When the classic comedy movie Groundhog Day came out in 1993 with Bill Murray, I never thought I’d ever develop a relationship with Michigan groundhogs. In fact, I was very happy to think of groundhogs (also known as woodchucks) as a Pennsylvania phenomenon celebrated for seeing their shadows (or not) once a year.
Yet for the second year, I’ve had to trap a creature that has a cute face and persistent need to dig in my yard and chew on my deck wood. Oh, and peer into my window at odd times defiantly. I mention this experience because it introduced me not only to the critters, but to the local company that captures them here, Critter Removal http://www.critterremoval.com. They are actually called in by my condo association when needed.
I met Roger, the owner, after he captured two possums and thought they were the villains this year. I had to alert him that the digging continued and he came out the following morning to explore the mystery with me.
Ah, ha, he announced as he pointed to the bite marks on my deck railing. “That is the work of a woodchuck,” he announced. “Let’s also look around a bit more,” he then added, taking me for a walk around the yard, finally pointing to a trail in the grass that led to the fence and voila – another matching hole underneath to the other side. “That’s how our culprit is getting in. And that’s where I’ll catch him,” he announced.
And sure enough, just a few hours later I had a text with a photo of my groundhog in a cage. Despite my thrill to see an end to the destruction of my yard, I was happy to know that Mr. Groundhog would be taken to a wildlife preserve. And happy that Roger had a family business with his three sons and a website that educates their clients on the wildlife impacting their lives and the company’s belief in humane treatment of little furry critters. I’m hoping this is the end of my Groundhog Day repeat. But if not, at least it is a repeating script with a happy ending for everyone.