Porch Dweller(s)

Redfoot Ranch

Well-Known Member
Jun 5, 2021
The southern edge of Shiawasse County, Michigan
As a preface, I have killed a wad of woodchucks off this small property in the last 5 years. I grew up in an old farmhouse that had 5 entry doors coming into it off of 4 porches. This restored farmhouse has 3 porches and each has a den under it. Respectfully, they don't want body grip traps set with the many cats around the barns and dwelling. The landowner usually goes to the cabin on the weekend so I have the run of the place as far as shooting position is concerned. The problem is getting a safe backstop behind the target. The front porch has a den hole at the yard/shrub line that is visible from the road.

On 7.16 I targeted that hole/front porch after setting "Lucky", my decoy, nearby so he was visible from both. This image is taken from the S looking N.

I put "Lightning", my 20x47L with a day/night NV scope to the task that day.

I ended up knock a YOY back into the hole using the hole dirt as a backstop, if necessary. The 55 grn Berger was not kind to this one.

I generally drive by this property during the week on my way home from work and consistently see a toad perched up on the front porch. With the chance of the owner's coming and going, by way of the drive to their garage which is not visible from the S, I choose not shoot around the house if they are 'home'.

Yesterday I was checking a fresh chopped hayfield 1/4 further S from here on this dead end road and the "porch dweller" was up there laying at the S end by the post. I drove by and turned around 300 yds N of there, coming back to the far S drive which goes in at the end of a street that T's into the road this property is W of. I pulled in and grabbed Lightning, setting it up over the hood. I got parallax dialed at 5.5 power giving me as clear a picture as possible with Digex C-50. I texted the landowner to see if they were gone for the weekend, without response. Like myself, he doesn't have a phone attached to him 24/7. After about 15 minutes a loud vehicle went by and the gig was up as the chuck vacated the porch.
This was my view at the time. The N property line for this piece of ground abuts the RR tracks 150 yds N of the N drive, which leads into their garage.

I watched a chuck west of me at the field edge head to the S barn without a chance of getting spun around for a shot. Shortly after, I noticed one out in the yard at the NE corner of this barn, only to take cover when a vehicle drove by. I got set up on the skirt board crawl under and had to come up .5 MOA for a 60'ish yard shot. When it reappeared, I couldn't resist a chip shot and sent a 75 grn V-Max out of the 243AI - watching it absorb it all in the scope.

The landowner texted me about 10:30 PM and said they were away...."keep killing 'em!"

So today I went back to set up about the same time of day and set up so the pine tree this side of the middle drive was hiding most of my truck. This allowed me to use the large tree N of the porch as a positive backstop if necessary.

I set Lightning across the hood pointed at the porch and the AI pointed W on the tripod toward the S end of the barn.

The porch dweller showed up but at the N end of the porch, and laid closer to the house, in the opening left of the tree not allowing a safe shot. So, I noticed one milling around across the road in the mowed field. Once it finally got settled, I ranged it at 290 yds. I checked Strelok, dialed 3.5 minutes and checked the wind. I didn't feel a wind hold was necessary so once no vehicles were visible in any direction, as well not hearing anything not visible coming S on the N side of the tracks (a huge advantage of shooting suppressed for me), I checked my level and sent one to the head at base power on the 5-20 SHV. My dope is still spot on.

Thinking this gig was up, I packed everything up and ran to the store less than a mile away for a cold Arizona. I figured I'd do a driveby again before I left for home and there was a good sized chuck 3' from the hole in the yard. It dove into the hole as I went by so to the S drive I go again, staying just off the road as I pulled in hoping to have the hole and near vicinity in view.

I threw the AI over the hood, as this targeted area was shaded in which you lose the clarity in the NV setup in this type scenario. I stuck one in the chamber but didn't close the bolt - my norm if I am by myself. 110 yds to the corner of the porch so 100 yd sight in works here. I glassed with bino's to the area of the hole but didn't see anything. However, I did notice something that wasn't there earlier behind the shrubbery at the S end of the porch. Looking thru the scope confirmed it was a chuck so I sent it. This female is done producing but I don't believe this is the porch dweller!

We'll have to wait to see if my hunch is correct?
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Great AAR. Good stuff sounds like it’s gotten personal with this bunch, hate it when they get cocky.
Not necessarily, but I'm aware of the damage they are capable of doing