Woodchuck wars

Chuck

Is it me, or are there more woodchucks around than normal this year? It seems like I’m hearing quite a few people complain about ‘chucks attacking their gardens and I’m also seeing several along the side of the road; both dead and alive.

I’ve got some woodchuck problems around my own homestead too. Fortunately, I live in the country where, for the most part, I can discharge a firearm. So far, that’s been bad news for a couple of woodchucks.

The first one I shot in late April, which I should’ve taken as a bad sign because that’s about the earliest I’ve ever seen one, such less kill one around home. It was a young male that I was able to get about a 50-yard crack at with my Rugar 10-22, which has a 4X scope on it.

In early June I killed another one, this time it was a big male and I made a lucky shot with the .22 of about 80 yards. Over the years I’ve made this same shot, right off my front porch, but it requires some luck as beyond 70 yards the .22 is unreliable.

That’s bad news for me because as I write this I think I’ve got not one, but two more woodchucks hanging around. One seems bigger than the other, but it’s hard to tell. Either way, it’s a record as the most I’ve ever dealt with in a summer season is two.

I’ve taken a few cracks at these critters with the Rugar but haven’t gotten a close enough shot yet; one inside of 75 yards. So, as I watch my gardens grow and worry that they’ll be become a salad bar for the woodchuck(s).

I’ve also been thinking of other ways to solve my problem. I’ve set out a cage trap with cantaloupe in it, but so far, no takers. Perhaps there’s just too much other good stuff around right now.

Then, l pulled out a .30-30 over 20 gauge Savage double I have that belonged to a friend who passed a few years ago. I took the gun to the range with plans to set it up as a ‘chuck-blaster, but found it’s in need of some TLC at the gunsmith, including a different scope than what is on it.

Now I’m considering something a little more powerful and flat-shooting, at least inside of 100 yards. A .22 magnum might be the answer, or even a .223. I’ve kicked that around previously and my wife thinks I’m just making an excuse to buy another gun. That is, until she spotted a woodchuck in the garden.

And so now the summer woodchuck wars are at full-bore and the battle for me is to get them before they get the garden. I wish that the only thing woodchucks really did was chuck wood.

Categories: Dan Ladd

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