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-   -   Woodchuck hunting with .22lr (https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=33625)

pinpoint 09-02-2003 01:29 AM

Woodchuck hunting with .22lr
Is the .22lr sufficient for killing large woodchucks? What kind of range could i expect with this round and still get lethal shots? Is there any special ammunition i should use?

JB in SC 09-02-2003 06:49 AM

Most any hollow point will effectively kill a g'hog with a headshot. My personal best is 85 yards, but that range could probably be extended to 100 yards. Head shots only; body shots will not "do them in" at those ranges. The limiting factor is the accuracy level of the rifle and the skill of the marksman.

I like the Eley Hollow Point (for 50 yards and under) and WW Power Point, the Power Point kills extremely well.

BigMike 09-02-2003 08:42 AM

Woodchuck Cartridge

I will not kid you: the .22LR cartridge, in all its carnations, is only marginally acceptable for hunting woodchucks [eastern groundhogs]; they are very tough animals...! !

Head shots are the only sure kill with a .22 LR cartridge...! !

How far away can you consistantly hit a tennis ball from a field position...? ? That is your effective range with a .22 LR....! !

This is from someone who has hunted woodchucks for over 50 years, using just about everything from .22 LR / .22 WMR all the way to .300 Win Mag. [overkill]...! !
The "best" woodchuck cartridges are the .222 Rem, .223 Rem, .22/250, .220 Swift, .243 Win, 6mm Rem, and on the upper end for long shots [500 yards], the .25/06 Rem and the .270 Win..

The regular .22 LR Hi Vel rounds are probably "OK" to 50 to 60 yards, and the Hyper Vel rounds stretch that to 75 to 80 yards. At issue are the "killing power" verses "shot placement":
0 .22 LR Hi Vel is generally more accurate than the Hyper Vel, but it has less striking energy.
0 The Hyper Vel has more striking energy, but is not as accurate.

I would not call the .22 LR a "woodchuck cartridge"...! ! Yes, thousands of woodchucks have been killed by it, but, that doesn't make it a good choice...! ! Seriously consider a centerfire with a good scope...! ! The woodchuck deserves that much............

[Copied from the "Hunting" Forum]


Happy Gardener 09-02-2003 10:40 AM

In The Kill Zone
I kill woodchucks with my 14 ft/lb BSA airgun but you need a scope to place the pellet in the kill zone (1/4" in front of the ear). The LR rimfire will work but you need to really place that shot perfectly for decent results. They behave like vampires with body shots, impossible to kill. The real tool for woodchuck removal is the Connibear body trap. Good sizes are the #120, 160 or 220. I have engaged in woodchuck competitions against hunters and beat their %%% 3 to 1. The Connibear is cheap and becoming harder to get as animal rights fanatics are making retail sales of them illegal. I would buy a few while the getting is good.

pinpoint 09-02-2003 08:15 PM

So headshots only with .22lr? I take it the woodchuck's hide and muscle are too tough to take it out with any body shots, but what about the vitals on a woodchuck? Does the round not have enough energy to strike them, or is it too difficult of a shot? Aww, I'm disappointed by this round's effectiveness.

Nick B 09-02-2003 09:18 PM

For specific ammunition
I would recommend CCI Velocitors. I've chronographed them at an honest 1400 fps (as opposed to the usual 1250 fps), shooting a full-weight 40-gr HP rather than a 32-33 gr HP like other hypervelocity rounds. While they start out 200 fps slower than CCI Stingers, the greater bullet weight lets them catch up and exceed Stingers in retained energy after ~50 yds. My CZ groups them into 3/4" groups at 50 yds, so they should be more than accurate enough for woodchucks at reasonable ranges.

KentuckyColonel 09-02-2003 09:43 PM


if you are in doubt about the 22lr(which is more than adequate, as has been mentioned above in the other posts), you might want to look at the 22mag instead. just a thought-kc:cool:

heliflyer 09-02-2003 10:52 PM

Why not add a little fun to your Woodchuck hunting?

Make yourself a Gilly suit. Then slowly, ever so slowly, try to ease yourself within fifty yards of the Woodchuck.

With enough practice you may be able get to within twenty-five yards, if you get good enough.

Sure, sharp eyed creatures the Woodchucks are, you're going to get seen many times. As you gain experience your score will rise.

I do it that way a lot, and it is fun. Makes you a better hunter too.

It is just my personal opinion, but Woodchucks, Rockchucks, groundhogs, et al, do deserve the respect a hunter should have towards any of his quarry. The 22LR shouldn't be used beyond 50 yards when hunting Woodchucks. I know, I am going to hear shooting stories about your 100 yard plus shots. And you may have made them too. But, from the many years I have hunted Rockchucks and other such animals, most people are not Annie Oakley, Dead eye Dick, Ed McGivern, Elmer Keith, type of shooters!

Take the game on the first shot. learn to stalk in close and be sharp, overcoming the animals senses. If you don't want to do that, then use enough gun to make clean kills, from a greater distance. Thats is what a responsible hunter does.

The other kind of hunters do not have the ethics to do it the right way.

