maryland cop shoots groundhog
courtesy CBS News

We’re not sure, but we think the groundhog crossed the road for the same reason the chicken did. The problem for this one is that he seemed to do it a number of times, interfering with the flow of traffic. Unfortunately for this Maryland rodent, there was a Carroll County sheriff’s deputy there waiting for him on the other side.

The deputy got out of his vehicle to get the groundhog away from the roadway, but the deputy reported that the groundhog was not acting normally.

Maybe the deputy’s more experienced in groundhog behavioral norms that we are, because we’re not sure we could recognize abnormal activity in one of the beasts. But this little guy had been weaving in and out of traffic, so maybe he’d had one too many cocktails before trying to do the responsible thing and walk home.

Anyway, the officer had traffic halted, so the groundhog decided to traverse the roadway one more time.

“Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured,” the deputy shot the groundhog, and “put the animal down for the public’s safety,” the sheriff’s office said.

As the indecent was captured on video, this will almost surely shut down most of the internet today. If the officer’s identity becomes known, look for threats against his life and those of his family. We haven’t seen an outraged PETA statement yet, but we’re sure they’re busily at work, tapping out a press release.

Here’s the sheriff’s office’s statement on the matter:

“The deputy was travelling on Rt 26 in the area of White Rock Road when he observed traffic backing up along the road. He found that the groundhog in question was walking into the roadway, causing vehicles to stop and creating a hazard. He got out of his vehicle to assess, and as he tried to direct the groundhog off of the roadway, he realized that it was not responding as expected for an animal that was not being cornered or trapped. Believing the groundhog to be either sick or injured, the deputy then put the animal down for the public’s safety.”

More to the point, it took two shots to bring down the groundhog. It seems obvious that the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department is using underpowered firearms, probably something in a 9mm. If they’re going to be facing groundhogs and larger game, they probably need to be carrying something that chambers a round that starts with a 4. Any suggestions?

100 COMMENTS

        • My greyhound provides this service on demand. Woodchucks, grey and ground squirrels, rabbits, and other rodents don’t stand a chance. The neighbors have called on occasion when an intruder in their backyards comes to an untimely end, but no repercussions.

      • “A diagnosis of rabies can be made after detection of rabies virus from any part of the affected brain, but in order to rule out rabies, the test must include tissue from at least two locations in the brain, preferably the brain stem and cerebellum. The test requires that the animal be euthanized.”
        https://www.cdc.gov › rabies › anim…

        No, a vial of blood won’t do.

    • Also in Maryland — ” Red Flag ” gun seizure orders signed into law. — NO Due Process , just an accusation or hearsay by ANYONE and you dear gun owner are deemed ” DANGEROUS ” and in need of mental health ‘ care ‘.

      A Pennsylvania open carrier was taken away because people were ……..’ Afraid ‘ . Police admitted there was no threat, no laws broken

      We get Closer to Russia & Germany everyday.
      https://www.ammoland.com/2018/05/maryland-gov-hogan-signs-red-flag-gun-control-bills-into-law/#axzz5Ev7EoS7P

      • Ya, that small crotch of eastern seaboard is going to get divvied up like Berlin. You’re going to get a wall, motes, barbed wire, check points, and torture normally reserved for spies.

      • Speaking of red flag laws we need to use this feature on any Democrat that is incompetent and let them defend their case before the Supreme Court and Bret Cavanugh. When found guilty they can never hold office again and were a ankle bracelet for 8 years should be as leagle as the unconstitutional law itself

    • This could have been the TTAG’s photo caption contest for the week.

      “I said freeze you furry beast or I’ll shoot you for jay walking!”

      or

      What would later be known as the index case of the zombie groundhog apocalypse.

  1. Groundhog was DEFINITELY not acting normal… they don’t usually charge at you like that. The ones around my farm will run like their butts are on fire if they see me. Could’ve been rabid. But, like you said… I’m sure legions of people will have the same reaction as this lady… “OMG!! He shot that poor innocent groundhog….” (that likely would’ve become roadkill in short order, anyhow).

