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Woodchucks

Gray Brothers Wildlife LLC doing a woodchucks inspection and setting woodchucks traps in New Canaan, CT.

Woodchucks are stocky mammals, with short, strong legs and a short, bushy, almost flattened tail. Their fur ranges from light to dark brown, with lighter guard hairs, giving them a frosted appearance. The ears can close over the ear openings to keep out debris while underground. The feet are dark brown to black; the front feet have long, curved claws for digging burrows.

The woodchuck’s range extends from eastern Alaska, through much of Canada, into eastern United States south to northern Georgia. Woodchucks are common throughout Connecticut.

Usually woodchucks breed in their second year, but a small percentage may breed as a yearling. The breeding season extends from early March to middle or late April following hibernation. 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 will leave the den. One litter is produced annually, usually containing two to six blind, naked and helpless young. Young woodchucks are weaned and ready to seek their own dens at five to six weeks of age.

Before the early settlers arrived in this country, most of Connecticut was forested land. Woodchucks lived in the scattered forest openings. As land was cleared for farms and houses, this highly adaptable animal also found suitable habitat in the fields and along the forest edge. The new habitat actually provided a more reliable source of food and the woodchuck is more abundant now than it was during Colonial times.

 

Woodchuck inspection and setting traps in New Canaan CT

Woodchuck inspection and setting traps in New Canaan CT

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