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vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/8/20 4:59 p.m.

Took the dogs for a walk today. On the return trip I noticed a mound of fresh soil/sand in the tall grass that covers the area of the yard with the septic field in it. Upon investigation it appears to be a groundhog hole. I did see one of the creatures cross the road when I came home the other day. What the hell am I supposed to do now? I caught and released one years ago. It's not legal but I did not anyway. Took forever to catch. I'm worried about my septic field. Advice from the hive?

Javelin (Forum Supporter)
Javelin (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/8/20 5:22 p.m.

Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón)
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) MegaDork
6/8/20 6:46 p.m.

They're diurnal. I suggest setting up a position one Saturday and hitting it with a .22 hollow point projectile. 

Alternatively, pay somebody to catch it for you.

The0retical (Forum Supporter)
The0retical (Forum Supporter) UberDork
6/8/20 6:54 p.m.

I'd shoot it with something a bit bigger than a .22LR, they're tough little things. I had to do this with 6 of them last year when the babies under the shed decided the house foundation was better, and they actually rushed at my then 2 year old. Mostly used a .223 but the .243 made more then one appearance.

Here in PA it's actually illegal to trap and relocate them. The PADCNR literally says "It is illegal to trap and relocate pest animals. If you use a live trap to catch a pest animal, be prepared to deal with it."

I've never found the sonic deterrents to work on anything and I personally don't like to poison them because of collateral damage.

You might be able to get them with a conibear trap if shooting them is out of the question but they're also a bit indiscriminate. (Or get a suppressed big bore air rifle and do it quietly.)

Patrick (Forum Supporter)
Patrick (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/8/20 7:58 p.m.

I think the answer here actually is shotgun 

NBraun Reader
6/8/20 8:07 p.m.

Yep, everybody here is right. Dealt with two last year under my shed and in my garden. Somehow I now have 4 small ones under the shed again. Never been a problem until last year, but it appears they've decided its a good place to stay.

BlindPirate Reader
6/8/20 8:07 p.m.
Brett_Murphy (Forum Patrón) said:

They're diurnal. I suggest setting up a position one Saturday and hitting it with a .22 hollow point projectile. 

Alternatively, pay somebody to catch it for you.

TIL, diurnal,of the day. Did not know that, had to look it up.

lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter)
lotusseven7 (Forum Supporter) Reader
6/8/20 8:08 p.m.

17WSM and 22LR will both work but shot placement is key. There are 2 carcasses in the back yard that the turkey vultures are snacking on currently. Both met their fate with 22LR at 55-60 yards.



ddavidv PowerDork
6/9/20 6:18 a.m.

If you can't kill one with a .22LR you need to work on your aim. wink

I've shot them and trapped/relocated them (and yes, I'm in PA).  Trapping them is easier provided you figure out what they like for bait. Plain vegetables didn't seem to inspire them. I think I had more success with nuts and fruit but it's been a long time since we had one.

I can also recommend black Border Collie mixes for taking care of them too.

Apexcarver UltimaDork
6/9/20 6:30 a.m.

Had them at my grandparents place, .22lr was the answer. I got 8 of them over a few years.

EvanB (Forum Supporter)
EvanB (Forum Supporter) MegaDork
6/9/20 6:59 a.m.

I just let my dog kill them then throw them in the neighbors yard.

volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter)
volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) PowerDork
6/9/20 7:02 a.m.

Around here I am known as "The Groundhog Destroyer".

We had a dozen of them living under an old shed.  Made a mess of the place, I ended up tearing it down last year.  The neighbors have had them digging up their yards, too.

Shooting them isn't usually a great option.  You end up having to take up positions and wait for them to show up.  And worry about which of your neighbors is anti-gun and itching to call the police on you.

Get yourself one of those big-ass have-a-heart traps, like 3 foot long and a foot square.  Bait it with canned diced or crushed tomatoes- don't ask me why, they love that stuff.  Set the trap where you see them scurrying around.  You may have to try a few different places.  Once you find the "hot spot" you'll find you might catch one every night for some time. 

Once you catch them, drown the little buggers.  I have a tank that's just slightly larger than the have a heart trap, so I just pick up the trap (with leather welding gloves) and drop it in the tank.  The pest is dead in about a minute.  Then ditch the carcass in the woods and let nature take care of the rest. 

Some folk say they're edible, but a bit greasy. 

Once I started trapping them, the local population of them has been greatly reduced, as has the damage inflicted to mine (and the neighbors') yards and buildings. 

