How to Hunt Groundhogs

How to Hunt Groundhogs | Terms, Rules and Ways of Hunting

Groundhog hunting is a fascinating activity of wild game mining, popular in the communities of hunters for their simplicity and the resulting few kilograms of delicious meat and valuable fur.

The main aspects of hunting this cunning and fast animal, helping to improve its performance even to the novice shooter, are described in this article.


Groundhog – description, and habitat


All the secrets of catching energetic prey should be revealed with a general acquaintance with it. It is worth telling what is and where lives this dodgy animal. A groundhog is a pet from a squirrel family—the largest individual of it. The average weight of such an animal is from two to seven kilograms. There are separate samples of this breed, which can gain weight of more than ten kilograms.

The habitat of marmots in the plains of the southern regions of our country. Plain steppes, mountain steppes are also very well suited for the life of marmots. Any little experienced hunter liked to hunt groundhog because of the precious fur of his skins, tasty and useful meat.

A species of groundhog called “buyback” is the largest of his family. Its individuals can gain weight of about fifteen kilograms.

Any groundhog has a large, more squat, flexible body, a small, somewhat oblong head, small ears. His senses are perfectly developed. Heathrow and skittish by nature. He lives mostly in branched, rather deep burrows, climbs out of them to satisfy hunger, but always moves away from the entrance to his burrow-dwelling.

In total darkness, constant living in the depths of the burrows allowed to develop the groundhog special bodies of touch and landmark in the dark on the lower jaw, called vibrio. Also, nature gave the groundhog a magnificent and fluffy tail with high-quality solid plumage, serving the animal a wonderful balance for movement in the “galleries” of burrows with great speed. The front paws of the groundhog are created and adapted for digging the ground, which, together with the tail balance, gives him the convenience of building branched corridors of his dwelling and the rapid movement of it on two hind legs.

He has wonderful hearing and vision, to the extent of his skittishness and speed of movement. These senses help him to escape from natural predators or hunting for him human fishers.


Term of groundhog hunting

Officially, the state term of hunting for marmots opens from July 1 and lasts the entire summer period. In the daytime, when on the plains or in the mountain steppes, there is a searing heat hunting. This animal is almost useless. Groundhog does not like a strong heat and therefore does not seem from his mink in such a period. In total darkness, it is also tough to detect, much less shoot. But when there comes a little coolness and freshness in the wee hours, or with the beginning of dusk, there is no rain and the sky is clear – that’s when come the most productive moments to get the coveted trophy and shoot the groundhog.

What are the flat steppes that in mountainous areas at such hours, marmots are shown from the burrow almost daily? And hunters who want to get a productive result should take care of careful exploration of the area, setting the exact hour of the animal’s exit from the hole, create a quality ambush or sit-down for the very process of hunting, and take care of the correct selection of hunting equipment and weapons to carry out an accurate shot.

What weapons and equipment to use?

On equipment and weapons for hunting, groundhog hunter needs to pay increased attention. First of all, he will need a reliable SUV. Marmots live in the steppes and mountain plains, which means that significant distances will accompany the hike on it, to cover, which are best quite prompt and comfortable. That is why the transport of the miner is necessary.

The next piece of equipment, very tightly connected with the terrain of the steppes and plains, is the choice of good powerful binoculars and the presence of a rangefinder to determine the distance from ambush to game accurately.

A special camouflage color of clothing for the exercise and device of ambush is also mandatory. It should repeat the plain or mountain steppe pattern and be comfortable, silent, as closed, and comfortable as possible. The same qualities should have and the shoes of the hunter. Camouflage, repeating its coloring steppe lands, will allow the arrow to lurk in the distance and quietly produce accurate shots safely.

A groundhog is an animal that, with its natural speed, can effectively carry wounds, hiding in its deep burrows, even after suffering serious wounds. Therefore, the hunter’s equipment must include a reliable steel cable with a strong sledgehammer over – a tee at its end. Such an object will help the hunter get the carcass of the shot animal from his relatives, florid burrows.

Good groundhog hunting involves choosing several types of weapons. You can start with the simplest and less dangerous.


Air rifle

If now someone seems to be a modern pneumatics children’s fun or even a toy – it will be a completely mistaken opinion. Modern pneumatic rifles, especially their powerful species necessary for hunting groundhog, have long been effectively used on hunting.

In a compartment with additional elements such as tripods and optical sights for the convenience of an accurate shot, they can be easily used to shoot a marmot and get a few kilograms of delicious meat and fine fur. It is only necessary to choose a pneumatic tool with at least 17 joules’ energy; do not skimp on additional materials to it. They will not be able to upset the hunter at the end of a long hours-long sitting in an ambush by the inability and lack of power of the shot.


Smooth-bore shotguns

This is a more serious type of weapon hunter. Shooting the beast with such a gun is made at a distance of up to 50 meters from an ambush or a sit-in. For a good, effective shot, a 00 or 000-caliber shotgun is used or a cart. If the shooter makes a striking shot from the back of the head – its main target – immediately after the shot to be near the wounded groundhog. This is due to its unique ability, even seriously wounded, to hide deep in their dungeons, where to get it after the defeat of the rifle or very difficult or almost impossible, if delayed.


Rifled guns

Such weapons include firearms that are the most dangerous and require special permits and prior training in handling them. Training in shooting at targets, compliance with all safety equipment, and other nuances are mandatory.

