Woodchucks (aka Groundhogs)
Woodchucks are stocky mammals, with short, strong legs and a short, bushy, almost flattened tail. Their fur ranges from light to dark brown color. The feet are dark brown to black and their front feet have long, curved claws for digging burrows. Common predators for Woodchucks (groundhogs) include wolves (although not in this area), coyotes, large hawks, and sometimes even owls.
The breeding season for groundhogs extends from early March to late April following hibernation, which depends on weather. A mated pair will remain in the same den through the 28- to 32-day gestation period. As birth of the young approaches in April or May, the male woodchuck will leave the den. Woodchuck litters are usually anywhere from 2 to 6 babies.
Woodchucks Groundhogs are vegetarians and their diet consists of grasses, clover, garden vegetables, leaves, twigs, apples, berries, and even dandelions. They will sometimes eat small insects and snails.
Woodchucks can cause more damage to the structure of a home than almost any other animal. We have seen woodchucks collapse small decks, areas of concrete, and some small sheds because of their elaborate tunneling systems. A true hibernator, woodchucks spend the entire winter 4 or more feet below ground. It is estimated that a woodchuck moves about 700 lbs. of dirt when digging his den. Woodchucks are vegetarians and gardeners are quite familiar with them.