A WORD FOR THE WOODCHUCK (OR GROUNDHOG)
In different numbers of the H-T-T I have noticed where brother hunters have been killing the groundhog and say it is such sport. Well, perhaps it is good shooting and a great deal of sport, too. But did you ever stop and consider the value of a groundhog when he lay at your feet. dead. He is of very little value. His flesh is not fit to eat unless it is a very young one and his hide is of no use for fur, but a fellow can tan them and make a nice piece of leather if he understands tanning.
But here is the point I want to try and explain but all the H-T-T readers may not see the value of a living groundhog. He is the greatest help for the protection of fur bearers I know of as he is always digging holes and many a skunk and other fur bearers den in these holes the groundhog digs. The holes are also a protection for rabbits.
And again, what damage does the groundhog do? He will not kill or harm a farmer's poultry or young stock. He may get a turnip or some other vegetable from his garden or an ear of corn from his fields but why kill him for that? If the "Johnny-dig-'em outs" are as bad in other sections as they are around this part of the country, the fur-bearers have a hard time of it digging new dens and I believe the groundhog is a great help to them that way, for he holes up in early winter and does not venture out until spring and many a skunk I've caught in a groundhog den, where I knew there were groundhogs the year before.
I would like to hear from other trappers and hunters on this subject. But this is not to be debated on, if some reader will prove where I am wrong I'll help get Mr. Groundhog. But I find it a greater sport to go to some pond or creek with a rifle and shoot snakes as I know they do destroy young rabbits, squirrels and birds for many a snake I have killed in the act of destroying a bird's nest.
W. H. Killion,
Hunter-Trader-Trapper. October: 1921,
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