    • Oh, my god. There was an injured coyote hanging around our office area. The police finally caught it and took it to a wildlife shelter. Once there and looked at it had to be put down. Its leg had been shattered and healed badly and it was generally not doing well. The people on facebook went crazy with criticism over it. You’d think it was someone’s prize terrier that had simply slipped its leash.

      https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1740332402690194&id=149896485067135

    • Yep. That thing looks like it has rabies. I have had them consistently on my property for 18 years. Ground Hogs are typically very skittish and and run away at the first sign of danger, usually getting up on their hind legs for a second and then running hard for cover. In my opinion the cop did the right thing.

      • Yep. They typically act very much like squirrels. When you’re far away, they’re foraging. If you get closer they stop and watch. If they feel at all threatened, all you see is their backside as they head for safety.

    • The [ground hogs] around my farm will run like their butts are on fire if they see me.

      Supermike has provided the best and most accurate description that I have ever seen. I have had ground hogs see me 70 yards away and take off like a rocket. Any ground hog that sees you that close and does not immediately run off at mach 2 is not right and probably rabid.

      For reference I had a somewhat similar event in my back yard. A raccoon was slowly walking across my back yard mid day. I went out to shoo it away and it just kept slowly walking. I went inside and grabbed my rifle chambered in .22 LR and tried once more to send it on its way. This time I was within 12 feet and making loud sounds. It stopped and looked at me, slowly bobbing side-to-side, and then started walking toward me again. At that point I put it down.

  2. Ah, How come this video doesn’t look like a “Safe- Public Safety event…..” Maybe He Stole some Mentos and fled across state lines! That’s the ticket—or NOT….

    • “He Stole some Mentos . . . ” to blow up a seagull. It was a cross species hit team, used to provide an alibi, on the groundhog’s estranged spouse, and build-in plausible deniability.

  3. Wow. This is what society has come to? If the critter had been run over, no one would have blinked an eye. Whoop-dee-frickin’-doo.

  4. It was probably rabid- groundhogs do not normally let people get so close or run towards them.

    I also beg to differ that it took two shots. First shot looked poorly and hastily placed. The officer had time to aim the second time. Even with a .357 or 44 Mag, officer would have seen the same result with a poorly placed shot. Power is rarely a sufficient substitute for shot placement. Heck, I’ve seen bucks run off even from well placed shots.

  5. 45-70. Eliminate the groundhog’s aberrant behavior and eliminate the groundhog with one shot. Clean up with garden hose.

  6. Someone call Animal control instead of blocking a major roadway…We certainly wouldn’t want the public liability of say an errant round, a ricochet, a rebound, or somebody’s car getting hit with some lead spall…So, yeah…I disagree on the actions….

    • And while waiting for animal control to show someone could have been injured while swerving to avoid it. Then everyone would have complained that PoPo didn’t take action.

    • It’s news because we get to see it happen. Merely reading about it would generate little outrage.
      Remember: the point of social media is to compete with everyone else for the Most Outraged Award… the trophy given to the first person to call the subject a Nazi and threaten them with rape.
      🤠

  7. Also, Ground hogs can be a bit cantankerous, and territorial…It’s NOT uncommon to piss one off if you encroach on it….It was probably feeding near the highway…In my township, its not uncommon to see large groups of Wild Turkeys feeding along side of the roadway…And they have the right of way…Unless you want to piss off an angry 😠 30lbs Butterball…Blow your horn and 30lbs of LARGE roaster turkey is coming through the windshield to visit you in the front seat of your vehicle….Just saying…A bit of wild life in my township…Actually too much thanks to the Libtards…

  8. I suspect the groundhog had rabies and needed to be put down. I once had a rabid fox do the same thing toward me. If a wild animal comes toward you when there is another escape route, there is a serious problem with them.

    I shoot groundhogs from my porch at around 100 yards with a 22 magnum rifle and it only takes one shot. At the distance the officer was at, a well placed shot from a 22 lr handgun would have been sufficient.

  9. The deputy turned off his body cam mic moments before confronting the animal.

    The coroner reported the animal was hit several times from the back. The 911 call from the groundhogs wife prior to the incident indicated the animal was having a mental health crisis and the wife pleaded over the phone to send an ambulance.

