How to Trap a Gopher with the Clinch Surface Method

What You'll Need
2cinch traps
A pole
A board
Leafy vegetables
Dry cat food

Cinch traps work especially well if you need to trap a gopher. Gophers can cause a great deal of damage to your garden and landscaping. These territorial animals will eat most plants and leave a homeowner with little or no greenery. The best way to get rid of them is to trap them. 

Step 1 – Determining the Cinch Trap Location

Check your yard to find the best area to place the cinch traps. Look for the mounds of soil dug up by the gophers. The mound is the soil that the gopher has removed from below the surface in order to build its tunnels.

Step 2 – Removing the Soil

Use a shovel or trowel to dig about six inches below the surface of the areas where you will be placing the cinch traps. Once you have removed the soil, you should be able to see the two tunnels dug by the gophers. If not, use a metal pole to find the main tunnel. Tunnels that are not being used by the gopher will become filled with debris. You will need to place two traps in the tunnels, so be sure you remove enough soil to fit them in.

Step 3 – Setting the Cinch Traps

Carefully take hold of one of the cinch traps. Allow the A and B wires to hang loosely from the trap. Carefully pull on the trigger wire. Hold the trap in one hand. With the other hand, lift the jaw wire. Push the jaw wire to the other side of the trap. Place the front set wire across the jaw wire. Place the rear set wire across the jaw set wire. Carefully position the trigger wire behind the tab. Your cinch trap is ready to be placed into the gopher tunnel system. Continue setting the second cinch trap.

Step 4 – Baiting the Cinch Traps

If necessary, you can bait the traps. Use leafy vegetables or dry cat food.

Step 4 – Positioning the Cinch Traps

Position your set cinch traps into the tunnel system. They should be facing in opposing directions in order to catch the gopher going into the tunnels from either side. You do not need to cover the ground opening to the trap unless there are small children or pets who may accidentally fall into it. If you need to cover the spot for safety, lay a board over the area. 

Step 5 – Catching the Gopher

The gopher will return to the tunnels and activate the trigger wire. The cinch trap will close around the gopher. Once the gopher has been caught, remove it and the trap from the ground. Be sure to dispose of the gopher properly by wrapping it first in paper and then in plastic. Once it has be properly wrapped, it can be placed into the garbage. Continue to check the area for any other gophers that might be in the area.