woodchuck humor

Page 1 of 2  
or is that groundhog? anyways, it's big, like a beaver with a small tail, except no big front teeth and it doesn't spend much time in the water. stands up like a prairiedog when curious and not scared enough to run away immediately. small ones are way cute. big ones are aptly named groundhogs because they can munch and munch and munch ...
this beastie has a whole area of alfalfa and birdsfoot trefoil to feast on -- instead it decides to wander up into a bare dirt garden with a few scattered tiny weeds. variety being the spice of life i guess.
it knew to run when i popped open the patio door. some people say they can't move fast, but i wouldn't want to be chased by one.
last year it mowed down the beans planted in that bare dirt garden and i had to move it along with the air-rifle. the beans recovered and still had a crop so i am not hugely upset if it decides to try to repeat this year, but i sure hope to make it a little harder for it this time as i know it is about.
i don't mind sharing. i just don't like losing the whole crop, but then again, everything i plant outside the fenced garden is likely deer and critter bait anyways.
Ma said she'll put out the live-trap, but then i reminded her that i finished off the p-nut butter and we just used up the last of the romaine lettuce and carrots too. i wonder if they like bananas?
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
songbird said:

Their two most favorite things IME are apples and mulberry leaves. One time the first sign that a groundhog had gotten past the fence was the defoliation of the young ("bird planted") mulberries on the garden side of the fenceline.
Last year the drought was so bad that the stunted babies were driven out on their own earlier than normal. One was small enough to push her way through some chain link into the veggie garden. She ate so much edamame greenery that it wasn't able to push her way back out. What's left of her is now a study skin.
(My daughter the zoology student did a rather thorough disection with measurements but decided not to turn that particular study skin in for credit. All of the study skins and skull she did turn in are now in the university collection--she does good work.)
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Yes, swooping is bad."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Out west they're called rockchucks , and at one time farmers paid a bounty on them . Not only do they destroy the crops <especially alfalfa> but they dig holes/burrows which can tear up machinery . Hardest part of collecting the bounty was finding enough of the things for proof . Not much left if you hit one with a high velocity hollow point slug ... I'm hoping I won't have a critter problem here , but I'm also researching ways to keep 'em from eating my garden . Biggest problem here in Stone Co. Ar. is deer , they're like the rats in NYC . So far the only way for 100% exclusion is a fence over 8' tall and the bottom edge buried . Next best is a 2-3 strand 'lectric fence , baited at first so they learn it hurts to try to get at those tender succulent little plants . Next is various formulae of chemicals/eggs/peppers etc that make the plants taste yucky to them . Last option is also the cheapest , but ya gotta re-apply after every rain storm . Having a dog that sleeps outdoors at night <and indoors in the AC all day...> also helps .
--
Snag
Just a beginner
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Terry Coombs wrote: ...

7+foot fence has worked for us here with the deer. nothing else has been worth it. 6ft wasn't high enough.

electric is too expensive for what i'd use it for right now. in the future it might be worth exploring, but that won't be for some time (by then perhaps battery/capacitory and solar tech- nologies will be much further along).
for what we're doing we still have a lot of area in the fenced gardens to work with -- i'm years away from needing more fenced space. i have a few hundred more square feet that is right behind the fenced garden (we should have just fenced it to begin with as it would only have cost us another 30ft of fencing), i'll annex that next.
my overflow and play gardens are more wild and it's one of these that is being visited by the groundhog. i think i nudged it pretty well with the air-rifle yesterday -- i'm hoping that's the end of it.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
songbird wrote:

I really enjoyed reading this, songbird.
--
Natural Girl



Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Natural Girl wrote: ...

:)
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pat Kiewicz wrote:

this one seems very insistent about whatever weeds it's eating in that one garden. we came back from shopping/errands yesterday and it was out there nibbling. i tagged it solidly yesterday with a pellet so now it has been warned several times. i'm hoping that will be the end of it.

oops, but probably very funny to see. kinda like the snake trying to go through a small hole after eating a chipmunk.

i'm not sure what a study skin is, but it sounds like something done to study anatomy of animals along with taxidermy in some kind of pose?
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
songbird said:

I like to imagine that I could blast the things with some high-tech sci-fi laser-sighted weapon. (Maybe after I open that Unobtainium mine.)

Just about half her body weight was in her stomach and intestines. It was packed so solid I could hardly believe it.

Less than taxidermy, but it preserves the skin and feet along with data about the sex and location of collection. This is not her university, but it gives an idea of what specimens look like and how they might be used:
http://www.humboldt.edu/wildmuseum/policy.html
Next fall, she will be doing independent study/undergraduate research cataloging and organizing the vertebrate collection (skins, skull, etc.).
She's still got some skulls to clean this summer, but thankfully, the freezer now only holds a single dead bird waiting to be processed. (She's hoping to find some fresh and reasonably intact birds that are larger to practice on before she tackles it.)
You can blame it all on Mike Rowe and the Dirty Jobs episode about Skulls Unlimited. <http://www.skullsunlimited.com/
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Yes, swooping is bad."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pat Kiewicz wrote:

you can, but many people don't like guns. i don't really even like guns either. i'd much rather have an air-powered pea shooter that can be remotely sighted and operated including enough sensors to alert me to the fact that a critter big enough for me to care about is nosing around. peas i generally don't mind sprouting in random locations nearly as much as i don't want acorns sprouting (i baked a bunch and used a sling-shot for a while, but that was not very effective).

hahaha, wow, little piggy, but when you think about the calories involved and how fast the critter has to grow up plus be able to make it through a winter season...

thanks, i'll check it out.

oh! :)

are there particular critters she's interested in?

heh, oh noes, another dangerous web site. :p
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
songbird said:

Tetrapod zoology (anything with four feet, or that had anscestors with four feet), living or extinct. But she's particularly interested in mammals and dinosaurs.

