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General Forestry => General Board => Topic started by: Old Greenhorn on April 11, 2021, 08:29:12 PM

Title: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 11, 2021, 08:29:12 PM
We just planted a new apple tree in the yard and the last 2 mornings I see that something is digging on the root ball, and also sig a little digging where I transplanted some sod. Last year we had a problem with a woodchuck messing up the garden and I am wondering if he is back. Might be a possum too, or a skunk. Either way, I don't want the guy in the yard since I am getting ready to plant the garden. I have set up a game cam to see if I can catch him in the act, but my camera is flaky and it didn't trip last night. 
 Shooting him would be tough as this guy is nocturnal, whatever he/she is. Plus, it will take a long time to catch him out and about on an open lawn and from my porch it is an easy shot, but not legal with the other houses around even if it is a safe shooting lane. But I have a box trap and I am wondering what would be good bait for a woodchuck, skunk, or porky? I am no trapper. ;D What works on these guys?
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: btulloh on April 11, 2021, 08:46:00 PM
Probably not a woodchuck if itís nocturnal. If itís a skunk, they usually dig small conical holes going after grubs. Put down grub killer and the skunk will stop coming around, plus your grass and trees will be better off without the grubs eating their roots. raccoons will eat just about anything including burnt hair with chutney, so anything from your garbage can will suit them just fine.  

If you get a skunk in the trap, cover it with your favorite jacket until you release it. 
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 11, 2021, 08:52:03 PM
Tom,

  If its a skunk he is a carnivore and I'd bait with meat. That would also attract a possum although I can't imagine a possum doing the digging unless he thinks he is smelling food under there.

   Woodchucks are not nocturnal so what you describe does not sound like one of them. Old timers used apple for bait in rabbit boxes which should also catch a woodchuck and maybe a possum. Coons would eat either meat or apple and are nocturnal but don't know what he'd be digging for.

   I don't know about a porcupine as I never lived near them. The only one I ever saw was dead in Maine on a trip to Bar Harbor and he was road kill and may have been bloated and looked as big as a beaver. I'd think if a porcupine he'd be stripping the bark on your trees.

  Could you rake the dirt smooth and look for tracks?

  A mixture of apple and dog food or raw fish or sardines and even a little salt might cover all bases. Good luck. Let us know what you find on a game camera if you set one out.

EDIT:I saw the skunk suggestion. :D If it was me I would cover with a tarp and go sink the trap in a deep hole in the creek in my front yard  for a few minutes.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: thecfarm on April 12, 2021, 05:34:45 AM
I would try to teach the skunk to swim too!!!
I doubt a woodchuck too. They only eat grass, clover. I don't think they dig, except to make a home.
There was a guy at work that was catching wood chucks on the company front lawn. He was charging them $100 for each one. Just a havahart trap with no bait!!!
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Sedgehammer on April 12, 2021, 07:19:52 AM
With what you posted, that'd prolly be an armadillo here. Supposedly allegedly you are too far north for them.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Corley5 on April 12, 2021, 07:24:59 AM

There was a guy at work that was catching wood chucks on the company front lawn. He was charging them $100 for each one. Just a havahart trap with no bait!!!
Was he releasing them back on the lawn when no was looking? :D ;D :D :) :)
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 12, 2021, 07:28:18 AM
Well, I checked my flaky game cam this morning. No digging evident and nothing on the camera. I am patient but will set the trap as soon as I get it back from my son.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Mooseherder on April 12, 2021, 08:20:36 AM
How much would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? ;)
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: gspren on April 12, 2021, 09:09:28 AM
You need a "wood" in front of your would @Mooseherder (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=3635) 
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Wudman on April 12, 2021, 09:21:36 AM
A can of tuna fish will attract most of your nocturnal predators.  Around here it would likely be a skunk.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 12, 2021, 10:37:11 AM
I tried tuna , then cat food last year, no joy. Come to think of it, I do have a black cat that has been hanging around here for 3 years or so. I wonder if they would dig like that? Doesn't seem likely.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Mooseherder on April 12, 2021, 11:23:59 AM
We had one hanging around a couple of years ago at the cabin.   He or she just moved on or became part of the food chain.
Last year was the summer for Rabbits.
 

