One of the humane traps left out to catch the cats way back in June was still left in the barn. ... And after three months it was finally tripped (or it was actually closed and this guy figured out how to wriggle into a closed trap. Luckily, I was collecting and chopping wood so I was in the barn when this guy started to bang around, alerting me to its presence. When I first entered the barn, I was wearing a t-shirt and sandals, so I took a little time to go get boots, a long-sleeve shirt, and work gloves on (just in case the little bugger wanted to bite me).
I took him out to release him in the woods. His nose was bloodied a bit out of an attempt to chew through the cage, but didn't look much the worse for wear. (Of course, I don't really know what a healthy groundhog looks like up close.) He got quite anxious while I was carrying him outside, although I don't know if that was because it was something familiar or because he was scared at being lifted in a cage during the day (likely some of both, methinks).
It took me a little time to figure out the release mechanism, but once that flap was opened, it only took him to turn around to realize that he was free, and off he went, gallumping through the piles of cut grass, leaves, and groundcover, heading toward one of the groundhog burrows that I knew was nearby.
The humane trap is closed and will remain that way until I need to use it again (i.e., if I see those cats again).
Use of the Forest
Public use of Saginaw Forest is encouraged. Rules for the public's use include (but are not limited to):
- No parking in front of the access gate.
- Public use hours are from 6am to 6pm only; no camping on the site!
- No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on the site except those for approved research and teaching use (bike parking available at the main gate).
- Dogs with owners are welcome to visit, but they must be on a leash. (Also see here.)
- Dog owners must carry out all pet waste; please bring your own doggie bag to do so.
- No cutting or collecting of plant material; no hunting or harming vertebrates (this includes no fishing).
- No smoking.