I've been seeing them this past week as I traveled around working. They look pretty mangy when they first emerge. Went yesterday about two hours.
After setting up my rifle on the front rest and rear sandbag, I sat and glassed my favorite field for a while and was kept occupied with 6 deer and a dozen or so crows feeding and fighting. I ranged them several times and practiced dialing in the MOA. This makes me more determined to get a better rangefinder this year. One of the deer looked like she had been hit by a vehicle as both legs on the right side appeared to have been broken and she had a huge growth on her left shoulder. When a semi's brakes scared them I felt sorry for her, the others bounced out of the field, white tails waving, and all she could do was painfully, hobble along.
I had pretty much given up on seeing a groundhog and had just put my 700P/7Mag back in the truck and was preparing to leave when I saw movement down in the valley! I quickly grabbed the bino's and there at 222yds was one feeding. Not LR but a good confidence builder. I grabbed my Win70/HVB .243, settled it on the rest, re-ranged and looked at my ballistic card. 4.3" high at 200yds. I cranked the Nikon up to 20X, adjusted parallex and settled down for the squeeze. I figured it wouldn't stand up, so I settled the horizontal crosshair where its chest met the grass. When it turned toward me and looked up I slowly started my squeeze. Boom-whop! I recovered from the recoil and saw its tail quivering in the grass.
When I got to the "hawg", I could see that the 95gn Ballistic Tip entered the mouth and started it's carnage trail. Pretty messy with a fist sized hole. The season is finally here!! JohnnyK.
P.S. The farmer who owns the field called later that night. I told him about the young doe and he said he wished I would have shot her and if I saw her again to put her down and let him know where she lay, he would get her up.
"The pleasure you get from life is equal to the attitude you put into it."