    The officer involved in the shooting was cited multiple times in the past 10 years regarding the poor treatment of animal suspects under his charge.

    Photos from the officers Facebook page show a custom Glock slide with the words “Groundhog Slayer” engraved on the side. The photos have since been removed.

    • Just…Just call Animal control….Its feeding near the highway…Someone encroached upon a “wild animal…” The same can be said for meatheads that try to approach a wild deer to try and pat it –like a buck…And said party winds up getting gored by a rack of antlers and hooves…..Just saying…..

      • How about geese or ducks? They can act aggressively if encroached upon…And sometimes they get near the roadways…How about cranes…Or, more aggressive species like swans…A New England town had an incident where an adult fishermen in a boat was attacked and killed by an unprovoked animal attack because the 🐟 men was in the animals territory…A Swan was the culprit…Recently, in Rutland. Massachusetts, a man was attacked in his backyard by an 80lbs coyote…The man defended himself, threw the animal to the ground, and stabbed it repeatedly with a pocket knife…Until it fled…It was after his chicken coupe…Coyote tried to bit through his heavy work jacket and get to his neck…It was suggested by MA Environmental police that lots of wild animals are coming out of hibernation very hungry…*(No charges were filed against the man for defending himself)*

        • 20 gauge Mossberg Shockwave for the win! #8, 00, Slug, repeat. Screw you goose, screw you robber, screw you moose. Screw you duck, screw you groundhog, Shotty don’t give a F***!

  10. Reminds me of a line from an episode of Psych, I don’t remember it exactly but it was something about the public whining whenever you have to “liquidate some nut loving rodentia.”

    I agree probably rabid or something and while animal control would have been ideal to deal with it the officer made an understandable call. He felt the risk of a potentially rabid animal on the loose and the risk of a vehicle crash was above the potential danger of a ricochet or fragmented bullet.

    • Really! Your a certified veterinarian, right! you were able to tell that by a visually inspection of the cellphone video, or did you do a forensic sampling of the animals brain matter…

  11. Aren’t “Groundhogs” suppose to be Blind! Killing an Unarmed, Blind, Four legged animal for Crossing the street. Sort of reminds me of the Cow in the Middle of the Road, in the movie “Me, Myself and Irene”…

  12. Back home I killed garden raiding groundhogs with a .22 and a .410. And anytime a non domestic animal is coming towards you is time to shoot. That ain’t natural behavior and I’ve had experience with rabies.

    All those ragging on the deputy will be the first on the spit when the apocalypse starts. They ain’t capable of surviving without rules and order.

  13. Poor little groundhog. He din do nuffin’. Oh, sure, maybe he disobeyed the officer’s commands, possibly made a furtive move or two, but he was just about to turn his life around. They could have tased him or just shot him in the leg. He didn’t need to die.

  14. Actually it looks like Toxoplasma Gondii… a nasty single-celled brain parasite that infects rodents. Among other things, it can kind of make them ‘braver’.. like a mouse that will turn and attack the cat.
    The parasite will jump to humans.. so nice Officer just misted the crowd with infected brain matter.

  15. I have to agree with pretty much all the comments.

    1: The poor thing was probably rabid and had to be put down.

    2: The cop will likely be the villain of the day, thanks to libtards in the media.

    3: Power doesn’t matter if you can’t get a good shot.

    4: Related to number three, a groundhog is a small target. If it’s weaving back and forth, that’s even more challenging. Sure, people can easily take a groundhog with a .22lr rifle, but can they do it with a pistol? While it’s charging? If so, kudos to them. This cop wasn’t able to and I don’t fault him for that.

    • Not every problem needs a gun. A weirdly behaving small animal can be dispatched with a hoe. The farm implement, not the ‘you looking for a date’ kind.

      Surprisingly effective and versatile tool, the hoe.

      • I have an ex who would qualify as both a tool and a hoe. I don’t think she’s in Maryland for this cop to have used her for killing a groundhog though.

        Ah, further reading reveals you meant the farm implement. Similar results in that I doubt many cops carry one in their patrol car.

