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Groundhog Hunting Tips?


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#1 Short Bus

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 04:02 AM

Anyone care to share any tips for hunting groundhogs? Best time(s) of day, approaches, their habits/mannerisms, etc.?

#2 Glen

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 10:03 AM

SB-- Here in Ohio they will be out all thru the daylight hours. I've found that if they see you coming try to set in the shade. If they set up & see you they will usually give you about 5-10 seconds before they hit the ground running. Sometimes they will stop at the hole for one last look. You gotta be ready then. Good Luck & keep us posted on your progress. We'll help you where we can. biggrin.gif

#3 Short Bus

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Posted 22 August 2006 - 06:45 PM

Thanks for the reply, Glen. I've taken a few after they post up for a last look once they've run a bit. I hunt them on cow pasture land in SW Virginia. Manuevering around the electric fences sometimes makes getting into position a challenge!

#4 Hairtrigger

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:52 AM

They seem to let their guard down right after a summer thunderstorm when the sun comes out. They act the same way very early spring when they first come out of their holes and in the fall when the soybeans are harvested and the 'chucks are getting ready to hibernate

#5 TJD

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:07 AM

I have taken several ground hogs with a Dan Wesson 357 and open sights (My eyes were better then.) here are some tips that helped me get closer. If a ground hog sees you and runs for it's hole and you decide to wait it out, here is a tip. Don't wait in the same area where it last saw you. That is the first place it will look as soon as its head clears the hole. If possable I would move 180 deg. away from where it last saw me and sit in a shady place and enjoy the view. Next If you are stalking a Ghog, try to keep a some type of cover in front of you to break up your out line. If the Ghog is feeding you move only when its head is down in the clover when it stands up you freeze untill it resumes feeding. When you run out of cover it is time to check the range and wish you had the rifle instead of a six inch hand gun. HA

#6 plain old Bill

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 04:20 AM

This could be a nice fun thread.

Tips suited for "walking" woodchuck hunting rather than set long distance as a whole although both apply in some cases. Example; Walking being closer range calibers 22lr,rim mags,22 Hornet,Fireball along with pistol,bow.

* Never wear a all white,light grey or black shirt. Greens,tans,olives work well. A woodchuck spots a white tee shirt worn on a hot summer evening hundred of yards away.
* Walk the edges,hedge rows and stay in the shadows when possable.
* Pastures produce much less as compared to crop fields ex. - hay,soy,etc.
* In hay fields; the more weeds such as clover etc. the better. I have seen many large well maintained hay fields with few weeds and few woodchucks. Often the scruffy looking fields have the most woodchucks.
* Holes are where it's high and dry not low and swamped in spring.
* Pre scout fields; look for active holes. Pace off distances along fence or hedge rows in 100 or 150 yard chunks. Memorise land mark distances (150 yards from the old gas well to hedge row) Mentally mark good set spots.
* Know the hot hour, when woodchucks are out most for your area by marking your watch simply as you drive. This time changes through the season. Be there during the best hour.
* Always good after a light rain. They don't drink water, they get it from plants.
* Other areas to hunt besides crop fields although not as productive; railraod tracks & along streams.
* The average time they stand is 10 seconds. When grazeing back to the hole they often make one last stand before entering. The last stand is often very upright and tall. Realize if there is a hole clump at his feet this is likely your last chance and be ready. If severly startled they won't make the last stand. If just nervous or a little spooked (seen ya, but have not been shot at yet for the year) they often do. Grazing back they nearly always do the "last stand".
* Some hunchs from experiance not scientific proof; *red tail hawks follow the fresh cut fields. When I enter a fresh cut and a couple hawks are there it will be slow for awhile. If not spooked,when they stand they are normally looking in the direction of other woodchuck "neighbors" not predators. High winds less woodchucks out. If you walk near or over a hole then set up for that den and wait, they won't come out. Don't walk directly over a hole and then expect one to come out that evening. A sharp whistle often from a hedgerow row "whistlepig" woodchuck while your up and moving is a danger warning to others.........sit down and wait a few minutes. It's easy to spook crows in a field. Spooked crows spook the woodchucks whom then stand spot the "walking hunter" and run. Spook the crows........sit down or stand along the hedge row cover for a few minutes.
* Knee high hay although you can only spot them when standing can be your friend,easy to move up etc. They fear little in the taller grass and are more active. Fresh cut fields can equal very spooky woodchucks and is better for long distance shooting. In-between is ideal for the walking hunter. Also be ready for more off hand shots in knee high hay as they suddenly pop up 50 yards from you. Have the right exploding bullet for the off hand upper body shot at closer ranges.
* You don't need a laser range finder for walking woodchuck hunting................save the "hundreds" on one.
* Go light- use your scope for "glass". Every time you walk count the paces and grid the field in your head.
* Know your cold barrel p.o.i. and what to expect.
* In low cut fields learn to look for their heads just sticking out from the hole and snipe'em. Low cuts they don't just casually appear from holes like in mid high fields........they scout first. In a heavily populated field with a fresh low cut. I shoot more in the head barley out of the hole (scouting before commiting) than I do out. Look for the "little brown pumpkin" in low/fresh cuts.
* Aim for the ear when broadside, it helps to focus on a spot.
* Make or buy some shooting sticks

