How to Hunt Groundhogs?

How to hunt groundhogs

When it comes to hunting groundhogs, having proper knowledge is ideal. A lot of groundhogs are able to hide once the grass grows taller and they are able to find more places wherein they can stay. Groundhogs are usually found in rural settings and they can be considered pests because of the different things that they can do to the field. If you are a hunter, you know that you do not want to miss the opportunity of hunting groundhogs.

There is a time when groundhogs are vulnerable. This is the time when the grass is still very short and would be unable to hide them. They stick out like a sore thumb amidst the green grass because of their brown color.

While some people would like to hunt for groundhogs because they are considered as pests on the field, there are also some who like hunting for groundhogs in general because it gives them a sense of fulfillment that they also experience when they hunt for deer or bear.

Knowing Their Habitat

You have to know where groundhogs usually reside. They are somewhat at a disadvantage because of their short legs. This means that if there are predators around, they would be unable to outrun these predators. What they do instead is they dig and burrow themselves in places wherein their food sources are near.

This means that you have to search for soybean fields, hayfields of alfalfa as well as other food sources of groundhogs to know where they currently reside. Remember that they can be on the edges of the field or they may also be near the middle. You have to observe and find out before you can start hunting. When it comes to soybean fields however, they rarely go near the middle of the field. You will find them near the edges instead.

Your Gear

You need to pay attention to the items you are going to use to hunt for groundhogs. It is best to have a bolt action centerfire in order to hunt for groundhogs. Centerfires are better than rifles in terms of going against the wind. It may also provide more power that can ensure clean kills. The ammunition will be up to you and the type of centerfire that you are using but most hunters prefer using .223.

Aside from the gun that you are going to use, you also need scopes to make it easier to target groundhogs. Find a scope that can provide about 14x to 16x magnification range. This will make it ideal to see the groundhogs immediately.

The Proper Time to Hunt

Now that you know where you can find groundhogs and you already have your gear ready, when should you start hunting? They have the tendency to hibernate earlier than other animals. They may start hibernating during the last week of August. You can tell if they are about to hibernate when the climate starts getting cooler.

Once it is not that cold anymore, they will emerge from their burrows but they may be hard to see if the grass has already become too high. They may stay in hayfields though wherein they can be seen easier. Hunt for them during warm sunny days and afternoon when they have a tendency to be active.

How to Approach the Groundhog?

It is best that when you are approaching a groundhog that you are going to hunt, you should move slowly. You also have to take frequent stops because the groundhog may hear you approaching. If in case the groundhog does not realize that you are there, you can set up your gear and get into position before shooting.

When you are hunting the groundhog, remember not to take too many shots. Not only will you let the groundhog go back to its burrow, it will also be able to smell the shots that are fired. You need to remember that the groundhog has an uncanny sense of smell. It can smell you and it can smell some changes in the environment. If in case it notices you and it goes back to its burrow then you have no choice but to take note where the groundhog is hidden. You can just visit it again before the day ends or after you have hunted for other groundhogs or you can wait for your next hunting trip before you try out the same area again.

You have to admit that woodchucks are not like other types of prey. They can be ideal when you are just out on the field and you would like to kill time. When it is in between deer season and turkey season, hunting for groundhogs may be your best option and as long as you would remember the things mentioned above, you can hunt for a few.

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