HUNT THE GAR­DEN GROUND­HOG

Field and Stream - - F&S - —W.B.

A ground­hog is as wary as a white­tail and as tough as a boar, and if you let one, it’ll de­mol­ish your gar­den and col­lapse the floor in your shed. You have some skin in the game hunt­ing such a wood­chuck. But if you win, you can roast the crit­ter whole and serve it up with gar­den veg­gies. Get­ting to the cel­e­bra­tory feast won’t be easy, though.

The last prob­lem ground­hog I killed lived un­der the shed be­hind my cabin and evaded me for three days. I’d see him from the win­dow, ease out­side, and get my ri­fle rested on the porch rail just in time to hear his alarm whis­tle. I tried post­ing up be­hind a tree out­side and wait­ing him out. Just about the time I’d get im­pa­tient and stand up, I’d see his head pok­ing out of the den, star­ing straight at me. Busted.

The plan ul­ti­mately re­quired the couch. The night be­fore, I cracked open the win­dow of the cabin, pushed a couch up to it, and rested my .22 Mag­num across the sill, with the bar­rel pok­ing out­side. At daylight, the ground­hog wad­dled out of his den, and I was ly­ing on the cush­ions in my un­der­wear, wait­ing for him. I closed the bolt and squeezed the trig­ger just as he was get­ting sus­pi­cious of that open win­dow.

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