(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13635/IMG_6111.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1502284933)



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(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/13635/20170710_194232.jpg?easyrotate_cache=1499738793)
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: 21incher on April 12, 2021, 11:25:29 AM
2 years ago we had a weasel that was digging up and eating all my wifes tulip bulbs. Put out a have a heart trap with peanut butter and started catching chipmunks but they would all be missing their heads in the morning. Turns out the weasel could squeeze through the cracks in the trap and chew the chipmunks heads off then squeeze back out. Finally I got the smallest have a heart trap made and caught it with bologna. That was the nastiest little animal I have ever seen and very frustrating to deal with. >:( 
Wood chucks usually leave a sizeable hole.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Patrick NC on April 12, 2021, 11:47:15 AM
I tried tuna , then cat food last year, no joy. Come to think of it, I do have a black cat that has been hanging around here for 3 years or so. I wonder if they would dig like that? Doesn't seem likely.
Strange that cat food doesn't work. I have a raccoon and a possum that face off over the cat food bowl on the back porch almost every night! They seem to love it. 🤣
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: btulloh on April 12, 2021, 12:04:52 PM
Raccoons get trap shy once they've seen one.  I had a raccoon turn the trap over on it's side then go in and eat the bait with no consequence.  They are well known for their smarts and cunning.  Never seen one dig though.  Maybe you've got a chupacabra that migrated way north.  Chupacabra (http://www.princeton.edu/~accion/chupa.html)  
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: metalspinner on April 12, 2021, 02:51:31 PM
I caught a nuisance skunk last fall with a can of tuna. I put the trap inside a heavy black trash bag with the opening of the trap just inside the opening of the bag. 
After confirming he check-in, I just grabbed the whole thing and put it in the truck for relocating.  
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Dave Shepard on April 12, 2021, 03:07:26 PM
How much would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? ;)
700 pounds per day, per Google. 
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Will.K on April 12, 2021, 03:08:15 PM
Groundhogs burrowed under and around my house for 12 years. They never did noticeable damage to the garden or anything else, so I never tried to get rid of them. Even if they had torn some things up, they would have been worth it. I loved watching the mother and babies eating grass and weeds in the morning dew, and to hear her sound the alarm to send them charging to the collapsed culvert which was their favorite entrance. And I loved watching a big fat male whip the neighbor's dog. Excellent creatures.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Remle on April 12, 2021, 07:23:27 PM
Raccoon's don't normally did holes, sounds more like a skunk but if it is a Night Bandit ( Racoon ) the best bait is a Lemon filled cookie, ( vanilla cookie with lemon filling ) just take off one of the sides and put the rest in the trap.  Years ago i belonged to a hunting club and one of the members was a veterinarian who told us about it . Now raccoon's don't forage every night so it may take a day or more to catch it, if that is your culprit.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: mike_belben on April 12, 2021, 10:12:20 PM
I got a mess of skunks with tuna back in mass where i could only use pellet gun. They were co-denning under a shed where the tunnel entrances started into a bank. 


Id sit on the garage roof in summer with a .25 benjamin air rifle that i put a lazer and flashlight on with pressure switches.  Most nights they were out just after dark.  A white paper plate for the bait that turns from full moon to crescent helps with night hunting.  When the plate is eclipsed something is over it, so put the lazer on it first and when youre all situated hit the flashlight on them.  You got about 3 seconds to hit them the first time then reload.  

Theyre pretty tough, and also good at getting away.  I think i killed 8 or so.  Theworst is when they get back under the shed and die then rot in the heat.  Dont hurt possums.. Theyll eat a foul rotting skunk. 
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Dave Shepard on April 12, 2021, 10:37:37 PM
Was that a .25 Marauder? I bought one a couple years ago. I was so impressed by pcps, I bought an FX Impact. 25.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: nybhh on April 13, 2021, 07:24:20 AM
I agree on it most likely not being a woodchuck.  I shoot about a half-dozen of them per year here and never see them past dusk.  Subsonic .22 rounds are quiet and do a pretty good shot with a head shot but a .223 is a more ethical caliber on those guys, they are tough SOBs.

