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Some health issues over the past year have limited my mobility, but I may try to do some groundhog hunting before hay gets too tall. Is anyone seeing any groundhogs out yet?

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Not yet but it won't be long as the weather warms up

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I saw one out in Southern MO 2 days ago.

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The ol.lady said she saw one last week. Buddy lives by that spot and said it was hit a couple days later.

No reports of others yet but with this coming week being warm, i figure the sleepy dudes will be out.

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I saw where some fresh dirt had been cleaned out of a groundhog hole last week, so I'm assuming that the occupant had woke up.

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Seen the first roadkill last week.We got a little cold snap so they may have went back to sleep for a few days.

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I saw one a few days ago before the cold front and snow came through Friday night. There's not a whole lot around my neck of the woods anymore.


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We have very few in Pennsylvania anymore. Many want to blame coyotes but they never seem to have anything to back it up. I think it’s fewer farms only because I grew up on a farm and we had three neighboring farms. Now there are no cows and no wood chucks. It’s like that all over our area. I don’t know, I could be all wet… But when I was growing up, I would hunt woodchucks just about every day and many days twice. I shot a lot of chucks and it always seemed like every one I shot would be replaced by two. Those were the days…

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There aren't as many around here as there used to be, but there are still some, and they usually stay tight to barns and other structures. Got to be careful getting a shot on them.

I have a couple hundred 40 grain Vmax around here somewhere. Need to dig them out and work up a load with a 223.

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Originally Posted by 450BM
We have very few in Pennsylvania anymore. Many want to blame coyotes but they never seem to have anything to back it up. I think it’s fewer farms only because I grew up on a farm and we had three neighboring farms. Now there are no cows and no wood chucks. It’s like that all over our area. I don’t know, I could be all wet… But when I was growing up, I would hunt woodchucks just about every day and many days twice. I shot a lot of chucks and it always seemed like every one I shot would be replaced by two. Those were the days…



What Ive noticed here in Southeast and south central PA is that I dont find them as often in the wide open fields like in the past. They seem to have their dens in the wooded and brushy edges and stay closer to the cover. That being said I kill at least 5 a year just in my just under 3 acre "backyard"

As far as the OPs question I havent seen any yet but have seen that some sticks etc I put over some holes on my yards edges in the fall have been moved sometime in the last 2 weeks and there seems to be some fresh dirt around them as well. Saw a fresh roadkilled one near here about a week ago also.

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When I was growing up in the 1960's, groundhog hunting was a big thing here. People would ride the roads looking for them, and I was one of those hunters. My cousin would drive, and I'd shoot them with a scoped 22 rifle. They seemed to be everywhere. Later on, I had a 243 and killed a bunch with it. Back then, you could find them anywhere, especially in and around a soybean field. Groundhogs could easily eat up several acres of beans in a large field.

While I don't know if the coyotes had anything to with it, it seems to be that about the time we began to see coyotes here in numbers, we saw a decline in groundhogs. The deer now do far more damage to soybeans than the groundhogs ever did. The groundhog is now seen more in wooded areas and in old buildings. As a matter of fact, most I kill anymore are in and around my old barns and outbuildings. I will say this though, in recent years I'm seeing more sign that they are moving back into soybean fields, as I see their dens in the fields after they are harvested. I'm also seeing a decrease in the number of coyotes here, so you can connect the dots if you want to.

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I saw two different groundhogs out in the past week in SE Indiana. Typically, they will come out this time of the year however den back up for several more weeks. I have also seen wood ducks in the creek as well as small asian honeysuckle bushes budding out.

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Growing up on the farm I only saw one coyote and that was after we got rid of the cows. I don't know if it was coincidence or not but the woodchucks started disappearing from all the farms I hunted, which was a lot!. Who knows, did the coyotes start showing up after the cows were gone or do cows and woodchucks go hand in hand and have "symbiotic" relationship. We use to have lots of rabbits around too and they started disappearing the same as woodchucks but this was 25 years later. Whatever it is it sucks...

