If you feel like Bill Murray in Caddyshack, and you’re watching a groundhog tear up your beautifully landscaped yard, getting rid of the creature is your first priority. If you’re an avid gardener, and a groundhog decides to sample all of your plants, trapping the animal may become a new hobby for you. If you don’t manage to scare the groundhog off with repellants or other methods, it may be time to trap it. If you’re not up for trapping the animal yourself, call a professional.
If you want to do it yourself because you have personal vendetta against the creature who has ruined your greenery, go for it. If you’re trying to save money, caging it yourself may be the way to go. Also, many pest companies are called exterminators for a reason. If you really don’t want to kill the groundhog, you may decide caging and relocation is the way to go.
Before you start trapping this burrowing animal, look up your state laws on trapping groundhogs and the procedures you must follow. Some states have year-round open season against these animals, so trapping and killing is not an issue. Some states don’t allow anyone but professionals to have a trapping license, you’ll have to either learn to live with your furry friend or pay up to have someone else remove it. Many states do not allow you to keep a trapped animal alive, so be prepared to either use a kill cage, or use a humane method to put the animal down.
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Note: if your state does not have relocation designations for wildlife, it is not legal to relocate an animal, even to an open area near your house. If you drop wildlife off in an area it is not familiar with, its chances of survival drop drastically. You can accidentally place an animal within range of its predator’s den, or make it impossible for them to get back to their offspring or parents. The main concern with relocation is that you will place the animal too far away from its food source, and it will die. This is not a humane option, as the animal suffers greatly from your actions.
If you’re lucky though, you live in a state that allows you to relocate the groundhog. This means that, once you manage to trap the groundhog (easier said than done), you can transport him or her to an area recommended by your wildlife game and fisheries department. Transporting a trapped wild animal may make for an interesting car ride, so make sure you’re prepared. Once the cage has been opened, let the animal run free in his or her new home, and hope you never see it again.
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