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RogueRose
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Dillbert wrote: in a single night a ground hog / raccoon / etc. can wipe out your entire season's work - but only "just before" you're ready to harvest.
Tell me about it! I had just finished thinning my lettuce and was all ready for it to get big and happy so I can have some REAL salad and then the enxt day I go out to my garden and it's all eaten down!

This was what it looked like BEFORE thinning:
[img]https://inlinethumb25.webshots.com/50072/2719703900062041520S600x600Q85.jpg[/img]

How much I thinned out:
[img]https://inlinethumb54.webshots.com/50933/2004002210062041520S600x600Q85.jpg[/img]

Literally the day after I thinned, groundhog damage, she doesn't like arugula apparently (I just planted arugula around my lettuce and making it a "fence"):
[img]https://inlinethumb05.webshots.com/48132/2425400670062041520S600x600Q85.jpg[/img]

This is what it's like now, after a 2nd groundhog attack and now I have the "Guardener" up and covered its hole. I doubt it will stay:
IMG]https://inlinethumb13.webshots.com/50060/2637647930062041520S600x600Q85.jpg[/IMG]
[img]https://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/50431/2634078940062041520S600x600Q85.jpg[/img]

Jeremy brua
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If you catch him don't waist him. They make a realy good stew!

orgoveg
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Jeremy brua wrote:If you catch him don't waist him. They make a realy good stew!
Possum, muskrat, coon, groundhog and porcupine preparation. The Euell Gibbons method:

Proper meat preparation is the key to good flavor. The jugular vein should be cut immediately after the kill to bleed the carcass completely out. After field dressing and skinning, be certain to remove the pear shaped scent glands located in the small of the back and inside the front legs. (The muskrat has them inside all 4 legs)

Cover the meat with cold water to which has been added ¼ cup salt and ½ cup vinegar. Soak for 24 hours. You can go 48 hours if the water is kept cold enough. If you want to freeze it, wipe it dry before placing into freezer bags. The flavor actually improves after freezing.

A better-sounding and common name for muskrat is “marsh rabbitâ€

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RogueRose
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Yeah considering what I'm feeding him/her I BET he tastes real good!

midtown bistro
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Ground hog eradication

I live in an area where ground hogs have been here as long as the early farmers were circa 1900. The den holes are under every barn, foundation of porches and decks, and even in the middle of people's yards. I knew by shape and looks that I had 3 ground hogs. A big ole fat one. A cute little one. And one that looked just normal.

I'm a engineer by schooling, so I tried everything I heard about. Here is my experience:

Gum (grape, watermelon): supposed to clog the gut of the ground hog and kill them. I tried about 10 packs of gum one year, scattered around their den entrances and around th garden. I know ants love it, couldn't tell if groundhogs ate it and whether it was effective because there wasn't a decline in the population.

Havahart trap: I learned that not just any vegetable in a live trap is a good idea because I caught the neighbors cat, squirrel, and a raccoon. Soon realized cantaloupe rinds worked best. I caught 4 of them over the course of 3 years. Noticed that ground hogs roam over a large area, eating clover, weeds, vegetables, and the like. Patience is required. And constant checking in case you do have one. Once caught, they can be feisty or calm. Just depends on how you approach and handle the trap with him inside. I drove them all 7.5 miles away (across 3 creeks, major road, and numerous wooded areas. Not sure, but we all think they returned. Not kidding. Many trapping forums say 10-15 miles is required because their dens are a complex series of tunnels which can take years to develop, also they mate and remain a social and family unit. Hence the drive to return.

Copper sulfate (causes flesh burns): supposedly putting this in their holes, which they dig through with their paws, causes severe damage to them. I used this with no proof of effectiveness. Note: copper sulfate is a root killer, so I probably shouldn't have done it but the guy who told me about it seemed knowledgeable. I wouldn't do it again.

Moth balls: dumping boxes of moth balls in every hole. I think this annoys ground hogs because 3 days later there are hundreds of moth balls thrown out into my yard. Stupid idea because they probably play with them before they kick them out of their dens.