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Saw a big groundhog today, beside the road in a field.


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Supposed to get up into the 60s here by Sunday. I think I have a 40 pack of Remington 45 grain 223 hollowpoints around here somewhere, that i bought before the election. I might just get a zero with them if I can find them.

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I have a big farm here that I hunt them with my .32 flintlock. Most of their fields used to be clover or alfalfa and was really good hunting with multiple kills most evenings. They lease it all now and the fields are planted in soybeans or corn, which means I have to hunt them early in the year before the crops get too high. Wish it would go back to the way it was.

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Originally Posted by blackpowder62
I have a big farm here that I hunt them with my .32 flintlock. Most of their fields used to be clover or alfalfa and was really good hunting with multiple kills most evenings. They lease it all now and the fields are planted in soybeans or corn, which means I have to hunt them early in the year before the crops get too high. Wish it would go back to the way it was.


Do you still see a lot of them?

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My Dad and I used to hunt groundhogs every Saturday in the summer in the mid to late 70s. They were everywhere in Ohio. In the late 80s to early 90s, coyotes starting showing up here. Now that coyotes are everywhere in Ohio there has been a noticeable decline in the groundhog population. They are pretty hard on fawns and turkey poults too.

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Originally Posted by 450BM
Originally Posted by blackpowder62
I have a big farm here that I hunt them with my .32 flintlock. Most of their fields used to be clover or alfalfa and was really good hunting with multiple kills most evenings. They lease it all now and the fields are planted in soybeans or corn, which means I have to hunt them early in the year before the crops get too high. Wish it would go back to the way it was.


Do you still see a lot of them?
They have always been along the edges for the most part, with their holes in the fence rows, woods. Never were a lot out in the fields. But yes, still more than I can kill. A few tears ago, I killed 38 in 2 months with the .32. longest shot with that rifle was 95 yards. Longest shot last year was 109 yards with the new .32 I built and it is sighted in to 150 yards. Sure a lot of fun!

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Originally Posted by blackpowder62


They have always been along the edges for the most part, with their holes in the fence rows, woods. Never were a lot out in the fields. But yes, still more than I can kill. A few tears ago, I killed 38 in 2 months with the .32. longest shot with that rifle was 95 yards. Longest shot last year was 109 yards with the new .32 I built and it is sighted in to 150 yards. Sure a lot of fun!



That's very cool. I always wanted a small caliber traditional rifle, but my eyes are so bad now it would be useless to me. Post a picture of the rifle sometime.

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I see them pretty much all year round here. Warm weather brings them out. Don’t mess with them much anymore, as permission to hunt farms is pretty tough to come by. I’ve always left the ones in the woods alone, as they’re not doing any damage. Spent a otherwise boring day “deer hunting” watching one plug up the exits of its den with leaves, a very noisy process.


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Originally Posted by auk1124
Originally Posted by blackpowder62


They have always been along the edges for the most part, with their holes in the fence rows, woods. Never were a lot out in the fields. But yes, still more than I can kill. A few tears ago, I killed 38 in 2 months with the .32. longest shot with that rifle was 95 yards. Longest shot last year was 109 yards with the new .32 I built and it is sighted in to 150 yards. Sure a lot of fun!



That's very cool. I always wanted a small caliber traditional rifle, but my eyes are so bad now it would be useless to me. Post a picture of the rifle sometime.

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Nice looking stock on that rifle!

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Saw one in my back yard in Mn three days ago.


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I noticed some fresh digging around my MIL’s house last week.

That is a nice looking rifle! You know that’s not a woodchuck though right? lol, just joking with you!

