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Author Topic: Woodchucks  (Read 982 times)

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Offline Danausplexippus

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Woodchucks
« on: June 12, 2018, 12:19:20 PM »
My first post. Just joined the forum. I'm not a pro logger, I just have 15 acres, about 
four of them wooded, in southern Indiana. I have a woodchuck that has been living
under my deck for a couple years. He isn't hurting anything as far as I know, except
for dining on my milkweed that I planted for the monarch caterpillars. I can tolerate his
milkweed eating, but does anyone out there know if I should get rid of him? Is he or
his offspring likely to a cause a problem? 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2018, 12:41:46 PM »
   My view on all wildlife is leave it alone unless it is causing a threat or problems. If its not hurting you or anything you plan I'd be glad to have him around. I love watching all the critters from chipmunks to squirrels to bear and deer. Coyotes are about the only thing I will shoot except for game I am going to eat.
Howard Green
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Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2018, 03:02:32 PM »
I've got a couple of them around. If Chuck doesn't cause trouble, I leave him alone. 
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Offline Southside logger

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2018, 09:00:05 PM »
Chucky has been living here for several years, and he has the rolls to prove it, he has places around my log piles, under the rose bush by the green house, and down in the spring area between a couple of pastures.  Chuckette showed up last year and basically hung around the same places, this year there are two off spring that run around, hide under the kiln, zoom past me when I am on the sawmill, etc.  They are a hoot to watch, and they have never hurt a thing.  We dairy in addition to the forestry work, been doing that since I was a kid, and I have NEVER had a cow get hurt as a result of a wood chuck hole, even though everybody tells me that my cows will break a leg due to the holes.  
 
In all honesty their burrows are a good thing, they give the water a way to get into the ground when it rains, same as the meadow voles and field mice, think of them as natures aerators.  I doubt he will be much of a bother to you and might be good entertainment.  Just wait until you watch him climb a tree and whistle at you!!    
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2018, 09:49:49 PM »
We don't get chuck holes in the hay fields anymore due to coyotes, and I've never seen one in a pasture. I think the coyotes are why they like to be near the buildings.
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Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2018, 09:30:30 AM »
I was waiting at the mill for a lumber pickup this morning and got to see all the critters doing their early morning thing. Apparently my woodchuck herd is much bigger than I had originally thought. I didn't see Chuck, but Mrs. Chuck was out, along with three little chucklings. They can really put away the grass.  :D
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Offline Danausplexippus

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2018, 01:02:54 PM »
Thank you for the responses. I guess I will just enjoy his company.

Offline coxy

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #7 on: June 14, 2018, 07:02:21 AM »
if you get hungry there is your dinner they don't taste to bad  :)

Offline BradMarks

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #8 on: June 14, 2018, 05:30:48 PM »
And what does everyone think about badgers?  Encountered 3 on a back woods road last Saturday.  They ran down the road and then actually stopped to confront my pickup. They bloat their bodies out sideways to look bigger and make a mean face. But the sound a pithed off one makes is incredible. I swear it is the soundtrack to the zombies in movies. I have audio of that, but missed the video of the three, stupid thumb turned it off when I thought I was recording! I was told and always believed they were a menace to dogs.

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #9 on: June 14, 2018, 08:34:46 PM »
We don't have any around here, but if we did my opinion of them around the farm would be the same as coyotes. They choose poorly when they show up.
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2018, 09:07:35 PM »
I've got one,named Chuck who lives under one of my sheds .He ate the leaves off my cucumbers a few years which prompted me to install an electric fence around my raised bed garden .Evidently it deterred him .This old boy is the size of a beaver .He was only about 8 inches long when I first saw him .He's a male .Somewhat of a Romeo in early spring .

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2018, 10:46:10 PM »
We don't have any around here, but if we did my opinion of them around the farm would be the same as coyotes. They choose poorly when they show up.
Southside,

  What do you have against them? When we first moved here we had hay stored under a tarp and would store bags of sweet feed under there and they got into it but once I got a barn built they have not been much of an issue for us. They do get into neighbor's gardens but I don't farm so they don't bother me.

