What Is This?

And, does it eat chickens?  What about tomatoes?  🙂

While outside with Speck, I heard the rustle of leaves near the creek and it was this!  It’s kinda big and doesn’t look very friendly!


  1. 1

    Denise ~ justquiltin says

    Looks like a woodchuck to me. I would suggest to Speck that he does not try to make friends with it. 🙂

    • 1.1

      Denise ~ justquiltin says

      or.. is that beaver tail stickout out there – can’t tell. In either event – Speck should find tamer friends.

    • 2.1


      Ah yes, a groundhog. They are so cute when they are little – however they are a true menace to the gardener! They LOVE lettuce and all kinds of leafy green veggies. They also love flower stems of all kinds. Groundhogs and I are not on a speaking basis. I’d say a Have a Hart trap would be the best solution to this pesky furball!

  2. 5


    Boy Judy, I was just kidding when I said I had a groundhog you could have. It must have traveled fast to get to your house in a few days.

  3. 6

    Judi says

    It’s a ground hog we have 3 of them living in our barn when they see us come close they run. You don’t want them they make alot of tunnels in the yard and barn.

  4. 7


    There is one of these living under our neighbor’s shed, and it does not understand fence lines. Kinda hard to get rid of it when it doesn’t live in our yard, only visits. I was amazed to see it since we live in the middle of a city.

  5. 9

    Pam says

    Based on our experience, you can live trap a groundhog easily with half of an apple placed in the cage. After catching, you take take this critter far away and release him. PS…also based on our experience, release the critter far away from your vehicle. If you don’t do this, the critter is able to get up under the vehicle and he won’t be coming out any time soon!

  6. 10


    My first guess was groundhog but I’m thinking with that tail it’s a beaver…get Chad to bring out the big guns…either way you want it gone…if you’re in the city/town limits call them and tell them to get rid of it…

  7. 12

    Cathy Stoddard says

    Your chickens are safe – but, Mr. Woodchuck will LOVE your garden!! Vince did bury the fence about 24″ didn’t he?

  8. 13

    Katie says

    I say groundhog, too. We’ve had trouble with them – they are greedy little varmints. They eat half a green tomato or half a cucumber, then move on to the next. The least they could do is finish the one they started! Chad would probably enjoy the target practice…

  9. 14


    While staying at a friend’s house in TN last summer, we saw one that was probably 3 feet tall exploring their garden. I had no idea they could grow that big. He was huge! Please don’t let him grow on your garden!

  10. 15

    Trish says

    My vote is groundhog … having had one for a pet when I was a little girl. Unless you live near a stream, creek or river, I doubt that it’s a beaver.

    The groundhog will not hurt you or Speck unless it gets cornered. They have long teeth, so if it does bite it will do some serious damage.

    When we get them on our farm, we shoot them. They dig burrows in the ground that can break a cows leg if it steps in the hole. And I’ve never heard of any groundhog recipes. My son is a big hunter, and he’s NEVER brought one home to eat.

  11. 16

    Sandy Gail (Sandra Neel Hutchins) says

    That groundhog/woodchuck/beaver looks awfully fat! Do you suppose there will be baby ones? But you are prepared with your garden fences. Ah, the joys of springtime!

  12. 19


    It’s a little hard to clearly see the tail in the picture, but if it’s furry it’s a woodchuck/groundhog and if it’s flat and not furry it’s a beaver. If it’s a beaver he might build you a nice swimmin’ hole in your creek.

  13. 20


    I thought it was a beaver, but I am not much of a wildlife expert. Good luck with keeping it away from your garden!

  14. 21

    Cathy says

    Looks like a woodchuck. Terrible animals. They go right down the row of broccoli and eat the heads right off, then move on to the lettuce and devour that. The mother likes to bring the little ones to the garden for a feast. When the “gun-man” works it is hard to be around when they are lunching and they run away fast. Can you tell I hate them?

    btw….love your blog.

  15. 23

    Deb says

    Not a beaver, looks like it has a fuzzy tail, and hair, not fur. I agree tho, keep Speck away. We had a beaver take down a tree in our yard by the lakeshore. It was swimming around GUARDING it, when the dogs decided to swim out and chase it away. He “let” the one dog (45lbs) catch it, she BIT it and it rolled and took her with it! Not a small beaver, maybe 25-30 lbs, but smaller then the dog. At first I thought it was funny, since it wasnt leaving, till I saw THAT. When she came up, we called all the dogs in and left it have it’s stupid tree. Beavers are dangerous in there territory (water) and since groundhogs are related, they probably woudlnt be friendly if cornered either. I did manage to take pictures of the whole thing….

