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Gazette staff's Food Forum
by Gazette staff

Food Forum

A Daily Gazette life blog
News, recipes and ideas

Whatever's cooking smells awfully good

So we have this humane critter trap set up in our back yard right now, and Beverly emailed me that she’s baited it — with broccoli, no less.

It’s a trap that wouldn’t work with children, I can tell you, but perhaps groundhogs are less discerning.

That’s right, our quarry is a fat woodchuck — or whistle pig, as I like to call him — who burrowed his way into our garden more than a month ago and, despite our best efforts to keep him out, continues to worm his way back.

I’ve had trouble with whistle pigs in the past when I lived in a more rural area, and never had any success with these traps. I’d bait them with apples smeared with peanut butter, and the critter would go into the trap at night, eat the apple and peanut butter, and then leave without springing the trap. Never even left a thank-you note.

My wife, on the other hand, says she’s used the trap to capture a whole family of chucks in the past. All it takes is the right bait and a little patience.

Of course, things are never that simple.

Say you trap a nice fat whistle pig. What do you do with him? I know what you’re thinking but, worst luck, you can’t just truck them across the river, give’em a couple of bucks and dump them in, say, Scotia. That’s illegal nowadays.

Anyhow, I found the following on the website and thought it might come in handy. (I suppose you should check with authorities before you actually dispatch a whistle pig with intent to stew him. That’s probably illegal too.)

Woodchuck Stew


1 woodchuck
2 onions, sliced
1/2 cup celery, sliced
Vinegar and water
Salt and pepper


Clean woodchuck; remove glands; cut into serving pieces. Soak overnight in a solution of equal parts of water and vinegar with addition of one sliced onion and a little salt.

Drain, wash, and wipe pieces. Parboil 20 minutes, drain, and cover with fresh boiling water. Add one sliced onion, celery, a few cloves, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tender; thicken gravy with flour.

Find more wildlife recipes HERE.

PHOTO: U.S. Department of Agriculture

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