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Old March 24, 2013, 10:57 PM   #1
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gopher town in Kentucky?

Can't seem to find any information on this so maybe someone can give me a clue what I observed.

An area of small holes about 2-3 inches across covering an area of about 25 square yards. Some holes had interconnecting trenches.

This was in a field that is usually grown up with soybean. It is bare at the moment.

The only thing close to what I observed are pictures of prairie dog towns but obviously these can't be prairie dogs.

Doesn't appear to be any information on social gophers in this part of the country. I assume that is what they are but I haven't seen a specimen yet.
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Old March 24, 2013, 11:51 PM   #2
big al hunter
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While I am not sure what specie you have in Kentucky, you are describing ground squirrels of some variety. Check your local wildlife agency website for a point of contact. You should be able to email a biologist in the dept. They will know what species are in the area........do you have a 223 or 22-250? You have the makings for a fun afternoon if your specie is not protected. I spent many days of my youth in a field like you described with my 22 lr. Killed many vermin, had lots of fun. Kinda miss those days.
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Old March 25, 2013, 07:52 AM   #3
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That may have been my mistake.

I kept typing gopher on our Kentucky fish and wildlife website in different configurations and came up with nothing.

I will check on that.
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Old March 25, 2013, 03:27 PM   #4
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Depending on the size of the holes, I would bet chipmunk or woodchuck.

You can shoot either in Kentucky. Those little chipmunks re hard targets, but the woodchuck is pretty much like the prarie dog of kentucky.
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Old March 25, 2013, 03:52 PM   #5
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Nope, you are observing the habits of the common eastern mole. Kentucky is eat up with them. I'll harvest six a year with traps in my yard alone.

Last edited by Iron Man; March 25, 2013 at 04:00 PM.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:24 PM   #6
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Sounds like a mole to me too. Damn things will wreck havoc on your yard.
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Old March 27, 2013, 06:27 AM   #7
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I agree it's probably moles, especially if the ground over the trenches is very soft and spongy. BUT don't forget another possibility--crawdads. Those big red ones are very prevalent around where I live in Kentucky, and they can make some mighty big holes. They also make little mounds around the openings of the holes with what appears to be balls of dirt/mud about the size of a shooter marble. But this is not the right time of the year for them to be active, so I'd say you're looking at moles or ground squirrels.
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Old March 27, 2013, 06:41 PM   #8
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Good call on crawdads as a possibility Hill Shooter. I forgot about the mounds they make.
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Old March 31, 2013, 04:05 PM   #9
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Moles were the first thing that came to mind. However there were none of the underground lifted up tunnels anywhere. Moles feed on worms so they rarely surface but stay as far in the ground as possible but still shallow enough to wedge their way through. All holes came up from under the ground except for the uncovered trenches that connected some holes. I have moles in my yard, this is nothing like their tunnels.

Furthermore this area is well away from any lakes or rivers and crawdad holes are usually if not always accompanied by hardened mud mound around the opening.

Chipmunks are mostly solitary and dig their holes in the forest.

No other ground squirrels are mentioned in Kentucky, however in Indiana you have the 13 lined ground squirrel which occasionally will form colonies.

Next time I am out that way I will take some pictures and check for tracks.
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