It's where I've done some of my Xmas shopping these last few years... Back to woodchucks, though, I suspect that one of them might have nibbled on the tomato plants I was hardening off out on the driveway. It could have been a rabbit, but the browse line was taller than I'd expect for a bunny.
Now they are late to go in and partly defoliated to boot!
--
Pat in Plymouth MI

"Yes, swooping is bad."
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/30/2013 11:05 AM, songbird wrote:

I'd tag it with a .22 or catch and release. Pellets can penetrate and animal could suffer.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank wrote: ...

one pump won't penetrate. i can see the pellet bounce off. i never aim for the head for the first two warning shots. next shot it won't survive. eight pumps put the pellet through 1/4-1/2" plywood at 30yards. .20 cal with a good scope on it...
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/31/2013 4:56 PM, songbird wrote:

If you're getting that good a shot, I'd put 'em down.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pat Kiewicz wrote:

we don't have either of those here, but thanks for the E in IME. :)
i've not seen it since the other day so i'm hoping the pellet "stings" were a good enough message.
once the peas/beans are up further in the auxiliary strawberry patch and the strawberries begin to ripen i expect more challenges out there as that is unfenced and closer to it's home.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/28/2013 8:57 PM, songbird wrote:

Groundhog, little tough, but taste like chicken.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On Wed, 29 May 2013 14:22:36 -0400, Frank wrote:

People do eat ground hog but I never have. They are cute as can be especially the little ones. There are lots of them in the park where I ride the bike. But a few years ago we had a bumper crop of ground hogs. They were EVERYWHERE!
And one decided to dig under the foundation of my house! So I filled in his hole and he'd dig it back out! I shoved bricks down his hole and he'd shove them back out! I even poured concrete down his hole and he dug a parallel hole right next to it.
Sorry, cute or not when the foundation of my house is at stake it's no more Mr. Nice guy. Can't shoot them in the city, so I start digging out his hole with a shovel but was making no progress. So I took the hose and shoved it down there and filled his hole with water! Pretty soon he sticks his head out and I give him a good whack with the shovel! He shakes his head and takes off running down the street at top speed with me chasing him like a mad man swinging the shovel. He got away.
Then I filled in his hole and he never came back. I can hear him telling his ground hog buddies about the mad man that lives over where he had his hole.
Speaking of trap and release, my house is old, full of holes in the foundation and before I had a cat, every fall zillions mice would move in looking for a winter home. So I set up a trap with this tall barrel and peanut butter where they'd fall in and couldn't get out. Pretty soon I had maybe 15 mice in there!
So I was going to take the barrel down to the railroad tracks and release them, but it was cold and snowing and I only got as far as the vacant lot next to my neighbor's house. A couple of weeks later, I'm talking to my neighbor and she's telling me that she can't understand it, but suddenly all these mice appeared in her house from nowhere! I say nothing and just lay low.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 5/31/2013 11:28 PM, benj wrote:

The groundhog I ate was one I popped with a bow while at a friend's hunting camp. I took a couple since in the same manner but left in the field.
Around the house, I trap and release but before I had a trap, I dumped a pint of chloroform down his tunnel which being denser than air would sit there as a cloud and put him to sleep permanently if he returned.
Mice, you have to seal all holes into your house and trap those inside. They're all over the place outside and your neighbor probably would have been hit anyway.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank wrote: ...

mice are all around here constantly. even with the wide border of crushed limestone mulch they still venture along the exterior foundation where i keep traps set all year now. once i find places they get into the walls i plug those up, but they seem able to get in other spots too. the crawl space i sealed up very well from the rest of the house (making sure that all gaps were sealed and covered with metal mesh). they rarely get into the house itself (two times in 16 years) those are brought in boxes taken from the garage or garden shed.
which also reminds me of the time i had a mouse family shipped to me at college in my model train boxes (that were stored in the rafters of my brother's garage). figured out i had mice when i left a hot chocolate cup (empty with a little bit in the bottom) on my desk and woke up the next morning to find a few mouse nerds in the bottom of a very clean mug. opened up the boxes, found the nest (and a large cache of dry dog food). had to trap the adults. peanut butter.
ok, really, i gotta get to sleep... naps in the early evening play havoc on a schedule.
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
On 6/4/2013 3:29 AM, songbird wrote:

I've sealed any opening I could find but still catch a few mice per year in traps in the house. No need to refresh peanut butter bait as they still go for it when old and rancid. I put poison bait in the attic. Discovered poison in the house is a bad idea when one died leaving a faint aroma in the basement for weeks.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Frank wrote: ...

yeah, they can still smell it even when it's down to almost nothing and still poke their noses in.

i dislike poisons too for much the same reason. plus i hate the idea that a snake or other creature might catch a poisoned mouse and then be affected. just seems better to snap trap them if i have to. we've used bait stations and poison blocks to keep the population down in the past, but the raccoons discovered a taste for them and would get the bait stations opened. even after we'd pile large rocks around and on top of the bait stations they'd still figure out a way to lever the rocks away and raid the bait stations. so i've not wanted to put any more out. it just seems so pointless. mice are all over, killing a few here or there isn't going to get rid of them, instead it just means more will come in from the fields all around us. i much prefer encouraging owls, snakes, etc. to come feast. the limestone mulch gives an owl a clear contrast to catch a skittering mouse...
songbird
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.