Donít think Iíve seen anyone mention rabbits which are bad about chewing bark on fruit trees also.  Throw a couple carrots in the trap as well and weíve caught raccoons and woodchucks on carrots as well as cantaloupe.  

Also agree with .22-.25 air rifles being a very effective in more suburban environments.  The Benjamin is still the preferred go-to for chipmunks.  
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: cutterboy on April 13, 2021, 07:27:55 AM
I use apples for skunks, possums and raccoons and wood chucks. Half or quarter it so the smell is stronger.
Years ago I had a problem with skunks killing my chickens. Yes, skunks will kill chickens. Possums will too and of course raccoons. So anyway I bought a large have-a-heart trap and set it in the barn baited with an apple. Long story short, over that spring and summer I caught 22 skunks and one possum. I took them out to the pasture behind the barn, let them out of the trap and shot them with my 22. I missed one, he got away. I'd leave them dead in the pasture and the funny thing was that the next morning they would be gone. I wondered if a neighborhood dog kept bringing them home. :D

A few years ago I caught a skunk in the trap on the back lawn. The skunk had a baby that was outside the trap but staying close to mom. I decided to shoot the baby there on the lawn. How much stink could a baby skunk have? BIG MISTAKE!!! My wife was not happy with me. And moving the dead skunk off the lawn was no fun.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: nybhh on April 13, 2021, 07:50:14 AM
Mine are ALWAYS gone in the morning too.  Its amazing.  Iíve put up gane cams to watch what takes then and have seen:

Crows fighting hawks for mice and a dead bird that flew into a window (crow won), Owls taking mice and chipmunks, red foxes taking mice and chipmunks, coyotes taking chipmunks & woodchucks, and a black bear with 3 cubs taking woodchucks.  Still no Sasquatch sightings but you may get one with that neighbor of yours.

Truly the circle of life.  Chipmunks are the lollipops of the animal world.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: mike_belben on April 13, 2021, 11:20:31 PM
Was that a .25 Marauder? I bought one a couple years ago. I was so impressed by pcps, I bought an FX Impact. 25.
I think the marauder is a notch above what i had.  I gave it to a friend who loaned me a car trailer for a weekend when i was in a real bind up north.  I think it was the benjamin trail np xl 1100.  Definitely .25 caliber and i used heavy hunting pellets.  It was a single shot gas piston break barrel and was almost as loud as a .22LR.  
Some skunks took 5 shots, some just 1 or two.  I killed a whopper of a coon with one belly shot with it.  That was surprising. 
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Dave Shepard on April 13, 2021, 11:44:55 PM
Ok, different style guns. Mine are filled from a SCBA tank. The Impact will send a pellet through 1.25" dry white oak.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: moosehunter on April 14, 2021, 09:46:43 AM
Horse feed makes great woodchuck bait.
mh
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 14, 2021, 10:26:43 AM
   I'll second that. When I first got here I did not have a barn and bought and tarped a bunch of hay. I threw a couple of bags of sweet feed on the hay under the tarp and the woodchucks found it and cut into and scattered it everywhere. 

   I'm still convinced OGH is not having a groundhog problem due to the nocturnal visit pattern.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Dave Shepard on April 14, 2021, 11:13:54 AM
We get bigger things than woodchucks coming for grain.


(https://forestryforum.com/gallery/albums/userpics/14240/MFDC4120.JPG?easyrotate_cache=1564617037)
 
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: JJ on April 14, 2021, 11:14:27 AM

@Old Greenhorn (https://forestryforum.com/board/index.php?action=profile;u=42103) 

Do you think it could be a bunny attacking your tree?  They are nocturnal and diggers.  Maybe try a carrot instead of tuna :D

