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Pocket Gopher hunting? With an Air Gun?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by BoneDigger, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. BoneDigger

    BoneDigger Well-Known Member


    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?

  2. thekid

    thekid Active Member

    I dont have much experience but it sounds like it would work.
  3. eliphalet

    eliphalet Well-Known Member

    I have shot em with a 22 a 410 and probably my old Sheridan Blue Streak as I have shot most small critters with it at one time or another since I bought it new, as a boy, in the early 60's.

    They are kinda tricky to shoot as they don't tend to stay put that is with the head up, but will pop up and down quite fast with complete irregularity.
    Sometimes when you hit em they will make it back down the hole as i have found blood and no gopher but a 223 will cure that as it cuts em in half. A 410 works good to because a guy doesn't need to stay focused so long or as accurate waiting for the gophers head to pop up.

    Kinda fun shooting em but if you just wanna get rid of them buy a smoke bomb made for gophers or use 1/4 or so of a road side emergency flare. Light, shove into their hole and cover, the fumes will kill em.
  4. yhtomit

    yhtomit Well-Known Member

    I just received a pair of Crosman 1173 single-shot air pistols -- a bit more effort to pump than I'd expected, but it (I fired only one of them) is very accurate and rather hard hitting. Lots of people report happy pest control with them at ranges like 20 yards, and I believe it; I'm no crackshot, but my first three shots (at 3, 4 and 5 pumps, respectively) from about 40 feet were close enough together to cover with a quarter. That was supported, slow fire rather than off-hand, but it's still better than I've probably shot with any other pistol. Doesn't say much for my shooting, but the *gun* is plenty accurate :)

    I paid $50/each from Sports Authority, bought a can of pellets to get over $100 (needed 'em anyhow), therefore got free shipping.


  5. sm

    sm member

    What is the Statute of Limitations in...*sigh*

    I heard
    *ahem* I hope some buy this some folks used a big bag of Red Hot candy and lots of packets Chiclets gum , RWS pellet gun, a Remington Speedmaster .22 rifle, a Super X Model 1 12 gauge and Remington 870 in .410 to alleviate the concerns of horses and livestock breaking a leg.

    12 gauge slugs sometimes causes "broken field running" and that is where the .410 with pellet loads (whatever the coffee can has) shoots. RWS and Speedmaster folks miss due to laughter sometimes.

    When da truck returns with .410 slugs, the SX1 gets to use whatever pellet loads in the bucket, to fell the broken field running little fellers while the 870 shoots slugs...

    It is not cheating, instead ingenuity , to "strategically" place practice barrel racing barrels to therefore implement "tactics" the next day.

    Rumor is leave a truck door open with Jerry Jeff Walker on tape, cranked up, seems to attract these little fellers too.

    There may or may not be any truth to the rumor the horses were laughing themselves silly up the way in the nice horse barn....

    Don't look at me...do I look like I would do something like this?
  6. Grumulkin

    Grumulkin Well-Known Member

    When I was in my early teens, the only gun my parents would let me have, and that with some reluctance, was a Daisy model 1894 BB gun. I had read Jack O'Connors adventures of sitting in a machan after tiger and the closest I could come was sitting up on a wall under the branches of an avocado tree to shoot rats.

    I got a couple; both with single shots to the head. Where I hit the first was fairly obvious. I had to really look at the second until finally I found the BB had gone right in the ear.

    Conclusion; a BB gun of just about any description is good enough for pocket gophers. Make sure you use premium BBs though or they might not expand.
  7. RubenZ

    RubenZ Well-Known Member

    Man I have about 100 acres worth of gopher problem. They are so annoying because their stupid mounds. I have never, ever been able to sit long enough to shoot one. I just haven't figured out how to get them to pop up for long. My .17HMR is ready to go but I just can't get me out of their tunnels.
  8. FLORES425

    FLORES425 Well-Known Member

    Water is the answer. I use a water hose about 100ft and I put it in the hole and fill it up.It doesnt take long so be ready. Now if you have 100 acre problem I would call in the pros.{- Warning dont put water in any hole bigger than a softball. When I was a teen I had A mean Badger fly out of a hole and almost ripped me a new one.-}
  9. RubenZ

    RubenZ Well-Known Member

    Hmmmm, thats an I dea.

    Backup ATV with a big Water tank. Pour some water and have Pistol ready :)
  10. igpoobah

    igpoobah Well-Known Member

    In my youth, I have killed jack rabbits & squirrels with a .177 pellet gun. It'll get the job done. As with anything else, placement is key.

    You might want to get a cheap scope for it. They are accurate enough...
  11. cat_IT_guy

    cat_IT_guy Well-Known Member

    A good quality pellet gun would be just the ticket for the said problem. I have taken probably a dozen grey squirrels with pellet guns and countless grackles, starlings, etc. Most were one shot kills. Id say get a good pellet gun and you may just realize how much fun they can be, even if you have a handful of other firearms.
  12. koja48

    koja48 member

    A .177 would work fine. Up here we call them sage rats. Don't know about the Beeman you referenced, but I have a Beeman R-7 that only tops-out around 750fps & it's plenty accurate. Try a few different brands of pellets (I like domed pellets) until you find one the gun likes & don't be terribly concerned about velocity . . . as a pellet approaches the speed of sound (around 1100fps in this neck of the woods), accuracy starts to fall off & you're left with high-speed misses. My 1000fps Beeman HW97 I shoot around 850 (I use heavier pellets). Out to 35 yards or so, sage rats & starlings are toast.
  13. Logos

    Logos member

    A quality .177 air rifle will kill a pocket gopher all right.....if you see one.

    The ones where I live are nocturnal.
  14. trueg50

    trueg50 Well-Known Member

    .177 pellets will most certainly kill a 3-4 inch rodent. Pickup some beemans hollowpoints, they will work nicely. If you want to avoid over penetration buy the Gamo magnums they hardly penetrate, but hit with some authority. I use the beemans, they work pretty well. If you are serious here are some to use:


    they supposedly work pretty well.

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