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Gopher eradication

framer1

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I've been dealing with these fuckers for at least 20 years. Used the Victor Easy trap above. Sometimes can get 'em in less that 10-15 minutes. Sometimes they bury them without tripping. I've even lost a few when they chewed through the string. (I use bailing wire now) Just caught one in the front yard tonight.

Over the years I've used Gopher Gassers, Road Flares, lawn mower exhaust, vehicle exhaust, tunnel fillers, repellents, coyote urine, bobcat urine, cat litter, dog shit, pretty much have tried and used everything. The only way I KNOW what is effective is to see the dead gopher, so I'm partial to traps.

My problem is that my property backs up to an open field, that's part of the school athletic field. I've read up on gopher behavior and know that, except in breeding and pup season, there's usually only one rat for a relatively large area. So I know when I trap one, it could be weeks or months before another moves into the now abandoned tunnel system. The school couldn't give a shit about the gophers in their field. (I've talked to the school board and maintenance people) I'll bet they will when some kid breaks their leg getting caught up in one of their trenches. To the side of me, my neighbor from hell has an RV part junkyard on his property and couldn't give two shits about a few mounds amongst his castle of crap. SO when I do eradicate a rat or two, it's only a matter of time before they show back up.

My dogs (Basset Hounds) are really good at going after the gophers, (that's what they were bred for) but absolutely useless for catching them. Their holes do more damage than the gophers. The only hounds I had that would actually do something were my Bloodhounds. One time I was in the back room and my wife started screaming bloody murder. I thought that one of the dogs sliced its foot off or something. Nope. Just my Pepper, sitting at the back door with a gopher in her mouth, by the nape of its neck, little legs flailing away. The other bloodhound came up with a half decomposed gopher, that he smelled and dug up. Took me an hour to catch him and get them damn thing away from him.

In any event I just ordered the Gopher Hawk, just so my gopher kill repertoire will have another tool. We'll see how well it works.


I'm like you, I have tried every single thing they sell to kill gophers. I like the traps also, ilike seeing them dead. I just bought a Gopher Hawk. First time I used it no luck, I think because the tunnel wasn't very deep. Second time a couple days ago I used again on a tunnel that was a little deeper and got him right away.
 

BoatCop

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Got another one today. This time from the back yard. It only snagged his belly skin and he was still fighting, and COMING RIGHT FOR ME! But swift retribution from Vans, his lord and savior, took him to the promised land.

We'll see how long, before I get some new tenants. At least now I'll know that any mounds, from here on out, will be active.

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Taboma

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Got another one today. This time from the back yard. It only snagged his belly skin and he was still fighting, and COMING RIGHT FOR ME! But swift retribution from Vans, his lord and savior, took him to the promised land.

We'll see how long, before I get some new tenants. At least now I'll know that any mounds, from here on out, will be active.

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I've got mixed feelings with those green Sweeny traps. They're longer than the Victor Easy Set (Macabee design) and more tricky to set. Other than length and setting, they're the same and obviously work.
I snagged one by his hind leg once, good thing it was tied off or I'd have lost the trap. I just dropped him and the trap in a bucket with water, didn't want get gopher yuck on my boots. 😁
 

t&y

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@LowRiver2 Easy answer, hire an exterminator. You are going to pay a premium for where you live, and it will be an ongoing issue for the same reason. I finally gave up the fight. It got pretty bad after they started building all around us.
 

Taboma

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I was teaching my urban raised son ( Lived with mom) some of the finer points of manhood after he moved in we me. This included rattler whacking and now gopher trapping.
Showed him how to dig out the hole, but as he went to place the trap in the tunnel, he screamed and jumped back.
"WHAT ? I scolded, just set the damned trap". He kept claiming something hissed at him. " Oh bullshit, I replied, just man up and set the trap".
2nd try, same result, he came flying back, again claiming the gopher had hissed at him.
" Oh fuck, just give me the trap I demanded" --- I go to set the trap, I hear a loud hiss, and sum-nuv-a-bitch, this huge gopher snake head pops out to greet me. :oops: 😂
 

t&y

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I was teaching my urban raised son ( Lived with mom) some of the finer points of manhood after he moved in we me. This included rattler whacking and now gopher trapping.
Showed him how to dig out the hole, but as he went to place the trap in the tunnel, he screamed and jumped back.
"WHAT ? I scolded, just set the damned trap". He kept claiming something hissed at him. " Oh bullshit, I replied, just man up and set the trap".
2nd try, same result, he came flying back, again claiming the gopher had hissed at him.
" Oh fuck, just give me the trap I demanded" --- I go to set the trap, I hear a loud hiss, and sum-nuv-a-bitch, this huge gopher snake head pops out to greet me. :oops: 😂
So you wacked it with a shovel, grabbed it by the tail then stood up raising it above your head while proclaiming "That is how you do it!"
 

