Monday, June 4, 2012
This adventure started when one day both my wife and I drove home and about 20 little [generically] gophers spread out and ran back to their holes. I started looking around closer and realized a bunch of little holes all around the mailbox, underneath a large tree right beside the house and around the large, 2500 gallon water tank. You know...it really can't be good to have a tree fall on your house or your water tank tip and fall into a hole. Guess I gotta find a way to get rid of those suckers.
Attempt one, a couple of gas bombs that the previous owner left. I read up on them online and found that you light them and drop them in the hole. So I did this and covered the hole. It turns out the "network" of tunnels I expected simply did not exist. The smoke from the bombs simply seeped out of the ground where the main hole was as well as a couple of leaks in the dirt above the hole. Not very effective if you don't know if the little guy is home or not.
Next was just talking it over with people and a lot of Internet searching. The overwhelming consensus was that you really can't get rid of them easily. Then one of my buddies said, "Just sit on your porch one morning, drink a bear, and shoot 'em! It's fairly effective, and fun to boot!
So that settled it, time to look about legal ways to shoot them. The only way I found was a pellet gun. As best I can tell (the laws are a little vague when talking about laws out in the county) it is legal to shoot a pellet gun on your property. So....I go to bass pro shop...AKA Mecca...
At the store, there were four guys, including me, around the pellet gun rack talking to the salesman. Then one of the guys leans over to me and asks, "So what are you getting it for?" I said that I needed something for gophers...he says "ME TOO!" I guess I'm not the only one that hates those little pests.
I ultimately buy the quietest one they have, the GAMO Whisper CFR. You can see it in the picture above. This thing is so quiet that I was outside shooting it all afternoon and the folks in the house had no idea I even fired! I ended up getting that scope sited in so well that I hit the O on a Coke can from about 50 yards away. Yea...that will do. Then I start camping out looking for gophers.
Well...wouldn't you know it that as soon as I am ready for them, they stop coming around. I took the pellet gun inside and decided to take a bunch of paper out to the burn pile. I open the front door and I couldn't believe it...strolling right by in front of the mail box...is a GOPHER! I run back inside, shutting the door very carefully, and get the gun. I line up in the door frame, using the frame as a rest, warn the family that is sitting in the family room right next to me, and I let one fly. BULLS-EYE! I hit that sucker right in the back of the head/neck. I didn't post a picture because, well, let's face it...splattered gopher brains are not exactly a great dinner topic.
Anyway, that gopher got a proper cremation, and I am ready looking for another opportunity. And for those of you "purists" out there. Yes, I did make the tip of the rifle orange. I didn't want police/traffic that drove by to think it was a real gone. I have no idea if doing this is legal, but I didn't find anywhere that said it specifically was illegal, and I don't plan to let many people know when I am shooting it, so I don't see any harm in it at the moment. It's just that we live on the corner of two major cross streets (for this area) and not all traffic are my good-ol'-boy neighbors. I don't want those city folk to think I am aimin' for 'em!