Those pesky gophers

Trap is sprung

On the farm, gophers can be harmful.  Livestock, stable fence posts, and gopher holes and burrows don’t mix too well.  And don’t forget we have two ponds where burrowing animals can cause real problems!  Oregon has several species of gopher.

Farmers temporarily eliminate the nuisance and harm caused by gophers by trapping them.  I say temporarily because removing gophers from a field only works until the next gophers move into the unoccupied space.  It is a never-ending war between farmer and gopher.

There are some tricks we learned from the previous owner.  We use Cinch Traps which are manufactured just down the road in Hubbard, Oregon.  For us, they are proving to be strong, simple, and effective.

A gopher mound looks like a crescent moon with a plugged hole.  You have to sacrifice some turf to catch gophers, because you first have to expose the gopher’s tunnel.  Often, the tunnel veers off at an angle so it’s important to dig until you find a good, straight section suitable for the trap.

Using a sharp shovel, dig out the plug and cut back until the gopher tunnel is exposed.  Using a screwdriver or weeding tool, poke around to make sure that’s the only tunnel.  Set the trap, insert it into the tunnel, and come back the next day to check it.

If we don’t catch the gopher immediately, we’ll leave the trap in place for up to a week before moving it.  We also use a small flag to identify where we’ve placed traps, because it is easy to forget where  you put them!