Groundhog

Species Description

This common Missouri rodent has short, powerful legs and a medium-long, bushy, and somewhat flattened tail. The long, coarse fur of the back is a grizzled grayish brown with a yellowish or reddish cast. Woodchucks weigh least in spring when they are just out of hibernation and most in fall prior to hibernation. When alarmed or suddenly disturbed, they can give a loud, shrill whistle.

Problems with groundhogs on your property? Learn about your options for controlling nuisance groundhogs.

Biological Information
Title
Seasons
Groundhog

Groundhog in leaves and grass

Season Open
  • May 10, 2021 to December 15, 2021
Notes

Groundhog pelts may be possessed and sold throughout the year.

Daily limit: Any number
Possession limit: Any number

Groundhog: Archery: Allowed Methods

Methods

Longbow, compound bow, or recurve bow of any draw weight

Atlatls, which are defined as a rod or narrow board-like device used to launch, through a throwing motion of the arm, a dart 5 to 8 feet long

Hand-held string releasing devices

Illuminated sights, scopes, and quickpoint sights

Crossbow

Additional Info

You may take groundhogs with a cage-type trap at any hour during the open hunting season if you possess a hunting permit. The cage-type trap must be labeled with your full name and address, or Conservation ID number; must be attended daily; and have an opening of 144 square inches or smaller.

Groundhog: Firearms: Allowed Methods

Methods

Pistols, revolvers, and rifles propelling a single projectile at one discharge

Firearms powered by spring, air, or compressed gas

Shotguns not larger than 10 gauge

Crossbows

Shotguns with the magazine cut off or plugged to reduce the capacity to not more than 3 shells in the magazine and chamber combined. This restriction does not apply during the Conservation Order for light geese.

Shotguns are the only firearm allowed for hunting game birds (except crow). Pistols, revolvers, rifles, and shotguns may be used to hunt crow.

Bows, which include longbows, compound bows, and recurve bows, illuminated sights, scopes, quickpoint sights and hand-held string releasing mechanisms may be used.

Atlatls

Slingshots

Additional Info

Special Provision During the Firearms Deer Season: During the November portion statewide and antlerless portion in open counties, other wildlife may be hunted only with a shotgun and shot not larger than No. 4 or a .22 or smaller caliber rimfire rifle. This does not apply to waterfowl hunters, trappers, or to landowners on their land.

Groundhog: Prohibited Methods

Methods

Arrows containing any drug, poison, chemical or explosive.

Motor driven conveyances may not be used to take, drive or molest wildlife. 

Any sighting device that casts a beam of light on the game

Artificial lights may be used only to hunt bullfrogs and green frogs, or to hunt raccoons and other furbearing animals when treed with the aid of dogs. Using lights to search for, spot, illuminate, harass, or disturb other wildlife is a violation of the Wildlife Code of Missouri. Landowners and lessees may use artificial lights on their property, but while doing so may not be in possession of — or be in the company of someone who possesses — a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.

You may not possess night vision or thermal imagery equipment while carrying a firearm, bow, or other implement used to take wildlife.