They go by many names, groundhog, woodchuck, whistle pig and grass rat. A rodent in the same family as squirrels, these omnivores feast on more than a pound of vegetation a day. Female groundhogs deliver 1 litter of 4 to 5 young a year. Yes, since February 2, 1887, the groundhog officially became a celebrity loved by all … except farmers. The perfect job for the T/C Compass.
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Groundhogs typically weigh 5 to 15 pounds with a length of 20 to 27 inches. They live in burrows in the ground that they expertly dig. (I had one living under our shed and she managed to remove quite a bit of limestone gravel to make her tunnel.) Imagine the destruction these large rodents cause on a farm. They tear up sheds and barns; a tractor may break an axle if it drops in a burrow and so, just consider what would happen if a horse or cow stepped into a groundhog-dug hole.
As if that’s not bad enough, groundhogs consume about a third of their weight each day. They forage in backyard gardens (I can attest to that) and farmland. A family of these crop-devouring rodents can easily clear a large patch of young plants in a field. Hunting groundhogs is a great way to get practice behind a rifle and help a farmer at the same time.
First and foremost, obtain written permission from the farmer to hunt his land. This helps should anyone question your presence on the property. Next, acquaint yourself with the land. Search for burrows, often the main hole has no or very little vegetation around it and the dirt is smooth from the groundhog going in and out. Once found, determine vantage points with safe angles of fire from obtainable distances. The best area to shoot from (often the highest point in the field) offers a view of the most burrows.
You’ll need to bring a few other items along besides your rifle and ammunition.
This year I’m excited to take my new T/C Compass in 6.5 Creedmoor to the hunt. I fell in love with this rifle at Industry Day at the Range during SHOT Show 2018. My husband and I each shot 5 rounds at the same point of a target. They were all touching! As soon as we got home, we went right to our local gun store and purchased a T/C Compass.
Once we had our T/C Compass, we took it to the range to sight in the scope and run various types of ammunition through it to see which had the tightest group. Oh, and since it’s suppressor ready, we added that, too.
Now … off to the field. Stay tuned on our social media to see the results of my groundhog hunt.
Michelle Cerino, aka Princess Gunslinger, is the managing and social media editor at The WON. Michelle is the president of Cerino Consulting and Training Group, LLC, a firearms training company she built with her husband Chris in 2011. Her path in the firearms and outdoors industries is ever progressing. She is writing, hunting, competing and doing contract work for major manufacturers. View all posts by Michelle Cerino