Bundle up: Sask groundhog

Photo courtesy Shanno Lidster Whelan Woody with Jack Hill, Whelan Bay’s Mayor for the day and Shanno Lidster, Woody’s Handler.

Today is a special day for Whelan Woody.

He lives with Shanno Lidster and her husband up in Whelan Bay, Sask. Population: about 40 people, a few domesticated geese and one pet groundhog.

Whelan Woody may not be as famous as fellow prognosticator Wiarton Willy, but Saskatchewan’s unofficial official groundhog, as Lidster calls him, has a knack for getting it right.

“His prediction last year was a better season for the Riders, which he was correct on. We actually won more games last year than we did the year before,” Lidster said.

“He also predicted an early spring, which was correct as well.”

Whelan Woody was brought home by Lidster’s husband one day. He’s been a part of the family every since.

“My husband is a hunter and fisherman, but he also loves animals,” Lidster said.

“He brings home these lost animals and I sort of look after them. With woody, the groundhog or woodchuck, same thing, we enjoy him so much we thought we’d start sharing him with others, especially on Groundhog Day.”

For more on this story, including Woody’s predictions, please see the Feb. 2 print or e-edition of the Daily Herald