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by Larry Ross R.R 3, Clifford, Ont. NOB lMO
This farm was overrun with groundhogs when we moved here. I tried some of the usual methods of control, but in vain. A friend showed me a conibear trap and how to use it. I got four traps and have caught hundreds of groundhogs since then. The trap is set and placed over the hole. Electric fence posts can hold it down. Yellow insulators on the posts make good markers.
After you get the numbers of groundhogs down, you can fill in the holes in the fields, but continue to trap in the fence rows. Expect to get many groundhogs from a single hole. It may be a good idea to anchor the chain of the trap to a heavy piece of steel, as dogs can run off with the groundhog and your trap.
Don't put dead animals down holes as non-target species and pets will be attracted to the carcass and can get caught in the traps.
Conibear traps can also clean up on skunks. In fact, since they go down the groundhog holes, control is almost automatic.
The conibear trap is the best method of rabbit control for orchards, along with the plastic tree wraps. The painted-on deterrents don't seem to stop a starving rabbit. Park something like a manure spreader in the middle of the orchard; this provides shelter for the rabbits from flying predators. Prop up the trap underneath at 45 degrees and place a nice juicy piece of organic, carrot under it.
The Conibear trap is considered to be a humane trap. The proper trap for groundhogs and rabbits is 6" x 6" #160 Victor and is available from Davies Trapping Supplies, RR# 7, Watford, Ont. NOM-250, phone 519-849-3275.
Copyright © 1993 Ecological Farmers Association of Ontario. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.
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