Bill :cool:

Happy Gardener 09-02-2003 11:11 PM

Body shots
My hunting buddy once shot his arrow thru the chest of a woodchuck. We thought he was a goner but he got on his feet and ran away with the arrow in him. Another time I shot a woodchuck thru the %%%%%%% and out the chest, I could not believe it when it ran away. The woodchucks may eventualy die from such wounds but I sure don't get that impression. Sometimes I get lucky, one errant shot from my pellet gun broke a chucks neck this year. Another misplaced shot severed a neck artery and it bled to death rapidly. I would stress that both shots were lucky exceptions, most less than ideal hits result in the woodchuck running away. For a sideways shot aim just a fraction in front of the ear. For a going away shot you need to remember that the bulk of a woodchucks brain is centered near the ears not the eye.

ccomander 09-03-2003 12:37 AM

I have to admit
that I dont Hunt Ground Hoggs With a .22 much
But this year I have had 2 chances at Ground hoggs with my .22
at the Rifle Range I go to
One was at about 30 yards he was standing my son seen him
Long before i did I Took my shot on him when he was standing
and Put my Sights On his Throte figuring that he would go down
Pulled the trigger and He droped walked over just in time to see
him get up and Boogey I know that he was to be dead soon
To much Red Stuff Sprayed around for him to Live long
Never did find him

Next one was out at about 45-50 yards he was standing to
I had some Stingers this time and Put my Sights on his Head
I was shooting open sights Pulled the trigger and He Droped
Walked over to see a nice hole in his Sholder Turned to walk
away and hurd the littel Bugger Spun back around in time to
see him slip into the Brush

Both of the GH were large at least 15 lbs and Graying not the
nice brown of the Yearlings Ground hoggs

So I desided that I was going to take My .223 with me
to the Range the next time I had a shot on a yearling at about
130 yards had just finished dialing my Scope in to be ready
for another Ground hogg and started to shoot my .22 at 25 yards
when my son started to get excited Dad look DAD!!!!!
So i put my .22 down and Looked up at about 130 yards out
there was a Nice Ground Hogg standing watching us but Paying
no mind because we were to far away so he thought

got up and went over and got my NEF .223 I had hand loded
some Varment Rounds for this 40 Grane Hornday V-Max Bullets
with winchester Brass and Remington 7.5 BR Primers with
26.5 granes of IMR 4895 A littel slow burning for such a Fast
Little Bullet but gives me clover leafs Patterns at 100 yards
I put my Cross hares on his Ear and Squeesed the Trigger
all the time my son was Jumping around Get him dad Get him
well the gun went BOOM and the Ground Hogg just flipped over
about 4 times needless to say this one didnt get up and walk
or run away the Bullet hit him about .25" below the ear and
took out the Back of the skull and the entire other side of the
sholder and back of the Skull

Very messy :) Hornady Makes Great Bullets if you hand load
you should try them if you have not
I know that I will be loading My 7mm Mauser with them for
this Deer season


sharkman8810 09-03-2003 11:37 AM

I am with heliflyer on this one. I do a fair amount of groundhog hunting. I say a .22 lr is adequate if you can get under 50 yards and you use something like velocitors, and you got good shot placement. I prefer to get under 50 yards with a .22 mag and use winchester supremes.

ycplum 09-03-2003 01:00 PM

Here is an interesting question. Higher velocity rounds does more damage, but dropping through transonic is not conducive to shot placement. At what distance will a stinger or velocitor drop below the speed of sound (approx)? Within that distance, you should have the most bang where it does the most good. :cool:

In Theory, of course. :D

Marinesg1012 09-03-2003 01:24 PM

Re: In The Kill Zone

Originally posted by Happy Gardener
<snip>The real tool for woodchuck removal is the Connibear body trap. Good sizes are the #120, 160 or 220. I have engaged in woodchuck competitions against hunters and beat their %%% 3 to 1. The Connibear is cheap and becoming harder to get as animal rights fanatics are making retail sales of them illegal. I would buy a few while the getting is good.
Just ensure this is legal I know in my home state any connibear larger that 110/120 size is illegal to have outside of the water. Ensure you follow all game laws. Not doubting you Happy Gardener but just wanted to clarify.
As a side note if you do use these things make sure the local cats and dogs and other "friendly" pets arenít in the area these things do what they say. Very nice piece of equipment :t :t

Antlurz 09-03-2003 02:38 PM

Re: I have to admit

Originally posted by ccomander
I Took my shot on him when he was standing
and Put my Sights On his Throte figuring that he would go down
Pulled the trigger and He droped walked over just in time to see
him get up and Boogey

Just for the sake of arguement.. the question of a 22LR being heavy enough to shoot chucks with is NOT the problem.

The problem is WHERE one aims. I cannot think of ANY instance where shooting ANY animal in the neck is a wise choice.

Fist off, a 22LR round is "enough" bullet to kill a chuck at ANY range the shooter is capable of shooting it. . . . . IF the bullet is placed where it will do some good. Shooting a woodchuck with a 22LR at 200 yards, while kind of ignert, will still kill him in his tracks if the bullet hits him in the skull. A neck shot is only effective if the bullet is placed within a half inch or so of the spine. How many people can even take a picture of a chuck and CORRECTLY point to the part of the neck inside all that fur where the spine actually lays? Not many, I'm betting. The fact is, most people know so little about anatomy that they can't even correctly tell you where the heart is inside most animals with any certainty.

If you can't place the bullet correctly with at least a small bit of confidence, don't take the shot unless circumstances dictate that slowing an animal down in order to kill it with a follow up shot is warranted. Sometimes it is... but I don't think a charging woodchuck will be encountered too often...

ccomander 09-03-2003 03:30 PM

You are right in this
I was chastized buy my buddy for that one also
that is why I took to shooting at them in the head
with my .223
He Verbaly Spanked me and I diserved it
the reason i shot at the Chuck in the throte was
because I figured that with all the varrabubles
Me the distance + or - Yards
the cheep ammo
It would probibly
be high shot and
I would hit him in the head
I hear people hear talk all the time about shooting
deers in the Neck to drop them where they stand
and I Call them on it just like you did me
I would have never chosen to shoot him in the neck
but Figued that i would end up shooting high that is
why I chose the POA that I did
and you are right Charging Ground Hoggs are not
to much of and Issue hear in WV :D


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