Farmer vs. the Groundhogs

Some of y’all will remember the problems we had this summer with wildlife eating our gardens.  Our sweet corn was a total loss, which I initially blamed on raccoons.

While I’m still pretty sure raccoons were to blame for a lot of the damage, I eventually concluded that a groundhog was also guilty and was perhaps the primary culprit.

Once the corn was completely destroyed, we began noticing that our okra was being pulled down and eaten.  By then I had a fence up that was keeping the deer out, so I knew they weren’t to blame.  Besides, the damage was not consistent with deer and their were no deer tracks in the garden.   The offending party, I soon came to discover, was a groundhog.

I set a live trap near his hole and even set a steel trap in the garden (something I hate to do).  No luck with either. The groundhog avoided all my efforts to defeat him, continuing to feast on our okra until it was all gone.

Meanwhile, a different groundhog started eating our fall brassicas in a different garden on another part of the farm.  I set a trap, not expecting it to work, and was surprised to catch him on the first day.  So at least that garden was safe.

But my corn/okra-eating adversary remained at large, mocking me.

I left the trap out, but I didn’t even bother baiting it anymore.

Lately I nabbed a couple of curious, but otherwise innocent, creatures.

Squirrel.  Not Guilty.

Squirrel. Not Guilty.

Possum.  Not Guilty.

Possum. Not Guilty.

Then a couple of days ago, I was surprised to find that my enemy had been nabbed.

Groundhog.  Guilty.

Groundhog. Guilty.

By now there isn’t anything left in the gardens for him to steal.  If only he’d gone in the trap a few months ago we might have some sweet corn in the freezer for this winter.

In any event, it was a relief to be rid of him.  Problem solved, I thought.

I thought wrong.  Yesterday afternoon I spotted a groundhog in our herb bed, just a few feet away from the fall brassicas garden (which is flush with veggies right now). When he saw me, the groundhog scurried under our old farmhouse, which is where the first one I caught lived.

Here we go again.