"Catch and Release" is illegal because no one else wants to deal with _your_ problem.  I live in the country; basically, where all the suburbanites who can't deal with taking a poor innocent creature's life decide to drop off their "humanely trapped" critters. 

1988RedT2 MegaDork
6/9/20 7:23 a.m.

Agree that a .22LR should do the trick.  A friend of mine had a problem with foxes getting to his chickens.  He lives well out in the country and has a fair number of scoped rifles available.  He showed me a pic of one that he had taken.  I remarked on the size of the exit wound.  I was very surprised when he told me it was a CCI .22LR hollow point.

ultraclyde (Forum Supporter)
ultraclyde (Forum Supporter) UltimaDork
6/9/20 8:16 a.m.

In reply to volvoclearinghouse (Forum Supporter) :

Sounds like Groundhog meat is a lot like Porcupine Meat....


Duke MegaDork
6/9/20 8:38 a.m.

I don't have anything to offer, but I wanted to give you Plus One for the whistlepig reference.


stukndapast New Reader
6/9/20 9:55 a.m.

It may seem like setting a trap is a nicer/easier solution, but be aware that whatever bait you use will also attract critters other than the groundhog.  You can, and will, catch feral cats, raccoons, possums and, worst of all, skunks.  If you trap a skunk, you are in a real quandary as to how to get rid of it without the inevitable spray, and even shooting the thing in the trap will usually result in a spray event.  I have taken out many, many groundhogs with a scoped Ruger 10/22 with 40 grain hollow-points and as long as you get a good clean chest hit it won't go far.  They are usually pretty docile when they are munching, and often stand straight up when they sense danger, which offers a really clear shot.  A .223 stirs up the neighbors a lot more and leaves a bigger mess to clean up.  If you want to trap them, get a double-ended trap that you can set up at their den entrance and force them to pass though the trap on the way in or out of the burrow.  You'll have to block all but the one entrance (there are almost always more than one).  You don't need bait and most other critters won't try to get into an occupied groundhog burrow.

bearmtnmartin SuperDork
6/9/20 10:08 a.m.

Vacuum them



Snowdoggie Reader
6/9/20 10:15 a.m.

What about a larger dog? My huskies dug up ground hog holes and brought dead ground hogs and rabbits to my back porch where I lived in Colorado. Here in Texas they kill possums and rats and birds that land in the yard. They also terrorize neighborhood cats and the coyotes that visit. 

1988RedT2 MegaDork
6/9/20 12:15 p.m.

In reply to Snowdoggie :

It would depend on the dog, really.  An adult groundhog is a fearsome beast with sharp teeth and claws, and might be more than some dogs could handle.  When we still had my wife's old Lab mix, I would find an occasional carcass back behind the garage, so your suggestion has merit.  laugh

dlmater Reader
6/9/20 3:15 p.m.

I have 10 open acres in the country.  Groundhogs are a constant.  I like to coexist with nature up until the point of property damage or injury.  Twice, I've inadvertently stepped in a secondary burrow entrance out in the grass, not easily seen, and twisted an angle.   They love the area directly around and under my small pole barn causing other issues. 

For me, the scoped .22lr rifle is the most effective control option when needed.  Our house is on a hill overlooking 360 degrees.  As a result, I am hesitant to use hotter loads and not always comfortable with the shot angle given the openness and another house beyond the target.    In that case, I have had success with my Carl Spackler Solution  They have worked well for me.  I typically will drop 2 into each entrance at the same time.  The benefit of the smoke bombs is the remains are already buried.  

vwcorvette (Forum Supporter)
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) UltraDork
6/9/20 9:09 p.m.

Wife says no to pew pew. So trap it is. Shhh! Don't tell the authorities.

Duke, there's a Whistlepig Distillery not far from me.


pjbgravely HalfDork
6/10/20 10:25 a.m.

I use Sulfer Bombs.  Even if they escape they will have to move elsewhere. I have found them dead out side of the burrow.


spitfirebill MegaDork
6/10/20 12:15 p.m.
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) said:

Wife says no to pew pew. So trap it is. Shhh! Don't tell the authorities.

Subsonic don't go pew pew.  Just sayin.  

RevRico PowerDork
6/10/20 12:22 p.m.
vwcorvette (Forum Supporter) said:

Wife says no to pew pew. 

So it's her problem now.

ShawnG UltimaDork
6/10/20 12:31 p.m.

Rodenator FTW: http://rodenator.eu/

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