Groundhog issues....

flippedJune 25, 2007

...I'm at war with woodchucks. I got some liquid fence the other day, that's doing an "okay" job (despite the god-awful smell!!), but they're still DESTROYING my gardens. I've heard that there is nothing like the fox-urine products, but those are only effective if used BEFORE the problem begins...not once its already happened.

I've been trying to do a lot of research, but pretty much going in circles. Is it illegal in NY to catch & release elsewhere?

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yng_grdnr(z6 lower hudson valley)

I know the lion manure works on all sorts of animals, the only thing is getting ahold of it. I was thinking of going to Catskill game farms, but since they're out of business that won't work anymore. I was thinking of the bronx zoo, but that's a trip and a half. As far as catch and release, I have no idea. I have two living under my shed but they don't eat my plants. it's the @$#% deer. The ones under my shed just help me mow my lawn. I would contact the DEC. I included the website below.

Here is a link that might be useful: NYS DEC

    Bookmark   June 27, 2007 at 11:43AM
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It's not against the law to catch and I've used a have a hart trap for that. And I didn't ask about release - just took it a couple miles away and released it into a forest.
Have to rebait the trap - I understand broccoli is the bait of choice and will get some tomorrow.
I've covered the beans, swiss chard, beets, kale and pole beans with remay and covered the zuccini with remay to protect against sqash borers. Now have to get out there and put a cover on the cukes. So far he finds all that white stuff a real barrier. I have one teepee of pole beans and it too is swathed in remay - looks like a ghost in the garden.

    Bookmark   June 28, 2007 at 3:28PM
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philomena(z 5A NY)

I have a chuck living in my yard, and it's been an ongoing battle. He or she completely ignored the fox urine and the woodchuck-begone type products - had little effect that I could see. What I have been doing this past year is waging a war of annoying the critters to move out of the burrow in my yard - they are supposed to be very fastidious creatures with their burrows. I read that tossing used cat litter (minus solids) into the burrow will eventually work, as they will get tired of cleaning it out. As I have no cat, I keep spilling some ammonia in and around the entrance, as well as shove in cuttings of poisonous plants, such as hellebore and monkshood. It seems that this might be working, as I haven't seen any significant damage this year, and the burrow entrance is very overgrown. But, time will tell.

I would have tried the havahart trap (which worked with chipmunks in my lily bed), but the burrow entrance is on a very steep, almost vertical rock ledge - very smart place to put it! I would be catching more squirrels than anything. If you do try the traps, make sure to release very far away - they are supposed to be quite territorial, and may come back across a distance of 10 miles. I figured if I ever did catch one, I would take it across the river and release - I dare one of them to swim the Hudson !

They also like to eat clover - it seems to be one of their favorites, so I have let clover alone in my lawn, to give them an alternative to my petunias - those flowers sure seemed to be on their menu !

    Bookmark   June 29, 2007 at 6:30AM
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dian57(M-H Valley NY-5)

I have a family of them under my arbor.

I've tried just about everything I can think of to get rid of them without sustained success--I've collapsed the tunnels, flooded them with ammonia and water, blocked them with packed stones and boulders.

I called the DEC last year and got this information:

It's illegal to catch and release them off your property. They're pests and you're transferring the problem.

You can shoot them on your property if it's legal in your community to shoot a gun.

You cannot poison them because there are no approved groundhog poisons and it's illegal to use a substance "off label."

You can call a pest control company to catch and take care of them. I called one company and got a quote of $250/groundhog.

They can find their way back to their own burrow within 5 miles if you're considering doing the illegal catch and release thing.

To legally rid yourself of them is costly or nearly impossible.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 8:05AM
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philomena(z 5A NY)

wow, I didn't know all these details - thanks for posting them. I had previously searched through the DEC website to get info but could not find anything specific.

Do those smoke-bombs count as a poison ?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 2:34PM
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nygardener(z6 New York)

Sounds like you could trap and then drown them.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 6:04PM
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corapegia(z5 NY)

drowning them is what my vegetarian (serious gardener) friend recommends. He tried releasing and they just come back. He also recommended shooting them but I mostly just catch very quick glimpses of them. He finally found a fence system to keep the deer out... 10' fence with second electic fence about 4' out.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 7:17PM
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lagrangeny(z6 NY)

Only quick glimpses of these rascals? Get about 6 or 7 tomatoes and put alot of sugar on them; and put them about 15 feet from their favorite hole. The woodchucks will almost immediately be attracted to the feast; then you can shoot them all. If there are zoning regulations against shooting in your locale - shoot them at night when the neighbors are asleep. Most will not 'get up to see what was shot' if the next day is a workday.
What's the deal with the person who has deer living under his shed? He should spook them out and quickly hammer up some lattice all around the shed; he could often take a peek through the lattice to see if those annoying deer burrowed under the latticework and were back under the shed. May not want to shoot them while they are under the shed, they may be too heavy to pull out quickly and if you couldn't pull them out in a reasonable time the smell would be quite powerful and could ruin your summer outdoors.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 8:01PM
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we have serious woodchuck problems also. If you use a
trap, an old farmer told me to use peanut butter as a bait. Hubby was using sweet corn with some success, but its season is short, so switched to the PB and wow--it worked! Soon he'd captured every one of a big family...
Being soft-hearted, until they'd decimated the Kitchen Garden, I didn't want to know how he disposed of them after releasing didn't work and he found out it's also illegal,
but I noticed that his baseball bat is no longer under his
SUV seat...

    Bookmark   October 30, 2007 at 2:20AM
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When I lived in Kingston, a woodchuck drove me nuts all summer. I even put a transister radio in the hole and it threw it out for a week. It ate all my peas right through the plastic netting. I cried. I finally put a quarter head of cabbage in a very large havahart trap I rented. Caught it in 15 minutes. Drove it down to the river, closed my eyes and drowned it. Not a pleasant task, but it had to be done.

When I moved out to the country I immediately bought a .410 shotgun. This gun has no arm kickback, and I have no more rodent problems. I am now referred to as Annie (Oakley).


    Bookmark   November 9, 2007 at 5:04PM
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I just snagged a groundhog.Used havaheart cage (Big one)Used peaches and broccoli.Took just 24 hours. I know I have one more to snag.I relocated GH on private property with other GH's so I don"t feel bad !!!!

    Bookmark   July 11, 2011 at 6:20PM
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Every year I get woodchucks. I've tried liquid fence and fox urine both. None are 100% effective. I try to plant things they don't like as much as I can (there is not much they won't eat, but they don't seem to like foxgloves, snapdragons, salvia, ageratum, marigolds, alyssum, and dianthus to name a few.) My veggie garden has a 6 foot fence around it. I also trap them and relocate them, I didn't realize it wasn't legal but I will continue to do it anyway, otherwise I couldn't have a garden at all. One year we trapped and relocated 8 of them. I find that after we relocate a few, the others remaining tend to move on. One day I looked out in my yard, there was a woodchuck in the trap and a crowd of about 5 of them all looking at him in the trap. I think when they see their buddies disappearing, they get nervous and move on. At least that is what seems to happen for me. Yet, the following year, there is always a new batch of them. You might try getting a large lawn ornament of a dog, I have a dog and cat that I move around the garden, in the hope they will think they're real. I've seen plastic coyote decoys for sale on line too. I have a plastic owl decoy, my cat is scared to death of it, so maybe woodchucks are too. Good luck, these are tough little pests to get rid of!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2012 at 10:58AM
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Have you tried motion-activated water sprayers? It might be a good solution.

Here is a link that might be useful: Motion Activated Water Sprayers

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 8:52AM
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