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How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is #6977021
08/28/20 11:47 PM
08/28/20 11:47 PM
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 70
MN
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trapperinfo Offline OP
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trapperinfo  Offline OP
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Joined: Aug 2020
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MN
So, I realized I had a new hole in my lawn and didn't know what it was. A few days later I saw a woodchuck in my yard in the evening. I couldn't shoot it. Next morning it was on my lawn again and I tried shooting it. 5 shots from my .22 and missed everyone. I couldn't believe it, I was only about 70 yards away. After it scampered back into that hole I tested the gun and it was a foot low at 25 yards. I've had this gun for over 20 years and it's never been off. I did borrow it to a friend so perhaps he dropped it or something.


Either way the woodchuck hasn't been seen since. The next day I set up a live cage trap with cantaloupe and banana using latex gloves. 2 days later and no woodchuck.


Is he so smart he doesn't come out anymore? I'm home a lot and haven't seen him. How good are their memories?


What should I do to get him? And is there probably more than 1 woodchuck or just him?


I did put Duke 1-1/2 CS trap at the other entrance I found. I am not sure this is the correct trap for a woodchuck but it says raccoon and mink so I thought it might be the right size.


These are the traps I got. Is the livetrap too small?

[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]


The woodchuch I shot at was small, probably 4-6lbs so I think he could fit into the 24" live trap, but I'm not sure.

I did notice a bad smell from the entrance and a lot of flies so I am wondering if I did hit him and he died in the tunnels. But maybe the tunnels always smell bad. Also, I haven't seen any activity in like 3 days.


*** I don't want to use poison as pets in the area and I want to make sure it's dead. ***

Last edited by trapperinfo; 08/28/20 11:50 PM.
Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6977149
08/29/20 07:01 AM
08/29/20 07:01 AM
Joined: Jul 2020
Posts: 139
PA
K
KeeperOfTheCoons Offline
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Posts: 139
PA
If you smell a bad smell from the hole, I bet it's dead. It would be cool to have a wire camera or something to send down the hole.


Always learning
Lifetime NRA member
Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: KeeperOfTheCoons] #6977174
08/29/20 07:29 AM
08/29/20 07:29 AM
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 70
MN
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trapperinfo Offline OP
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MN
Originally Posted by KeeperOfTheCoons
If you smell a bad smell from the hole, I bet it's dead. It would be cool to have a wire camera or something to send down the hole.



How far down the hole would he be?


I could maybe borrow one of those cameras from my neighbor.

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6977199
08/29/20 07:52 AM
08/29/20 07:52 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 90
Pennsylvania
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patrapper1989 Offline
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Pennsylvania
Keep your pets leashed for a day or 2 and put a 220 at the hole. I hunt them alot with terriers and it's pretty common for their holes to smell bad but a day or two with a conibear at the entrance and if it's not caught you likely got it. They also move around to different dens quite often so I'd check around more and see if there are any other sites close by.

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6977280
08/29/20 09:36 AM
08/29/20 09:36 AM
Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 9,285
Iowa
~ADC~ Offline
The Count
~ADC~  Offline
The Count

Joined: Jun 2010
Posts: 9,285
Iowa
Fill the hold back in. If he's dead, game over, if not he'll dig it back out.

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6977309
08/29/20 10:09 AM
08/29/20 10:09 AM
Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 65
Lemars, Iowa
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NWTrapper85 Offline
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Joined: Sep 2018
Posts: 65
Lemars, Iowa
Small black flys are showing active den site they urinate on entrance of den. They do have a smell to them not to be confused with and actual dead animal smell if it did indeed cease to be in hole.

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: patrapper1989] #6977445
08/29/20 12:21 PM
08/29/20 12:21 PM
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 70
MN
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trapperinfo Offline OP
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MN
Originally Posted by patrapper1989
Keep your pets leashed for a day or 2 and put a 220 at the hole. I hunt them alot with terriers and it's pretty common for their holes to smell bad but a day or two with a conibear at the entrance and if it's not caught you likely got it. They also move around to different dens quite often so I'd check around more and see if there are any other sites close by.



I dont have any pets but I did set a Duke 1-1/2 CS trap at the entrance. I then filled in all of the tunnels and recovered the wood garden with the plywood again. I've included pics.


[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]

Last edited by trapperinfo; 08/29/20 12:22 PM.
Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6977666
08/29/20 05:11 PM
08/29/20 05:11 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 10,045
Central NC
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traprjohn Offline
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Central NC
Filling in all holes, like ADC suggested is the best way to find out if you are finished.


www.sevenoakstrappingsupplies.com for trap mods and gear
The 10 Commandments are not suggestions.
Buy a soldiers meal EVERY chance you can.

