Written by Sierra Ballistic Technician Paul Box
When I arrived at Jack’s house on one of our scheduled hunting days in late June, Jack mentioned a new place he had for us to hunt. He mentioned a farmer and his wife buying some pork chops a few days earlier at the store and he had ask them about groundhogs. There names was Joe and Alice Walters. Joe mentioned that they had a lot of groundhogs and we were more than welcome to hunt. He also said their place hadn’t been hunted in several years.
When we got to Joe’s place that day, it was still pretty warm with about four hours until dark. We used the time to get familiar with the lay of the land and see how many groundhog mounds we could spot.
Joes’ place was perfect. There was a long field down in a bottom bordered by a creek with a higher bench we used to park the truck on. From that vantage point, we could see the entire field.
As the sun started getting lower and the temperature dropped a little, groundhogs started popping up like jack-in-the-box. We were taking turns on shots and took seven in the first hour. Jack had just taken a chuck down by the creek so the next shot was my turn to bat.
After a little while of watching, I saw movement down along the edge of the field. I swung the sand bags around on top of the truck and took a look thru my scope. Sure enough, it was a groundhog that had just entered the field from his den on the high creek bank. Gently I took my .243 off safety and watched thru the scope. When that groundhog reared up on his hind legs, it looked like a grizzly thru my scope. In the excitement, I forgot to consider the 300 yd. shot was at a steep down hill angle and when the trigger broke on my Remington 700, dirt flew just a fraction over his head. This was long before Sierra Infinity or other software and uphill/downhill shooting was learned thru experience.
“Did you see the size of that groundhog?” I ask Jack.
“Yeah, I did. And I saw you miss him too!” Jack replied.
“Give me a break……….I lost my head. He looked like a bear thru my scope!!!”
We tried the rest of that summer to take that groundhog, but he would never show when we were there. I told Jack that I must have took him from kindergarten to PH.d in one shot. We used to joke that he must use a flashlight to eat.
If memory serves, I think we took upwards of 26/27 chucks from Joe’s farm that year, but the giant groundhog wasn’t to be had. For all I know, he’s still out there eating with a flashlight.