Taboma

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So you wacked it with a shovel, grabbed it by the tail then stood up raising it above your head while proclaiming "That is how you do it!"
Well, nothing so glorious, more like an apology for accusing him of being a pussy and then admitting he was right. 😬 Something was hissing :oops:
Apparently gopher snakes take exception to being poked in the face with a gopher trap --- Hmmm, who knew ? 😂
Then using it as a teaching moment, explaining that it's unlikely a gopher tunnel with it's very own gopher snake, probably requires a trap. 😂

But I'll never let him live down the day he came running up out of the grove being chased by a hummingbird 😂😂😂
Of course now with him mid 40's, 235 of pure man, and solid as a rock, being dad does grant me liberties. 👍
 

LowRiver2

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@LowRiver2 Easy answer, hire an exterminator. You are going to pay a premium for where you live, and it will be an ongoing issue for the same reason. I finally gave up the fight. It got pretty bad after they started building all around us.
@LowRiver2 Easy answer, hire an exterminator. You are going to pay a premium for where you live, and it will be an ongoing issue for the same reason. I finally gave up the fight. It got pretty bad after they started building all around us.
E0A5FABC-5EED-40D8-BF57-31E21143E9E9.jpeg

I actually put metal screen under the turf/gravel for the bird cage access. It’s worked so far but costly to do the rest. It took them 3 years to get through our DG by our dog runs.
Maybe I need to think about screen for the whole grass area. Costly but probably same cost as 2 chem eradication’s.
 

EmpirE231

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I got one effin around my front yard right now.... wife and kids will be gone this weekend... might just sit on the front porch all day w/ the ruger 10/22 and a bottle of whiskey.
 

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I was teaching my urban raised son ( Lived with mom) some of the finer points of manhood after he moved in we me. This included rattler whacking and now gopher trapping.
Showed him how to dig out the hole, but as he went to place the trap in the tunnel, he screamed and jumped back.
"WHAT ? I scolded, just set the damned trap". He kept claiming something hissed at him. " Oh bullshit, I replied, just man up and set the trap".
2nd try, same result, he came flying back, again claiming the gopher had hissed at him.
" Oh fuck, just give me the trap I demanded" --- I go to set the trap, I hear a loud hiss, and sum-nuv-a-bitch, this huge gopher snake head pops out to greet me. :oops: 😂
I see why Covid concerns you :)
 

77charger

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Friend of mine has a squirel problem at their farm in tulare when i go i take my 10/22 and sit in back wait for them fuckers to pop up then i move.But they spook easily barely move they are gone and out.Go out sit and drink beers with others and no guns they are standing tall making noises and all.

They aint like your park squirrel these are destructive and run away from you not towards you.
 

BoatCop

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Friend of mine has a squirel problem at their farm in tulare when i go i take my 10/22 and sit in back wait for them fuckers to pop up then i move.But they spook easily barely move they are gone and out.Go out sit and drink beers with others and no guns they are standing tall making noises and all.

They aint like your park squirrel these are destructive and run away from you not towards you.
This is where Air-Soft and CO2 guns reign king. A lot of the varmints have gotten wise to firearm reports, and high-tail (pun intended) it out of there when the hear the cap. You might get one, but it'll be a while before his comrades come back. (which they will, but they'll wait for some time) Plink them with a little "phfffffft" and the others will just think their buddy had a heart attack or something. They'll be confused, but won't run away.
 

Taboma

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Friend of mine has a squirel problem at their farm in tulare when i go i take my 10/22 and sit in back wait for them fuckers to pop up then i move.But they spook easily barely move they are gone and out.Go out sit and drink beers with others and no guns they are standing tall making noises and all.

They aint like your park squirrel these are destructive and run away from you not towards you.
That is exactly what my fuckin ground squirrels do. The run around mocking me, waving their tiny arms and I swear flipping me off. So I grab my 10/22, or my silenced pellet rifle, walk back out and just like that, they disappear.
One day in my grove I got well concealed and popped off about five of the bastards with my scoped silenced pellet rifle. Their buddy would drop, the others would look around like WTF was that. 😂
But that was then, now if armed they disappear pronto.

