Bowhunting Groundhogs on Video with G5 SGH Broadheads
I grew up in southern NJ hunting deer and small game. At the age of 14 I worked all summer to save enough money to purchase myself a new bow. It was a no name combo package, but I managed to kill a doe the first night out with it and I was hooked!
There was a sod farm right down the road from my house where my dad would drop me off after school to bow hunt. Year after year I would bow hunt this property and although the farmer allowed it, he never really seemed to want me showing up every fall. It was easy to see he had a MASSIVE problem with groundhogs. Holes were all over his fields, in his irrigation pipes, and anywhere he had equipment they were actively making themselves a home. One of his workers shoots them with a .223 at another farm but unfortunately at this particular spot, there’s a park with walking trails and a ton of human activity around.
New Jersey and the sound of rifle shots don’t mix very well, so we decided to go after these pests with our bows. At first, we were shooting regular muzzy broadheads taking lung shots just like deer hunting. We quickly learned that although lethal, complete pass-throughs normally ended with our arrows lost under the grass in the field and wounded groundhogs running down their holes. After paying $20 bucks or more for an arrow and broadhead, it got old really fast! We were spending more time looking for lost arrows and staring at blood trails going down into the holes then anything. That’s when we decided to try the G5 Outdoors SGH (small game head). What a difference! I soon found out that these worked far better then a normal broadhead, and head shots were key. A quick shot to the head and they were out cold. Not only were we getting the groundhogs, but if we missed, the blunt tip with the three blades wouldn’t burrow into the sod making arrow recovery a breeze.
Suddenly the farmer went from a half nod, to stopping to see how we were doing, and smiling! We started filming our hunts for fun and whenever he would drive by and see us stalking with bows and camera equipment, he’d just shake his head and laugh. The sight of a couple of guys with bows was a joke at first, but after seeing numerous piles of dead groundhogs, he soon changed his mind. Bowhunting groundhogs was excellent practice and when deer season rolled around it was no longer a surprise to see my truck pull up after being out there all summer. A lot of people that have access to farms show up only when deer season rolls around. I’ve come to realize that helping take out a few pests during the summer goes a long way when it comes to trying to lock down a spot to deer hunt.
Over the years of hunting this farm, we’ve learned to use the terrain to our advantage to stalk up to the different holes. If you watch our videos it may appear to be easy almost as if the groundhogs just let us walk up and shoot them. What you don’t get to see is the countless hours we’ve spent staring at holes waiting for them to come back out. Over time we’ve figured out a few great ways to kill them and get the close-up GoPro impact shots on video. While driving down the lane, the hogs in the field will take off down their holes. We noticed that by the time we parked our truck a lot of times they’d already be back out in the fields. We’d try a stalk but 99% of the time they’d run straight down the hole the second they saw us. Sometimes we’ll walk straight to the hole (talking not acting like we’re hunting them just like we’re on the farm working) and set up 20 yards behind the hole on the backside. Occasionally they’ll slowly pop their heads up looking the direction they saw us coming, allowing us to get a back of the head shot. Still, the majority of the time, we will sit there with no luck at all.
I found that the absolute best way to kill them with a bow in this spot, is to drive my truck straight out into the field right to whatever hole one just disappeared down. Next, I’ll drop a guy off on the backside and set a camera up right on the hole. Finally, I’ll drive across the field and park maybe 100 yards away. Most times I can watch with binoculars, and it doesn’t take long for the groundhog to pop its head back out looking my direction. Because they’re so used to farm equipment, driving around in my truck is not a threat. As the groundhog is checking me out, the shooter is able to draw his bow from behind and deliver the knock out punch. That’s one way we get multiple camera angle shots.
One year there were two Bald Eagles that would literally watch us shoot them waiting for a free meal. I even managed to hide a GoPro in the grass next to a dead carcass and film an eagle eat it for an hour straight. Although it seems harder and harder to find time to get out and hunt groundhogs, it’s always enjoyable to walk around on a nice summer evening trying to stalk a few groundhogs. The bow I currently shoot is a Prime Defy, with Carbon Express Blue Streak arrows, and 100 grain G5 Outdoors small game heads (S.G.H). I’m sure I’ve killed over 10 groundhogs with a single small game head. If you like shooting groundhogs from a distance and you’re in for a new challenge, try picking up a few of G5’s SGHs and seeing how close you can get. I’m warning you now, it gets addicting!
Click Below to Watch Dan’s Bowhunting Groundhogs Video:
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- Bowhunting Groundhogs on Video with G5 SGH Broadheads - August 28, 2015