        JJ
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 14, 2021, 07:58:42 PM
Looks like I am gonna have to put a surf and turf buffet out there. ;D I figured out my camera problem, no hits last night beyond me passing by, Supposed to be a rain out tomorrow, but I am not seeing that on the radar, so I will try to get the trap setup. but with no traffic I don't expect much. Not enough damage for a bear, might be a bunny. I think it was attracted by the scent of the fertilizer pellets that came in tree bundle, or the stuff I added.
 I will keep you all in the loop when something happens.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: bodagocreek2 on April 15, 2021, 02:17:47 PM
Just caught a woodchuck this  morning, It took up residence under my porch. Used a apple cut in four pieces and some lettuce in a wire live trap. Needless to say it will never see it's shadow again.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: farmfromkansas on April 16, 2021, 03:16:16 PM
Do you have badgers in that part of the country?  I am having a terrible time with badgers on my farm.  Going to have to figure out a way to get  rid of them.  Was looking at Utube to figure out a way to get rid of rats, and made a trap, caught no rats, but it was tough on the possum population.  Something was eating my rat bait, guess it is possum candy.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 16, 2021, 05:38:38 PM
No badgers here, those guys are nasty and can wreak havoc. Rats are really tough, at my last house/shop I had a rat problem (next door to a restaurant that closed). I would try to shoot them out the shop window with plastic slugs out of a .357.  They were SO fast that they would hear the trigger click and be gone before the hammer fell.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: SwampDonkey on April 16, 2021, 06:49:36 PM
I haven't seen Pudgy Joe up around the house in weeks, but took a walk a few days ago under the yellow birch grove behind the house. He has a mound there that would fill a good sized tractor bucket, so he has tunnels under there. He was sitting on top of his big mound like a big fat king. :D :D
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 17, 2021, 09:19:02 AM
BINGO! Now I know WHAT it is.

Garden bandit identified - YouTube (https://youtu.be/Kg1Jl9DA8D8) 

All I haver to do is put some bait in that trap and we can drop him off at a more luxurious habitat. ;D But you know this guy isn't alone.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: farmfromkansas on April 17, 2021, 10:31:02 AM
Young neighbor showed me a video of a guy feeding coons on his deck, could count 25 fat coons, he was taking a big pack of hot dogs and giving one at a time to the coons, must have been a 50 pack. I have seen a couple armadillos on my farm, so they are moving north.  Otherwise only ones I have seen before were along the side of the road driving south.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: JJ on April 17, 2021, 12:27:36 PM
OGH,
You need a bigger cage trap..

        JJ
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: 21incher on April 17, 2021, 01:26:28 PM
I found it was illegal to relocate animals off of your property in NY. They must be dealt with according to the DEC regulations https://www.dec.ny.gov/animals/81531.html#:~:text=It%20is%20illegal%20for%20you,Wildlife%20Control%20Operator%20(NWCO) Looks like if raccoons are a nuisance they can be killed and buried but not moved. NY has some crazy laws.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: btulloh on April 17, 2021, 01:34:34 PM
Canít relocate them here in VA either. Doesnít seem so crazy really. I just relocate them downward and cover them up. Or just let the buzzards have them. Like Josey Wales said, ďbuzzards gotta eat, same as the wormsĒ.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: gspren on April 17, 2021, 05:43:21 PM
Years ago I threw groundhogs, coons, etc in the woods and they stayed there till they rotted or a dog, fox, coyote drug them off. Now I put them out in the open and the buzzards get there in a few hours and usually a few eagles show up and chase the buzzards off, fun to watch.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 17, 2021, 05:44:48 PM
Yes, NY has stupid laws and some that make sense but everyone ignores them. It's illegal to shoot other people, buy sell and use street drugs, but hose laws don't seem to make much difference it still happens. I will figure out a way to make this work within the laws of common sense and basic thinking. They can go worry about the city morons that come up here and feed the bears on the back porch because they look cute.
 Yeah, I might need a bigger box, but we will see.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: cutterboy on April 18, 2021, 07:25:47 AM
I found it was illegal to relocate animals off of your property in NY. 
Massachusetts too. It's really not a bad law but it is completely ignored. People in town trap woodchucks and rabbits and chipmunks and release them on my farm. They think the animals will be happy here and they are until they meet the old farmer with his .22 ;D
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: mike_belben on April 18, 2021, 08:51:18 AM
The secret to live traps is setting up multiples.  Some early bird is always getting in the trap and preventing you from catching the late show critter youre after, when using a single trap. 
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 19, 2021, 08:02:28 AM
Yeah, I'm gonna need a bigger trap.

