Woodchucks aka Groundhogs or Whistle Pigs

Woodchucks aka groundhogs or whistle pigs are big rodents. They are vegetarians spending their days devouring plants.

When these eating machines live out in the pastures, this is not a problem. They do dig extensive burrows, but usually up against a hill or big rock.

Woodchucks aka Groundhogs or Whistle Pigs are wary creatures
Why these creatures are called woodchucks, I don’t know. They earn the groundhog name as they root along and burrow their way under fences somewhat like hogs do. When alarmed woodchucks emit a piercing whistle that will stop you in your tracks giving them the name whistle pig.

Armadillos dig their burrows anywhere, even out in the middle of the pastures. That is dangerous for any animal or person walking along without looking at the ground.

Problems arise when woodchucks aka groundhogs or whistle pigs get into a garden. A family moved next to mine and started devouring the tomatoes and had to be eliminated. Their idea or sharing is: them all, you none.

I hate to shoot a so-called varmint animal as it doesn’t know it’s being a problem. It’s hungry and you are providing food, so it eats. It’s that dislike of sharing on their part.

Woodchucks aka Groundhogs or Whistle Pigs are vegetarians
Woodchucks are diurnal, coming out during the day, to eat plants. Grass, preferably clover which is common in our yard, is fine. The problems begin when a woodchuck starts eating fruit and other plants. They hibernate in their extensive burrows all winter so they are voracious eaters in late summer.

The populations of raccoons, opossums and woodchucks aka groundhogs or whistle pigs are going up in my area. Even in town these animals seem to occupy places near homes and businesses. Relocating these animals is not an option.

So I wasn’t particularly surprised to see a woodchuck out grazing in the back yard. It is a big woodchuck. It was mowing the grass.

The grass does need mowing. We do get the mower out when it gets about six inches long and a nuisance to walk through early in the morning when it’s wet with dew.

Sunny Cat notices groundhog
My Sunny cat spends much of the day sleeping outside. This day he sits up for petting then notices the woodchuck out on the grass. He checks this out as the woodchuck is bigger than he is.

As long as this woodchuck only mows the grass, we will live in peace. We are a bit uneasy about it though. Something has been sampling the figs on trees we grow in large tubs.

The woodchuck may be innocent. Raccoons, opossums and foxes like figs too. The culprit is an expert at getting marshmallows out of the livetrap, triggering it, but not getting trapped.

Woodchucks aka groundhogs or whistle pigs remain the main suspects.