Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘woodchuck

Trapping Failures

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I thought it would be easy. We watched for a couple of weeks while a pest company trapped eleven raccoons just beyond the net fencing around our chicken coop. I monitored the location with my trail camera and was present to witness how they baited their traps. We provided our trap for their use to increase the chances and it snagged at least one of the eleven, so I know it works.

Since that time, there have been more occasions when it didn’t trip than when it did. One time, a wandering cat cleaned up all the bait without pulling the trigger on the hatch.

Two nights in a row, we overlooked turning the camera back on, losing the chance to see who has been stopping by. Well, one of those nights this cat did trip the latch and got itself trapped, but I didn’t get to see when, or how, or whether any other critters came along before or after.

On Sunday night there wasn’t a single overnight event to trigger the camera. Seems strange to me, except that it successfully captured two pictures of me closing the coop just after I turned it on for the night. After that, nothing.

Yesterday morning, Cyndie reported evidence of lots of shenanigans around the coop overnight. When I got home from work and checked the memory card, there were 83 images throughout the night. The adult and juvenile raccoon were back after days of not seeing them.

Unfortunately, I had not set out the trap for them. It had been relocated to the hay shed where a woodchuck/groundhog has been making daily appearances.

It’s a lot like a game of Whack-a-Mole.

But if I didn’t have any trapping failures, it wouldn’t be nearly as rewarding when we finally do enjoy a little random success.

Meanwhile, we heard a lone coyote howling just after sunset the other night.

Aahhh, country life.



Written by johnwhays

July 14, 2021 at 6:00 am

Teeth Marks

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Who’s been chewing on our bin? We keep chicken food in a metal garbage can, but Cyndie likes to provide additional scratch grains and dried mealworms that are stored in the plastic bin shown above.

Last weekend we noticed some teeth marks along the edge of the lid. Yesterday afternoon I discovered the tenacious chewer has gotten to the second level.

I suspect it might either be the return of a certain woodchuck that Cyndie and Delilah chased out of the hay shed a couple of days ago or the frequently sighted raccoons, based on the burrowed access hole into the barn that has been dug out several times. I’ve filled it back in twice already, but this time, after I filled and packed the hole, I peed on it for good measure. I want this varmint to know who he/she is messin’ with.

If it is dug out again by this morning, I’m setting the trap.

I don’t know what I’ll do if I trap whoever it is, but will cross that bridge if/when I come to it.

Pests can be such pests.




Written by johnwhays

June 18, 2020 at 6:00 am

All Quiet

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All quiet in our little corner of Wobegon world this week. I was right about my suspicions that the burrowing woodchuck would show up again somewhere. Since we secured the window well, the pest spent time messing around the outside edges in search of a new way in. Just lovely.

Cyndie leaves for the lake today with friends of hers for the weekend and I will be partying at home alone with the pets. Maybe I’ll see if I can get Delilah to help me pull up the old deck boards. The new lumber has been purchased and already delivered in two stacks on the driveway.

So much for paying someone else to do the job. Think of the money we will save!

Mike has volunteered to help with installing the new boards, and we have a plan to hit that task next week. I would like to make some progress before then by pulling the old boards, if my bulging discs will allow.

That’s about all the news I have today. I’ll leave you with a scene of our skinny trees that Cyndie captured to show how the property is beginning to make the transformation toward leaflessness.






Written by johnwhays

September 27, 2019 at 6:00 am

Wild Turkeys

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Something tells me the local flock of turkeys has expanded in size since I last saw them. It’s been a while. I’m guessing there is an added generation running with them at this point. Yesterday, while mowing the lawn, I spotted over 15 of them strolling through the labyrinth. I couldn’t count them all.

I was a bit surprised they didn’t startle over the loud roar of the mower when I approached. They simply walked, pretty much in single file, into the shadows of the trees.

We frequently find dropped feathers and plenty of footprints, but more often than not, they keep themselves out of sight.

It’s exciting to be able to see them looking so comfortable on our property. Thinking about it, maybe the good fortune we’ve had with our 8 chickens surviving all summer is reflected in the large number of wild turkeys also surviving. The predators must be finding other sources of sustenance.

I don’t know what the coyotes in the area have been eating, but they’ve been rather vocal in the wee hours of darkness recently. Apparently, it’s not turkeys sleeping up in the trees at night.

Maybe the coyotes will help me out and eliminate that nuisance woodchuck that has been burrowing around here lately.

It’s wild out there!



Written by johnwhays

September 24, 2019 at 6:00 am