      • Perhaps, but guns are cooler than gardening tools. I personally put a jackrabbit out of its misery one night on a road. You’re right, there are other options, but a gun is more humane in the sense that it’s quicker than hacking at it with a machete, garden tool, or splattering it under your tires. At least, it’s ideally quicker.

  16. Ground hog could have been bit by a snake or hit by a car.
    Traffic should have not been stopped.

    Deputy didn’t have to discharge his weapon.
    Deputy was an idiot.

    Groundhogs in Maryland can get really, really big. If they get big enough, they flat out don’t care about anything in the area- people, cars, troops in formation running past them, or any number of other things. Leave them alone.

  17. What has happened to this great nation??

    even in California where I live—30 or 40 years ago?
    someone would have just ran it over and be done or pulled out a rifle from their truck and POP! be done with it…Snowflakes melting down and reproducing!

  18. It’s a giant rat. Roadkill. Snowflakes get excited if you kill a damn coyote…”GOD’S beautiful creature”. Not newsworthy😧

  19. Vertical video = instantly ignored. It’s really not that hard to rotate a rectangular device to actually capture the entire frame.

  20. Rad Ground Hog. I would suggest a Gatling laser or a fat man with experimental MIRV launcher.

  21. Is it not illegal to discharge any caliber firearm on any public highway? And with the chance of a ricochet hitting a person watching , oops lawsuit , give me your badge and sidearm. Irresponsible po po behavior. There’s no excuse for this.

    • Depends on that state, I’m not familiar enough with Maryland laws to say for sure one way or another in this case. But I can tell you that in most states there’s an exception (usually for public employees or those directed by public employees) to dispatch a sick or wounded animal, it’s usually meant for rabid animals or animals who got hit by a vehicle.

  22. “…they probably need to be carrying something that chambers a round that starts with a 4”. Well that’s the dumbest thing I have read today. We shoot rodents with a .22LR and have no issues killing them.

  23. As for calling animal control, not every town / county have them, and when the do,it’s often a M-F day job with like one guy, so response time can be long.

  24. I had to put down a rabid Opossum that ventured into my backyard a few years back. It acted very much like this Groundhog was acting. Afterwards, I called my County Animal Control, who came out and collected the body for testing. A few weeks later, the AC Officer stopped by to tell me that it in fact did test positive for rabies.

  25. Clearly, this was a black groundhog.

    As far as the comments about the caliber, it’s most likely the first shot did not hit anything. A 9mm at that range would liquefy a groundhog’s innards.

  26. I have shot deer with a 9mm and they fell down dead with one shot and they are a hell of a lot bigger than a ground hog.

    It was lucky none of the bullets ricocheted into the traffic that was stopped.

  27. Absolutely the correct action by the officer. As others have pointed out, it was likely rabid. “Of all the rodents, groundhogs are most likely to have rabies. Rabid groundhogs behave erratically, foam at the mouth, and are much less fearful of humans than healthy woodchucks”

    • Don’t got many groundhogs round your parts do ya boy?

      Living near this location I can tell ya, this is absolutely normal and you can usually tell when there is something not right with them, sometimes its rabies, sometimes its parasites, but none the less its just a rodent, they literally make them every day.

  28. I wouldn’t want to try and shoot an animal that small with a handgun, particularly with an audience. I thought the officer demonstrated unusual competence.

    My little terrier killed one in a fair fight. He ran another up a tree which I dispatched with the .410. He was fighting a third one in the middle of the pasture and I helped him out by smacking it with long handled steel ice scraper. A fourth died of unknown causes.

    I have horses. I don’t like giant holes suddenly appearing in unpredictable places.

  29. We are so fortunate to have this super cop out there fighting crime. Stupid god damned felonious groundhog!

  30. That was some snowflakes escaped “therapy groundhog.’ Poor hog just looking to the cop for some loving.

  31. I shoot groundhogs on sight – rabid or not . Do wish the officer had opened his trunk and got a shotgun to minimize richochet chance. And done it quicker – before the video rolled !

  32. Wow 2 shots up close & still couldn’t put him down humanely. Take him off the streets with a weapon & put him on traffic duty until he learns to shoot.

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