As has been noted before, groundhogs are pernicious cusses. They are voracious vegetarians and they can dig like nobody's bidness. They've dug under our porch. They've dug inside our barn. They've dug holes out back where we're afraid the donkeys might misstep and hurt themselves. We fill these burrow entrances in as we discover them, and do our best to drive the groundhogs off. These creatures are capable of moving 900 pounds of earth in a day, so you can just imagine the damage they can inflict by digging under structures.
Not as bad as the barn, but probably more annoying because of the repeat factor, is the hole that kept appearing in my large raised beds. This tenacious guy or gal built right under the railroad ties with an entrance on both sides of the tie. After failing to trap the groundhog or chase it off, after filling in the hole and blocking it with boards and paving stones - only to have the stones knocked out of the way as if they were mildly inconvenient trinkets, we agreed it was time for the big guns. Literally. It was time to shoot the groundhog. It's what our neighbors do, and they suggested we do the same.
Keith got an air rifle. Yeah, that hardly sounds dangerous, an air rifle, but he got some kind of high-powered, big caliber air rifle. He tried it out by plinking at some little wood blocks left over from a project and was satisfied with the results. After that, there was nothing to do but wait. Oh, and practice his stealth maneuvers such as opening the upstairs bedroom window so that he could take a shot from there. The first few opportunities, he made so much noise that the groundhog escaped with ease. But, after a few weeks, Keith finally got his chance to shoot.
Keith didn't kill the groundhog, at least not right off, but he is pretty sure that he managed to hit it before it took off. Maybe it died later of its wound. We don't know. But we do know that we were able to block off the hole again - and it has stayed blocked off. Even after blocking the hole with rocks, it was big and deep enough to need refilling with dirt so that it would look like part of the garden again. Last week I filled it in with a gift from Molly and Ambrose, figuring that any self-respecting groundhog wouldn't want to build its home in a mound of donkey poop.
So far, so good. That is, until I took a look the other evening after coming home from work. There were the beginnings of a hole - three holes, actually. Two on one side of the tie and one on the other. I was incensed. What to do about such a persistent groundhog?
I got to thinking about what my cat does when he wants to communicate to another animal that its presence is unwanted.
After hardly a moment's reflection, I stomped inside the house, found a disposable plastic cup, filled it, and returned to the garden to pour a cup of my own urine into the incipient hole. I have no idea if it will have any effect whatsoever on any burrow-minded creature, but it sure felt good to take some direct action! Ha! Take that, groundhog!