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6977939
08/29/20 09:09 PM
08/29/20 09:09 PM
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 22
Hudson Valley, NY
Firemandivi Offline
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Firemandivi  Offline
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Posts: 22
Hudson Valley, NY
A wood chuck will remember being shot at. I kill at least 6 every year at my house. I've gone many days without seeing one especially after you miss a shot at them. Best thing is to put a 160 by their hole. I have never had a 160 fail to kill a wood chuck, if it uses that hole its dead. Of course if you have any cats or dogs they need to be kept inside until the critter is caught. I got started trapping when a friend told me about the 160 for wood chucks. Good luck.

Last edited by Firemandivi; 08/29/20 09:10 PM.

I don't make the same mistake twice. I make it like five or six times, you know, just to be sure.
Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6978385
08/30/20 12:42 PM
08/30/20 12:42 PM
Joined: Aug 2020
Posts: 70
MN
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trapperinfo Offline OP
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MN
Well, I might have got 'em.


I covered up all of the entrances that I could find and when I checked this morning and this afternoon nothing. Must have hit him with the .22 and he didn't react.


Or he moved onto a different den....if that's the case, how long until he might come back?

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6978585
08/30/20 06:12 PM
08/30/20 06:12 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,279
indiana
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wamp Offline
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Posts: 1,279
indiana
I try to fill in the den hole with broken bricks or rock then put dirt on top of that.
Here is a question for ya will a ground hog did out of his den if he has no where to move the dirt to within, its not like they throw the dirt on the outside.


"Keep your traps free"
Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6981520
09/03/20 05:33 AM
09/03/20 05:33 AM
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 1,257
Ohio
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Willy Firewood Offline
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Posts: 1,257
Ohio
I have experienced healthy groundhogs staying underground for 7 days with the only 2 entrances blocked with traps. I caught the last one at 7 days.

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6981666
09/03/20 09:06 AM
09/03/20 09:06 AM
Joined: Apr 2007
Posts: 16,566
Central Ohio
LT GREY Offline
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LT GREY  Offline
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Posts: 16,566
Central Ohio
The best trap for catching woodchucks / groundhogs, IMO, is the cage trap made and sold by Safe Guard, which has a hole in the bottom of the trap's design.
It is set OVER the hole, to which the animal when coming out of it's burrow, is inside the trap, yet still not captured.
In rough terrain, some altering of the surface is needed to allow the trap to set level.
Easily done with a spade, hoe and or rake. A sod buster hammer used by many land trappers, also works well.
The trap is then set right over the hole.
The door closes once the animal is fully inside the trap and makes it's way toward the back of the trap, trying to get out.
It then steps on the pan or treadle , firing the trap.
This insures that the only animal captured, is the one inside the hole.
While a standard cage trap baited using the right bait and presentation work well, this method is also subject to capturing other animals outside the den.
It also offers a kinder capture over a snare, kill trap or foot trap, which also work well when set by a skilled trapper.
The Jameson company in Pa. offers several baits and lures that attract them, should you wish to go that route. I have used and highly recommend them.
I release all my woodchucks / groundhogs to areas when they don't present further problems.
Animals do migrate of course, so it's not an exact science, still these animals are one of nature's burrow diggers and offer refuge to many other animals, including Bobwhite quail during severe winter storms.
We have so few of these animals locally, in an region where they once thrived in large numbers.
In my home state, coyotes are the chief predator of woodchucks / groundhogs, Ohio's largest member of the squirrel family.

Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6986305
09/09/20 01:01 PM
09/09/20 01:01 PM
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 1,361
Wisconsin
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MsgRet Offline
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Posts: 1,361
Wisconsin
I have found that orange peels are a good bait in a cage trap.


Grandpa trapper
Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6987060
09/10/20 08:13 AM
09/10/20 08:13 AM
Joined: Dec 2015
Posts: 948
West Cent IL
illinideer Offline
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illinideer  Offline
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Posts: 948
West Cent IL
I have one that just took up residence in my shed got a bridger #2 bedded for him.
J




Coyote
Mink
RedFox
Coons
Bobcats Released
Grinners All of them
USN AE2 VF-31 Tomcatters
Retired SMSGT IL ANG 183 Fighter Wing
Coyote U Class #4
Re: How smart are groundhogs/woodchucks? - How good is [Re: trapperinfo] #6989534
09/13/20 01:13 PM
09/13/20 01:13 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 268
Pennsylvania
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coalbank Offline
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Posts: 268
Pennsylvania
Next time just give him some apple or watermelon flavored bubble gum. It will be done in a few days. Can't pass the gum thru it's guts to vent.

Last edited by coalbank; 09/13/20 01:14 PM.
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