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Old June 26, 2007, 02:39 PM   #1
BoneDigger
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Pocket Gopher Hunting with an Air Gun?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocket_gopher

Pocket gophers are fairly small, at about 3-4 inches in size. Here in east Texas they burrow and make small "mounds" of dirt from their tunnels. It's not uncommon to see these little varmints pock their head out of their hole for a few seconds then down they go.

Has anyone here ever tried to shoot one? I was thinking of picking up one of those Beeman 1000 FPS air rifles from Walmart for $125 and seeing if I could pick one or two off. I have been trying to bait (several brands) and trap these little weenies for a while and it's not helping. Although not is a residential "neighborhood" there are a few houses around so I don't want to bring out the .22 for this. I can get within 20 yards of them easily enough.

1) Has anyone here tried shooting a pocket gopher?
2) How accurate are the Beeman 1000 air guns?
3) Would they have enough power with a .177 pellet to do the job?

Todd
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Old June 26, 2007, 10:45 PM   #2
DBotkin
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I've had 'em... never actually seen one long enough to get off a shot. I do use a .177 air rifle (RWS Diana) for rabbits. I'm none too happy with the results of the .177 pellets. Shot placement is *very* critical, and even a clean hit thru the heart & lungs will see your bunny making it a good distance on adrenaline before he collapses and croaks. I liked Dad's old 5mm Sheridan much better, that sucker would really spit 'em out. I picked up some subsonic .22 CB shorts that I think will be just the ticket out of a Remington 540XR.

In short - The air gun will do it, yes. If you can get a good shot off. I recommend a low power air gun scope.
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Old June 26, 2007, 11:46 PM   #3
Sgt.Fathead
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Tree Rats/Chippers

I have some fairly close neighbors here in central New Jersey and to combat my chipmunk problem, as well as nailing tree rats, I use a Winchester 1000 fps pump air gun with Gamo Raptor PBA alloy pellets, .177 caliber. I get great shots up to 50 yards! If I can get a good bead, I go for a shot to the eye, through the skull. The keys for me are:

1) Scope, I use a Gamo scope from another air rifle I have that is too loud for using to stealthily knock down rodents.

2) Sling, I use an old slip-on padded shotgun sling and get a good tight hasty combat sling on the forearm to lock in and steady the shot and, most importantly,

3) Patience! I wait a good long time for the little bastards to come up out of the ground or out from behind their tree so I can get them calm and relaxed and whack them. The chippers I have been nailing of late are 4" max.

The PBA ammo is the charm. When I was using any variety of lead pellet, whether hunting pointed or hollow point, I was wounding the critters and having to follow up quickly with another shot to put them down. I'd rather hunt anything and everything ehtically and with a one shot kill.

Good Luck!
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Old June 27, 2007, 09:33 AM   #4
DBotkin
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I'll have to try some of those pellets. I'd rather not resort to even a low-velocity .22 short if I don't have to, but it's important to me to drop the little SOBs in their tracks, completely and ethically stone dead with the first shot.
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Old June 27, 2007, 01:01 PM   #5
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That brings back memories. I used to shoot them with my brother's Sheridan air rifle. Spent many hours and kept pellet salesmen happy. While I'm sure I killed many of them, I am sure they were not in danger of mass extinction from my efforts.

You find where one is building his mound and wait until their little head pokes out. Tough to hit them, though, because even when they poke their head out it is hardly ever in the clear. When they are coming out, you will see the dirt start to move, aim and wait for a shot.
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Old June 27, 2007, 03:56 PM   #6
Sgt.Fathead
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Scope and Sling

Like I had written, the pellets added the 'oomph' but for a stable platform, I strongly suggest a scope and sling combo. I zeroed my scope at fifty feet from a bench rest and when I was satisfied that I could pop those pellets into a beer bottle cap again and again, I went sniping.
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Old June 27, 2007, 06:06 PM   #7
Nortonics
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Just in case you decide not to blast those damn varmints here's a simple method I perfected in live trapping them - then you can take 'em somewhere close to the local golf course and let 'em go (Caddyshack don't ya know - heh).

Roll up a magazine into a tube with about a 1" opening and tape it that way. Wrap a shopping bag around one end.

When ya see the little pecker out there grab the running garden hose, chase him down his hole, stick the open end of that rolled up magazine right over that hole and leave just enough gap that you can pour water right down that hole. The little chit will run right out of that hole right up into the magazine tube (and will sit in the tube for some reason). One quick flick of the wrist and it's in the bag, ready for transport.