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Originally Posted by 450BM
We have very few in Pennsylvania anymore. Many want to blame coyotes but they never seem to have anything to back it up. I think it’s fewer farms only because I grew up on a farm and we had three neighboring farms. Now there are no cows and no wood chucks. It’s like that all over our area. I don’t know, I could be all wet… But when I was growing up, I would hunt woodchucks just about every day and many days twice. I shot a lot of chucks and it always seemed like every one I shot would be replaced by two. Those were the days…




you are not all wet. i see very few in western pa. i own property that is pock marked with holes. most are falling in. i used to kill dozens a year. i thought maybe i was killing them all off but even in areas that i don't hunt, i don't see hardly any. same with road killed ones. i am not sure what is causing it but it coincided with the rapid rise in coyotes around here. i can see that being the case, a hog would be an easy catch for a coyote.


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We are overloaded with eagles here and I am sure they will take their toll on the woodchucks like they do on everything else.

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Originally Posted by 450BM
I noticed some fresh digging around my MIL’s house last week.

That is a nice looking rifle! You know that’s not a woodchuck though right? lol, just joking with you!
Woodchuck pictures in a few weeks hopefully.

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Been seeing them on roadways in my part of NC for a little while now. I was piling some brush yesterday and one ran into the brush pile. First one I’ve seen on my place this year. I guess he has a den in there somewhere.

The bad thing is that he can see me coming 500 yards away but I hope I can get within rifle range before he sees me. Ranged the brush pile at 305 yards from my vantage point today. Should be able to get him if I can catch him outside and if the wind would ever stop blowing.

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Originally Posted by blackpowder62
We are overloaded with eagles here and I am sure they will take their toll on the woodchucks like they do on everything else.


That’s a good thought too… I still think it has something to do with the lack of cows around. We pastured our cows in the hay fields after we took the hay off and woodchucks would be out when the cows were around. I imagine the cows kept the coyotes and birds of prey away. So it could be they just lost their protection. Maybe we could form a committee and get a 10 million (or billion, what does the government care because it’s not their money) dollar grant to study it…

About 12 years ago I shot a small woodchuck that came out of the woods into our back yard. I grabbed him and threw him in the “yard” about 100 yards in front of our house. It was only a couple of hours later 4 turnkey buzzards were on him, which surprised me because he wasn’t ripe yet, but anyways… All of a sudden they all took off and much much larger bird landed on the chuck and carried it off. Took me a bit to realize it was a young bald eagle that didn’t have a white head yet. It was really amazing to see the buzzards scatter so quickly because they won’t move that fast with a truck coming at them.

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I saw my first one of the year yesterday…. And I left the rifle at home.

SW corner of Tn.

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I’ve seen a few out in SW PA already, despite the snow that we got this weekend. I am looking forward to getting out and shooting some this summer, still have a few rifles to work up loads for, too.


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I have been seeing them here in northeast NJ for a while. The males were out looking to breed females a few weeks ago, and probably still are. I had one run out into the road in front of me, then turn around and go back into the tiny patch of woods he came out of. This was 100 yards from a shopping mall.

Woodchuck hunting pretty much gone here. Suburban sprawl, growing corn instead of alfalfa, and coyotes have done the job. I really miss it.


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yes when its not snowing

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I've shot one here in Kentucky a couple weeks ago. Have seen a couple others when I didn't have the rifle with me.

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Saw one get hit by a car last Saturday. That was about 40 miles north of Minneapolis.

I don't see many these days, the numbers dropped as fields turned to row crops from pasture, hayfields, and small grains. It didn't help when hedgerows, old machinery, broken down buildings, and odd corners were pulled out and turned into crop land.

Coyotes didn't show up in any numbers until long after woodchucks disappeared. Loss of habitat, changing agricultural practices, and herbicides/pesticides were most likely the cause of their decline, not predators, around here.

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The western version (yellow bellied marmots or rock chucks) have been out and about for maybe 3 weeks here in SE Oregon. I was an avid shooter as a kid in Va, but don't bother them here. Activities are pretty well confined to boulder strewn rims as opposed to mid-pasture and fence row digs back east.

