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#5986405 - 08/28/17 08:08 PM Pocket gopher trapping
Teacher Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/19/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Rochester, MN
I started doing it this spring to give myself something to do for the farmers who let me trap in the fall. It's a learning (and humbling) experience to be fooled by a pocket gopher! That being said, I'm getting the hang of catching them with cinch traps but haven't held a thing in any other trap. The gophinators have been disappointing. The death clutch is so-so. Haven't used the easy-sets long enough to have a catch history with yet.

My questions to this esteemed group are these:
1. I can find main tunnels but with cinch traps, I have to have big holes to fit 2 traps (one in each direction). Is this how you do it?
2. I can catch gophers just fine if I can locate a one way tunnel but the main tunnels (with cinch traps) are baffling to me. I'm usually trying to stand the trap on end or at a very steep angle. They get plugged often and I rarely catch with this angle. How do you set a single trap in this situation?
3. With cinch traps, which is what I have, most of the catches are from sets that are near horizontal. Is this the best or are there other set ups I should try?

I've gotten 39 so far. Not a lot, but I'm learning. By trapping season, I hope to have another 20-40, meaning I will have covered the cost of my traps based on the township bounty. By next year, I might even make a buck or two
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Never too old to learn

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#5987437 - 08/30/17 07:29 AM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
Teacher Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/19/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Rochester, MN
Somebody's got to have experience with pocket gophers!!!
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Never too old to learn

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#5987638 - 08/30/17 11:37 AM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
Aggie73 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 20
Loc: South Texas
I have an 8 year catch history and use only one style of trap for gophers - Trapline Products Gophinator. I trap in sandy soils and it's the only trap I will ever use. My trapping method involves probing ~1.5' away, mostly in front of the mound/plug to find the main tunnels. At that point, I will dig a hole around the size of a 3# coffee can down to the base of the tunnel run. The tethered Gophinator traps are inserted, almost always level, into each tunnel (Please note that I insert my traps in the tunnel as far as I can. I left these out for pic purposes). I use a dab of Peanut Butter in the center of my hole, then cover, stake, and flag my trap set. I never trap at the short lateral tunnel which is found at an angle leading from the plug to the main travel feeding tunnels. This is why I probe ~1.5' from the mound! I try to not enlarge the tunnels too much when inserting the traps. I will bed the front end of the traps in the soil somewhat if the tunnels are a little too big. No matter what type of traps you use or how experienced you are, you can always expect gophers to plug in front of your traps in the tunnel or completely fill your trap set hole (pic #2). Just part of the business!

Hopefully I have answered some of your questions but I would strongly recommend that you give the Gophinator traps another shot.



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"Happier than a gopher in wet sand."

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#5988032 - 08/30/17 09:09 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
AJE Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/22/16
Posts: 1776
Loc: WI - Wisconsin
I used to have good success with size 0 longsprings. We never had the gophinator trap growing up, and did well. But I've heard great things about the gophinator.
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#5988159 - 08/31/17 01:22 AM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
Teacher Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/19/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Rochester, MN
I bought a 6-pack of gophinators in May. It took weeks to get them. Steve Albano must have been out trapping and not checking his mail! Anyway, I'll bet I used them in several dozen tunnels and I was about to put them on the Trap Shed for sale. Today I caught my first adult pocket gopher in one. Finally!!! So far, my catch ratio for cinch vs gophinators is 40 to 1. But I'll keep trying.

Steve Gappa just did an article in the Trappers Post on pocket gophers. He uses longsprings and since I just got a dozen #1 longsprings from a friend, I'll give them a try too.
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Never too old to learn

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#5988473 - 08/31/17 01:48 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
webfootwhacker Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/05/08
Posts: 118
Loc: Northern Minnesota
I do much like Aggie (but don't use PB) with Death Klutch's and as long as you face one trap each way your catch ratio should be pretty high. I use 3/8" rebar T stakes and clip clothespins above and below the trap eye as necessary to make sure the trap doesn't move. I used to get lots of plugged traps when I was learning, but now do as stated above and, although a few still get plugged, my catch ratio is pretty darn good.


