groundhogs

Wed Oct 26, 2011 4:45 pm

Groundhogs are a nuisance in this part of the country, with armadillos now beginning to join in also. In case you are not familiar with ground hogs, they are also called whistle pigs, and dig holes leading to burrows frequently having several entrances. We have mostly gravel, rock and red clay around here, and their claws are quite aggressive. Livestock, especially horses, stepping in the holes and breaking a leg is a frequent problem. The holes can get bad enough to nearly bounce you off a tractor at times.

Ground hog hunting is a favorite sport around here, though the coyotes have pretty much cleaned out the best spots to hunt. A friend bought the farm next to me 3 or 4 years ago, and has been cleaning it up, as well as clearing where the old house used to set and build a weekend place there. His son lives a couple hundred yards further up the road on the same farm. They have been having some ground hog problems in the draw and weeds near the cabin, but with the new cabin there coyotes will not come around that area. Not being able to do a whole lot lately I have been easing down there on my golf cart and waiting for groundhogs. Had to put a cushion on the seat the first day or two due to my hip being so sore. So far out of 4 trips down the score is 1 very probable. I put it that way because I was on target when I fired (about 100 yard) , but it was far enough out in the weeds and brush I did not feel like going to check the body. 2 definites, both in about a 40-45 yard range and out in the open where I could see them. Could even drive up to them to verify. The son has been going down and disposing of the ones close to the cabin when I call him, and he has decided he does not want to make me mad at him, after both of them having part of head missing. Being lucky works just as well as being good. There is at least one more down there that I have not gotten a shot at. It is about the biggest ground hog I have ever seen, but very wary. That one may take a while, but unfortunately the good weather for this year is about over.

Re: groundhogs

Wed Oct 26, 2011 7:40 pm

Good Hunting John!! :D

Re: groundhogs

Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:13 pm

The very first time I went "hunting" was with my grandpa when I was probably 5 years old. My grandpa had an old over grown orchard out back and he took me out there wood chuck hunting one day. He took his double barrel shot gun and let me carry his bolt action .22 caliber rifle. I got a shot at a wood chuck and was sure I hit it but it went down the hole so I'll never know but I have been hooked on hunting chucks ever since. That is a memory that I will never forget. Today I have his old bolt action .22 in my gun cabinet but when I was 17 or 18 years old I purchased a .222 for chuck hunting and love that little caliber.

When I was recovering from my hip surgery, probably about 4 or 5 weeks after, I was out on my quad with my .222 slung over my back looking for coyotes. I spotted one and was trying to get into a position to intercept him and was going up a hill and slipped in the snow and somehow flipped the quad over on top of me with the handle bars coming down, you guessed it, right on my recovering hip leaving a huge bruise. There I was laying in the snow, on my back on top of my .222 with the quad on top of me. I am sure I looked like an idiot as I floundered to get out from under the quad. :lol: Anyhow, I never got a shot at the coyote. I still had the bruise when I had my next doctor appointment but he didn't ask me about it, :mrgreen: however, I did have to explain it to my wife. :oops:

Stay active John, glad your getting out and about.

Re: groundhogs

Wed Oct 26, 2011 8:21 pm

John i have been hunting groundhogs for over fifty years my favorite gun is a remington 700 heavy barrell 220 swift with nosler 55gr.balistic tips the local farmers when the soybeans start coming up i have free reign on any farm around.the coyotes have just recently moved in our area and they get some of them especially the young ones my best year has been 55 kills afriend of mines dad back in the seventies was trying for a hundred he got to 98 but sadly to say as i get older and gas gets higher i don't hunt as much as i used to but i have six grandsons to carry on the traditon.

Jim

Re: groundhogs

Wed Oct 26, 2011 9:34 pm

I have 2 different guns for this type of hunting, one is a pretty new Savage .223 with the accu-trigger and accu-stock, equipped with a Barska Point Black scope. That is the one I choose for longer ranges out to about 250 yards (gun is good beyond that, but I am not). The one I prefer for shorter ranges, up to 120 yards or so is a 45 year old Marlin Levermatic chambered in 30 carbine. That is a sweet little rifle, only takes about 1 1/2 inch or less of lever movement to chamber a new shell, and combined with a Bushnell Banner scope, very accurate. Of all the rifles I have owned in my life time, it is my favorite. I have been whittling down my guns to only a few I really like, and it will probably be with me as long as I am able to pack it around.

Re: groundhogs

Wed Oct 26, 2011 10:28 pm

I used to hunt ground hogs every summer when I was a kid. Dad would give me a buck a piece for every one I'd kill in his bean fields. ( I cheated a bit and would smoke one along the RR tracks once in a while and exaggerate its proximity to his field to collect a buck!) I used, (and still have) a Remington 722 in .222 w/a 2.5 to 8 Bausch and Lomb. It's a sweet shooter. I used to take a small portable radio w/ an earphone (the old ones w/ a dial, a clear plastic earphone and using a 9v battery... and of course it was about the size of a pair of tobacco tins stacked.) an old quilt and a water jug. I'd waller out a hole in the brush line, kick back and take a nap. I'd look up once in a while to see if a chuck was out munching on beans. You always knew where they'd be as there would be a semicircle of chewed off beans in front of their burrow hole. I'd wack one, and leave him lay. I'd kick back and nap for another 30 min, then look out again. The others would relax, and come out. I remember killing two w/in a few feet of each other and as many as SEVEN in one field in one day. Back in '73, 7 bucks was a tidy sum for a kid.
Didn't see many ground hogs for yrs.. coyotes had thinned them out, I suppose, but I've seen more in the last year or so than in the last decade, so maybe their coming back. I have no desire to kill any of them though.

Re: groundhogs

Mon Nov 14, 2011 6:46 pm

Shootin groundhogs why thats just a waste of good entertainment. For some real fun try groundhog ropin :D All you need is a long length of parachute cord some camo and stealth. Make you a loop in cord lay it around hole and lead it off downwind ten or twenty yards n lay down real still. You can wait for him to pop up or you can whistle him up.Dont set the loop soon as his head pops up but wait till front feet are out on top of hole. They will pull outa a head catch but get em behind the front legs and set the loop YANK and get ready for more fun than you should be able to have with your clothes still on. :o :o