Gopher Trapping with the Cinch Trapping Surface Trapping Method

Gopher trapping with the Cinch Trap firstly was used by the forest service at the turn of the century to protect young tree plantings.

In order to protect your gardens and lawns from gopher damage, gopher trapping can be relatively easy to learn and apply. As we know, gophers cannot resist a young tree and an effective method was needed. The Cinch trap is by far the very best. It is also generally a good idea that when you purchase a trap it has the “Cinch” stamp on the body of the trap. This ensures that it is therefore not a more cheaply made copy. It is important to know that there is no patent on this design of gopher trap. Hence there are many companies manufacturing this trap using a wide variety of materials and craftsmanship.

Surface Trapping Method

The Cinch Trap is designed to be used on the surface with its long jaws reaching down to catch the gopher as it re-plugged it’s burrow. Most seasoned trappers have seen this when using other traps as gophers often plug up any opening to the surface for the purpose of protection.

This is the natural instinct of the gopher that the surface trapping method uses in order to lure the gopher to the surface and into the jaws of the trap. If you open a freshly made mound to the  gopher’s burrow, the gopher will close it within minutes to hours. Surprisingly, I have seen this technique work in less than five minutes, when working early in the morning when gopher activity is at its peak.


cinch trapping

Gopher Trapping Trap Setting Tips

Whether you have a new trap or an old rusty one there are some tips that can help to make sure the trap springs and catches your pest animal.

First of all, it is essential to make sure that the trip pins are pushed all the way to the holder stops in order to prevent sticking. Additionally, there is a sensitivity setting on the actual trigger that will allow a half inch of movement prior to firing and also the trap can fire instantly. To this end, I almost always use the “fire instantly” for gophers and I like some play for moles as they are usually pushing some soil in front of them.

Pins not pushed to stop. Trap will not spring correctly Pins pushed in all the way to stop. Correct set for optimum spring. Trigger set not sensitive, good for trapping moles only Trigger set sensitive, good for trapping gophers

The Cinch Trapping Surface Trapping Method Demonstration

Watch YouTube Video

How To Set The Cinch Trap (2 methods) Demonstration

Watch YouTube Video

Watch YouTube Video

Cinch Trap Demonstration from Shawn Woods of Mousetrap Monday

Cinch Gopher Trapping Advanced Tips

Below are several video clips to help you analyze your gopher and mole trap setting technique and diagnose why you might not always be successful in trapping them. Each video is about specific problems and solutions I have encountered while gopher trapping.

Advanced Tip #1

Try setting a trap at each end of and active burrow system. This technique is especially effective


Advanced Tip #2

What to do when the trap is sprung and the burrow blocked. The gopher has back-filled the burrow without getting caught


Advanced Tip #3

How to reset the trap successfully if a cinch gopher trap is sprung with no gopher caught. The burrow opening is wide.


Advanced Tip #4

When a gopher has made an extra wide burrow making it too large for setting the trap. In this case, make a new burrow entrance that will fit the trap


Advanced Tip #5

When a cinch gopher trap is sprung and found lying on the ground. This may indicate that the gopher was caught and another animal has eaten it


Advanced Tip #6

When a cinch gopher trap is sprung in spite of no gopher being caught; simultaneously the burrow is plugged and animal hair visible on the trap


Advanced Tip #7

Circle Of Life – A gopher returns to the soil


Advanced Tip #8

The Hori Hori Garden Knife is the best companion tool to use with the Cinch gopher trap or any trap. It is very strong and makes opening burrows easy. It is also a great all around gardening tool


Let Us Know What You Think

If you find these helpful or would like to comment on your successes or modifications, please send us a testimonial and we will post it. After all, the idea is for all of you to become so adept at catching gophers and moles that you might find yourself eating more fruits and vegetables.

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Gophers Limited Inc