My one neighbor did however buy a squirrelinator Trap. https://www.amazon.com/Rugged-Ranch-Products-100063928-Squirrelinator/dp/B0046VJ8RU
We've baited it with avocados in season and apples. So far he's trapped and given Houdini underwater escape lessons. So far they've not learned how to perform the underwater escape, slow learners I suppose.
 

Taboma

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I'm trying a new ground squirrel tactic. I'm using coyotes to patrol the property nightly, I don't feed them, that's a no no, but I've got a watering basin they use regularly.
I haven't seen a squirrel in quite awhile now, and they're keeping the bunny population in check. My four game cams pick the coyote threesome up almost every night, and if they don't show, the bobcats seem to alternate.
 

Wbinder

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Bought the gopher hawk after reading this forum got it delivered watched a YouTube video set the trap at night and had the gopher in the morning


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Taboma

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Bought the gopher hawk after reading this forum got it delivered watched a YouTube video set the trap at night and had the gopher in the morning


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Right now in CA with all the recent rains, I'd imagine they'd work fine most anywhere --- thanks for reminding me I was going to order one 👍
 

BoatCop

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Got the Gopher Hawk delivered the other day. Found a new mound, right at my back fence. Only took 3 days for the new resident to move in. (Fucker wouldn't pay the security deposit) Tried to use the Hawk to locate the run, but the ground here is way sandy, and wet soil, so pushing the probe in, goes easily about a foot into the ground. Couldn't find exactly where the run was. So I dug out from the mound, found the run and used the ole reliable Sweeny trap. This makes 3 rats in 5 days. This one was also only slightly snared by the skin, but that shovel in the background helped ease his pain.


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PRORACER7474

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I got a metal dryer hose. Slid it over the exhaust of my dodge diesel. Buried the other end in one of the gopher tunnels. Ran the truck for an hour. Did absolutely nothing to the gophers.

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diesel does not make carbon dioxide, only a gas engine will
 

Nanu/Nanu

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I know you said you haven't had any luck with water but that's the only way I personally have had any luck. What I do is drop a hose in a hole crack a beer light a stogie and plop down in a chair. Soon enough that fucker will surface.

So three out of the five I've had take residence on my property stay by their hole and do their best to camouflage themselves the other two ran.

This has just been my experience. Best of luck.
 

TPC

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My 2 cents:
The traps work in newer tunnels and best if you keep up with it. The more they travel in the old tunnel the less likely the trap will work over time. Hold that thought, keep at it.
Eventually the pro poison may be necessary.
The hardware store bait won't work.

Hillside even tougher because they burrow inward. Even the pro services give that situation a slim chance.
The Gopher champ on our 1/8 acre hillside got a shitload in one day when we first adopted him. R.I.P:
 
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LowRiver2

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My 2 cents:
The traps work in newer tunnels and best if you keep up with it. The more they travel in the old tunnel the less likely the trap will work over time. Hold that thought, keep at it.
Eventually the pro poison may be necessary.
The hardware store bait won't work.

Hillside even tougher because they burrow inward. Even the pro services give that situation a slim chance.
The Gopher champ on our 1/8 acre hillside got a shitload in one day when we first adopted him. R.I.P:
You know gophers and terrain

I’ve been here 4 years, lawn was done from drought , Mrs. Wasn’t using backyard and was busy with work to not address it

I want grass back so I’m in for the fight , lol

I feed our 100 birds most nights and am chasing new mounds at this point.
I have a hill and that will be the challenge

It’s level land on top and bottom of the hill so I’m hoping to catch some on the flat parts
Time will tell

Thanks for tips
 
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jet496

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I've got mixed feelings with those green Sweeny traps. They're longer than the Victor Easy Set (Macabee design) and more tricky to set. Other than length and setting, they're the same and obviously work.
I snagged one by his hind leg once, good thing it was tied off or I'd have lost the trap. I just dropped him and the trap in a bucket with water, didn't want get gopher yuck on my boots. 😁
I had bad luck with the green traps but never miss with the silver Victor ones I get from Home Depot.
 

Taboma

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I had bad luck with the green traps but never miss with the silver Victor ones I get from Home Depot.
I've had my silver Victor EZ Sets forever, work awesome and easy to set. I've tried the green Sweenys (Macabee) harder to set and so far struck out. I've had really good success with the Victor Black Box, both covering the hole and uncovered, but also far more incidents of them burying the trap. Here's a weird one, had a black box facing each direction, in one tunnel, one trap was filled with dirt, the other one got the gopher ?? Sure wish I had a camera, I'd like to watch them reacting with the traps.
I tend to use either the silver or the box, depending on terrain and access to the tunnel. They like to follow my buried irrigation pipes, so the silvers ones are easier to get into the tunnel.