Smoke bombs: worthless unless you can find every hole. Other forums indicate ground hogs have a guaranteed 2 entrances to a den, if they're there for more than a year, there's a network of tunnels and expansions, and hence more openings. I swear the neighbors barn (100 ft away) and garage, are all connected to my three holes. Trust me, I work out of my house and I watch my yard 5 days a week. Anyways, I bought 5 boxes of smoke bombs. That's a total of 25 smoke bombs. I've used every one of them, following directions, all holes in a simultaneous attack. Bottom line: they are expensive and useless. How do I know this? After months of bomb runs, several days later the holes are reopened, and remnants of spent smoke bomb casings thrown out of the hole.

Gopher peanuts (poison): I knew this wasn't going to work because the diet of ground hogs and gophers is different. I put one whole bottle in all 3 holes. Didn't see any dead ground hogs and didn't see a reduction in the population. A friend of mine said she put a brick form of poison in a hole and she's never had a problem since. Sounded to me like rat poison. I blew her advice off because most sites say rat poison is a waste of time because of the diet differences.

Pellet gun: I researched this for years. Borrowed a friend's gu which he said was very powerful. Stupid plastic toy it was. The issue with guns is you have to hit the ground hog in the head or it's cruel because they won't die quickly. .177 for feather friends, .22 for fur. For anything fur bigger than a squirrel, a certain muzzle energy rating is required. Okay so I bought a hunting pellet rifle with a scope, paid over $200 for the lot. Took me a while to sight in the scope, saw a ground hog about 100 ft away, shot it, hit it, he jumped and ran away. Bottom line: it's very difficult to hit a target the size of an apple at 100 feet. Even with a gun mount, these rifles take practice and precision pellets. I'll never use it again because I know I hit him and I know he ran off. Cruel, and ineffective.

Cats: rely on your or your neighbor's cat? Nah, they walk right past each other and I swear they say hello. Yeah sometimes the cats chase the ground hogs around, but seriously, a ground hog would kill a cat if it wanted. It's got the claws and strength and lives in the wild. And a cat eats out of a bowl.

Fox urine, animal deterrents: the garlic, red pepper, animal piss stuff you buy at Lowes is an waste of money. Yes it stinks. But after a few days in the sun, the ground hogs walk right past it, and sometimes eat the clover in the same spot. It's probably acting as a fertilizer haha.

Best solution: conibear trap. These are the most humane kill trap design made. Actually supported by animal rights groups. It's a spring loaded trap which comes in many sizes. Choose a #220 trap, aka 7" double-spring, which is designed for ground hogs, possums, and raccoons. Place in the den entrance, they ground hog (entering or leaving) trips the mechanism and he's dead. The traps cost 12 bucks. Get the setting tool and safety device for an additional 8 bucks. I've had mine over one hole for the past 3 weeks, and every 3 days I caught/killed a ground hog. Total: 5 ground hogs. Make sure you think through carcass disposal because you need to get rid of the dead animal some how. I bury mine ( dig the hole first before you deal with the dead animal), and keep in mind if there's one ground hog, there's another. If it is past June, they've mated and will produce one new offspring, every year. They live up to 10 years.

I've heard to fill the hole after no more ground hogs are trapped/killed because you don't want other ground hogs reoccupying the holes, or other varmints. I thought I had 3, but I've caught 5. Go figure.

So after 13 years of trying different ideas, all I know is that nothing proved itself effective other than the conibear trap, which nailed 5 of them in 3 weeks. If anyone can tell me something more effective than this, I'd love to hear it. Many ideas are urban legends, so I've found.
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LLandry11
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Wow! Thanks so much for that post "midtown"!
I learned a lot and had a good chuckle at the same time. :D
I too have a groundhog that lives within feet of the garden. He didn't cause a problem last year, so hopefully he won't this year either, but my husband and I were just recently discussing if we should try to get rid of him before the garden starts producing.
I would bet you've saved us a lot of money and frustration. :wink:

cynthia_h
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Re: Ground hog eradication

midtown bistro wrote:I live in an area where ground hogs have been here as long as the early farmers were circa 1900. The den holes are under every barn, foundation of porches and decks, and even in the middle of people's yards. I knew by shape and looks that I had 3 ground hogs. A big ole fat one. A cute little one. And one that looked just normal.

