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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Used to be rare I got a trail camera pic with a fox or coyote carrying prey, pics like the one I added are fairly common today. When I used to haul feed minerals out to southern Illinois a farmer there told me when he first moved out there and started farming they had few coyotes. Over the years as the coyote population grew, the groundhog population dwindled. He told me he rarely ever sees groundhogs anymore and they have plenty of coyotes. I believe they are definitely one aspect having a big impact here today along with a few other reasons.
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Definitely a lot less of them today. I haven’t had one in my yard this year. Every summer I had to trap and shoot them, from my flower beds and gardens. At my place in Snow Shoe, I haven’t seen a single groundhog in the yard in thirty years.

I think coon have replaced groundhogs as the #1 summer roadkill in my area.
 

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For farmers, less groundhogs in the hay fields is a good thing. Hitting a groundhog hole can damage farm machinery. And give the tractor operator quite a jolt.

Another change: There is less acreage in hay than there used to be. They are growing more corn and soybeans, and less hay. Less hay fields means less habitat to support groundhog populations.

There are less brushy fencerows than there used to be. Often groundhogs dug their holes along the fence lines, where the land doesn't get plowed, disced etc.

Hawks probably hit groundhogs too, especially the young ones. And hawk populations are up.
 

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Hawks probably hit groundhogs too, especially the young ones. And hawk populations are up.
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With the proliferation of hawks years ago, I started to see a decline in hogs. Now factor in the coyotes and I'm beginning to feel sorry for the hogs.

I talked to a farmer in Berks County earlier this year. I hunt a farm he just bought and called to ask for his permission to continue hunting it. He told me he owned five other farms and I asked if I could hunt them. He said he hasn't seen a groundhog on those farms in years and if there was one around his dogs took care of it. Five farms and no groundhogs!
 

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when i helped my farmer buddy bale hay we hit a groundhog hole that tossed me from one side of the wagon to the other side. i hit the metal rail on the sides right in the ribs that took my breath away and made me think i broke a couple. everything was ok, just sore and i have a new found hatred for groundhogs :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Modern farming is a factor also. When I was a kid few where spreading liquid manure. Mowing was a much slower process. Farmers simply raised the haybine and passed over mounds.

Today mowing a roughly 30’ swath going as fast as they take the ride, mounds aren’t tolerated and hogs surprised in the path stand little chance of not getting run over.

Liquid manure spreaders make it easily convenient to stop and flood holes drowning hogs or killing them when they come out. Then easily leveling mounds with a skid steer. Both making it unlikely for another hog to simply move in.

Almost all the groundhogs I do see today come out of fence rows, woods, or old stone pile patches in the fields which have mostly been removed.
 

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Me and the boys (3 sons) have been steady wacking them here, there is no shortage of them. They dig holes in corn and beans too. I have never heard of a farmer filling a hole with liquid manure, especially with fertilizer costs today, that's a lot of nitrogen to waste.
 

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When I visited our camp in IN State which was located in farm country during the 70 and 80's there were numerous goundhogs in spite of us taking a few on occasion until the coyotes hit the area and now they have been non existent ever since.....
 

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Years ago I use to hunt them all the time. A friends son in law has 600 acres where he raises angus and hay. I've never seen one there but I have seen a lot coyotes. I use to help a farmer in the early 70's bail hay and saw a ton. Not so many now.
 

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My wirehairs pitch in every summer to help the local farmers here with groundhog control. They kill about 4 or 5 a year.

When my draht was younger and we were doing some dove hunting one hot September day on an SGL. He was young and full off energy so every 45 minutes or so I'd give him a "free" command to release him to go explore a bit and stretch his legs. Called him back after a bit and he didn't return. I could hear him just over the hill so I walked over and I was stunned at thr sight: there was dirt flying everywhere out of this hole and all I could see was my dog's butt just barely sticking out of the hole as dirt just kept getting tossed back. He was halfway thru excavating whatever was down there, fox or groundhog. In the 10 or 15 minutes I had released him the amount of earth he had already dug out was impressive. I have no doubts if I left him he would have dug furiously all day to get at that thing. 😄
 
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