I completely eradicated a whole family of those things that way (at least 20 of 'em) and they never returned - almost 100% success every time, but sometimes they wiggled past my magazine tube, ran across the yard, and dropped down a different hole.
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Old June 28, 2007, 10:19 PM   #8
crowbeaner
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This thread reminds me of a friend in college who used a Benjamin air rifle and cutoff Q-tips to shoot flies off the wall of his apt. wall. He used the vacuum to clean up and we had a ball. Never will forget the look on his girlfriend's face when she found all the Q-tips missing and we had to 'fess up.
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Old July 1, 2007, 09:23 AM   #9
DBotkin
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I'm going to look for or order some of the Gamo pellets today. P. Rabbit was sitting on the patio this morning, chewing contentedly on the remains of one of Ma's hostas when I nailed him with a .177 lead pellet from the air rifle. No more than 25 feet away, aimed just behind his front leg about an inch down from the top - figured it should go right through his lungs & hopefully heart as well. Sucker jumped about 2' in the air, took off across tha back yard and thankfully stopped to collect his thoughts inside the fence. I hit him again with another pellet and he didn't get up again, but I sincerely do NOT like having to shoot the littls SOBs twice.
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Old July 1, 2007, 11:59 AM   #10
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When I had the garden farm, I was having a problem with the little buggers. I made a hose for the propane tank with a very tiny hole in the open end. Think the smallest drill bit in your index. I'd stick that end in the hole and open the tank valve for a count of 20. The propane settles to the bottom of the hole and suffocates them. I'm told that the propane breaks down very quickly into fertilizer-like components and won't harm vegetation. Because it is heavier than air, it won't come back out of the hole to be dangerous around any above-ground sparks, fires, etc.

Some have suggested following this procedure with a firecracker, but I was never crazy enough to do that.

Pops
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Old July 1, 2007, 01:37 PM   #11
Thunderhawk88
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We get them quite often, and they've done alot of damage to my wife's roses. This year she has lost 4 Rose bushes that have just fallen over because the roots were all eaten away.
We've poisoned a few, got one with a trap in his tunnel, and I've shot one, plus a D#&* ground squirrel with a Savage 72 .22 rifle using CCI .22 short CB rounds. (the .22 was the most fun though).
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Old July 1, 2007, 06:41 PM   #12
DBotkin
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I have to correct my earlier post from this morning. The pellets were most certainly not at fault.

I shot the rabbit on the patio, and he took off across the yard. As he did, I went for another pellet to reload so I could finish him off. When I returned to the back door, I saw him sitting near a maple tree int he back yard, and nailed him again. Or so I thought. One dead rabbit, two pellets, end of story - right?

Well, not exactly. A little later on (OK, this afternoon) I went out to police up the carcass. There next to the tree was the SECOND rabbit I shot. The first one (I could tell because he was smaller and darker) was bout 6 feet past him, just at the fence line. I hadn't seen #2 by the tree. #1 ran past him and dropped dead by the fence, and #2 either didn't move, or ran from somewhere else and stopped where I saw him. Two pellets, two rabbits. I guess it's all a matter of shot placement. Still, I'm not happy about them making it clear across the yard -- about 30 yards or so -- under their own power, even after a solid hit to the vital organs. Guess I'll go for head shots.

The really sad thing is, my darling bride steadfastly refuses to cook or eat anything containing rodent meat. Have told her they are quite good when fried just like chicken, but she remains unmoved.
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Old July 2, 2007, 09:10 PM   #13
armedandsafe
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Take a roaster. Pour about an inch of beer in the bottom. Slice 2 large onions and place slices in the bottom of the roaster completely covering the bottom. I like to add a couple tablespoons of balsamic and some thyme to this, also. Place the large rabbit, or two smaller cottontails, whole or in pieces, on the onions. Sprinkle a little lemon-pepper (not salt seasoned with lemon and pepper) over the critter and cover him with the rest of the sliced onions and a little bit of chunked bell pepper. Put the cover on the roaster. Stick in the oven at 250* for a couple of hours.

I fixed this for dinner for a couple of boys who "don't like rabbit, no way, nohow!!" There wasn't anything left of a 3 lb rabbit after dinner, but they still "don't like rabbit, no way, nohow!!"

Pops
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