I'm a engineer by schooling, so I tried everything I heard about.
Wow. Thank you for all the information! I'm sure that, somewhere along the line, you tried having a high-prey-drive dog patrol the yard? If so, what were your results?

And with regard to the needed precision for the rifle, I commend and thank you for taking the need for a quick, non-suffering death into consideration. Given that, what held you back from combining the Havahart (I own one; had to trap my own cat after she got out of the house and didn't have the brains to come back in...) with shot? Surely the precision would have been available. As it was, the trapped groundhog(s) became someone else's problem--not fair to fellow gardeners/neighbors, as mentioned earlier in this thread.

I work with engineers, and have acquired the "All right, then; if that didn't work, how about this?" state of mind. I had to--my enemy was squirrels. Unfortunately, I live in the city limits, where firearms are forbidden, and a power slingshot would probably hit the neighbors' houses, so not a good idea. However, a neighbor cat now claims my yard as his territory, and many fewer (almost no) squirrels have messed with my veggies in the two years Large Gray Cat has lived here. :) So the idea of using natural predators/enemies comes to my mind readily.

Thank you again, but pls let me know whether you tried having a dog assist you.

Cynthia H.
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midtown bistro
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Trying to capture a ground hog by bait is a slow process. If you're good, you'll catch one or two this summer. That's a lot of broccoli and lettuce. Oh yeah, shooting in a cage works, but you have to catch them first.

If your trap is new, put it outside and let it get rusty and dirty. The new car smell will tell them to stay away. Also, don't touch the food with your hands, your scent might cause them to not take the bait.
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RogueRose
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I've tried:

[url=https://www.amazon.com/Havahart-5620-Repelling-Granular-1-25-Pound/dp/B00306ELYW/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=thehelpfulgar-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325]https://www.amazon.com/Havahart-5620-Repelling-Granular-1-25-Pound/dp/B00306ELYW/[/url]

[url=https://www.amazon.com/Shake-Away-8004520-Repellent-Granules/dp/B000BO4XZI/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=thehelpfulgar-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325]https://www.amazon.com/Shake-Away-8004520-Repellent-Granules/dp/B000BO4XZI/[/url]

[url=https://www.amazon.com/WILDLIFE-MANAGEMENT-GROUNDHOG-REPELLENT-Category/dp/B001U5IF9C/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=thehelpfulgar-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325]https://www.amazon.com/WILDLIFE-MANAGEMENT-GROUNDHOG-REPELLENT-Category/dp/B001U5IF9C/[/url]

None of those worked. I covered up the hole with a thick metal plate that is sometimes used to temporarily repair roads. It worked or a little while...but it dug a new hole.

I got this:

[url=https://www.amazon.com/Guardener-A201-2-0-Animal-Repellent/dp/B004VNDX9C/?_encoding=UTF8&tag=thehelpfulgar-20&linkCode=ur2&camp=1789&creative=9325]https://www.amazon.com/Guardener-A201-2-0-Animal-Repellent/dp/B004VNDX9C/[/url]

But the range on it sucks. I can't get the sprayer to work properly either.

Now I'm dumping cat litter down the hole. It really didn't like that - but it tried to do another hole. Well, I got plenty of cat litter where that came from. I put some litter in that hole too. (oh and it has to be USED cat litter - clumping.

Jeremy brua
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A thin layer of dirt, just enough to cover the wire realy hepls. As for touching the bait with your hands. Not a big deal. But you are 100% right with the canelope for bait. You can place a box trap right at the hole and cover the trap and the hole with a piece of carpet or a tarp and just leave the end of the trap uncovered. the 220 is the most efective method but I don't recomend it to people that don't know what they are doing. it could end badly for everyone.

