Tuesday, April 9, 2013

A Woodchuck!?! Seriously? Yep.

Yep. That's right. A straight up woodchuck.

In my yard.

I saw it yesterday when we let the dogs out and they chased it over to the neighbors. It ran under their deck. The whole thing happened really quickly and I wasn't quite sure what it was at the time. My brain said small beaver with a furry tail. I knew that wasn't a real thing, but that was pretty much what I saw.

My husband had said something about the pile of dirt in the front yard a couple hours before. He thought we had some moles. His parents have an army of moles in the yard of their house in the country. Honestly, I thought the pile was from a plant I dumped out a couple weeks ago, but if he wanted to blame a rodent that was fine by me. 

I didn't put the two together until I saw another pile in the yard on my way out of the driveway this morning. I knew what I had seen wasn't a mole so I thought...maybe a gopher?

Nope. That wasn't not quite it.

I was sure it had a furry tail, not a little rat one and it was WAY bigger than the description for gophers. Then I found this handy What's Digging Holes in my Yard? Extension publication from the University of Minnesota. 

Deep burrows with excavated soil spread around the entrance. Possible cause: woodchuck

Yep, that's it. 

Sidenote: did you know a groundhog and a woodchuck are the same thing? I didn't until the internet told me so.
I kinda hate to do anything about it. It is the cutest little guy. I'm sure it's a totally horrible thing to have in your yard, especially when you have an infant, but I'm certainly not going to poison or shoot him (or her). She could have babies. I'm not killing the mother of adorable little baby woodchucks. I mean, I have an infant. Moms have to stick together regardless of species. Plus, poisoning anything is a bad move when you have a little person who puts anything and everything in her mouth.

More googling.

Humane Society What to Do about Woodchucks

Apparently timing is crucial and I shouldn't evict it until mid-late summer. Since I've never seen this thing before and it certainly hasn't been burrowing in the yard for long I'm going to go ahead and say it doesn't have babies in the burrow so maybe will try to evict it.

Austin still thinks moles are making the holes so maybe we can just keep the woodchuck. What do you think? It is absolutely freaking adorable, but I don't really want to share my hard earned vegetables if I ever actually get up the gumption to plant a garden.

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