  16. 24

    Pat in Spokane says

    It looks like a Marmot. Marmots are almost sacred in Spokane, WA. I think the Marmot is our City Critter. They’re very friendly and come up to people in the park. But they DO like to dig holes and eat things. Sorry.

  17. 26


    No way is that a ground hog! How about a nutria?

    We call them water rats in Louisiana!

    I am thinking it is a beaver though. I have an enviormental engineer son in law. He knows all this stuff.

    Right now he is trying to convince me to eat the squirrels that have been plaguing my bird feeders. He says, mmmmmm…..grain fed squirrel! LOL.

    glen: not me!

    • 27.1


      When Vince is home to protect me, I’ll put on my boots and go exploring along the creek bank and see what I can see.

  18. 28

    Mary Beth says

    Here in Missouri, we call them groundhogs…I think the Beverly Hillbillies called them vittles!! They are a pain in the fanny…I say Chad needs to do some target practice.

      • patti says

        i agree with the havaheart trap working well. we’ve used them before, just be sure to get one big enough for the pest. once in there, we take them swimming — they must be allergic to water tho (wink, wink)! no more problems. important note – don’t let them out of the trap before the swimming.

  19. 29


    Looks like a Nutria to me too, Susan. Is its tail long, thin? Then, it’s probably a Nutria. They do tons of damage. There are actually Nutria hunting days in the New Orleans area to get rid of them from the canals. Take the pic to your Extension Service county agent and ask them.

  20. 30


    My first thought was that it’s a beaver, but after reading the other comments, I think it could be any of the animals named! I agree with taking your picture to your local wildlife agency. They should know for sure.

  21. 32


    I vote for groundhog. Common around here and they are death to veggie gardens…

    We had one that treated my first veggie garden like it was his/her personal salad bar and no plant (not even spiky ones like zucchini and cucumbers) made it past two leaves before it was mowed down. When we got rid of a brush pile on our lakeside, it moved two lots down and bugged another neighbor, but two years later, it (or one of it’s offspring) was back, chowing down on hubby’s pots of flowers. It also started girdling our neighbor’s redbud tree! He took an air rifle (borrowed from a neighbor) to it, hit it and it fel off our patio wall, but it was gone an hour later so he only stunned it. Anyway, we haven’t seen it since…

  22. 33


    It is a woodchuck. They are all around us here in Michigan. Yep, they love gardens…so protect yours! Don’t approach it, they are not nice. They live in the ground. Last summer I found a strange little critter running my yard. I could not figure out what it was. It resembled a chipmunk and a squirrel. It turned out that the little bugger was a 13 lined ground squirrel. I have a family of them living in the backyard….the hawk likes them…he/she hangs out waiting for one of them to come out of their little home.

  23. 35


    Looks like a woodchuck to me – we have them here in Nebraska and I do know they dig large holes under barns and outbuildings. Don’t think they would eat your chickens but might try your garden.

  24. 37


    I think it’s a young Bigfoot! You could make a million $ with that photo and a little bit of Photoshop!!!

    (sorry, couldn’t help it! – yeah, scarcasm! )

  25. 38

    Norma says

    Judy, if you were still in Louisiana I would say it’s a nutra rat. Whatever it is, have Chad get rid of it quick!

  26. 39

    Becky Wolpert says

    My vote is for groundhog. We had one that used to visit our garden here in the Ozarks back in the late 1970’s when we lived outside of Marshfield. My husband went out with his bow & arrow and shot him. I found a recipe in my Gourmet Cookbook for groundhog stew. It was actually pretty tasty!

  27. 40

    June Piper-Brandon says

    Definitely a ground hog. Good news is they are vegetarians. He probably won’t eat tomatoes because they are of the night shade family and are poisonous, however, they will eat everything else. Go to the farm coop and get some ground hog bombs and put them down any holes you find. They are good eating, but remember to remove the scent glads first or the meat will taste like skunk. They are great bbq’d and I imagine great smoked too!!