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nafex - [NAFEX] war on woodchucks

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  • From: "Alan Haigh" <>
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  • Subject: [NAFEX] war on woodchucks
  • Date: Sun, 29 Jun 2008 14:27:00 -0400

Sure is a lot of new traffic on the list as we dealt with woodchucks about a month ago. Are you sure the issue is woodchucks because your damaged plant list isn't high on the menu preference of my chucks.  Sounds more like the work of deer who are more likely to show up during absence of the self-proclaimed garden owner. 
Woodchucks here are more attracted to the cabbage family, carrot tops, peas and lettuce and usually leave the squash alone in my faulty memory- that was certainly the case for me this year where there was winter squash immediately next to collards, broc, peas and carrots.  The broc and carrots were most decimated before I got this years Charlie. Squash was untouched.   Deer love mulberries above all else here while woodchucks have never been a problem for them here.  Deer like squash leaves also.
When a woodchuck shows up in my garden the first thing I do is cover the damaged plants with floating row cover to buy some time using a few staples.  Chucks seem to be too cautious to work hard to get under the covers. 
I'll put a baited trap in the garden, trailing cabbage and lettuce into the trap but then I try to find the animals burrow.  If I can place a trap in front of a burrow I get the vermin every time within a day.  This year I had one that refused to go into the garden trap and I simply couldn't find its hole anywhere.  After about a week I finally had a general idea but for the first time there was no obvious loose dirt and hole or trail.  I just watched him dart into a rocky area and placed a trap there and he was caught by that afternoon.  Another one showed up on my property a day later almost like a vacuum suck but I was lucky enough to get him with my little shotgun before he settled in.
Patient types will wait and shoot them with a 22 and some like to use smoke bombs but live (have a cold heart) traps always work well for me.  I'd much rather have to deal with the woodchucks and deer we have here than the ground squirrels and gophers I use to deal with in California. 

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