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  #1  
Old 03-06-2009, 08:48 PM
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Belly Draggers are out!!!


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So this past weekend I was across the holler, at the in-laws and heard an old familier chip sound.
I listened to them for about 5 minutes before I had to leave. Didn't have time to dust one, but hopefully this weekend.

Can't believe they are out already!
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  #2  
Old 03-06-2009, 09:42 PM
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That's good news. I woke up with a fresh inch of snow on the ground here this morning and it's down to 21 degrees at 1350 feet tonight. I don't look for them to be out for another couple of weeks over here. I've got to get the "coyote" scope off the 204 and put the 8 by 32 back on for ground squirrel season.

I really need to find a place where I can shoot some Rock chucks. As the weather warms up I'm taking a trip down on the Salmon river breaks and see if I can find some new areas with chucks in them.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2009, 06:32 PM
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Wait until May Darkker...let them go to seed! More to shoot then! Good luck!
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2009, 04:10 PM
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I definitely hate you, Darkker. 3/6 was a miserable windy day here, and it's been snowing a lot of the time since. Supposed to keep getting colder for a couple more days. This is a nice enough place, but winter's too long.
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  #5  
Old 03-11-2009, 06:22 AM
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Well...
Bob you jinx'd me. It snowed for several hours two days ago, and hasn't broken 30 degrees since.

Oh, well, there is always june!!

Last edited by Darkker; 03-11-2009 at 06:26 AM. Reason: learned to write at public school
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  #6  
Old 03-11-2009, 08:16 AM
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I'm nowhere near the Pacific Northwest, and I've never hunted groundhogs - as they aren't in the greatest abundance in my area, but I've never really looked for them either. I did have a little "situation" with one several years ago when it decided to burrow under one of the corners of my garage. I would have let him do his thing, but he kept digging out so much dirt I thought the garage was going to sink in that corner. I tried to be as nice as possible and attempted to "persuade" him to leave on his own (I filled in his hole several times and even covered the area with plywood and whatever else I could find), but he always came back and reopened the hole or made a new entrance. That's when I got the poison out and filled the hole in one very last time. Hey, I tried . . . I was as nice as I could be . . .

But back to the topic at hand, how do you look for them (other than seeing them or hearing their "chip sound")? What kinds of areas do you usually find them in? How do you hunt them?
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Old 03-11-2009, 10:07 AM
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If they are living in a hayfield, it will be pretty obvious as all the grass will be eaten in about a ten foot circle around their hole. The ones I've seen did that, anyway.

Sneak up on them when feeding and shoot! My dad used to use the ladder rack of his pickup as a rifle rest, standing in the bed. Park as far away as he could hit and wait for them to come out.....
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  #8  
Old 03-11-2009, 10:36 AM
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Were talking about several different critters here. Ground hogs are big critters that can stand a foot tall and they can dig big holes and live in the East. Rock chucks are a member of the Marmot family and dig and live in rocky areas they can stand 12 to 16 inches tall and again are big critters for their size.

Ground squirrels or sage rats are small coke bottle size critters that like meadows and field edges and like living in colonies of a bunch. All eat lots of grass. 10 Ground Squirrels can eat as much grass as a cow per day.

We shoot them to lower populations and though they can be shot out it's pretty hard to do. Folks like to plunk them at long ranges with center fire varmint rifles in 17, 20 and 22 caliber and at close ranges with rimfires.
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Old 03-11-2009, 12:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by faucettb View Post
Were talking about several different critters here.

Ground hogs are big critters that can stand a foot tall and they can dig big holes and live in the East.

Rock chucks are a member of the Marmot family and dig and live in rocky areas they can stand 12 to 16 inches tall and again are big critters for their size.

Ground squirrels or sage rats are small coke bottle size critters that like meadows and field edges and like living in colonies of a bunch.
I wasnt quite sure to which animal the term "belly draggers" referred, but I'm pretty sure MikeG and I are talking about groundhogs (a.k.a. Marmota monax, woodchucks, land beavers, Punxsutawney Phil, etc.).

I knew of rock chucks (a.k.a. marmots, yellow-bellied marmots, Marmota flaviventris, etc.), the ones you mentioned in your earlier post, Bob, but I just didnt know if they were the "belly draggers." Considering how similar they are in size, shooting equipment should be the same for either, no?

I know I wasnt talking about any species of the smaller ground squirrels, prairie dogs, tree squirrels, chipmunks, musk rats, nutria, beavers, or anything the like.

I hope this narrows it down.
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  #10  
Old 03-11-2009, 02:14 PM
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The "Belly Draggers" of the original post is intended to indicate Rock Chucks, unless Darkker has shifted his vernacular again.
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  #11  
Old 03-11-2009, 04:32 PM
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Yes, "Belly-draggers" are rock chucks, and "chiselers" are Ground Squirrels from Bob's neck of the woods.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2009, 07:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkker View Post
Yes, "Belly-draggers" are rock chucks, and "chiselers" are Ground Squirrels from Bob's neck of the woods.
My mistake . . .

Seeing as how I posted in a Pacific Northwest hunting thread while not actually being from the Pacific Northwest, I was not aware of the local expressions.

My sincerest apologies.

Last edited by Newbie53; 03-12-2009 at 07:41 AM.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2009, 11:14 AM
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I think you'll find, Newbie53, that Darkker has some 'unique' expressions for things which may or may not be shared by... well, by anyone at all! All in good fun.
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