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#188151 - 01/01/18 04:04 PM 2017 Groundhog summary
wvhitman
addict


Registered: 12/04/05
Posts: 684
Loc: WV

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This is the kind of thing I originally wrote in The Sixgunner. I did it to share information that may help some. So, please excuse my dribble if you don't care for it and move on.
2017 was, in general, a crummy hunting year. I saw no bucks in our 13 day season-2nd time in 42 years here. Groundhogs are greatly decreased in numbers. '80s and '90s saw 8 years of over 500 kills. Coyotes and some redneck killed them all.
Groundhogs 2017: The years total was only 239. Lifetime totals- 8685- single shots; 3574-revolvers/autos; rifles( pre 1978)-835: Grand total- 13,094 groundhogs. 'Hogs in open fields are a thing of the past. Now I find them around fence rows, abandoned buildings, chicken houses, and my local airport. I did about 70 at the airport this year. I have exclusive rights there for them and any other animal on or near the runways.
My #1 groundhog gun this year was my SSK suppressed MKII .22. It and my Whisper were used almost exclusively at the airport. Public there doesn't like gun fire. The best bullet has been the Aguila subsonic 38 gr. HP, but I can't find them any more. I've switched to Remington 38 gr. subsonics. They're almost as good. The new Ely 38 gr. sub is a touch more accurate, but doesn't function well thought the MKIII.
All together I've used 47 handguns to take groundhogs. #1 is a SSK .22-250(1394). I found with this gun that 40 gr. BTs and VMaxes will not exit a groundhog. 50 grainers will. Oddly, the 40s have done deer out to 175 yds. Most drop or go less than 50. #2 is the good ol' .223(1137). I use 50s here, because I have so many. 50s will exit a 'hog all the time. #3 is .250 Sav. AI (896)-pure lightening on 'hogs with 85 gr. BTs. #4-6mm AI(596)- 70 gr. BTs are devastating. Did good on PDs in the wind. #5 is one of JD's great inventions, the 6.5 JDJ(557)- anything works. A very accurate round that still gives the new guys a run.
Three revolvers stand out. #1- .454s (835)- I have 3 different ones. All are good with any bullet. Obviously, any bullet works, but the best compromise of accuracy/lesser recoil is the 260 gr. Speer Mag HP (old and new forms). #2- .44Mag (813)- I've had 8 of these. Again, all work with any bullet. I've experimented with dozens of bullets sent to me by different companies. 240 gr. Rem HPs or 180 gr. anything show the most damage. #3 .357 (680)- This is exclusive Python territory. 125s for the 4", 158 for the 6", a few others just to experiment.
In addition to these I've used guns up to .416 Taylor. All the big guns are used in preparation for fall big game hunts. Plus, it's a little cool to see the look in guys eyes when I'm doing 150-350 yd. shots with these cannons.
I guess these numbers are why I'm considered "the groundhog man" in WV. It has been a blast.

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#188152 - 01/01/18 04:11 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: wvhitman]
JDK
journeyman


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 59
Loc: Texas Hill Country

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All I can say is wow! That is very cool and thanks for sharing the great info and adventures.
_________________________
But for the grace of God, there, I go.

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#188159 - 01/01/18 07:00 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: JDK]
45MAN
enthusiast


Registered: 08/13/17
Posts: 362
Loc: brownsville, texas

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THANKS DOC, I NEEDED THAT TOO
_________________________
"ADAPT OR DIE". I USE ALL CAPS, NOT BECAUSE I AM YELLING, BUT BECAUSE IT IS AN OLD HABIT FROM MY ARMY DAYS, PLUS IT IS EASIER TO TYPE AND READ.

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#188160 - 01/01/18 07:30 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: wvhitman]
Mech 8
member


Registered: 08/30/11
Posts: 138
Loc: San Antonio, TX

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Thanks Doc! I have always looked forward to your groundhog and deer reports.

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#188185 - 01/02/18 12:22 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: Mech 8]
jamesfromjersey Moderator
Shootist


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 7969
Loc: New Jersey

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dribble???? your hunt reports are like an extra log on the fire.........
_________________________
Life member-NRA-SCI
Member-HHI #2900-HHASA #067
Colt-Ruger-Freedom Arms-and S&W Collector Assoc.s
"I have more guns then I need but not as many as I want" "Handgun hunters HAVE to be good"

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#188188 - 01/02/18 01:10 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: jamesfromjersey]
Russell
Pooh-Bah


Registered: 10/12/08
Posts: 1803
Loc: Oklahoma

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Your reports always make for a great read. Thanks!
_________________________
It's not the gun, but the man behind it.

Sheriff Russell Cottle, Ret.
USMC; 1967-1970; Vietnam-'68-'69

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#188191 - 01/02/18 01:17 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: Russell]
KYODE
Gun Slinger


Registered: 01/18/04
Posts: 2935
Loc: Northeast Ky.

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All of your posts should be in the article section here!

If docs no puter whiz.....be nice if some geeenius could do that for him!
_________________________
TC ~ XP ~ Ruger

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#188258 - 01/03/18 07:30 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: wvhitman]
billa
addict


Registered: 02/12/05
Posts: 632
Loc: Central PA

content Online
Great summary Doc. Your lifetime totals show such a dedicated commitment to our sport. Truely amazing.
_________________________
"Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,... "
Matthew 28:19

Handgun hunter since 1979 - haven't used a rifle since!
HHI member #992, NRA, SCI.

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#188403 - 01/06/18 02:22 PM Re: 2017 Groundhog summary [Re: billa]
Rangersedge
stranger


Registered: 01/06/18
Posts: 3

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Amazing detail and accomplishments. 40 years ago, we used to shoot a couple dozen groundhogs per year to minimize damage to soybean crops. Coyotes moved in and there just aren't as many groundhogs. Maybe a chance at one or two per year.

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