Groundhogs are common airgun quarry. They are a pest species, and as such, many are shot and left for the coyotes. It’s a real shame, because if you prepare them right, they are darn tasty!
Begin by cleanly harvesting with a headshot. This will keep the meat from being tainted and having that gamey taste everyone talks about. Remove the feet, skin it out, remove the head and entrails, and rinse well. Trim away excess fat, and remove all the scent glands found near the back legs and armpits.
Soak the carcass in salt water overnight. Discard water. Pat dry. The meat is ready to cook, or for even better flavor, allow it to age a couple days more in the fridge between 32*F and 38*F.
Preheat your oven to 200*F. Add some beef stock to a dutch oven. Better than Broth or beef bullion cubes and water can be substituted. Dry red wine can be added for additional flavor. I add enough liquid to cover the meat. Place the lid on the dutch oven and put in the oven. You’ll want to start this early in the morning, I recommend at least 8 hours at 200*.
After at least 8 hours, remove the dutch oven and pour most of the liquid out. This can be saved to make gravy. I leave about a quarter to half inch of liquid in. Turn the oven up to 250*F, throw on your favorite seasonings, replace the lid, and throw it back in for another hour or two, or until the meat readily falls from the bone.
Debone the meat, serve with gravy, BBQ sauce, or steak sauce. Add your favorite side dishes. Your stomach will growl the next time you see one of those pesky whistlepigs!