Let me guess.
Some pesky groundhogs have gotten into your garden and are munching on your vegetables? Or maybe some woodchucks (another name for groundhogs) have dug tiny holes all over your ranch and now you’re worried about one of your cows or horses stepping in one and possibly breaking its leg?
If your groundhog problem sounds similar to one of the scenarios above, you’re not alone.
These annoying little creatures known as groundhogs can be particularly annoying and challenging to get rid of. And for this reason, they’re considered an especially invasive pest. Woodchucks typically cause the most destruction during spring and fall, with adults consuming around one and a half pounds of vegetation every day, more than doubling their weight.
Moreover, they burrow underground, affecting the structural integrity of your yard and creating hazardous holes. Fleas and ticks carried by groundhogs can also transmit infectious diseases to humans and pets. If they invade your yard, it can be challenging to eliminate them on your own, but that doesn’t mean all hope is lost.
An exterminator is almost certainly going to cost you hundreds of dollars, and natural home remedies are never as effective as a professional and usually waste time and resources.
Pellet guns, also known as airguns, are considered a humane and effective method of eliminating groundhogs from your yard. A minimum velocity of 1200 fps (feet per second) is required to humanely kill a groundhog without causing it unnecessary pain.
However, before we turn our attention to airguns, let’s first take a closer look at what we’re going after. Groundhogs typically weigh between eight and nine pounds. Squirrels, on the other hand, usually top out at around a pound. If you want to choose the right airgun for killing Groundhogs, you need to make sure that your gun is a good match for your target.
The groundhog is surprisingly tough and resilient, and with the right gun, it is possible to ensure a clean, ethical, and quick kill shot to ensure that the animal will not live to cause any more harm. Let’s explore some of the most effective airgun options for removing woodchucks from your property.
How to Hunt Groundhogs
It is important to create an organized way of hunting groundhogs before you begin your hunt. You already know how resilient groundhogs can be, so it’s important to implement a plan that works for you. Firstly, you must become familiar with the location, determine which burrows are active, plan your angle of attack, and then go home and prepare your air rifle.
Groundhogs can be hunted in a variety of ways, and one strategy is to set up a trail camera to record their movements. By doing this, you will have a clearer idea of their patterns, which in turn will help you to decide when to hunt. Installing a trail camera also allows you to determine what holes the animals are using as well as how often they are using them. Further, it shows you the direction in which they are moving when they enter and exit the hole, which will help you choose the right angle from which to fire.
Generally speaking, the best time to hunt woodchucks is during the coolest parts of the day. Groundhogs are diurnal, which means that they are awake and active during the daytime. However, If it’s too hot, they tend to seek the cool shelter of their holes. This means that the best time for catching them out of their burrows is during the early morning, the early evening, or an overcast day, especially during the hotter months of the year.
Step One: Create a Strategy
Once you know which burrows are active and when to catch them off guard, you need to plan a shooting strategy. Once you have decided where and from what angle you will shoot, you should make sure that no obstructions will interfere with your shooting path. This could include branches, bushes, and anything that blocks your view from their burrow and would impair a clean shot.
Another general rule of thumb you can use when you are shooting is to always shoot from the highest point on a field. There may be more than one vantage point available because of the varied terrain features or safety concerns, but it is imperative that the primary vantage point encompasses the largest area and the greatest number of burrows that are within a safe distance.
Step Two: Know Where to Shoot
As soon as you know when and where to take them down and have a clear shot, you have to know where to take the shot. Again, groundhogs can weigh eight times more than an average squirrel, so they have a lot of fat and fur to protect themselves. Unless chasing an injured groundhog is your thing, your best option will be a clean shot to the head. A clean headshot is the most ethical option and will drop them if your air gun has enough power.
Now that you know all the steps required to get rid of groundhogs, you should be ready to go and take your yard back. And hopefully, you’ll be able to have a little fun while doing it. Happy hunting!
Best Air Rifles for Hunting Groundhogs
Looking to buy an air rifle for groundhog hunting?
Here are two of the best air rifles for hunting groundhogs and other small varmints.
Gamo Varmint Air Rifle (.177 Cal)
On a budget? The Gamo Varmint Air Rifle can serve as an excellent pellet gun for hunting small rodents. This hunting pellet rifle offers the right amount of power while still remaining quiet enough for those living in residential neighborhoods.
Airforce Condor SS PCP Air Rifle
If you want a more high-end option then the Condor Air Rifle may be right up your alley. This pellet rifle is accurate, versatile, quiet, and highly reliable. The Airforce Condor PCP Air Rifle is one of the most popular pellet guns for hunting small game, and it has even been used by the military and law enforcement for pest control for years. This is a great air rifle to add to your collection.