Three woodchuck babies emerged this week from the den under the front porch. Like the Star Trek tribbles, they're furry, cute, extremely destructive, and multiplying exponentially.
Longtime visitors may remember our adventures with the patriarch of what has become the groundhog clan: "What About Chuck?" By sinking metal barriers into the ground around the pole barn and constant harassment, we eventually persuaded Chuck to move on.
Since then, we have waged ongoing battles with chucks under the potting shed, the back deck, and the front porch. We have tried cat litter, coyote urine, hair, mothballs, blocking den entrances and even electric fencing. Having utterly failed to drive them off, we eventually just got used to the idea of living with them. But it's getting ridiculous. Counting babies, there are now seven. That I know of.
There is so much contradictory information online about these guys: They're peaceful/they can be suddenly aggressive; they carry rabies/rabies in marmots is rare; they damage foundations/no they don't; trapping and relocation is an option/they rarely survive that, so shooting them is more humane. Wildlife rehabers won't even return my phone messages about them.
One thing is certain, and that is that they are a royal pain. I gave up on flower beds and having container plants on the deck years ago, because the chucks eat them on sight. Last year, they were apparently curious about what was inside the gazebo, so they completely shredded the netting that served as its walls to get inside. They chew the wood at the edges of the deck. I've had to relocate the bird feeders, because otherwise chucks sit on the deck railing and munch away at them. They cause marital discord between myself and the hubby, who has wanted to shoot them from day one.
But c'mon. Could you shoot these guys?
If any of you have suggestions, I 'm all ears. Because this is way to much "nature" for me.
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