Got my new Gopher Hawk version the other day, walked around to find a mound to tests it and can't find a fresh mound, go figure, when you want a gopher you can't find one 😂
 

LowRiver2

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I know you said you haven't had any luck with water but that's the only way I personally have had any luck. What I do is drop a hose in a hole crack a beer light a stogie and plop down in a chair. Soon enough that fucker will surface.

So three out of the five I've had take residence on my property stay by their hole and do their best to camouflage themselves the other two ran.

This has just been my experience. Best of luck.
I have over 300 holes on the top of the hill area. While many are “empty” , I think the water deal just floods empty chambers. I’ve had water hose on for over an hour and never had the water pop up in any holes lol.
Road flares showed smoke come out in some spots but no gophers.

I think the terrain varies greatly and the gopher “tactics” are just as varied.

I’m glad to see so many types of traps/tactics to get them out.
The “hill” tunnels are going to be the tough ones.

Pouring quick Crete down some holes is not out of the question, lol.
 

Nanu/Nanu

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Yes I completely agree have you tried propane? Might want to have some one that is experienced come over for that one we were talking about this at work the other day and some one said they saw their lawn jump 2 feet because they did not realize a very little goes a long ways. Haha.
 

Nanu/Nanu

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Yeah I don't know where the heck the water goes sometimes. It's really unbelievable
 

Taboma

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I have over 300 holes on the top of the hill area. While many are “empty” , I think the water deal just floods empty chambers. I’ve had water hose on for over an hour and never had the water pop up in any holes lol.
Road flares showed smoke come out in some spots but no gophers.

I think the terrain varies greatly and the gopher “tactics” are just as varied.

I’m glad to see so many types of traps/tactics to get them out.
The “hill” tunnels are going to be the tough ones.

Pouring quick Crete down some holes is not out of the question, lol.
The only flooding success stories I've heard are on flat terrain.
I'm on a slope and like you've I've let water run forever, rarely have I seen it emerge and after a while I start wondering, Where da fuck ?? And shut it off thinking I might be flooding somebody's home a block away :eek: Although one day after the hose had pumped mass amounts of water, I walked over to the road side of the grove and there was a river of muddy water running down the road, that wouldn't stop even after I'd shut the hose off. Seems after the system had filled, it blew out a plugged hole on the bank and now it was all draining down the road --- what a fucking mess that left to clean up 😖

I have used a Jet Pipe, made out of angle cut 5' piece of 3/4" pvc with a shut-off valve. When other means have failed, I've used it because the force of the water blows the tunnels open, then I can just follow along on the surface using the water to collapse a series of tunnels. During my trade days we often used this method to "Jet" under sidewalks and small concrete areas.

When I tried the Gopher Bombs and hiway flares, I even put my big shop vac on blow and placed multiple gopher bombs and flares, then pressurized the whole subterranean system of tunnels using the vac. I had tiny smoke streamers popping up, showing I was covering a large area, I thought AHA, got ya.
Two days later I had fresh mounds everywhere I'd used the smoke. I think Mr Gopher, smelling something vile, just ducked into a side tunnel, pushed three piles in of dirt in about 5 seconds to plug it and took a nap.
 

Taboma

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Yes I completely agree have you tried propane? Might want to have some one that is experienced come over for that one we were talking about this at work the other day and some one said they saw their lawn jump 2 feet because they did not realize a very little goes a long ways. Haha.
This can be harmful to buried to my grove's buried irrigation pipes :eek: and the gopher's love following the old trench lines. 🤬 Plus the cheap ass that piped my grove eons ago used the thin wall pvc, so one shovel strike, it's shattered. The stuff is shit, I've broken pipes just probing for gophers if I get to aggressive.
 

Nanu/Nanu

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Haha some real caddy shack experiences going on here. What is cool is that my girls do get excited when I bust out the hose a beer and a 2x4" and really sad if Mr gopher doesn't come out to play.
 

Nanu/Nanu

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Damn, yeah definitely want to save your groves. How about the muffler adapter makes them go to sleep for good and plants clean dirty air. It's a win win for you and earth nuts!
 

Taboma

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Damn, yeah definitely want to save your groves. How about the muffler adapter makes them go to sleep for good and plants clean dirty air. It's a win win for you and earth nuts!
I'm not convinced that using engine exhaust with an easily detectable odor works that well. I think they can block a side tunnel in seconds and wait it out. I know, there's stories to the contrary, everybody has a story, but from the actual various Ag Group / Grove owner studies, have not shown it to be effective.
Now using pumped in Carbon Monoxide, which is odorless, but an expensive method, has shown merit, because they die before they realizing they're being poisoned.

