Groundhog Hunting

by Big Six, Friday, April 05, 2019, 20:43 (168 days ago)

I pulled an old heavy barreled rifle out of storage last week with the yearning to get out in the fields when the groundhogs start cleaning out their holes. I may be running a bit late but so be it.

While reading tonight I located this and a lot of other stuff I wrote for my sons many years ago. If it bores you my apologies are given up front. It was fun long ago and should be today if I can muster up enough to make it to some good fields.

I was a groundhog hunter in the 1950s and 1960s. This area of Kentucky was/is prime habitat for marmota monax and every farmer alive hated them for their destructive ways.

The race horse farm owners hated them because they would cause a valuable horse to become worthless when he broke his leg in one of their holes. When you grew up in the area and the owners knew you were responsible they were glad to see you in their fields.

In 1961 I lived and hunted on a 430 acre farm near Pinckard in Woodford County that had some of the prettiest alfalfa fields one could imagine. It also had more groundhogs than one could imagine. I used a 640K Mossberg Chuckster and a 6 power Weaver scope all that spring, summer and fall. Lawrence Blevins, the man who owned the place, gave me a box of ammunition any time he saw me. It was a good year for everyone but Mr. Groundhog.

I called Mr. Blevins in 1985 and asked him if I could bring my small sons to his place and show the boys how to hunt groundhogs. He was delighted to hear from me and met us in the road when we arrived. He told us about the infested areas and they were pretty much as they had been in the 60s. We started hunting in March of that year and hunted until fall. I felt like a boy again.

A few years ago the farm was sold. The landscrapers moved in and the alfalfa fields are now all covered with plastic houses. I try to avoid driving by there now but when I do the houses seem like a transparent overlay. Through that overlay I can still see a blue 1955 Ford station wagon sitting under a big oak tree with the barrel of a Mossberg 640K looking out over the fields.


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