Wednesday, June 23, 2010

When Woodchucks Attack

Seriously, i don't know if it was rabid or what. but Molly was barking like mad out under the tree and my oldest daughter went out to see what was up and came in and said that the dog found a woodchuck and it was really close and did i want her to throw something at it?

Glad i told her i'd take care of it cause it was only 2 feet away from the dog who was at the end of her lead and pulling, barking constantly.... the woodchuck was facing her down

I came out with the pellet gun (that we keep around as a deterrent to such things), 8 pumps or so, called Molly off.

the groundhog didn't move

i shot it in the face from 3 feet away and then it charged me!

i tried to hit it with the butt of the pellet gun and my leg made me miss, then it scrambled under the shed . i pumped the pellet gun again but didn't want to be at eye level with the thing if it decided to lunge out from under the shed. i tried to flush it out by going inside and banging stuff around but i didn't see it leave

i don't know if its gone or still under there.

but it had flies all over its face.

maybe its a female wih babies under the woodpile. but why would it challenge a dog like that? there was plenty of room for it to run clear around the dog.

I checked the dog for bites just in case, none. She's UTD for Rabies, but it freaked me out. I've never been charged by a groundhog before.

The pain that shot up my leg when i tried to hit the thing and the shock of it lunging for me had me shaking for a good 15 minutes. It just seemed wrong right from the start when i saw it there with the dog barking right in its face.

I swear they aren't cute.

I have words for those things that are not appropriate for a blog where children may be present.

Maybe it got a heck of a shock from the fence and is still screwed up.
 It was a rainy night and a wet morning, a wet groundhog and an electric fence might make a good lightshow.

I didn't get to check the garden close until just a half hour ago, but it did get raided again.  I saw some more damage after dusk last night but i can't tell if there is new damage where i looked this morning from the destruction of last night... but i did have the cauliflower and brussels sprouts in a different row that hadn't been gotten into yet.....  but the woodchucks found it either last night or this morning because there isn't much left of either.
The broccoli is done in, the cabbages are toast, the kohlrabi are too small to use or i'd pick them now to save what was left.

The swiss chard is hanging on, barely and the kale is the only thing not touched.

I can't believe it,  in a few days those horrid things destroyed weeks of work and effort, and then one of them has the nerve to charge me?

I'm going to catch them.

and they will die.


Faith said...

Yikes. Part of me wants to laugh uproariously, the other part just sit and pat your hand. LOL

I heard they can be aggressive. I know the one we caught did not seem afraid at all. I expected it to cower in the cage as I approached, but it just calmly stared at me, not showing any fear whatsover. When I got close to the cage and leaned over it, it immediately became aggressive, and I have no doubt it would have tried to bite me, rather than run away.

When we let it go, I set the cage quite some ways away, pointed the door opposite and got some distance between me and the cage.

Check city laws. I know folks here find out the hard way that it is actually against the law to catch large rodents in traps. So skunks, raccoons, groundhogs, etc all legally have free rein. Weird if you ask me, because they can quickly get out of hand. Gladly, the people in charge look the other way as long as you are not obvious about it. They won't pick them up. My dad bludgeons his catches to death, others I know take them for rides. I think planting poisoned bait in the traps might be a good idea, if you can be sure pets won't get to them.

Obviously, you can't have a dangerous situation like this with your children around! I hope you get it quickly!

Glad you are OK. :o)


icebear said...

I can almost laugh about it now. Its really close... but then i think of my lovely vegetables and i get mad again. :oP

As far as when they are caged, they can be aggressive and sometimes not. We have trapped and relocated many of them over the years. The bigger they are the more aggressive it seems. This one was relatively small so it was unexpected.
I can't bear to look at the garden this morning to assess.

i think next year we are going to try using electrified chicken wire to keep them out.

I love gardening, but i'm tired of growing only the things that the groundhogs don't target.
Tomatoes, corn, squash, zucchini, and cucumbers. That is what my gardens have consisted of for the last 6 years, even then the woodchucks sometimes bite all the ripe veggies in half and wander off, destroying it without eating it.

I think up here there aren't any trapping regulations, the only restriction that is in my way is the in town firearms ordinance that keeps me from firing a gun in my yard. As annoying as that is, i understand... houses are so close together it is risky.``

I'll figure out something one of these days! :o)

Leah Rachelle said...

Oh dear! You will look back on it and laugh eventually, but for the time being, I hope everyone stays safe!

My dad was covering a huge hole one of them had dug in our barn, and it chased him while he was on the tractor. Vicious little things!

icebear said...

I am able to laugh now. It took a few days, but i can!

They have been the bane of my existence in gardening since we moved in here. They have destroyed something of mine each year that i have planted. I like cosmos...and so do they. Flowers, veggies, they love them. Maybe i should try growing rocks. My luck they will eat those too.

I'm really thinking the crazy one has babies and that is at least part of the reason for aggression ... normally they just run away. I immediately thought "rabies" though, and that made me freak out maybe more than i actually needed to.
But i'm ready to try again with new seedlings for a fall crop. :o)