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Has anyone noticed a decline in the eastern groundhog (woodchuck) population in their area? When I was a kid it was nothing to

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  • Has anyone noticed a decline in the eastern groundhog (woodchuck) population in their area? When I was a kid it was nothing to

    Has anyone noticed a decline in the eastern groundhog (woodchuck) population in their area? When I was a kid it was nothing to take 30-40 a summer, now we hardly see them. I know, there are those who will say we whipped them out, but as prolific as they are I somewhat doubt that. I think a more reasonable answer lies with the fact that we now have more coyotes and bald eagles than ever before, both of which prey on the groundhogs. I haven't had one in the cross hairs of my Swift in a long, long time, obviously I need to learn how to hunt coyotes now. Your thoughts or observations? Good hunting.

  • #2
    in my area there are not as many pastures and stuff for them to live in. it is all crop fields and similar areas. they are losing their habitat like the pheasants and rabbits.

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    • #3
      007, it sounds to me like you're not going to be doing the farmers any favors if you reduce the coyote population. They have things in the balance that is best for them.

      Woodchucks arrive up here within the last fifteen years. Apparently they came in on the freight trains and unloaded in the rail yards in town. They have only recently invaded the clay belt dairy farming area west of town. The farmers are begging me to get out there and shoot some of the varmints. But I'd rather be fishing this time of year. Other recent arrivals include raccoons (which emigrated naturally from south of the border) and the big black "Toronto squirrels". The latter were probably introduced by some ninnie who caught some down south, tried in vain to make them pets, and then tossed them out. They have completely displaced the indigenous squirrels in town.

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      • #4
        Groundhogs are still prolific in my area with coyote populations that are busting at the seams. We gave up rabbit hunting last year because from what we see as the problem, coyotes. What I have noticed is that many of the groundhogs are utilizing roadway ditches and the edges of the city maybe from the problems posed by coyotes or other things but there are many around none the less.

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        • #5
          When I live in New York, the Delancey-Delhi-Oneonta area was productive for me for ground hogs, as were private properties in Honesdale & Hawley, PA, but I relocated in early 1972 and have no recent insights into that area. Here in the Pacific Northwest, we seem to have a feast or famine situation for varminting and there are cycles that seem to differ with season and area, but ranchers tell me not to drop any coyotes because they're keeping the varmint population in check.

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          • #6
            They do not have the habitat they once did, however in areas where habitat is favorable, there are plenty of them.

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            • #7
              Maybe less fence rows and clean farming practices that utilize most land. Where I used to hunt is now developed.

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              • #8
                I've noticed the same thing as Bioguy. Loss of habitat I think has more to do with the decline than predators.

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                • #9
                  Rabbits, especially jacks, and 'yotes run in cycles in this area.
                  The 'yotes get thick, the rabbits dwindle. The rabbits get thin, the 'yotes have smaller litters. So it's a constant see-saw about every 5 years, plus or minus.
                  I'm seeing more and more jack rabbits which means the 'yotes are thinning.

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                  • #10
                    I'm with Bubba- our rabbit population revolves around our yote numbers and the same can be said in reverse. I've never done any groundhog hunting, so can't give any input there, though would love to some day.

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                    • #11
                      007, all your groundhogs migrated or took a bus to New Jersey. They are like rabbits here and they love living underneath storage sheds in the neighborhood backyards.

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                      • #12
                        About the same where i am except for the few groundhogs i have sent to the big den in the sky. Coyotes have increased some and take a toll on the deer.

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                        • #13
                          I'm not sure habitat is really an issue because the same hayfields I used to snipe them in are the same today as they were then. Agreed to a point on leaving the coyotes alone but my sheep farming pals would strongly disagree with that. I know I do miss walking the hayfields on a hot summer evening with a favorite firearm.

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                          • #14
                            I can't be sure on the population numbers in my area but the attitude of most hunters is shoot on sight to save farmers some distress and i can't blame them. But with rising pressers on all sides they may just start changing habitats to avoid being see and shot.

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                            • #15
                              Here in central PA we have plenty of them. They are all over my pasture, the side of the road, along streams, ...everwhere

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