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The above are a couple of Cookie's images from last spring. She did snap some new pics yesterday, but hasn't done a download yet. Had some tourist come through recently asking about the huge moles they'd seen by a nearby bridge. That's got me wondering if I could find or produce an official looking mole-crossing sign I could put up.

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Lots of "we used to kill them by the truckload" comments here. We have a place in south central PA south of State College. The big fields on campus are FULL of them. When I first started going to the property (99 acres owned by my wife's family), I shot quite a lot as well. Then the population crashed, so I instituted a "no kill" moratorium for just two years. They came back in droves, so I now st a "quota" and it seems to work. Granted there is probably a lot with predators/habitat issues, but there's a hint there as well


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There are no chucks in Florida. One more reason to dislike it here.

Back in the '60s and '70s they were plentiful on all the farms in the NY Catskills. Permission was readily granted and we had a blast. Then all the farms started a poisoning program and that was the end of that. The 220 Swift Varminter has sat in back of the safe for decades now.


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Originally Posted by eaglemountainman

There are no chucks in Florida. One more reason to dislike it here.

.


Can't argue with that sentiment, but....we voted for Trump and have no state income tax...


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Last Sunday Monticello NY 40 degrees and rain was the first I've seen.

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Originally Posted by eaglemountainman

There are no chucks in Florida. One more reason to dislike it here.

Back in the '60s and '70s they were plentiful on all the farms in the NY Catskills. Permission was readily granted and we had a blast. Then all the farms started a poisoning program and that was the end of that. The 220 Swift Varminter has sat in back of the safe for decades now.
I shot a shytload of them {100+ per summer} in Delaware County back in the '70's and 80's. Never heard of any "poisoning program" and my grandfather and uncle were both dairy farming at the time.. There are still huntable numbers of chucks in some areas of upstate NY. You just have to look for them. They aren't everywhere like they used to be. The two farms I hunt now in central NY are loaded with them. I'll usually kill 4-6 off each of them in a couple hours when I go.

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[quote][Never heard of any "poisoning program" /quote]

Never heard of any formal programs as kid, but do remember seeing some sort of sulphur smoke bomb in hardware stores. Light the fuse, throw it in, and cover the exits. Probably still out there somewhere.


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I have seen a few out on our warmer days but not alot. I will wait until the mid to late June so, the little ones are out on their own and then me and my death stick go to work.

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Originally Posted by 1minute
[quote][Never heard of any "poisoning program" /quote]

Never heard of any formal programs as kid, but do remember seeing some sort of sulphur smoke bomb in hardware stores. Light the fuse, throw it in, and cover the exits. Probably still out there somewhere.
Yes I remember those. Hardly a mass "poisoning program".

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My choice of words may have been misleading. Maybe "program" gave the indication of a coordinated effort among a group. I'm sure it wasn't . Rereading my original post, I never did mention "formal programs".

Fact is, one by one, all the farms we used to shoot over, individually began eradicating woodchucks through the use of poison.


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I DO NOT want to change this thread but I would sure like to find some where the wife and I could find to shoot some ground hogs. 2 senior (72 & 76) redneck rebels from NE Texas, have shot a few prairie dogs would like to try our luck on a few ground hogs. Any suggestions as to where, when and how would be appreciated. Thanks Daniel








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Originally Posted by eaglemountainman

My choice of words may have been misleading. Maybe "program" gave the indication of a coordinated effort among a group. I'm sure it wasn't . Rereading my original post, I never did mention "formal programs".

Fact is, one by one, all the farms we used to shoot over, individually began eradicating woodchucks through the use of poison.
Where was that ? I was hunting them in the Masonville - Sidney center- Trout Creek - Walton area of Delaware County in the 70's and 80's and there were still lots of chucks. I knew a lot of farmers in the area at the time and they would give permission to about anyone who asked to shoot chucks. There were quite a few people doing so at the time and it was not uncommon for us to run into other folks out chuck hunting.

