The Gopher Guy


Gregg Crawford, aka The Gopher Guy, at Harmony Farm Supply

Just like anyone with open land in West Sonoma County, we have a gopher problem. We have been able to keep them out of our kitchen garden’s raised beds by lining their interiors with 1/2″ galvanized hardware cloth, but have plans to cultivate a 1/2 acre meadow, and the gophers are the first hurdle to realizing our dream of truly living off the land. With the end of the major rains and subsequent new growth, the gophers are at their most active and I’m readying to try my hand as a trapper. Today I had the great fortune to attend a seminar at Harmony Farm Supply led by Gregg Crawford, The Gopher Guy, who has earned an international reputation as a trapper of invasive gophers, moles and voles.


100 year old gopher trap design, which The Gopher Guy has improved

I was impressed with The Gopher Guy beyond his being a valuable resource for my task at hand. Gregg is  a cunning and competent trapper, with a deep understanding of the animals he traps, and he takes great care to emphasize the non-toxic/non-invasive benefits of his approach, which is easily the ‘greenest’ method. But what impressed me most is that he has designed and made his own tools, with patents pending on some. He modified a 100 year old trap design and has it manufactured under his name/brand; he turns his own ‘pokers’ from old baseball bats; he fashions his own sheet metal components including a folding trap door inspired by a design he saw when he fought in Vietnam. In order to work swiftly and efficiently from a kneeling position, he prefers using an Irish made, forged steel spade, a Jackson J-450 Series, which he modifies by sawing the handle short and sharpening the wooden tip to a point. The heavy spade allows for quick cutting in soft soil and he uses the pointed handle to ream the gopher hole to the appropriate diameter to insert the trap, without changing position.


The Gopher Guy’s custom tools; pokers and diggers, patent pending