The cake. How could I forget the cake? In doing a little looking back at last year’s groundhog tales, I discovered a serious omission. A few days after shooting a particularly bold and pesky groundhog down at my neighbor’s dairy farm back in 2014, I came home from work to find a cake sitting on the kitchen counter. It was a thank you from my neighbor for shooting the groundhog. Well I like cake very much and considered that a great thank you. That cake has gotten a lot of mileage in stories told over the past year as well. “Remember when the neighbor brought you a cake for shooting a groundhog”. It’s not all that often that a cake is enjoyed both by being eaten and by being the centerpiece of groundhog hunting story. That is one mighty fine cake.
Number 18 and 19: August 18th
The groundhog hunting had slowed down a bit in August....
I was listening to a hunting podcast the other day and the hunter being interviewed brought up a great point about hunting. He talked about how hunting shows and websites make it seem like a hunter can go out, sit in a tree stand and 5 minutes later shoot a big buck. He talked about how going out hunting and not seeing a single game animal is normal sometimes. It happens and it’s all part of the hunting experience. And even though woodchuck hunting is not big game hunting and even though I am hunting in a target rich environment, I have come to realize that on some level my summer groundhog tales have been guilty of painting a picture of walking out the door and shooting a groundhog...
Groundhog tales to finish out the month of July
Number 13: July 12th
The dairy farm down the road from me continued to be fertile hunting grounds. I spent most of my hunting around some old sheds and the adjacent cut hayfield but the farmer had been telling me stories of seeing a family of groundhogs living around the main dairy barn. I had seen a family member here and there myself. The main dairy barn sits fairly close to the road so my sightings consisted of seeing a groundhog duck into the driveway culvert or the roadside ditch as I was driving past the farm. One day I was shuttling hay wagons back and forth down the road and nearly every trip past the farm, I would see a groundhog sitting by the road. The dairy barn groundhog family began haunting my thoughts. The challenges to hunt here were many. The proximity to the...
The weird continues.
Numbers 11 and 12: July 6th
On one of my scouting trips to my neighbors, I had walked the perimeter of a hayfield that had been cut several weeks back and spied a young woodchuck. Actually I was only 30 yards away and we spied each other at pretty much the same time. I could just see his head peeking above the re-growing grass as he stood upright. In an instant, he ducked down and was gone. The evening was getting late and I spooked him pretty bad so I made a mental note of where the den was located and finished my walk around the field.
On July 6th as per my usual groundhog hunting routine, I finished afternoon barn chores and set out for an evening hunt to relax and unwind from a busy day. It was as good as ever time to go hunt near the den I had found at the back of my neighbor's hayfield. The approach would be an easy...
Number 8: June 28th
After my three successful back to back to back off hand shots on my last groundhog hunt, I was feeling pretty darn good about myself. In hunting, it’s important to grab on to those moments and savor them because guaranteed they do not last.
To the south across the road from my chicken barn is a north-south fence line that divides one neighbor’s hay field from another neighbor’s vacant field. It had been a couple of weeks since hay was cut and the new green growth was abundant and lush. I had been seeing a groundhog in the hay field along that fence line most evenings. On my next free evening, I walked across the road to the fence line. And while I say fence line (which it is because there is a fence), it is really an overgrown tree line. I had cover galore to approach this woodchuck without being...
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