Getting good at gathering the backyard gopher

Another year, another gopher munching on my dear wife Karen’s hard work in the backyard garden of the Little Bitty in the Syracuse city neighborhood of Eastwood.

Not to mention making beloved rescue dog Ellie B aka Dogamous Pyle’s life miserable again.

Hey, wait. In finding the link above to share the last time I put out our Have a Heart trap to collect the furry pest to deposit elsewhere in Central New York, I discovered it was in June 2014. The relocation project lasted two years.

Alas, the pooch started her stalking and the plants began disappearing a few weeks ago. We knew we had another gopher problem.

I pulled the trap out of the shed, threw in some brocolli, and placed it in the garden. Three nights in a row, I caught a curious squirrel.

Back it went in the shed. Too much trouble letting those fast and furious buggers back out. Besides, Ellie B really went nuts in the wee hours with a hated squirrel rattling around inside the trap inside the butterfly garden.

But then Karen spotted the beast in the backyard, and chased it out beside the shed.

I decided to place the trap on that escape route.

Trapped again.

Trapped again.

Bingo, on night one.

I had to go check, surprisingly. The dog did not go nuts right off the bat when let out at 6 a.m.

And the gopher remained stock still in the trap in the shade of the shed.

Did you eat our plants?!

Did you eat our plants?!

When the sun came up and I pulled the trap out, though, it started rattling around pretty good. And Dogamous Pyle went batty on the porch, too.

And so in the back of the Mazda it went, on the five-plus-mile drive to the wild space near Green Lakes.

Hover over a gallery photo for the description. Click on an image for an enlarged slide show.

I stuck my bare hand to the spring-released door, and the gopher ignored my fleshy human target and sprinted away.

Off to a better life? Different, for sure, without our plants on which to fatten up and dog to terrorize.

Have you ever been bitten by an animal, and if so, please spill the details. When do you think I’ll have to pull our trap out again? How far away would you go and where would you release the gopher?

24 thoughts on “Getting good at gathering the backyard gopher

  1. Sadie – my favorite pet (other than my dogs, of course) was our guinea pig. He was the most cuddly boy ever – he even let me hold him and clip his tiny little nails. Whenever someone would walk into the room, he would squeal in delight. I’ve always said that if I was in an apartment that allowed caged pets but not dogs or cats, I would get another guinea pig.


  2. We have lots of varmints in South Texas (rats, mice, squirrels, armadillos, possums, raccoons), but I’ve never seen a gopher ๐Ÿ™‚ The one thing I have learned though, is that typically there is never just ONE of anything LOL!


  3. Hi Mark very brave of you ! I was savaged by a gerbil ! I was expecting our last child and was on the way to anti natal clinic with the other two boys in tow. The elder lad pointed out that the gerbil had drunk all his water. I fill the water bottle replaced it and while I was there I gave the teeny beast some food. As I was removing my hand from his cage he bit me! I scream as he hurt me, he was locked on to my finger! I shook my hand, I pulled my hand out of said gerbil still attached he was determined not to let go! Eventually the three of us got him to unlatch ! By now I was late so I washed my hands and stuck on a plaster ….. the boys and I had to walk fast a 2 mile walk! When I arrived , got weighed, had my blood pressure taken.. the nurse fetched the Dr who said my blood pressure was too high and some cause for concern! I told them about the gerbil the long walk , they gave me a cup of tea, gave the boys something to do I got a rest and my blood pressure went down…. the gerbil lived a long and grumpy life!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I thought we had come to a place of peace with the rabbit family that lives under our deck. Yesterday, I caught one munching on all my flowers…in broad daylight. I didn’t know they’d eat flowers, they ignored the lettuce and went for the marigolds. Having second thoughts about the tenants now. Might have to raise the rent. โ˜บโ˜บโ˜บ

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Good job Mark! Relocating nature often works but sometimes not. Ha! At my work about 15 years ago we had an old guy – Frank – who did the store displays and company community affairs. He was 85 at the time and still working 40 hours per week. Amazing guy and he had a lot of stories.I got to know him because he built and maintained the company parade floats and I was responsible for the transportation. Anyway he told an hilarious story about trapping squirrels on his back yard. His wife loved to feed the birds and the squirrels were putting a serious dent in her efforts. So she tasked Frank with the job of ridding the yard of squirrels. He got some humane traps and started trapping squirrels and every morning on the way to work he would release them in a park about 10 miles from his house. He figured he had about 12 squirrels as far as he could observe. After he trapped and released 47 squirrels, he realized he was being had by the critters. They were filling up on the food he put in the traps, then going for a short ride and then spending the rest of the day coming back to the yard. At first he just thought it was new squirrels arriving but then he recognized a white tail tip and a limp and a special acrobatic move, etc/

    Anyway, I don’t think ground hogs are as mobile as squirrels Mark, so I think you’re fine. At least now you have a means of ridding your yard of the ground hogs. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d never be able to get rid of all the squirrels we have here in the city of Syracuse, Paul. A dozen? Ha! As you say. ๐Ÿ™‚ And I hope the gopher likes the new spot so much he doesn’t want to retrace the steps of my Chevy Cruze for the old Little Bitty homestead.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.