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Chipmunking
(A camper's favorit sport)

What do you do when you are out in the great outdoors, the fish aren't biting, and you lust for the hunt? The answer is the Great American Sport of Chipmunking. Chipmunks are wonderful creatures that are always willing to provide the sports enthusiast with the challenge of the hunt and a battle of wits with the hunter. All you need to participate in this sport is a fishing pole of some sort (a stick will do), fishing line, chipmunk bait, and chipmunks.

Eastern Chipmunk
Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus)

In the Eastern United States, the best chipmunk to hunt is the elusive "Eastern Chipmunk" also known as Tamias striatus. One of the reasons it is primarily hunted in the eastern United States is that it is the only chipmunk indigenous to the Eastern United States. Their numbers are so limited that you will only see 2 or 3 thousand of them living in your campsite at your favorite campground.

The best chipmunk bait is something that can be easily and tightly tied to the fishing line. Excellent results can be obtained with peanuts in the shell, especially those with two nuts in them. The line can be tied at the narrow spot of the shell making for a very secure bait. However, other items such as cookies can be used, but they are much harder to fasten tightly to the line.

Chipmunk with Peanut Chipmunk with Peanut Chipmunk with Peanut

You may cast your chipmunking line near any chipmunk that you see. Objects falling on the ground near them do not scare them and they will go to investigate and take the bait. In fact, they do not seem to be bothered by being hit in the head with the bait. When your chipmunk takes the bait, you can let him run with it if he likes. When he runs out of line, his head usually stops immediately with his feet continuing in a forward motion. You can also play them and reel them in just like you would a large trout or bass. Once they have the nut, they really don't want to let go. I have even had times where I have dragged them out of there hole still clutching onto the nut.

Chipmunk stuffing peanut in it's face Chipmunk holding onto dangling peanut

It seems that once a chipmunk has hold of his treasured nut, he really does not want to give it up. In fact you can even pull them up in the air with their feet dangling, and they will still not let go (see picture below). Unfortunately, the chipmunk is a very smart competitor, and can quickly learn that chewing through the line is the easiest and quickest way of getting your bait.

Chipmunk dangling from peanut Chipmunk dangling from peanut

 

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