A few days ago, I mentioned the terrifyingly piercing sound of the woodchuck alarm call. Well, it appears we have FIVE baby woodchucks and two adults, putting a total of seven chucks in my backyard. I’ve almost given up on flowers, and I have completely thrown in the towel on vegetables. But the garage isn’t something I can ignore. As things stand, the slab it sits on is being dangerously undermined.
We all know there’s almost no chance we’ll shoot or poison or in any other way injure or kill the chucks and chucklets, but I am not opposed to annoying them. Why? Because I hope if I worry them enough, they’ll move out.
I began my chuck harassment project yesterday. Every time I spotted the youngsters out of the burrow, I crept around the garage and RAN LIKE HECK with the intention of placing myself between the babies and their front door.
When this happens, they flatten themselves to the ground and do. not. move. I can walk right up to them. If I really wanted to risk being bitten, I could probably touch them. Instead I just berated them for being there.
“Bad chuck!” Shaking finger. “Bad, bad baby chuck.”
And then I teased them. I’m not proud. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIO3506edAU According to this guy, I have ceased to be scary, but I am also not likable.
Then I filled in the main entrance to the burrow. (Don’t worry. They still had an escape hole.) Last night, each time they came out to graze, I’d let them have fun for maybe half an hour, and then I’d scare them back into their den. They’d all pile up at the old entrance before remembering to head on over to the escape hole.
So far today, I have not seen a single woodchuck. I am hopeful that they have moved to the neighbor’s field where no one is trying to grow vegetables and no one has flower beds and no one’s garage is at risk and they can live in peace and harmony. I have nothing against them; I just want my garden to be more than sticks lopped off to an inch above the ground, and I like my garage in the upright position.
Today, I began Stage 2 of my woodchuck deterrent plan: trenching all the way around the garage and installing woodchuck-proof barriers. I’ll do it slowly over the next several days, first filling the escape hole and waiting to see if anyone re-excavates it. Don’t want to risk a chuck being buried in there with no way out.