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Groundhog vs Crossbow

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by bsparker, Jun 12, 2020.

  1. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Anyone try taking groundhogs with crossbow? Tips, suggestions, shot placement?

    I've got a number of groundhogs in our backyard eating our garden and digging holes under my shed and a neighbors. Trying to find a quiet and quick way to take care of them. My county prohibits capture and relocation.
     
  2. badkarmamib

    badkarmamib Member

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    Depending on regulations and restrictions, varmints don't take much, a field point COM/vitals will put them down quickly.
     
  3. mcb

    mcb Member

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    I would use a broad-head, maybe an old one you don't mind ruining but I would still use a broad head. I have shot them with field points and your margin for error is a lot smaller with field points. Put two arrows in one once and still had to finish him with a 22LR to the head.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
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  4. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Say what! (?)
    I take it then, that they don't care if you kill them?
    :thumbdown:


    .
     
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  5. mcb

    mcb Member

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    Lots of places (counties and even states) have these rules about not transporting nuisance animals. In Ohio where I grew up you could not trap and release nuisance animals to another location. I was dealing with raccoons that where trying to get back into my attic. ODNR told me I could kill them (out of season if trapped as a nuisance animal around my house) but could not take them somewhere else to release them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2020
  6. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    So let it be written ......
     
  7. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I would not use a crossbow. I have hit a few with a compound bow and the little critters just don’t want to die without a fight. They often live in spots hard to get to, so skewering one can easily mean losing a bolt and a broad head. After my initial foray with killing them with a bow, I went to traps baited with tomatoes.
     
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  8. gotboostvr

    gotboostvr Member

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    I'd use some cheap fixed broadheads from Walmart. Maybe some of the wide flat varmint heads if they have them. Even without a good nervous center hit, they'll punch a hole big enough to cause a quick bleed out.
     
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  9. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

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    I've used my crossbow around my house for the same reasons as you, to be quiet and quick. Definitely use a broadheads and shoot in a downward angle if at all possible. Late on night I shot a little too flat and my arrow skipped off the hard ground and went a good ways til it stopped. I used cheap arrows and cheap fixed blades from Walmart. A skunk, 2 raccoons, a dozen or so Armadillos and a feral dog have all met the same fate from that crossbow.

    Shot placement on the small varmint types don't matter much put in the center and they die real quick. The feral dog I just went for the front leg.
     
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  10. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    Ever go for head shots? I can hit 2” rounds at 25 yards, was thinking that Might keep them from running. But not sure of their reflex time with such a small target
     
  11. CarJunkieLS1

    CarJunkieLS1 Member

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    Moat of my shots have been taken st night and using a flashlight so headshots were not on my radar. I guess you could go for it but the arrow is slower than the speed of sound so a miss because they startled is possible.
     
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  12. ridgerunner1965

    ridgerunner1965 Member

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    i would use killer or leghold traps.snares can also be used but woodchucks are hard to snare. yu have to set a snare to get them around the hips.

    as far as the local laws? i could care less. what they gonna do to me?
     
  13. Slappy White

    Slappy White Member

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    Yeah! Who cares about laws! Come on man. This is THR. Have some decency.
     
  14. redneck

    redneck Member

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    A conibear trap set right over the groundhog's hole works pretty good if you are in a situation where you don't have to worry about something else getting in it accidentally. I'd also only set them when you will be around to check them as they don't always kill the groundhog depending on how they grab.
    I've never used a bow, but have killed a few with pellet guns. A .177 pellet is too light, and they made it back into the hole bleeding. A .22 from precharged pneumatic does better but shot placement is pretty touchy. If you can shoot accurately with your bow and have a safe backstop I wouldn't hesitate to try it.
     
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  15. Obturation

    Obturation Member

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    trapping will be more effective. If you catch them alive you can relocate them to a bucket of water and then the trash can. It may be fun to shoot them but you're more likely to be doing it for fun rather than maximum efficiency.
     
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  16. newfalguy101

    newfalguy101 Member

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    When you stop and think about it...the county does not want you to simply move YOUR headache to someone else.....overall not a bad policy
     
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  17. GAF

    GAF Member

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  18. Axis II

    Axis II Member

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    Get a metal detector also. After that arrow flies through the woodchuck its going to burry into the ground and a PITA to get out or even find.
     
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  19. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    You mean one of these?
    FIELD TIPS.JPG

    I don't know..., groundhogs are tough rodents. I saw a teenager in my neighborhood shoot a ground hog with a bow and an arrow tipped with one of these..., went partially through him and didn't stop him. He sorta turned and looked at the back half of the arrow sticking out of him. Then the teenager shot him again. Only the groundhog had moved and the arrows sort of formed a >< through him. He decided he'd better get to cover and went to his hole, but the arrows sticking out of him, being aluminum and forming a >< made it impossible for him to get into his hole.

    I had to take out my off duty sidearm and finish the creature. THEN I had to call in and let the local beat officers know that I'd put down an animal that was wounded, and the next day at work I had to fill out the "discharge of firearm/dispatching of injured animal" report.

    SO..., I'd suggest a broadhead.

    LD
     
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  20. whm1974

    whm1974 member

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    So what do you with woodchucks after catching or killing them? Are city chucks safe to eat?
     
  21. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    That's part of my concern. Definitely don't want them running off to a neighbors or dying under my shed.
     
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  22. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    I was thinking of shooting from my window (split level so we're about 12 feet up), they tend to hang out about 20 feet from the house at night, angle was part of the concern and the desire to remain fairly hidden without setting up a full hunt.
     
  23. bsparker

    bsparker Member

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    I've seen a couple of people recommend these in other places. Does it actually penetrate the animal and then expand? Or just beat the snot out of it with the blunt tip?
     
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  24. GAF

    GAF Member

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    Goes all the way through the rabbit. When it hits it make a pop. Just be careful where the bolt is going after it goes through the rabbit.
     
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  25. illinoisburt

    illinoisburt Member

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    Arrows and groundhogs. I killed an awful lot of them with a compound years ago. Judo heads are not guaranteed killers unless you hit them in the head. A regular broadhead will kill them, not instantly though. Much more likely to slip through and either pin them to the ground with steep enough angles, or skip off and cover some ground before burying itself somewhere beyond the target. They will run back into a hole and die there where it is very difficult to pull them back out. There are judo backers you can put behind a 2 blade head to keep the arrow in the animal which works a lot better. If rimfires or a spinger 22 airgun is an option, hollowpoint ammo with chest shots are very effective. Either way, place an apple 5 or 6 feet away from the hole anchored to the ground with a tent spike. You will get much better shot opportunities and can choose the backstop that way.

    If your goal is simple eradication, an inexpensive live trap from any local hardware store ($20 at harbor freight) and bait with an apple or other fruit. Kill them in the trap.

    They are perfectly edible though little musky. Discard fat and organs when you skin them. Boil, debone, then used in any recipe. It tastes like greasy beef.
     
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