Leave it to me, this once city girl to question whether there really are rock chucks or not. The answer…yes, you silly lady!
KTVB digital producer/assignment editor Adrea Young went on a rock chuck hunt recently. I asked her to share the experience with us as we continue our look at what KTVB staffers do during the summer.
“So every year, my dad and his good friends (aka C.I.R.C.A) all meet up in Carey, Idaho to shoot rock chucks. Now what is a rock chuck you ask?
Well, a rock chuck or a whistlepig, is a yellow-bellied marmot, part of the ground squirrel family. They like to eat crops and farmers don’t like them.
I met up with my dad and his buddies (all current and former police officers) in Carey.
From there we went to a local farmer who the group has been helping for year to calm down the rock chuck population.
We got set up on the side of the road and started looking for these little creatures.
Not that much longer, we spotted one on a rock (there is a special name of this rock, but I can’t repeat it here). They sighted in their scopes and got a range of the chucks location. It was coming in around 768 yards, (size of 7 ½ football fields). One of the guys took a shot and got it!
Now after you get your chuck you have to go hike to get it (so you can take a picture with it). Once they got on the rock they got the chuck and in its place put a watermelon. It took a couple of rounds to get the watermelon. We spotted a couple of other chucks, but they were the smart ones and stayed on the horizon where we couldn’t shoot them.
My dad and I left to go check out another rock pile. There were a couple on there but by the time we got ready, they were down in their holes. So we took a seat on the rocks and watched.
After a quick bite for lunch - we headed back to hunting for chucks.
But this time we went to another spot. The guys were bound to help me get one.
So we found a good spot, which had a chuck on each of the rock piles. I’ve shot at them before but nothing over 100 yards. But a few years ago for Christmas my dad built me a Savage .223 rifle, and finally this year I got to shoot it. At this new spot, we found some chucks with a range of 150 yards. So it was my turn to step up to the plate, and boy did I impress the guys. Let’s just say I like to “gut” the little suckers.
Besides 2 rock chucks being a casualty during my day, my point and shoot camera didn’t fair much better. I ended up sitting on a rock and busting the LCD screen on it. It still takes pictures, I just can’t tell where I’m pointing!
So in the end, whether it’s making a good shot with my rifle or my camera, it really doesn’t matter. I know other girls have other ways of having father/daughter time with their dad, but this is mine and "I love it!”