Groundhogs

A groundhog dug a tunnel into my garden last year, I filled it in last fall but he's just reopened it again. I've bought some Havahart Critter Ridder which is basically a hot pepper powder. Has anyone used this stuff? Does it work?. There were a couple of other choices for groundhog repellents that had a very different formulations, does anyone have any opinions on repellents in general?
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Hot pepper didn't work for us. The dammthings thought it was a seasoning.
We trap and remove to open spaces (no gardens, roads or farms nearby), harrass them away if they're smart enough to take the hint, or kill them if not. The two former give them a chance at survival.
As for it digging into the garden, you need a fence like an L, with the bottom of the L about 1 foot underground and aimed outward away from the garden. The base of the L needs to be at least 1 foot wide. That should stop them digging through. The thing you need to know is that they are agile climbers and will climb trees, fences etc.. You have to deal with "over" which means creating a floppy fence or an electric one.
Do remember that you need your gate to have a lintel to which you've attached fencing so that the underground fence is continuous around the whole garden.
And I suggest finding all the cabbage mower's holes, stuffing them with saplings, long branches, scrap 2 by 4s and earth. Track them all down. Don't worry about trapping them underground. They'll dig their way out or they'll have an escape entrance. Then fill the route they've taken out, too.
You see, if you can prevent them from developing a main burrow and/or way station burrows near your property/garden, they'll probably eat at somebody else's table.
-- In an urban environment you have to outwit the neighbours and the critters.
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There is a way that wildlife rescue taught me to prevent pests and predators from climbing a fence. About 1 ft. or so up the fence, attach a 12" wide strip of roof flashing to the fence. They hit that and slip.
Works well to keep raccoons out of poultry yards and it not unattractive.
It can also keep squirrels out of fruit trees (wrap it around the trunk) so long as the squirrel cannot jump into that tree from another location.
Is groundhog edible? ;-)
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Peace! Om

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Enjoy all! ;-)
Charlie
http://recipes.stsams.org/recipes/groundhog.html
Roast Ground Hog
Hmm....Ground Hog (= woodchuck = Earth-pig)
Groundhogs are 100% vegetarians and a good source of protein, as they are almost as dumb as most humans, and thus easily captured/shot. They run 5 to 10 lbs of good table meat on the hoof. You must first remove the insides, taking care to remove the "kernel" - gland found behind the forelegs - to keep the scent from spoiling the meat.
Then, either skin or make a fire (outside) and scorch all the hair and scrape like you would a pig. Wash and clean in cold water.
Then, well, I would guess the recipes previously posted for either beaver or muskrat/nutria would work, but for those trads amongst you who simply positively, absolutely must have a genuine earth pig recipe, I offer the following provided to me by a local matron of the Tonawanda Band of the Seneca Nation:
Roast Ground Hog Printer version of this recipe
3 cups bread crumbs 1 onion, chopped fine 1/4 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup evaporated milk 4 tbsp bacon fat 1 cup oil
Make a marinade from the oil & lemon juice and marinate overnight (yes, Georgianna, in the fridge)
Mix onion, salt, pepper and bread crumbs to taste (you can substitute Tony's Creole Seasoning for the salt and pepper like I do, if you like)
Remove the groundhog from the marinade, pat dry, stuff cavity with the bread crumb mixture and sew it shut.
Baste with bacon fat or cover with slices of bacon and place in roasting pan at 300 deg. for 1 1/2 to 2 hours, adding water and basting as necessary. Good with corn bread.
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<snipped>
That actually sounds tasty! <lol>
I've got some wild rabbit in the freezer from my spring vacation. Went on a hunting trip. Tree squirrel around here is very, very good. It's one of the few local wild critters I've eaten.
Considering they were grain fed from eating scratch grains in my poultry yard... ;-)
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...

Now that's a good idea. It never occurred to me to apply that one anywhere but on posts and trees.
I had 1 raccoon shinny up 3' of sheet steel wrapped 2x4 post to get to the roof so I put a bit of vaseline up the corners of the steel and that did the trick. There were nightly thuds and swearing for awhile as raccoons tried and failed.
Does it really work on raccoons, and groundhogs at the height you suggest? Raccoons around here at full growth are the size of a small child and can easily stretch beyond that distance... and an adult groundhog is not a small critter too.

