Best Scope For Groundhog Hunting in 2023
Bushnell Engage Riflescope, 2.5-10x44mm, Matte Black
Bubblebutt's Big Move
Fun facts about groundhogs (a/k/a marmots, woodchucks and whistle pigs)
Charlie couldn't figure out why his neighbors didn't like him. He was quiet. He kept his place clean. He was environmentally friendly and kept the soil aerated on his little piece of property. He shared his home with others, even the skunks, though they stunk the place up sometimes. His children were polite and well behaved and he was home sleeping from October to February. What was wrong with him? Why did his neighbors keep insisting that he move somewhere else?
He especially loved this neighborhood and would be sorry to leave. His front door was under a big granite rock so he had a lovely front porch to watch the daily neighborhood goings on even when it rained. The woods were close by. There was a clean, clear river behind his home and two wonderful garden restaurants within waddling distance of his front door. One had the best peas, beans and ears of corn he'd ever tasted and the other was full of so many flowers and herbs he knew he'd never be able to sample every dish even if he dined there every day. There were apple trees right in his front yard and he ate breakfast there every morning.
Once he moved, he knew the skunks, foxes, weasels, opossums and rabbits would all be fighting over who would get to move into his old place. His human neighbors wouldn't be happy if the skunks moved in. They'd sure miss having Charlie as their neighbor then.
He didn't know where to move to next. Would the same thing keep happening? He'd heard that Canada was a good place to live because endangered species laws protected his branch of the marmot family. There were only about a hundred of them there so Charlie knew they'd have room for him but he also knew he couldn't travel that far to get there. After all, he could only run 9 miles per hour. At that rate, it would take him three or four lifetimes to get there. Just thinking about moving that fast and that far made Charlie want to take a nap. Charlie knew he wouldn't fit in there anyway because the Canadian marmots were chocolate brown with white spots on their chests and everyone thought they were the best looking of all the wood chucks. Charlie and his family were grayish brown and grizzled. Charlie thought they were quite handsome, but that snobby branch of the family probably wouldn't agree.
He had some famous relatives but they didn't want Charlie moving in with them. They had their own families to worry about. Punxsutawney Phil lived up north, in Punxsutawney Pennsylvania, right near the big city of Pittsburgh. Beauregard Lee lived in the south in a state called Georgia and Wiarton Willie lived on the Bruce Peninsula of Lake Huron. Their human neighbors loved them, and they were famous, thanks to that American holiday on February 2, Ground Hog Day. Ground Hogs were the only animals to have a holiday named for them. Humans believed that Charlie's three cousins could tell when winter would end just by coming out of hibernation and seeing their shadow. The humans had even made a movie about it, called Ground Hog Day. Charlie thought this was silly but he sure wished his human neighbors believed it. Maybe they'd let him stay, if they did.
Charlie heard the neighbors coming home and whistled for his wife and children to come quick so they could all hide in their burrow.
"Scurry home kids, we don't want the humans getting mad. We're moving soon enough but probably not soon enough to suit them, " Charlie squealed.
"Coming papa" the little woodchucks, Chucky, Charlie, Jr., Woody and Layla chirped.
Marna, the momma woodchuck and Charlie's wife of three years, scuttled after her children, nipping at their behinds to move them along faster.
Finally, they were safe inside their burrow, where Charlie and Marna had, earlier in the day, brought some apples back for dinner. As they all settled in to eat, Charlie looked sadly at his family.
"You all know we have to move soon. The longer we stay, the meaner and more restless the humans become. Does anyone have any ideas about a new neighborhood where we'd be happy and safe?" Charlie asked hopefully.
Layla and Woody grumbled, "We don't want to move. We like it here. All our rabbit and squirrel friends are here."
Chucky and Charlie, Jr. had moved twice before so they didn't bother complaining. They knew they'd make new friends, and they always had each other to roll and tumble and climb trees with.
"I know you don't want to move. And I hope this will be the last move we have to make," Charlie said. "If we can only find a place where the neighbors won't be so disagreeable, we won't have to move again. So, speak up; who has an idea?" he asked, glancing quickly up from the apple he was nibbling.
"I've heard about a place called Pakistan," Layla piped up. "Golden marmots live there."
"Yes, but those families have to work for a living. Their human neighbors make them dig for gold every day," Chucky said.
"That won't do, " Charlie said decidedly, "We don't have time to be digging for gold, what with eating, sleeping, playing and sunbathing all day."
"What about Mongolia?" asked Layla "It's sunny there."
"Too far away," said Charlie.
"And Mongolians eat marmots. They hunt our family by tying on bunny ears, dancing and twirling a yak tail so they can catch us more easily," Marna said.
Charlie laughed and laughed. "It would be fun to see that," he said, "but much too dangerous. I don't plan to take chances on becoming my neighbor's dinner just so I can be entertained by their silliness."
"Well, we'd better think of something soon," Charlie, Jr. said. "It's already August and we'll have to move, build a new home and eat, eat, eat, in order to get ready for hibernation in October."
"You're right" Marna said. "I want to be settled when I have my next litter in March. The babies are born naked, blind and helpless and we can't be moving them until they're at least four months old and ready to live on their own."
"What about moving in with Staten Island Chuck in New York or Peewee, the Woodchuck in Vermont?" Layla asked.
"That just won't do," Charlie insisted. "We need to find a place of our own where the humans think they need us to predict the spring. If they already have one of us doing the job, they'll just think we're pests and chase us away."
"Well, I've heard the Berkshires are nice," Woody said. "People are friendly, the grass is green, the clover sweet and, best of all, no one shoots at you."
"They don't have their own famous groundhog," Marna added. "You'd be wonderful as their famous groundhog, Charlie."
"Really?" Charlie asked. "It's not too far away. We're only a few miles from the Berkshires. That sounds just right. We'll get started first thing in the morning."
And that's just what they did. They found a perfect spot right in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. They had a river in their back yard. They were surrounded by woods and plenty of big rocks. There were gardens and fields full of clover and wildflowers, all within waddling distance. And a big tree for lying in the sun was just around the corner from their house. And the best part of all was that their neighbors were friendly. They could hear the humans laughing every time they came outside to watch Charlie and his family sunning themselves or running after their children. They never minded when Charlie and his family visited their gardens and they never ever tried to chase them away with poison.
So Charlie became an even better neighbor than ever. He pretended to ignore the nickname the Momma human had given Charlie. Charlie didn't mind if she called him Bubble Butt. Because Charlie knew when he had it good. And Charlie was smart enough to come out after the sun was too low to see his shadow on February 2. So his human neighbors always believed spring was just around the corner. That seemed to make them happy. Charlie sure didn't understand what they were so happy about, though. Spring meant he'd have to wake up. And sleep was something Charlie really loved. Silly humans.