The east side property line is a paradise for woodchucks -- which are
called groundhogs here -- because it is defined by a line of about 50
mulberry and black cherry trees. There's also a barbed wire fence.
The 'hogs are smart enough to excavate connecting burrows on either
side of the fence. This eliminates the use of smoke bombs because you
need access to clog-up each hole. That's hard to do with a barbed
wire fence. Those battery-powered noisemaking stakes don't work
either. Instead of being driven away by the noise, the 'hogs attack
and destroy them. The best solution the past 32 years has been a 12
gauge shotgun, but 'hogs ain't easy to hunt. They are wary, and enjoy
excellent eyesight, hearing, and olfaction.
Had a guest who suffered a sprained ankle by inadvertently stepping
into a hole. On another occasion a tractor wheel got stuck and it was
hell trying to free it. Last year a 'hog ignored the vacant burrows
along the east side and started a new one under the house foundation.
But the worst problem are the piles of dirt and rocks outside the
burrows. You have two options on mowing day: rake the debris back
into the hole, or carefully mow around the piles. The second option
is better because if you continually rake the debris back into the
hole, the 'hog gets pissed-off and starts a new hole. Don't need any
On the bright side, I wounded one today, looked like a big alpha male.
A wound is as good as an outright kill because the infection will
finish him shortly. But the news spread fast. Not a half hour later,
a smaller one scampered along the row apparently to claim the more
desirable burrow where the big guy lived and which features both a
white and black mulberry tree within a few feet of it.