The pumped in and ignited propane mixture just blows them all to fuck, so who cares what it smells like --- BOOM !!! But the collateral damage must be considered. 🥴
 

CANUCK007

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Garden hose doesnt work for me.Too slow.They can sit above water level in a den.Two five gallon pails of water poured down quickly works best.When they come up chokin the golden retriever did her best
 

spectra3279

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What about a co2 tank. Drop a line in the hole and open the valve. Use a big tank to ensure complete coverage.

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EmpirE231

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for the life of me, I am not having any luck with the gopher hawk.... I probe, and feel it give... and think I definitely found the tunnel.... then use the little burrowing tool, and never end up in the tunnel?
 

LowRiver2

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for the life of me, I am not having any luck with the gopher hawk.... I probe, and feel it give... and think I definitely found the tunnel.... then use the little burrowing tool, and never end up in the tunnel?
The gopher hawk works good in soft/wet soil. My ground has almost a “muck” to it where it’s moist even in warm months a few inches down.
I’d think it wouldn’t perform as well in drier, hard pack soil. (?)
 

BoatCop

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Found a new mound, just 2 weeks after my last success. Put in a trap, but also set up the Gopher Hawk a few feet away. He bulldozed the trap, but tripped the Hawk. I was pretty excited when I pulled it up, but it only caught him by one front paw. (apparently they don't learn anything from coyotes). He was kicking and screaming and sending out a bunch of little clicks. I was so impressed with his perseverance and attitude that I took him swimming. Turns out he don't swim so good.
 
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Taboma

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for the life of me, I am not having any luck with the gopher hawk.... I probe, and feel it give... and think I definitely found the tunnel.... then use the little burrowing tool, and never end up in the tunnel?
I have areas of soil here where there's harder DG on the surface and soft dirt below. The thin rod-like probes (Like the GH one) won't work, everywhere feels like it's dropping into a tunnel. When it's wet, not so bad. So in that soil as an example, I have to use a much larger diameter probe, like the Tee handles ones you buy and use to disperse baits in the tunnel.
The GH is good for some soil types but not all. In some soils finding the tunnels is fairly easy, in others it can be frustrating and I've dug a lot of holes and found no tunnels where I thought they'd be. So I just keep digging a bigger hole, eventually I usually find it.
I bought the GH, hoping I can use it in my lawn area that has more consistent top soil and avoid digging larger holes.
 

Taboma

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Found a new mound, just 2 weeks after my last success. Put in a trap, but also set up the Gopher Hawk a few feet away. He bulldozed the trap, but tripped the Hawk. I was pretty excited when I pulled the it up, but it only caught him by one front paw. (apparently they don't learn anything from coyotes). He was kicking and screaming and sending out a bunch of little clicks. I was so impressed with his perseverance and attitude that I took him swimming. Turns out he don't swim so good.
I had one like that, probably wasn't fair that when I sent him swimming I forgot to remove the trap. :rolleyes:
 

BoatCop

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I have areas of soil here where there's harder DG on the surface and soft dirt below. The thin rod-like probes (Like the GH one) won't work, everywhere feels like it's dropping into a tunnel. When it's wet, not so bad. So in that soil as an example, I have to use a much larger diameter probe, like the Tee handles ones you buy and use to disperse baits in the tunnel.
The GH is good for some soil types but not all. In some soils finding the tunnels is fairly easy, in others it can be frustrating and I've dug a lot of holes and found no tunnels where I thought they'd be. So I just keep digging a bigger hole, eventually I usually find it.
I bought the GH, hoping I can use it in my lawn area that has more consistent top soil and avoid digging larger holes.
When I can't find a tunnel by probing or manually digging out the hole, I jam the hose in and start poking around (Giggity). That usually blows out the plug and defines the hole. I then just use the standard trap, and more often than not, end up getting one as they rush to close the intrusion.
 

jet496

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When I can't find a tunnel by probing or manually digging out the hole, I jam the hose in and start poking around (Giggity). That usually blows out the plug and defines the hole. I then just use the standard trap, and more often than not, end up getting one as they rush to close the intrusion.
That's the biggest secret, leave the hole open because they come back to cover it. I used to cover my traps in the hole trying to be sneaky, but they weren't planning on coming back anyway. You have to give them a reason to come back. I get them every time.

I'd buy a Gopher Hawk for shits & giggles but they cost too much & the cheap ass traps just work too damn good.
 
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