After that, the rifled gun barrel is a common caliber 5.45 or 7.62 mm, usually in the form of popular self-loading carbines used in the hunt for the groundhog. Shooting lead from an ambush, with the help of other types and types of hunting for a skittish animal. The main thing is that the power of rifle rifles, the energy of the shot, and the killing power of the bullet, together with other additional objects such as optical sight, nipples for the stability of aiming – become the most effective in hunting craft.

Equipment and basic weapons for groundhog hunting are succinct and, at the same time, thoroughly examine and describe their details succeeded. The next aspect of paying attention to is the most popular types of hunting for animals.


Types of groundhog hunting

For each type of weapon described above, several popular types of groundhog hunting would not touch, which would be blasphemous in the coverage of all the nuances and details of the description of hunting for such prey. Thus, here are the most basic and productive content categories of catching a restless steppe animal.

Goat’s tail

The interesting, old way of catching prey, based mainly on the distracting maneuver of the hunter before the shot. I make a special device from a natural goat’s tailor to acquire its finished analog, a white wide brush. Finding the animal, produce rotational circular motions with this device, not stopping the measured step aimed at rapprochement with the groundhog. Calmly rotating the “goat’s tail” approach the beast at the distance of the shot.

The spinning brush of the tail is just a distraction and occupying all the attention of the skittish animal object. It allows you to hold the groundhog in place and get to it at an allowable distance. The method can be used with any gun. At the time of its application, the main thing is not to create errors with unnecessary movements or sharp behavior at the moment of rapprochement with such a timid and sensitive purpose.


With traps

An ancient method of hunting wildlife from the wild. To some, it may seem too brutal, inhumane, more of a poacher. However, when hunting groundhog with traps, several conditions allow to observe the whole humanity of the method and minimize the harm from traps for the rest of the fauna.

Mormon traps in size and types use two categories – number 5 and number 3. They are very qualitatively masked and installed right at the entrance to the groundhog hole in a small, pre-prepared recess. To minimize harm to other potentially rodents such as ferrets and others, a special adjustment of the trap triggering effort is carried out not to break bones or cause fatal wounds to animals. If other animals are caught in mechanical traps, they are released and released into the wild. If young marmots under the age of two were able to please there, they do the same. Only adults, who are immediately killed in the trap, breaking the cervical vertebrae, are suitable.

The young from adult marmots on the teeth – in adult animals, they are large and covered with yellow plaque.


With burrow dogs

With burrow dogs

Groundhog is a pack animal. He likes to settle next to his relatives. Together it can form huge underground settlements with numerous “galleries,” corridors, and passages. Such marmot settlements are often used for permanent residence and withdrawal of offspring. In them to use even the most experienced, evil burrow dogs is ineffective and even dangerous for the dogs themselves. There you can easily get lost and die any four-legged companion.

The length of the passages can be more than a hundred meters, and the depth is more than four meters. If hunting is in the mountain steppes, burrows’ passages can lie deep in the rocky soils. But there are other burrows and marmot shelters, so-called temporary shelters. They are much smaller, simpler, and represent a vertical straight corridor. Their hunters are called temporary shelters. It is easy to distinguish the type of burrow by the volume of the lying ground if it is a little on the surface near the burrow – it is a temporary shelter of the animal, in which you can use burrow breeds of dogs – dida, yard terrier and similar.

The main thing is that the use of tailed companions in the hunt for a groundhog is not the main role in this type of hunting. Features of the groundhog body structure, its complex plexus of burrows, teeth, and front paws, which allow under the ground to effectively defend, make the dog catch the beast almost useless. Companion of the burrowing type perfectly plays an additional role when it is required from the bosom of the hole to get already shot dead animal or seriously wounded.

According to hunting rules, the dog is required to run into the hole without a leash. At the same time, she should know the duties in such work and understand the hunter well. Experienced fishers equip for her a special harness and in the hole still run it behind a groundhog on a rope – this does not allow to lose in the deep burrow of the dog and to assist him in extracting a huge prey from the hunter – a man.



This is a fascinating but special hunting craft used in the extraction of the groundhog. More refers to the sports type of extraction of just such an energetic animal under certain, knowingly established conditions for the hunter to appreciate the hunter’s skill, its accuracy. Many of this type is called another type of sniping – sports shooting hobby. Warming has several strict conditions that the shooter must strictly comply with. Rather suitable for masters – miners, experienced and very experienced hunters.

The conditions of warming can be mass, each type of it individual. The main thing is to show your accuracy in shooting. The minimum distance from which this beast is defeated is at least 100 meters in the head. Further instructions can be made to limit ammunition in the event of a groundhog defeat and several other conditions.


How to save groundhog meat?

The most valuable in this prey, especially if the hunter could hit the groundhog in the head, is his delicious and healing meat carcass, fur skins, and fat. Save the first two options is easy while observing all the rules of cutting the killed animal, quickly transporting the prey, and storing it. The most difficult to preserve is groundhog fat. It has a high activity and has the shortest period of preservation after the death of the animal.

The second and third time spoil the meat and fur skins. It is recommended to study the method of cutting his carcass, step-by-step separation of potentially dangerous parts and organs of the groundhog, which become the causes of spoiled fat, medicinal properties, masses of the animal, meat, and fur. For example, it is necessary to remove the bladder of the animal and the armpit sweat glands, which can very actively react and directly affect the fat and meat of the beast.

Summing up the whole brief overview of the hunt for a groundhog, I would like to note that if the hunter will competently treat his craft, qualitatively prepares for each campaign, do not be greedy, and do not lead a poaching inhumane image of wildlife animal prey – he will be able from each hike to receive a multi-colored range of positive emotions for the soul and a full backpack of delicious and useful prey.