Edited by plain old Bill, 23 August 2006 - 04:21 AM.


#7 Short Bus

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 01:30 PM

QUOTE (plain old Bill @ Aug 23 2006, 09:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Often the scruffy looking fields have the most woodchucks.


I guess the scruffy fields attract the vagrants. laugh.gif

#8 Pecci

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 02:15 PM

You should write a book, Bill. That's great stuff.

#9 plain old Bill

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Posted 23 August 2006 - 04:49 PM

Thanks for the kind words pecci.

But,

I could just see the look on a editors face with my speller and grammar. blink.gif huh.gif laugh.gif

POB wink.gif

Edited by plain old Bill, 23 August 2006 - 04:50 PM.


#10 Glen

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Posted 24 August 2006 - 06:43 AM

laugh.gif @ ^^^^

I want to see the look on his face when you show him the pictures you want in the book!! laugh.gif


Remember when writing your book that I read better when there are more pictures than words!! anim_rofl2.gif

#11 vvarmitr

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Posted 29 August 2006 - 05:10 AM

  • Always have a gun w/ ya & a pair of bino's.
  • Never kick your butt for messin up cause there is a lot more were he came from.
  • Don't take the dog! dry.gif
  • Take several guns w/ ya.
    one for long range
    one walking stalking (med' range)
    a pistol for sneaking up on one
    a 22lr pistol for the coup de grace
    a shotgun w/ slugs & shot (because you can)
    your big game rifle
    & one for swappin, ya never know?
  • Wear a hat!
  • Never stick the barrel down into the hole to finish one off. Trust me! blink.gif
  • take a butt pad. It'll not only save your @$$, but your crotch as well when you cross the fence. wub.gif

That's all I can think of for now. wink.gif

#12 hummer

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Posted 05 September 2006 - 04:04 AM

I take red ribbon or telephone marking flags along to mark holes when scouting in fields, so when I sit, I can spot where the holes are rather than trying to guess....especially when there are so many! sad.gif

#13 TJD

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Posted 08 September 2006 - 08:52 AM

Hummer,

The idea of using orange flagging to mark dens is a good tip. I use it also. My closest shot came as the results of using flagging.

On one farm where I had premission to hunt, the ground hogs would den in the edge of the woods that surrounded the fields. In the years that I hunted there, I saw only one ground hog out in the field. One of my favorite methods of hunting this farm was to stalk the ground hogs as they sat on the dens. I carried a Dan Wesson 357 Mag for a side arm. The Dan Wesson had a six inch barrel and open sights. (Yes, my eyes were better back then.) I had a 357 mag load that used a Remington 85 gr hollow point. It was fast and accurate.

On the evening in question I had stalked a den but did not find the occupant. I decided to tie a flag of orange ribbon to an overhead limb. I holstered the Dan Wesson and unrolled the tape. Here I was, standing beside the hole reaching up as high as I could trying to tie the flag, when I heard a sound. The ground hog had walked out of his hole to within inches of my boots. At times like this you can't move slow enough - fast enough. By sliding my hand down to the six-shooter, I was able ease the gun into position and fire.
That was my closest shot and kill.