Trying to Trap a Groundhog

I didn’t know that trying to trap a groundhog could involve so many animals.

For the first week of my trapping project, the squirrels stole the apples and the slugs sucked holes in the cantaloupe. The next big critter (after the neighbor’s cat) to trip the trap was a ponderous possum. Being caught in a trap didn’t seem to raise his pulse any. He slept all day while I was at work and finally woke up as evening drew on. I think he was too stupid to know what being trapped could mean and object to it.

I wanted him to find out. So, I loaded him up in my too-small sports car and headed west for forty minutes until I could find some wide open farmland. By the way, I think the possum’s scaly tail and feet are the definition of creepy.


The day after the possum left, I found a large and roly-poly groundhog in the trap. He was definitely upset with his situation, so I threw a very large towel over him and told him to calm down and eat his snack. I’d take him for a ride later — which I did — forty miles east.

This success, however, was partial. I still had one more groundhog under my house. I felt a little guilty about having broken up a close relationship between groundhogs–but what’s a home owner to do?

After another week of laying out fruit, I began to despair. Desperation promotes invention. Firecrackers! What if I threw some firecrackers under my house? If I threw them into the groundhogs front door, she’d have to run out the back escape–straight into the animal trap.┬áTo ensure success, I got a neighbor to stand ready to close up the groundhogs back-door exit as I closed the front.

Problem. How do you know for sure the groundhog is at home if you don’t have a video camera set up to record its movements? Apparently all the firecrackers in the world wouldn’t have dislodged that varmint.

Fortunately, the next day a stiff wind put me downwind when I happened to see the groundhog leave. Quickly I laid a rock-weighted wooden cover over her back door and screwed a wire screen into the concrete over her front door. I also left apples and cantaloupe in the trap as a consolation prize.

Final report. Two weeks later the second groundhog finally took the bait. As a reward, I drove her far outside city limits.