Tree Killer - YouTube (https://youtu.be/ppWRdeFJk5Y)

Guess I should have fenced around it quicker.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: WV Sawmiller on April 19, 2021, 10:25:59 AM
Tom,

   Help me understand this. Are you saying deer in New York are devious enough they come eat freshly planted fruit trees then dig holes around the base of the tree to throw suspicion off on their woodland neighbors? :D :D
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 19, 2021, 10:45:08 AM
Well it might be one of those street savvy city deer that have moved here since COVID. I wouldn't put anything past them, but in this case I think I have created an attractive nuisance. ;D
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Kindlinmaker on April 19, 2021, 07:53:39 PM
Old Greenhorn - You must have different wood chucks on that side of the river.  The chucks on this side are very considerate and don't require relocation.  They just seem to pack their little bags and move on when they encounter us and learn they are are unwanted guests........That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I am old enough to have lived around old farmers who grew up working teams.  What a hate they had for anything that dug a hole.  My dirt bike riding privileges on more than one farm were dependent on the absence of any chucks.  Shoot em, trap em, give the dogs a workout, run em down with a bike - whatever it took.  And in true depression era "waste nothing" ethic, more than one of the associated farm ladies would put them up in brine for 6 months or so and find a use for them.

I worked for one farmer who had 2 hooks mounted on every tractor which held a pitch fork.  He was as deadly as a harpoon fisherman on a bow pulpit with those forks.

Now, we also have a method for dealing with your new discovery of a possible deer problem.  Our car insurance premiums attest to our process but we never seem to win or get ahead on this battle.  Not a recommended solution.  For being such small deer, they sure sure can cause a bunch of damage.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Old Greenhorn on April 25, 2021, 04:00:40 PM
I am going to need a MUCH bigger trap. ;D

I am going to need a much bigger trap. - YouTube (https://youtu.be/P98zW2GiljA)
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: JJ on April 25, 2021, 11:08:02 PM
I think just attach a chain link gate, for trap door on end of your porch. 
Maybe chasing that racoon who had his fist full of hotdogs (the stolen bait)..

Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: Kindlinmaker on April 26, 2021, 01:22:16 AM
Robo Chuck.  A much bigger trap is definitely in order......and a couple friends to help!

Or maybe just yield the new tree to the old boy and buy apples at the orchard down the road.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: KEC on April 27, 2021, 11:00:34 PM
OGH, If it means anything, I did wildlife control for ~27 years. Here is my take on this: When you dig a hole in the earth, it gets the attention of many critters. Voles are very much atracted to where you plant a tree/shrub. Just because you got a photo of a coon doesn't necessarily mean he's your culprit, coon eat voles. I think I would tamp down the dirt and take a wait 'n see. You could end up trapping a bunch of animals that did no harm. If you do trap for coon or skunk, dry dog food is a good bait. Keep us posted. Oh, you can get voles with rat or mouse snap traps (with the wooden base plate) baited with peanut butter. Cover the trap with a cardboard box propped off the ground on one end ~1-2". Keeps birds from getting caught and voles like to go under things to stay out of sight of predators.
Title: Re: Woodchuck bait?
Post by: KEC on April 28, 2021, 10:19:55 AM
OGH, Also, What you can't see is if the voles have tunneled down under the tree; they love that recently disturbed soil because it is easy digging. The problem with that is that it will cause the tree roots to dry out, which is a major cause of death for newly transplanted trees. Voles, especially Pine Voles eat tree roots. There was a big thing about this in your area years ago. The commercial apple growers used pesticides to control Pine Voles and there were problems with predators eating the poisoned voles and getting secondary poisoning. Something good came out of it, they learned that by keeping the grass mowed short around the apple trees allowed hawks, owls, foxes, etc. to better see and catch the voles. In some cases, a large pine vole population, chewing away on the roots can knock an apple crop by 30%.  And all you wanted to do is plant 1 apple tree, right ? !