Monday, July 28, 2008

Digging on the Dogs

Mountain tries to scoot in under welded hog wire.

I always find it amazing that farms can change so much from one season to another -- they become completely different places.

Hedgerows that were thin alleys of sticks in the winter are now dense thickets of undergrowth. Fields that had been vast and lonely expanses of land four months ago, are now towering corn fields that leave me slightly claustrophobic.

The dogs and I had barely gone 40 feet when we busted out a large deer that bolted off deeper into the farm. Though this farm is heavily hunted in season, the population of wild ungulates does not seem to be curbed too much; tracks and scat are everywhere.

The first sette was under a wide stretch of welded hog wire, and though a groundhog was clearly home, there was no digging on it, as I had left my bolt cutters at home. We moved on.

The next sette was a nice shallow place, but as is so often the case with shallow settes, the ground itself was rock hard. I slammed the bar into the ground enough to loosen a little dirt, and eventually popped into the pipe right between the dog and the groundhog.

With a little more pounding with the post hole digger, I opened up the pipe and tailed out a rather skinny groundhog, otherwise unharmed.

Since this fellow was not near crops, I swung him onto a nearby tree and encouraging him to bolt upwards. This one got the hint and scampered up the trunk without any further encouragement.

With the groundhog up the tree and looking down, the dog's stayed below leaping, while I repaired the sette and gathered up the tools.

Released unharmed.



KrigsRotte said...

Damn, this is one indignant-looking critter. Great photos!

Anonymous said...

Grrr -- you are way too nice to these groundhogs!

Dorene, whose green tomatoes are being pinched by a you-know-what!