Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Fishing in Dirt

Having salmon fished in the bay for many years, Popsey has changed his focus to hunting the nemesis of all gardeners, rogue gophers.

Mooka started the gopher derby in early January 2007. After a couple of weeks of having the dog outdo him, Popsey got out the Black Box gopher traps that had been gathering dust in the barn, intent on doing his part. Soon they had each caught one, and the race was on. Mooka got number two in the new orchard at twilight, which seems to be her favored hunting hour. Popsey called for the camera, but before I could get out there, she ate it up.

Since then, Popsey’s gotten two more.

Mooka is only perfecting her hunting skills. Sometimes she tag teams with Frieda, who is no slouch herself, so even though Frieda hasn’t gotten any so far this year, we’re including her in the derby.

This derby was inspired by a coastal vineyard in Northern California where they trapped 5000 gophers in five years, but it was Mooka who got the ball rolling.


  1. This cracks me up I have a very similar photo of me holding a dead one hubby shot with a 16 gauge shot gun. See it here http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v601/inwestcliffe/100_1466.jpg Can we join your derby? Got three last summer by this method.

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  4. /inwestcliffe/100_1466.jpg

    Moles make me crazy. Don't know why link gets cut off. But the above is the rest of it from the. *giggle* It's worth the aggravation.

  5. That was worth it. Great picture! We'd love to have you join the gopher derby. Send us your stats (and pics if you want) anytime as the year goes on at ranchjournal@yahoo.com.

    Our neighbor shoots gophers too. We prefer trapping...not so loud. That Black Box brand works well and is easier to set than some others we've tried.

    Hope this doesn't raise the ire of the animal rights folks. Though if Pamela Anderson wants to come stage a demonstration at the ranch, I'm sure Popsey wouldn't object.

    Okay, one rule for the derby: no poison. Other than that, good luck, and let the games begin!

  6. Hubby drowned one, killed 3 with a shot gun. Dog caught a baby and son killed one with a BB gun. Me I just take pictures of them and taunt the men with the photo's bragging how many I could have killed if I could shoot.
    I have a sick sense of humor but until you've had these critters totally destroy your yard you'll never understand huh?
    I have a new appreciation for Caddy Shack movie.
    Oh by the way we do have these in Denver so far not a hugh problem in westcliffe if you stop by my site.

  7. I also prefer taking pictures than doing the actual hunting or dead body removal. One time I was mano y mano with a gopher, holding a shovel, and Popsey was yelling from far away, "Kill it! Hit it with the shovel!" The gopher bared its fangs at me and hissed. I screamed. It won.
    Another time I did try and kill a rat with a shovel when no one else was around and it was horrible. No, not my cup of tea.

  8. I can so relate to the hollering. If someone ever video taped us we would get arrested. I love animals but these critters drive me crazy.

    Yes Mook is one of our dogs names, however it was toby I believe that caught the mole.

    What does mano y mano mean? I'm giggling for goodness sakes. Hubby thinks I'm nuts.

  9. Mano y mano means "face to face" in Spanish.

    Where did your dog's name Mook come from?

    Mooka was named Moo Moo by her parent's family, because she was the biggest in the litter, so we adapted it from that. It fits her too because not only is she extra-large (we also call her Baby Huey), but she likes eating grass.

  10. By the way, thanks for helping us set a comments record on this blog! It made our day.