How to Trap Gophers




About: Just a former Biology Teacher that takes and makes opportunities to enjoy and learn outdoor skills. Have fun, respect nature, and if you've any ideas as to what you'd like me to demonstrate hit me up. Visi...

Step by step instructions on how to set and place a gopher trap.

Step 1: Things You'll Need (Trap and Chain)

This is a Victor Easy Set Gopher Trap 0611. You'll need to attach a chain or tether of some type to keep the trap from being pulled underground or carried off by a gopher-loving coyote or some such. In the pictures above you'll notice that I've crimped a light chain onto the base of this trap.

Step 2: Know the Parts and Pieces

It is important to know the parts and pieces before beginning this process as this trap is not humane and has undoubtedly injured a few uninformed/unfocused folks over the years. I'll use the terms labeled in the picture above as I demonstrate how to set the trap.

Step 3: Start the Setting Process

Position the trap with the Jaws pointed away and Trip Plate towards your body. Take two thumbs and begin depressing the flat center plate while making sure that the Setting Rods/Jaws Platform pivot under the Base.

While still squeezing, slide your thumbs one at a time over the horizontal portion of the Jaws. This may seem a bit dangerous, but doing this is much easier as the leverage gained makes it easier to keep the trap open.

Notice again that the Jaws Platform is beneath the Base.

Step 4: Applying Pressure to the Setting Rods

By holding the Setting Rods down close to the trip plate, you should be able to safely remove your thumbs from within the Jaws. If the Setting Rods are released, the trap will be set off. Be sure to keep the Setting Rods depressed and just in case, make sure not to let anything you'd miss losing from getting within the Jaw's grasp.

Step 5: Setting Sensitivity

The Trip Plate needs to be swung up into place at this time. While still keeping the Setting Rods held down, slide the ends of the rods under the edge of the Trip Plate. The Setting Rods, when slowly released will remain down as long as the Trip Plate remains vertical.

As shown above, sensitivity can be set by moving the Trip Plate back and fourth. Be sure not to pull the Trip Plate so far that the Setting Rods can be released as this will set off the trap.

Step 6: The Trap Is Set and Ready for Placement

The trap is ready to place in the gopher hole at this time. If placement is not immediately possible it is advisable to set off the trap with a stick to disarm it. Leaving an armed gopher trap around can be incredibly dangerous and should never be done.

Step 7: Watch This Video to See How It's Done

Not a step, but if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video ought to be worth at least a thousand

Click on the video above to see how it's done. Check out my YouTube Channel to see more Videos like this one:


Note: Additional Steps on Trap Placement will be Loaded in the Coming Days.



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    8 Discussions

    I'm having an issue with trapping a pocket gopher. I've gotten eleven so far, but this twelfth gopher is really winning the fight. I followed your instructable without any luck. I have tried covering or leaving the tunnel open. Pushing the trap as far in as I can or leaving it at the entrance. I have also tried three different types of traps (Victor Gopher Trap, AMDRO Wire Gopher Trap, & Gonzo Dead-End Trap). I saw you can bait them and used peanut butter, but also no luck there. Each time he is sealing up the tunnel just on the other side of the trap without even setting it off. I have placed the trap near the plug, in the middle of the tunnel, and have the traps facing in both directions. Any other suggestions of how I can catch him? I saw you can shoot them with a BB gun by waiting, but after an hour of waiting to see if this method could work, I gave up.


    4 years ago on Introduction

    Sandy: I want you to kill every gopher on the course!

    Check me if I'm wrong Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers, they're gonna lock me up and throw away the key...

    Sandy: Gophers, ya great git! The gophers! The little brown furry rodents!

    We can do that; we don't even have to have a reason.

    4 replies

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    If you're a victor rep I'd like to finish up a series, actually produce professionally an instructional series over the line of Victor Traps , all of them.

    Hi Bob - I do represent Victor, I handle their public relations and social media. I would love to talk to you about producing an instructional series on the entire line of Victor Traps! I actually tried to reach out to you via Google+ but I sent my message to the wrong person (long story!) What is the best way to contact you? Thanks! Carolyn


    4 years ago

    easier than those tablets and reusable and non toxic :) thanx

    1 reply

    Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

    Pretty efficient way of doing it. Bit of a tangent, but geared towards those survivalists... I'll have an instructionable and video demonstrating the skinning and primitive cooking of gopher. A bit unconventional, but interesting to say the least.

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