Monday, May 28, 2012


We've been trapping groundhogs.  (Or woodchucks, depending on where you live.)  They have long been a menace, digging and climbing their way into my vegetable garden despite all attempts to keep them out (they've been baffled by the chicken wire underground, but not by the 6-foot deer fence).  I did try years ago to remove them by putting a humane trap in or near the garden, but they were too smart, or not distracted enough.

This spring our neighbors finally got fed up by the groundhogs' attempt to establish extensive condos under their garage and shed, and hired a professional, who trapped and relocated two enormous groundhogs for a sizable fee.  After that they placed a borrowed trap near the hole that's down back along the property line.  The photo shows the first one caught that way (why I never thought of putting the trap by the hole instead of by the food before I don't know, but it obviously works much better) and a young one found its way in there too.  We are in charge of relocation, so we drove them off sequentially to a place on the edge of the woods and watched them scamper off.  This one ate carrots loudly all the way there.

Four down, but we have seen more since, so after several fruitless days by the hole, which is apparently vacant now, the trap's been moved near the neighbors' vegetable garden for the time being (I hope to find another hole).

This morning I went outside, heard piteous meowing, looked around, and realized that our cat was caught in the trap.  He is not the world's brainiest cat, but I didn't think he liked carrots and apples... and sure enough, when I went to release him I saw a small and terrified rabbit at the other end of the trap.  I shook it out (it didn't want to leave) and it slowly hopped away seeming unhurt - I suspect Gobi didn't have enough "elbow" room to grab it, and he was pretty upset by his ordeal too.  He's fine now, after a lot of washing.

Wish I'd snapped a photo, but my instincts said get kitty out first.  Sympathetic instincts do not make entertaining blogging, alas.


  1. Oh, my! Please apologize to Gobi for my laughing at his entrapment!

  2. Somebody ate my lettuces a couple of days ago, and some neighbors and I spotted a groundhog that ducked under our porch. At least I know where to put the trap if we get that far.

  3. I dread the day that I try to garden without a dog in the yard, if it comes to that. The only time I ever saw a woodchuck was when we took both dogs somewhere for a week, and came back to find a young one had thought to take up residence. He/she took one look at the dogs and went off to find another place to live.

  4. Skunks like grubs, so if you want to rid your yard of skunks, get rid of the grubs. Caution: If you humanely trap a skunk to relocate it, be prepared for ending up with trapping all the cats in the neighborhood before you finally get the skunk! Ha ha. Use some meat as bait. When you have your skunk in the trap, throw a blanket over it before you pick up the trap to relocate the skunk so it won't spray you. Be prepared for a scared skunk who won't leave the trap! Just leave it where you want to relocate it, and come back later for your trap. It is best to perform this relocation with the trap in the back of a truck! :-)

  5. And how embarrassing for Gobi to be trapped with a rabbit! I'm sure he's doing his best to forget it ever happened. The rabbit is probably boasting to all of his friends and relations.

  6. oh my gosh - the cat and the rabbit in the same trap?! Glad both are OK! wow, what an ordeal!