• GUESTS

    If You  want access  to member only forums on FM, You will need to Sign-in or  Sign-Up now .

    This box will disappear once you are signed in as a member.

  • Join In - We Share Fishing Reports & Outdoor Information Here

     
      You know what we all love...

      The same things you do!!!! Share what you love & enjoy in the outdoors as well as thank those whose posts you 'appreciate.'

      Have Fun!!!

Sign in to follow this  
BLACKJACK

Need gopher trapping advice

Recommended Posts

BLACKJACK

For the second day in a row the pocket gopher along my driveway plugged my trap, thought I'd get some advice on how you trap gophers so I can up my percentage and cut down on the time spent. It took me 1.5 hours yesterday to find and set four more traps, I'd like to move up to 50%.

1) What type of trap do you use and why? Leg hold or deathclutch? How do you set it? Seems like on big gophers/big tunnels, the deathclutch doesn't fit in the tunnel very well.

2) Do you cover your set when you're done or leave it open? When we were kids we always covered them with tin but in the last few years I've just went the easy route and left them the tunnel open, with the trap set, thinking that the gopher will come to plug the hole.

3) Do you set in the single runway that you find when you open it up or do you set in the first intersection that you find? Sometimes you run right into an intersection but other times on deep runways, you have to dig down to the intersection, curious what you do.

Any advice you can give will be appreciated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
zelek

Hey BJ...

Probably the easiest way is to break into the tunnel and open it up to the "T". Then use two deathclutches....set one going each direction. Sometimes you end up with a "double" this way. smile.gif

When I was a kid I almost always set the deathclutch right at the base of the "T". So as soon as the gopher turned up from the main tunnel the jaws were around his neck. That works too if you don't have many traps. And you're right...sometimes the hole is a little large this way...I'd just pack dirt around the sides so the jaws fit nice and flush with the edges of the hole.

And no...you don't need to cover this kind of set-up. You'll get'em this time...trust me. grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
roosterslayer

My father in law trapped them forever on the farm, but found out that poison works so much better. I would try that if the traps keep getting buried.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
protrapper

Sound to me like you letting light in through the hole. Make sure the hole is sealed up good, and use two traps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HateHumminbird

My old man taught me, and we got a quarter a gopher. His old man taught him, and he got a nickel a gopher.

Push the dirt off the mound in a pile to the side, take a stake and drive it through the "soft" part of the mound where the tunnel is. You can usually see this. Dig out the hole clean of any tunneled soil. Leave the harder stuff on the sides and don't dig it out too much.

Dig horizontally inward until you find the "T". Set the pan trap a bit depressed in the center of the crossroads. Use a shingle to cover up the hole. NO LIGHT like pro-trapper said.

Use a high quality T-post stake driven well into the ground, and pull the ring on the trap chain tight against the trap-facing side of the T-post. When you come up to the trap, if the ring is pulled tight away from the T-post, you know you got one!

I've had hawks, badgers, fox, and coyotes take my gopher traps by not staking them down with T-post re-rod.

Can't wait to teach my son how to do it.

Joel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
luckey

jnelson,

Everything you do is exactly how we did it on the farm with one exception. We boiled the traps before setting.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BLACKJACK

Looks like there are two camps, some leave the hole open, some say cover it tightly. Maybe its the pan trap guys say cover it up and the deathclutch guys say leave it open? Guess I'll cut out a couple of covers tonight and go back to trying a few 'covered up' and see if that ups my percentage. Was out at noon to Runnings and bought a couple more pan traps, I've had it with hitting these gopher mounds when I'm out mowing, I'm going after the gophers hard this year.

Set traps in four runs last night using both types of traps, will be interesting to see what kind of success I have. On one, I actually had a three way, so I set three deathclutches.

I tried the poison one time, it wasn't very satisfactory, you open up the hole, throw in the poison, and then wonder whether you got them...

Joel, good idea on pulling the trap against the stake to tell whether you have a 'hit'. My detector is my two labs, when they run up to the hole and their tails start wagging, I know I'm in luck!!! smile.gif I have to growl at them to not start digging the little &()()%$# out!!

Anybody ever try one of those 'blow up the runway' setups? I saw video at the farm show last year, looked like a blast, literally!! My brother even helped a farmer do it in a field, guess it was the real deal, and a lot of fun. If I had a couple of grand sitting around... Then I'd have to go buy a gator to haul it around with...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
HateHumminbird

Blackjack:

Never seen the "blow up the runway" setup.

Careful with the dogs, when I was younger, a mean gopher latched onto our german sheperd's nose. That dog bled, and bled, and bled. From that day forward however, any farm-rat, gopher, or woodchuck it ever got a hold of was shaken furiously for upwards of two days after it had been killed.

I've heard of people using the car-exhaust tailpipe deal with success. But like you mentioned, there's a certain amount of satisfaction garnered from knowing you got 'em! Motion sensitive explosives would be the best.

