Keeping Track of Your Gopher Traps

When you’re down with a winter cold and can’t stand to spend one more day on the couch, there are still some farming activities that you can do that almost fit the requirement of “rest."

My continuing war on the gophers is one of those activities. We like to re-visit this topic every year on this blog because, well, the gophers like to re-visit every year.

One issue that we have is that while our gopher traps, called The Gophinator, are quite hardy, they do disappear as predators drag them away with the dead gophers. Attaching a length of cable to our traps and connecting them to the ground with a flag or stake allow us to identify where they are and keep the predators from taking off with them.

You’ll need some cable, cable ferrules and a pair of wire cutters. I like the Speedy Sharp tool to help with cutting; if your cut is sharp, the wire won’t separate and it will be easier to run through the holes in the cable ferrule. 

Tools for gopher trapping at Gantz Family Vineyards

Cut the length of wire you want, thread on a couple of cable ferrules and loop one end behind the spring at the back of the trap. Clay prefers a shorter wire so they don’t tangle. I like a longer wire so I can stick it further in the hole. Thread the end of the cable back through the ferrule and crimp it to hold the cables in place. They actually make crimping tools for this purpose, but what’s more fun than just smacking it with a hammer?

A gopher trap at Gantz Family Vineyards

Now make a loop on the other end the same way. You want to make sure the loop is large enough to accommodate a flag or stake. Nothing is more irritating than finding out your loop is too small and you have to redo the wire.

 
 Completed trap

Completed trap

 

I've created a "gopher trap kit" in a bucket to get everything out to the vineyard. I use a square U-bolt to hang my traps to keep them from getting tangled and a small PVC pipe duct-taped to the side to keep my flags accessible and neat. 

 
Gopher trap kit at Gantz Family Vineyards
 

Okay, gophers.  It’s on!