As I ranted before, I had a disagreement with one of our friendly groundhogs. He thought it was fine to eat through my gate and garden whereas I thought differently. There was no way to stop it from entering my grounds because for every hole I filled with rocks and dirt, another was dug. Unless you are going to bury steel mesh a foot under the ground, it is impossible to keep the little beasts out.
Now my wife, whom I love dearly and is one of the most gentle persons I have ever met, says that if I had a gun I would be able to rid ourselves of this vermin. “There it goes! If you had a gun you could kill it.” She made the same assertion nearly a decade ago when a rat was discovered under our bed that I called Templeton (after the rat in “Charlotte’s Web.”) Now I am flattered that my wife believes that my skill with a gun is on par with those of Martin Riggs (of “Lethal Weapon” fame) and Buffalo Bill. Unfortunately my experience with such weaponry ends with my trusty Daisy BB gun that was used during my misspent youth to dispatch old models of ships, planes and other broken Revell gear in my parents’ basement.
So wanting to deal with this in a gentler and kinder way as well as not shoot my eye out, I decided to purchase a Havahart trap. This is a trap that is supposed to capture an animal in a nice way letting you release it in an area where it can romp and live free among all of the other wonderful creatures we have on this earth. Quite frankly, I don’t give a crap about how happily ever after lives this creature. I just want it out of my garden.
My first attempt at trapping was comical as I put the trap on a flat surface (as recommended) and put in bananas and carrots. In less than a day the trap was knocked around and turned over as my friendly oversized rodent decided to knock it around rather than enter a den of culinary pleasure. I needed to create a more stable positioning for the trap.
My next try wedged it against a fence on one side, a fence post on the back and a heavy log on the other side. It felt good and sturdy and did not move easily. Time to wait.
This morning I got up and went out for the paper and took a glance toward the trap. It appeared that the door had fallen. It had and peering inside I had struck pay dirt. Or rather groundhog.
Carrots, bananas, banana peels all gone. A fat groundhog trying to break out right there. I gently picked up the cage making sure that my hands were no where near the sharp claws that could shred my flesh in an instant. At first it jumped around appearing angry but soon settled down and just sat in the cage watching me.
I began to feel sorry for it but that emotion quickly evaporated as I passed my gate with its chewed up bottom and put the cage in the car. As I drove it off to a nature preserve over 5 miles away I thought about the imperfect relationship we have with animals. We like to see them, but not too many. We want them to be near, but not too close. In the case of groundhogs, one is too many.
Upon arriving at my destination, I placed the cage on the ground and opened it. The groundhog sped out, looked around and waddled down the road from which we came. He ran a bit, looked up and continued. Soon it ran into the woods out of sight. I hoped it did not remember the way home.