Joel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Gissert

I've used a garden hose, ala Caddyshack a couple of times when they are in my yard. Quick, and effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dotch

Have to trap a few every year when they come out of our CRP or the neighbors hay field and get into our pasture. Have always used death clutch traps growing up on the farm dating back to the 1960's when the old Soil Bank came out and went back into production. Talk about a money maker! At $.35 per set of feet ($.20 county and $.15 township), bought my first wrist watch with all that cash. My mother was glad when I went off to college; no more jars of gopher feet in the freezer!

Don't want to cover death clutch sets; reputedly the cooler air going down the tunnel is sensed by the gopher and signals them it's time to plug the hole. Cleaning the hole out well so they can't get a large wad of soil in front of their shoulders to plug the trap is imperative. Also helps to have slender wrists and hands to accomplish this feat. Smaller gophers and smaller diameter holes can make matters more difficult. Most of the time will try to set on the end of a "T" but sometimes will get a long run without a "T" you can reach with your hand. These are sets I've tended to get burned on once in awhile. Over the years have had one or two that really pissed me off so dug down to the "T" and used 2 traps. Never missed but it makes for more work. My favorite though is to find a mound the gopher is actually working on slip the trap in the open hole without disturbing it. Don't clean it unless you want to get bit, just slip the trap in and stake it. For some reason they seem to be in "go" mode and easier to nail them with a high percentage of success. As far as stakes, a piece of rod with a loop on it that holds a flag of some kind is what I've always used. Have lots of rod and pieces of busted up hog panels at my disposal. Usually will set the trap as far back as the trigger will allow and place the loop of the trap tight with the rod its anchored to so it goes off without having any "give" to it when the gopher is coming up the hole. Only traps I've ever had messed with were those the cats would find and eat the front half of the gopher off overnight before I got there, screwing me out of my $.35. See I have a couple new ones to deal with after last fall but so far the frost isn't completely out where they were working. Ready when they are. Happy trapping! grin.gif

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Waterfowl chaser78

Usally i just push a pool thru the groud and the mound until i find the tunnel. then i set up a trap each way there. I have had alot of trouble with pluging tho. i cover my traps also just so that only a little bi tof air can get in. You think i should just leave them open? Whats the best way to use those squese set traps? I have trouble getting mine to work well since they dont fi tinto most holes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
Sign in to follow this  



  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Wanderer
      Good pics have been hard to come by.  But...   Yes, these are water pics mainly but we’ve hunted fields too. The field hunting has been tough for us with the size of crew we have and the age mix.  Good times; good people.   Besides, a guy that likes divers needs a little water tossed in.  I saw my bucket list can but wouldn’t water swat him to claim him.  Didn’t get a chance at him on the wing.
    • eyeguy 54
      Nice! Thx for sharing.  I have so many weird stories like that and it's nice to hear another strange one!  Great story and memory. 
    • eyeguy 54
      Leaves are about foot and a half would put the head at about 3 feet or so. Me double thinks cougarumamountainlioncatamountpuma !  So SHAAAAD UPPPPP!  LOl   PS  you look like mange... 
    • MJ1657
      Tough conditions this morning. Got tired of picking up decoys that were tipped over.  Post some of your waterfowl hunting pics Leech. 
    • leech~~
      Just so we're clear. You left this kind of harvest to drive around in 70 degree weather for 4 hours a day, why again? 😕  
    • leech~~
      Oh then your right, the DNR wouldn't be able to tell what it is until at least June!  😏  😆
    • Wanderer
      Snow?!  Hadn’t heard.  I’m still in Nodak and it’s been sunny and 69-70 degrees for highs!  Big wind yesterday but not so much today.  Birds are around but you have to look for em.  Been driving about 4 hours a day scouting.
    • monstermoose78
      Holy snow!! It was coming down this morning around 8 am. Had geese flying but could not see them. Got buzzed by many flocks looking the wrong way as I could not look into the wind and snow. Had plenty close enough but never fired a shot. Off to the rifle range tomorrow with the old man. 
    • AlwaysFishing23
      Well was able to get out in the kayak this afternoon as the wind went down was out for about 15 min and around 4pm while making my usual trolling pass on the green weed lines. I hooked up with a 36” 8.5lb northern! On a #6 Fire tiger flicker shad again using my baitcast rig with 30 braid. I paddled to the beech as I had no net or anyway to land it from the yak. As I was coming in my rod slipped out of my rod holder. I said ohh $&@! And figured well that’s a rough day. But for some crazy reason my rod and reel combo floated!! No sure how but it stayed right on the surface. I had no extra floatation on it either. All I can say is I think I had some special people watching over me today😉Retrieved the rod and locked it in the holder and made it to the beech and fought it the rest of the way in. By far the biggest fish from the kayak for me and one heck of a story. Well I think that was a great way to end the season. 
    • Parmer
      It's a small lake. Have ice fished out there in the winter. There is some decent crappies out there.  Never fished in the summer time. I want to say max depth is 25-30.