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Gustav
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I feel your pain, I had the same problem with wild boars ploughing up everything just as it was 3/4 of the way.
Poke it in the ground to see if it grows?

midtown bistro
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Several friends use .22 rim fire subsonic rounds. As quiet as a nitrogen spring pellet, but wayyy more power. I should have gone that route, but I didn't want to deal with a permitted firearm, nor the worry of the round going past my target. Looking back, if I'm not good enough of a shot with a hunting pellet gun, then I'm not the right person for a gun.

Good luck to all that are dealing with groundhogs. A very widely commented on topic, but zero store-bought remedies. Probably why ground hogs live so long, they are hard to eliminate.

Does anyone know how many ground hogs use, or occupy a den? I thought MAYBE 3 (male, female, and one offspring?), but I've caught five so far. Sheesh, how many freaking ground hogs are there?!?!?!
All-container garden, up to 40 pots now

midtown bistro
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RogueRose: too funny with that motion water spray thing. I researched that too. But then just couldn't bring myself to leave a hose out all summer. Then I said to myself... What would be the use of scaring a ground hog vs not killing...they'd still be around, and hungry, and maybe more pissed off. Then I thought wait, any animal, cat, dog, or person would trip this thing.

Let me know how well it works, and how many times you got wet. :)

If you see a ground hog walking around with an umbrella you'll know he's smarter than us.
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RogueRose
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Midtown - I didnt want a hose attached either! This one is solar powered and has I think a 3gal tank and lasts awhile (well, depending how often it sprays!)

rkunsaw
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I have trapped them and shot them, but it's not easy to get them all.

I use an electric fence around my garden and it does a good job of keeping critters out.
I started with nothing and still have most of it!!!

treehopper
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yep, sometimes the most efficient method is not the prettiest...the conibear is my go to method. I cover the hole and the trap with a black 5 gal plastic pail-make sure that trap is securely anchored.
I started a compost pile, because I gardened. Now I find myself gardening, so I have someplace for my compost!!

midtown bistro
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This forum is good luck!

Not sure why, but after joining this forum on Saturday I caught a groundhog, and now this morning I got another. Same hole, same #220 trap. This makes SEVEN ground hogs in 4 weeks.

I never knew we had that many, and now I have no idea how many there actually are.
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rainbowgardener
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These days you can get solar electric fencing pretty easy to install and not overly expensive.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

Jeremy brua
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Midtown, watch out useing those 220s on land in Ohio. I would hate for somone to get fined over a whistle pig.

orgoveg
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Jeremy brua wrote:Midtown, watch out useing those 220s on land in Ohio. I would hate for somone to get fined over a whistle pig.
Jeremy is referring to Ohio Trapping Regulations which prohibit use of conibear traps with an inside diameter greater than 5" (except underwater). The #220 is 7"x7". #110 is the biggest legal one that I know of (4-1/2"x4-1/2"). That's just big enough for a groundhog to get his head into.

midtown bistro
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I just looked up the regs. Thanks.

You mention a 4.5x4.5. Can I get a 5x5? Is that legal?
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Jeremy brua
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I think bridger makes a 5x5 its called a 155. IMO a foot trap would be better. But if your in town dispatch might be a problem.

midtown bistro
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Ground hog trap regs in Ohio have a size exclusion

I found the exact groundhog regs in Ohio for 2012:


(D) It shall be unlawful for any person to set, use, or maintain a foot hold trap, on land for the purpose of taking a wild animal, that has an inside diameter jaw spread larger than five and five-eighths inches, or a body gripping trap having a jaw spread larger than five inches in diameter, except as provided in paragraph (BB) of this rule.

(BB) It shall be lawful to set, use, and maintain a body gripping trap to take groundhogs from March first through September thirtieth each year. Provided further, it shall be unlawful to use a body gripping trap with a jaw spread greater than seven inches by seven inches to take groundhogs.

(CC) It shall be unlawful to set, use, or maintain a body gripping trap to take groundhogs which is set more than three feet from the hole, or structure the groundhog is inhabiting.

