under the shed. I blocked up the hole, then he dug around the large rock I placed there. A friend told me they are persistent and I will never get rid of him, but every time he dug a new hole, I blocked it up again. I checked every day I was home to see if he dug a new hole. Eventually he moved on and left. He gave up trying to dig a hole under the shed.

 This year, I came home and saw a woodchuck eating some greens. He ran off. I saw another hole under the shed and blocked it up and kept checking back for more holes and blocking them. I even found another hole in the woods and blocked it up. A few days later I saw him again. he was not eating the greens as before but possibly some leaves from perennial flowers a previous owner to the house had planted. As he started to run, I did not chase him but ran back towards the woods to try to cut him off and see where he heads to to give me a clue where his home is. He seemed to dissapear in an odd way however amongst the shrubs

 I have not seen him back for a few days. When I am coming home I cut the engine and glide the car into the driveway without any noise, then I sneak into the back yard with a big rock. I figure if I can get the jump on him and bop him with a rock, it may freak him out and he may go elsewhere. Even dogs being around apparently freak them out so it appears some of them may be sensitive. From the different stories I have read, it appears some of these animals have individual personalities.

 I think he chewed on a big comfrey leaf and ate a couple of those. I saw he ate some penny cress which is a weed, but I am not any kind of strict weed control guy so hopefully some of the tall grass and weeds that I let be will give him other things to eat. I have a bunch of pennycress mixed in with groundnut and the pennycress is actually like a natural groundcover as are some other weeds. Stuff like garlic mustard is not a desirable groundcover however. Some of my spinach went to seed, but I did not pull it out, I just left it there. Since I am not a neat freak gardener and do things more natural, there is plenty of stuff he can chew on that I don't care about.  I follow a pretty mixed polyculture approach. I think he actually may have eaten a bunch of Romain because I didn't recall picking as much as it appears.