July 2021 – Groundhog War

I believe in live and let live. In general, we love the wildlife on the farm – the deer, the birds, the squirrels, the rabbits. What I don’t love, is wildlife in my garden. Each of my gardens is surrounded by fencing. Of the three gardens, two have six foot tall fencing, the third garden has a picket fence. As it turns out, it’s not the height that a problem, but rather the groundhog that’s digging under the fence.

I have corn, squash, pumpkins and cantaloupe growing in that garden. Actually, I “had” corn, squash, pumpkins and cantaloupe growing in that garden. It’s been decimated. The corn has been knocked down and the squash has been nibbled on – not completely eaten, just half of each – so I can’t use it. The cantaloupe leaves and vines have been eaten to the point that there isn’t much but stubble left.

I don’t expect the groundhog to starve. There is plenty to eat around here. In fact, there is a squash that volunteered from last year and popped up outside one of the other gardens – free for the picking. I even planted a pumpkin patch on the front hillside with some left-over plants. But I guess they don’t taste good without a challenge.

At first we tried blocking the groundhog tunnels with rocks. He just dug a new tunnel. We added reinforced chicken wire as a “bib” at the bottom of the picket fence that extends a good foot or so into the yard and nailed it all down with U-pins. He just started digging further out and made a longer tunnel.

Every day there was more damage, until we gave up and got a have-a-heart trap. We set the trap with cantaloupe (apparently one of his favorites) – and within hours, Gus the Groundhog was on his way to a park far away from here.

Truly, I hate to do this. I’m sure Gus has a family here, and I don’t like to upset the balance of nature. But, we actually rely on our gardens for food throughout the year. Winter squash is one of my favorites! I don’t have to freeze it, I don’t have to can it – it just goes in the basement and lasts all winter long. Squash will be a rarity this winter. I have five left (if Gus doesn’t come back). He already ate 23. He had to go.

8 thoughts on “July 2021 – Groundhog War

  1. Oh NO! That SOB! LOL! I’m glad you nabbed him.
    Remember years ago I had a have a heart trap for one and I caught a skunk?!!!
    I just bought some acorn squash at the market yesterday, I’ll be thinking of you while eating it.
    Hope you get more now that he is gone, hope it won’t end up like Lassie Come Home😱

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry, but Mr Groundhog had to go, I’m hoping he enjoys his relocation and will be happier there than in your vegetable gardens. I truly despaired after seeming the destruction he reaped, they do have thoughtlessness about them, so I hope all goes well for the remaining of your growing season and you will be able to savage more than you’d hope for your winter cellar.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. We had a visit from one of his relatives this past week. He got on our window sill and tried coming through the window, then decided to try digging under the foundation to maybe tunnel in.

    Liked by 1 person

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