I've never eaten it. I've heard that it is. I do believe in having an enemy for dinner.
I might try if it were in a woodland/meadow environment or some other organic situation and I knew more about dressing and preparing it and telling if the beast is healthy. In this city at this time, with people flinging herbicides and pesticides about, I wouldn't eat any animal I didn't raise.
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Too funny. <g>
What they told me was to give them some space to climb first. Keeps them from jumping the barrier.

Well, that was for a low fence. If you are using a 5' to 6' fence, put it up at around the 3' level.
I had 5 ft. fences for the poultry so put it at the suggested 3' level.

<grins>
I understand. The reason I've never tried possums and raccoons around here tho' is that they are loaded with parasites. I just can't bring myself to eat them.
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On Sun, 27 Apr 2008 19:35:36 -0500, phorbin wrote:

Did you try any sort of predator scent? I'm thinking about emptying my kitty litter boxes down his hole.
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snipped-for-privacy@yahoo.com says...

Yep... Didn't work. YMMV --Try tiger, lion or panther.
Ammonia, mothballs, moth crystals, etc. haven't worked for us on any critter. I've also tried diluted groundhog blood down the holes to no effect.
Coincidentally, another one of the sodding things has wandered in and I'll be dealing with it in the next day or so, once I've learned its habits.
We're still pre-planting and nothing has grown much so I've a little time.
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On Sun, 27 Apr 2008 22:54:04 -0500, phorbin wrote:

I guess I'll have to bring out the Havahart trap. What do you use for bait? BTW what's the density of groundhogs?. If I trap the one in my garden will another one just show up to take his place?. Back in the 80s I was trapping raccoons and that was hopeless. I moved 50 of them before I gave up. The thing that finally got the raccoons under control was a rabies epidemic.
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wrote:

Same here. Trap and remove. Use peanut butter as bait but be prepared to catch any varmint. Last year, I got a skunk.
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In article <d54ce8b9-cf3a-4a7b-8da2-981475d66902

I caught about a dozen a year until I realized that closing the trap at sunset was a good idea.
That said, I haven't been sprayed yet. The old stretched out blanket trick works very well.
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General Schvantzkopf said:

I've had my best luck with apples, sometimes augmented with either a pot of lettuce or a professional groundhog lure. Put some bits of apple near the entrance of the trap and the Motherload in the back.

My observations:
They adults aren't usually frequent or long-range dispersers. (Probably because they build elaborate permanent burrows.) It's the young ones that will do the wandering and (based on my experience) only once a year. So if you can manage to take out the local residents, you might expect in the future some occasional new ones, in early summer. One nice thing about that: Young ones are easier to trap, plus their new burrows are usually simple and easy to smoke bomb (or whatever).
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net says...

The adults dig way-station bolt-holes to extend their range. The holes I've dealt with are usually 5 to 6 feet deep and just a hole.
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On Tue, 29 Apr 2008 07:56:07 -0500, phorbin wrote:

I'm thinking of going Saddam Hussein on them and using chlorine gas, has anyone tried poison gas?
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If you do end up trying this, PLEASE consider a mask for yourself. Gas masks are no longer expensive now that the 9-11 fears have worn off. I own a good quality Israeli one that I use when I use HCL for cleaning hard water deposits in the bathroom. It has poor ventilation.
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phorbin said:

Kiewicz.newsgroups.comcast.net>,

Yeah, but they're still not like racoons, where there seems to be a never- ending supply...groundhogs just don't shift around with quite the same ease and confidence.
Then too, simple bolt-holes offer easy opportunities that the main dens don't...
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Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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snipped-for-privacy@someplace.net.net says...

I wasn't disagreeing, even if it looks like it. They stick around if you let them. We had one in the neighbourhood that had a range of two blocks and bolt holes in every untended spot.
It may still be around, but it doesn't come here any more, since the day I nearly brained it.

I've chased a number of them to ground.
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Recent success with handful of lettuce and some (old) sliced apple. Breakfast in bed, like. Set trap out in the PM, and by evening next day, had an enemy combatant bottled up. Fed handful of "baby" carrots (storebought, hope I didn't poison the poor beast) then relocated to an uninhabited area 7-8 miles away.
BTW, this thing had dug itself quite a nest under the picture window (stray kitten used it for a house first year) and it was digging under the porch. The day it took out three beautiful Mammoth Red Rock seedlings was the day the relocation warrant got signed.
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