Woodchucks topple cemetery headstones

NEW MILFORD, Conn. (AP) — An unusual hunt is underway in a western Connecticut town after woodchucks damaged a cemetery's ancestral headstones.

Bow hunters are gathering at the Center Cemetery in New Milford, which has stones dating to 1719.

Cemetery Superintendent Mike Sennello says woodchucks have dug under the foundations of some headstones. He says older stones are being toppled because they don't have a cement base under them — one dating back 100 years.

The cemetery closed Tuesday and will close after 4 p.m. Wednesday, Thursday and Friday to allow hunters to try to eliminate about 15 woodchucks from the cemetery. Rifles cannot be used within 500 feet of the road or homes, so hunters must use bows and arrows.

Sennello says he's tried baiting and trapping the woodchucks, but that they're "trap-shy."