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Farmers in Dutchess, Columbia and Greene gave them a good punch in the '80's.
Was told about it firsthand from one of the biggest dairy men east of the Hudson.

The problem there now is not groundhogs, it is the invasion from 100 miles south.

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Originally Posted by WTM45
Farmers in Dutchess, Columbia and Greene gave them a good punch in the '80's.
Was told about it firsthand from one of the biggest dairy men east of the Hudson.

The problem there now is not groundhogs, it is the invasion from 100 miles south.
You'd think farmers all over the State and even other States would have heard of it wouldn't you ? I don't recall any farmers worried about groundhogs enough to put much thought, money or effort into eradicating them. What kind of poison were they using and was it approved by DEC ? Seems like they'd have been worried about their precious raptors/scavenger birds eating poisoned woodchucks.

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BH, I did not discuss any details about it. Was simply relating what one dairy farmer told me in one of my visits to landowners circa 2000-2006 when our gang was seeking different shooting opportunities. Never got turned down permission, but some places were much more productive than others.





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I saw 3 today. Two of them were on the porches of abandoned houses, 2 different houses.

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My son saw a pile of whistle pigs along the highway in Northern CO the other day on his way to Aspen.

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Lot's of ground hogs in Georgia but they all live near roadway's on the embankments . Hardly ever see one in an open field.

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Big grey one out chomping a grassy lot in town on way to work.

Seen him a few times now.

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Originally Posted by Jon_In_Va
I saw 3 today. Two of them were on the porches of abandoned houses, 2 different houses.


I had a farmer w an old abandoned house, chucks all under it. Said blast em.

Took a pup through quite a few weeds, off corner of porch.
75 gr Speer HP, .243 ruger #1B.

Bud and I rolled in w my 73 Cutlass Supreme and spotted him. I opened the door without shutting car off and stayed low. Hence the shoot through weeds.

When we went to check there were a ton of big blue and green flies already on the porch walls and ceiling.

The head and a paw were some distance in the yard.
The cup of the bullet w petals at base rolled back, was laying by the back wall of the porch.

It looked like a freakin horror movie.

Last edited by hookeye; 04/07/22.
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Chuckies?
Bring it!

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There are three fewer of them "out" on a certain upstate NY farm as of this afternoon. Saw 5 but couldn't shoot at 2 of them because of barn/house in the background. Killed the first at 124 yds. and the second at 104 yds. from a sitting position and the third at 35-40 offhand {didn't bother ranging that one}. The terrain on that farm is very rolling and broken up with several fields separated by hedgerows, wood lines and two wooded/brushy creek beds. Because of that, it's rare to get shot opportunities beyond 150-175 yards. Not very challenging with a scoped, centerfire varmint rifle so I just took my Henry .22 mag. with Swift 4x32 compact scope and Maxi-Mag HP's.

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Not supposed to rain.
Off to the LGS to get my hunting license.
Try to get out tomorrow for a chuck.

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I shot one last night with the Vixen 222 Mag at 192yrds. with wind blowing like hell from R>L.


Originally Posted by 16penny
If you put Taco Bell sauce in your ramen noodles it tastes just like poverty
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I saw 2 this week here in NW Ohio they are out and moving

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Brushpile down the road, big hole now open.
Inside city limits.

No place to even whack it w an arrow

Ol chucky picked a smart location. Saw a coyote nearby once so he better not get too cocky. Also a bald eagle nearby

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Starting to see them out, this week, as the weather is warming, in mid to northern Ohio!


I Learned a long time ago to Separate My Want's from My Needs!

A man's Gotta Do What a Man's Gotta Do!

Know Thy Self!

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Western version. Rockchucks
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Nice! Pretty dog.

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My dog, an Aussie, has killed several that got too close to the house. A couple of weeks ago she treed one in the yard and I shot it. I also have an old stable that is infested with them. They've almost dug it up to the point that it's sagging in spots. I saw one there yesterday, but failed to get a shot. It's close range shooting, and I'll probably use a shotgun.

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