Do Woodchucks Need Permission Slips?
I was visiting my aunt in Massachusetts this summer when I noticed this woodchuck ambling through her backyard. My aunt is a big bird-watcher & I pointed out the woodchuck, thinking it was a good example of what a wildlife-friendly yard she’s maintained.
Instead, the conversation went something like this:
ME: Hey, a woodchuck!
AUNT: I have to call the pest-control guy to take care of that.
ME: Is it doing any damage to your yard?
AUNT: Well, no. But he shouldn’t be out there.
I’m sure my aunt had no intention of paying someone her hard-earned money to go after this woodchuck (this is a woman who has never thrown out a Thanksgiving leftover in her life). It was more a reflex, like she was embarrassed someone would see she’d allowed this pest to hang out in her yard.
I’m not a wildlife expert & I’m sure a woodchuck could be a nuisance by … I don’t know, chucking all your wood. But I always find it interesting that, even among nature lovers, animals who don’t have the homeowner’s explicit permission to enter their yard may be seen as a pest. Just ask any backyard birder how they feel about squirrels at their bird-feeders!