Edited by webfootwhacker (08/31/17 08:26 PM)

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#5989754 - 09/02/17 12:33 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
AJE Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/22/16
Posts: 1776
Loc: WI - Wisconsin
I wonder if there's a certain time of year that is best for trapping pocket gophers
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#5990338 - 09/03/17 11:36 AM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: AJE]
Aggie73 Offline
trapper

Registered: 03/05/12
Posts: 20
Loc: South Texas
Originally Posted By: AJE
I wonder if there's a certain time of year that is best for trapping pocket gophers

The best time is anytime there's a fresh mound! Seriously, I guess it depends on your location, climate, soil type, etc. Gophers, here, are active throughout the year as we rarely get freezing weather. Thus, vegetation is available year around and they breed at least twice a year (usually April/May and Sep/Oct). If you are talking about a trapping period that would have an impact on the gopher population, the best time would be just prior to the breeding period in your area. These are the only times when I sometimes catch doubles in a trap set for these territorial/solitary critters. This time period also corresponds to our sometimes wet period (Hurricane Harvey's excepted!!!) making it easier for gophers to find new digs or expand their burrows while "chasing each other around the room."

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"Happier than a gopher in wet sand."

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#5997577 - 09/12/17 10:59 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
Teacher Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/19/10
Posts: 860
Loc: Rochester, MN
Aggie73, your gophers are half the size of ours! But, getting the traps pushed into the dirt does help get the gophers to push the trigger. Then they get caught by the stomach and are usually alive when I get to the set.

My catch is going up but it's still about 40:1 with cinch vs #1 longs or gophinators. And I still haven't connected with the revenge traps. Time and experience will tell, I guess
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Never too old to learn

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#5997625 - 09/13/17 02:38 AM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
DezertRattAnnie Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/30/17
Posts: 160
Loc: Mojave Desert SoCal
The only thing that has worked for pockets (for me) in my area are actually Cinch mole traps (large size) Our pocket gophers are REALLY small, and even a small gopher trap is too large most of the time. They might be tiny, but oh man can they tear things up fast.

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#5998133 - 09/13/17 05:14 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
Probtrapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/16/07
Posts: 159
Loc: northern Calif.
'Annie, have you tried Steve Albanos traps? He has three sizes and it sounds as if his mole trap might be just what you need.
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Bob Hassel
Animal Nuisance Control

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#5998483 - 09/13/17 10:50 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Probtrapper]
DezertRattAnnie Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/30/17
Posts: 160
Loc: Mojave Desert SoCal
Originally Posted By: Probtrapper
'Annie, have you tried Steve Albanos traps? He has three sizes and it sounds as if his mole trap might be just what you need.


No, I haven't heard of those, I'd love to hear more!
_________________________
Annie

In heaven, all of the interesting people are missing
~Friedrich Nietzsche

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#5998500 - 09/13/17 11:22 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
LAtrapper Offline

"Professor"

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 2666
Loc: Lower Alabama (Daleville)
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Note to self- Engage brain before opening mouth (or hitting the ENTER key/SUBMIT button).

Ron Fry


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#5999135 - 09/14/17 07:49 PM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
RJCOLE Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/04/17
Posts: 24
Loc: Texas
I too have small gophers in this area. The trapline products traps work great. I have about half mole traps and half gopher traps. I usually prefer the mole sized traps on our small gophers . I usually just use the one that fits the tunnel size.

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#5999355 - 09/15/17 02:29 AM Re: Pocket gopher trapping [Re: Teacher]
DezertRattAnnie Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/30/17
Posts: 160
Loc: Mojave Desert SoCal
Well they can keep on selling those (huge) gopher traps at the big box stores...folks get fed up trying, and then they call me. :-) haha!!
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Annie

In heaven, all of the interesting people are missing
~Friedrich Nietzsche

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