   When we first moved here the place was overgrown with multiflora roses and we had lots of rabbits and woodchucks. Now we got the roses under control/cleared out we don't have either the rabbits or the woodchucks. I guess we removed their cover and exposed them to predators like foxes, coyotes, bobcats, hawks, owls and maybe now even eagles. I kind of miss them but am not bringing back the roses.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2018, 11:21:06 PM »
WV, for some reason I was thinking of Wolverines, came upon one once on the inlaws ranch in Oregon while on a walk with the wife and dog, not a nice critter to have living under the porch. Badgers don't bother me. 
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Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #13 on: June 15, 2018, 05:57:37 AM »
I kind of miss them but am not bringing back the roses.-----Talk about an invasive species----They once thought it was a grand plan for "living fences " it became apparent it wasn't such a great idea .
As far as ground hogs they are as adaptable as raccoons . You can even find them in town and I have .Tried to eat my garden there too . 

Offline WV Sawmiller

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2018, 09:37:17 AM »
WV, for some reason I was thinking of Wolverines, came upon one once on the inlaws ranch in Oregon while on a walk with the wife and dog, not a nice critter to have living under the porch. Badgers don't bother me.
Southside,

   Well, you are lucky. We don't have Wolverines or badgers here. Woodchucks are often called groundhogs. Out west and in Alaska I think they are sometimes called "Whistle pigs" because of the alarm sound they make when spooked. They are about the size of a raccoon and will get into people's gardens but I think the biggest complaint most people have about them is the holes they make in the fields and such. Some folks call them Marmots (Scientific name Marmota monax as I remember). We saw them in Mongolia and our guide called them marmots over there too. Great terrain for them there.

    As mentioned above they are decent eating - kind of like a cross between a rabbit and a squirrel IMHO. I saw somewhere the hide is very tough and our local native Indians used the skin for drum heads.
Howard Green
WM LT35HDG25(2015) , 2009 4wd Dodge PU, Kawasaki 650 ATV, Sthil 440 & 441, homemade logging arch (w/custom built rear log dolly), JD 750 w/4' wide Bushhog brand FEL

Dad always said "You can shear a sheep a bunch of times but you can only skin him once"

Offline Texas Ranger

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2018, 12:59:10 PM »
They are eatable, but, they do not bar b q well.  Don't ask how I know.
The Ranger, home of Texas Forestry

Offline Southside logger

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2018, 01:02:56 PM »
Many years ago I baked a chuck, I ate it, but probably would have been better off eating the roasting pan instead. Now I just watch them. 
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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #17 on: June 15, 2018, 07:30:53 PM »
First of all you have to get a young one,not beaver size .They have a fat gland under their front legs you have to remove .You can cook them like a rabbit or roast them as you like .They are strictly vegetarians so it's not like eating a possum or a coon .
I know a lady who makes ground hog and noodles which is excellent .

Offline Dave Shepard

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #18 on: June 15, 2018, 09:12:10 PM »
One of the barn cats was in hot pursuit of one coming out of the grain building today. I don't think she caught up with it because she's still got all her legs.  :D
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Offline Wudman

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Re: Woodchucks
« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2018, 09:56:47 AM »
I ran up on a woodchuck (groundhog in these parts) field trial in my travels years ago.  The group was using Jack Russell Terriers.  They invited me to tag along for a while.  The dogs would go down the hole after the varmint.  Something was coming out.  This was in Surry County, VA.  There were a couple of participants that had travelled over from England.  It was the first time I had encountered this type of event. 

I used to have a couple of Dachshunds that were pretty hostile to a groundhog.  They showed the battle scars as well. 

A groundhog is not much of a problem until they get into your sweet potato or pea patch.  It doesn't take but a day for them to clean up everything.  As a kid, I used to take them out of the bean fields.  I haven't messed with them in years.

Wudman


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DanG woodchucks

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