(DD) It shall be unlawful to set, use, or maintain a body gripping trap to take groundhogs that does not have an enclosure or structure around the trap which prohibits other animals from getting into the trap from the outside.

(3) Body gripping traps shall be measured from the inside of the main jaw at the trigger assembly to the inside of the opposing jaw across the entrance window


Now I have to research how to build a legal enclosure.
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Jeremy brua
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its good that you can use them (7x7) for groundhogs. you can try to make a plywood box that the trap fits inside. Then put chicken wire on the other end so it looks like he can go through. You will need some blocking so he cant go around.

orgoveg
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Wow, that's good news! Where did you find that? I can't find my regulations booklet and the ODNR website is hard to navigate.

midtown bistro
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https://codes.ohio.gov/oac/1501%3A31-15-09
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midtown bistro
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https://codes.ohio.gov/oac/1501%3A31-15-09
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orgoveg
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midtown bistro wrote:https://codes.ohio.gov/oac/1501%3A31-15-09
Thanks. I had to officially declare war yesterday when I discovered all of my swiss chard eaten to the ground - inside my deer fence! I'm getting out the smoke bombs (they do work if you plug all the holes with old towels) and in September, I'm getting #220's.

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rainbowgardener
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Oh yeah, did I say the deer netting has to be staked down all the way around so they can't get under? I use earth staples:

https://www.gardeners.com/Earth-Staples/11858,default,pd.html

and that's because I garden in raised beds with wooden sides. For in ground you might have to bury some of the fencing to keep them from going under it.
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orgoveg
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Yep, mine is chicken wire buried down a few inches. In my case, they had to climb over it. The upper portion is just straight wires that anything other than deer can climb through.

Ohio Tiller
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Jeremy brua wrote:Midtown, watch out useing those 220s on land in Ohio. I would hate for somone to get fined over a whistle pig.


Yep Ohio law says they must be set in water. unless it is cover so no other animal can get in it. And must be set in the hole.

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RogueRose
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Just want to add that the KITTY LITTER solution is so far working GREAT! I have only had to add it TWICE and no chuckies have come back!! :::knock on wood:::

orgoveg
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RogueRose wrote:Just want to add that the KITTY LITTER solution is so far working GREAT! I have only had to add it TWICE and no chuckies have come back!! :::knock on wood:::
Same here, I think. Long story short: Two holes under shed. Saw groundhog's head poking out. Got bag of litter clumps and shovel. Poured litter into one hole and blocked with rock. Began pouring litter into other hole and groundhog ran IN to hole right in front of me. He was watching me from brush a few feet away the whole time! Filled holes with dirt. Groundhog dug himself out one end. Filled back in with shovel. Haven't seen him since.

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RogueRose
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Yup - I haven't seen mine at all this year, but seen the destruction. I tried a whole mess of sprays, nothing worked. Blocked the hole with a big metal thing that is usually used to patch roads (no idea where it came from, but found it in the garden by the shed), but it kept going around it. So put the kitty litter down the hole then put the metal plate over it. It tried once to go around it. Put kitty litter down the beginnings of that hole....I keep going back to make sure I don't see any new holes but haven't seen any yet. Either way, I got an endless supply of kitty litter.

TZ -OH6
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I catch several every year. Mostly young of the year looking for a new place to live. They walk into the live trap even when it is not baited, and do not care if it is covered in blood from the last animal caught --which was generally a racoon (sorry to be graffic, but a head shot with a 22 leaves blood).

I'm a true beleiver that if you can catch a skunk in a live trap you won't need bait for anything else. Animals seem to be drawn to a skunky trap. For skunks I set the trap so that one side is blocked so that I can walk up to it and prop open the door to let the little guys out. I have never been sprayed and often had repeat visitors the summer that the skunks were thick.

I also try to set the trap against a fence or side of the house. 'hogs seem to like to follow edges.



For bait I use peanut butter inside an old plastic jar.

Jeremy brua
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I like that there are some fellow trappers on here.

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