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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Woodchucks (Read 10511 times)
ballardhepburnmich
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Woodchucks
Jun 15th, 2018 at 11:35am
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Shot a nice big woodchuck few weeks ago with a small H&A single shot action with a old Winchester low wall barrel that I rechambered to. 22 WRF.I got him in the head at roughly 125 years. Sorry I have no pictures.
  Come on there has got to be some other woodchuck shooters out there. Let's hear about it.

Lee
  
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Redsetter
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #1 - Jun 15th, 2018 at 12:33pm
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Really want to hear about it?  It's a sad story.  For close to 20 yrs it was my passion, because I was living in an area of upstate NY with lots of small family dairy farms (not the industrial farms that now predominate), & where permission to hunt was not difficult to obtain. Furthermore, the land & climate obviously suited them, because they were prolific--it was a daily (& sickening) sight to see one run over in the road.

Then two disasters occurred: real estate speculators began offering the farmers deals they couldn't refuse, so vacation homes replaced the cows, and at about the same time the eastern coyote invasion began. Even smart farm dogs have little trouble catching them, so a pair of coyotes working together were absolutely lethal.  So the woodchuck population crashed, and where some escaped the coyotes by moving into subdivisions, they couldn't be hunted.  So ended my chuck hunting career.

By the way, I always hunted them with a very heavy Peterson-barreled Stevens 49 in .22LR using cross sticks & an optical rangefinder, & never took a shot under 50 yrds, mostly in the 75-80 range, and even that far necessitated some careful stalking.  The challenge of hitting them at hundreds of yds with CFs eludes me completely.  Once, just to see if I could do it, I stalked one to about 20 yds & killed it with a K22, one shot to the brain.



  
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svartkruttgris#369
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #2 - Jun 15th, 2018 at 3:30pm
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Woodchucks were abundant in one area where I lived in middle teen years. .22LR hollow points and brain shots reduced the population but not severely. Shot some decades later in upper NY state with .54 muzzle loader as practice for shooting deer. .54 RB over 70-80 gr Pyrodex RS, mostly upper body shots -- deadly.
  
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Deadeye Bly
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #3 - Jun 15th, 2018 at 4:25pm
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Redsetter is right. The coyotes eat them as fast as they grow. The survivors live in the suburbs or very near some farmhouse and along the interstate highways. Not much chuck hunting in these parts anymore.
  
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mike in Va.
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #4 - Jun 15th, 2018 at 9:03pm
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I have shot two ground hogs this year with a Maynard Model 16 in 25/20 SS sporting a John B Sidle scope.  But I must concur with the all the other posts, there are very few ground hogs.
  
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BP
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #5 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 3:50am
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Maybe somebody needs to start thinning out the coyotes.
  

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Bill Lawrence
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #6 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 8:33am
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How great, Joe, that in the Great Western Tradition, your 'chuck died, dramatically, with his -- err -- "boots" on.

Memories indeed!

Bill Lawrence
  
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Schuetzenmiester
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #7 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 2:31pm
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BP wrote on Jun 16th, 2018 at 3:50am:
Maybe somebody needs to start thinning out the coyotes.

Good luck! I have been told they do not respond to predator calls west of the Cascades.  Cry
  

"some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence
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BP
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #8 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 3:10pm
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Schuetzenmiester wrote on Jun 16th, 2018 at 2:31pm:
BP wrote on Jun 16th, 2018 at 3:50am:
Maybe somebody needs to start thinning out the coyotes.

Good luck! I have been told they do not respond to predator calls west of the Cascades.  Cry

They do like kitty-cat and mini-dog lunches. And you can help reduce part of the work load for your local SPCA at the same time!   Wink
  

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BP
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #9 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 3:40pm
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Joe,

Maybe its because of all the ethanol that they put in the mogas.
  

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BP
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #10 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 4:25pm
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Yep, and heavily promoted by Govt agencies to keep increasing production levels.
  

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Redsetter
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #11 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 4:26pm
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westerner wrote on Jun 16th, 2018 at 3:29pm:
Why is it there used to be bazillions of Woodchucks for vermin shooters at the turn of the last century?  No Coyote problem then. Coyotes migrated East?


Of course.  Woodchucks evolved with wolves, which didn't bother with them, & foxes, which were too small to tackle anything larger than a half-grown one.  Coyotes are to woodchucks, dim-witted to begin with, an alien invader against whom they have no natural defenses.

The other reason is the conversion of most of those small farms which provided pasture & thus food to support a large chuck population into subdivisions, trailer-parks, condos, etc.   

Anybody with a cursory interest in chucks knows this, has observed in taking place with their own eyes over the last 40 yrs, anybody EXCEPT the know-nothing wildlife biologists working for most state conservation depts.--because no fact in nature can exist unless it's been "proven" by a mutimillion dollar, multi-year study, & few if any depts. would invest that kind of money & effort in such a "minor" species.  One of NY's regional conservation offices in near here, & I've talked to their staff about this--about which nobody in that office knew ANYTHING, though hunters & farmers have been talking about it for yrs; hard to remember another group as ignorant & pig-headed as that bunch.  Amazingly, though there's a closed season on coyote hunting (to which I don't object), there's none on woodchucks, nor bag limits!  That might have made sense when there were "bazillions" of them, but then isn't now.  Only state I know that treats them (rightly) as a game animal with seasons & limits is Pa.
  
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BP
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #12 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 4:40pm
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Joe,

Don't forget that GMO food either.
Some stock producers have noticed that if you put GMO corn in front of a cow or a hog, they sniff it and then look up at you like "What is this crap?"
Then put down some of the old non-GMO feed corn, and the animals start eating. One rancher said he had to put a layer of non-GMO under a layer of the the GMO to get the animals to eat down through the GMO before they could reach the good stuff.
And if your stock don't want to eat GMO, the wild birds and animals won't be eating the pickings left out in the field that the harvesters missed, like they used to. Bad grains means less feed for the wildlife, and no one can give reliable info on long term GMO-feed side effects on wildlife.


  

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Redsetter
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #13 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 5:23pm
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BP wrote on Jun 16th, 2018 at 4:40pm:
Don't forget that GMO food either.
Some stock producers have noticed that if you put GMO corn in front of a cow or a hog, they sniff it and then look up at you like "What is this crap?"


Another situation in which close study of a situation by reliable observers is utterly dismissed by the "professionals" in ag & wildlife agencies; with them, nothing can be known or even surmised unless millions have been spent in "studies." 
  
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rkba2nd
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Re: Woodchucks
Reply #14 - Jun 16th, 2018 at 5:26pm
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Colorado treats a related species(Yellow Bellied Marmot) as a small game animal, with a daily limit of two, possesion limit of four, and requirment to retrieve the animal,care for and consume it. These regulations may have changed, so as always, check current regulations before heading for the mountains. The season usually runs from middle of August to mid October.
  

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