Saturday, September 24, 2011

Groundhog Day - 9/24

After three weekends, I finally live trapped the groundhog which was living under my storage shed.  I have tried placing the trap at various locations around the shed and tried different baits with no success.  I finally found the right combination of location, bait, and timing.  The trap was placed on the left side of the shed.  I used Gala Apples and dehydrated bananas from Trail Mix that I bought from Aldi.  I set the trap around 9:00AM, with plans to go grocery shopping in the AM.  As usual, I got distracted, and the Pitt game was on TV at 12 Noon.  I looked outside and there it was, in the trap.

I was not sure how sturdy the cage was, so I wanted to relocate the groundhog as soon as possible.  I lined the trunk of my car with a tarp, cardboard, and newspaper, in case the animal got nervous and completed a bodily function.  I read you should cover the cage with a towel so the groundhog will not get nervous - I used a black T-shirt.  Lifting the cage, then carrying the cage was difficult, as the animal got nervous and was moving and clawing inside the cage.  I finally got it in the trunk and drove to North Park.  For the first five minutes of the drive, I could hear the groundhog clawing at the cage.  I found a good spot to release it and again carrying the cage while the animal was moving got on my nerves.  I placed the trap on the ground, and opened the trap door.  I tapped the other end of the cage and the groundhog bolted right out the door into the woods.

I have not read that they are social animals, so hopefully there was only one groundhog under the shed.  I have read that the mother has babies in the spring, and the babies eventually leave the burrow when they are ready.  I am going to reset the trap Sunday morning (and Monday too since I am taking off work) to make sure there was only one groundhog.

My work is not done.  I have to block access on all four sides of the shed.  With winter coming and the amount of daylight getting shorter, I have some work to do.

Happy Groundhog Day!


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