A short note to thank you for your help in ending my gopher problem.
I had looked online and asked friends before selecting my 1st trap (box trap). It seemed easy and safe to set, and others liked it. I had two active holes, but the gopher simply kept burying the box trap in either hole. Frustrated, I went to the web to find someone to come to Fremont to rid me of the problem. I came across an article in the Mercury News about Gophers Limited. I looked at the videos on the web site about the cinch trap and emailed Thomas Wittman to see if he came as far as Fremont (or could recommend someone). He said you handled Santa Clara Valley and you contacted me a few minutes later.You said you could come that day. I appreciated that you called when you were heading over so I did not have to wait around.. You were great in patiently and carefully showing my wife and I had to SAFELY set and place the trap, checking the area to identify potential sites, and had me practice a few times to be sure I had to set and hold the cinch trap. You answered all our questions about setting the trap, gopher habits, the likely number of gophers we had (probably just one), and disposal. I liked that the cinch trap can easily be held and set without concern that it would spring accidentally. We also appreciated your concern (and a reason you preferred the cinch trap) that the trapping be humane so the gopher died instantly. I bought traps from you so I would be prepared if we ever had a gopher return. We had initially put the traps at the active holes, but the gopher just covered in the area. I think the holes were too large (because the box trap is large and had to be underground). From ideas you'd given and watching the Gopher Limited video, I identified another part of the tunnel and made just a small hole to put the cinch trap in. This meant the trap fit snug since very little of the trap is underground (just enough). A few hours later, we could see
the trap was sprung and we had our gopher. We left the traps out another week to be sure, but think you were right, we just had the one.
Again, thank you for your training and help.
Bill McCormack, Fremont, CA
Just about to place my third order for gopher cinches! Thank you...we are saving a fortune on the gopher gassers and don't disturb my dogs' sensitive noses.
I noticed you've added some medium traps for skunks and possums etc. Since you're so entrepreneurial I thought I would make a special request:
PLEASE design a Rattle snake trap that's safe and fool-proof!
Hi: I called yesterday to order some wires that I lost off one of your traps, and thanks for saying that you would mail me a couple…..But, I have to tell you that last week I caught 5 gophers in one day. Two within 15 minutes apart. I am so pleased with the cinch trap that I am now expanding my area outside of the garden and yard and into the orchard…I am anxiously awaiting more catches. Gloria Caliri, Gilroy, CA
After our gopher clinic today with gopher guru, Thomas Wittman of www.gopherslimited.com, we caught 7 more gophers, on top of the 3 that he caught while he was here!!! YIPPEE! According to Thomas, we may only have 15 or so left, although it looks like hundreds, if you count the mounds and holes. The cinch trap really works and is easier than the Black Box that we were using previously. Plus his presentation was extremely informative and gave us all insight into how these creatures think and live. I highly recommend Thomas as THE gopher abatement expert. ------Janice Moody
"After joining Thomas at one of his lectures and getting some personal training from him at our farm I caught 24 gophers in one week with just 6 cinch traps. His pointers made all the difference and makes farming allot easier for me now". Gerben de Vries Old House Farm Scotts Valley.
Video is great, easy to follow, learned a lot about gopher activity and habits. Best $69 I’ve ever spent. I caught a gopher on my first try. Just ordered 8 more traps, also recommending your website to friends. Note: When I was baiting (no more, ever) I used one of those hand weeding forks to probe the hole to determine tunnel direction. The flat blade can be used to scrape out dirt as well. For trapping I found it to be useful in conjunction with the hori hori. The narrow tool allows me to find the tunnel w/o pushing around too much dirt. I then use the hori hori to gently open the hole. I use a 5 gallon plastic bucket for my new set (traps, flags, tools) easy to tote it around. Best regards, Richard Fahey
I just wanted to say Thank You! I have been battling a gopher in my yard for about 3 weeks now. Gas bombs, poison.....nothing worked. He was destroying my lawn. I saw a you tube video of the cinch trap and thought I would give it a try. I opened the box literally 20 minutes ago and I have already killed him. He was working a hole when I opened the box so I ran out and set the trap. He jiggled it around and then it went off....nothing. I must of had the tension wrong. So I reset in a different hole and set the tension a little less sensitive. I called my mom to tell her about my trap and Wham! I heard the snap. I ran over to the hole, pulled up the trap and there he was dead as a doornail. My mom was in shock that anything could work so quickly. Thank you, you saved my lawn!
This is a short note to thank you for your traps and expertise.
On February 20, 2011, it will be the one year anniversary of
my gopher hunting campaign.
My 1 1/2 acre property was inundated with the varmints.
I purchased 10 traps and the hori hori knife. Then I watched
the video and went to work. For awhile I couldn't keep up, I
was trapping so many every day. It has tapered off but they
still try to sneak in from outside my fence. They regret that
decision. My current count is 131 unlucky critters.
Thanks for everything,
Oh great Gopher guru,
You trained me and sold me six cinch traps several years ago. Up until now I have successfully protected the Mushroom House lawn against gophers. You would have been proud of your student! A new one in the yard wouldn't last more than a day. It wouldn't be usual to trap three a week. Then it happened. This one or more have attacked the yard from the golf course. One morning there were eight mounds in a line and the dirt in each was around 15" diameter and 8" high. I cleaned them up and put all the traps in and within four hours several had been tripped but nothing caught. Most all holes had dirt forced up the hole, and one time the dirt had all but covered up the trap - again nothing in the tripped traps. This cycle has continued going on a week. I am at wits end, and if I didn't think better of it, I would be tempted to blow them up with one of those oxy-acetylene or whatever they use kits. Do you have any suggestions?
Jack, the humbled gopher hunter
Dear Mr Whittman:
I enjoyed reading the article about trapping gophers in the SF Chronicle, by Deborah K. Rich. The article was passed on to me by my neighbor here in Los Gatos. I’ve been trapping gophers and moles for nearly a half century. I was born and raised, and grew up on prune and walnut ranches in the Santa Clara Valley. I was taught by my Father when I was pretty young, and I’m sure it was passed on to him by his Father who started ranching in the Valley at the turn of the last century. I’ve caught literally thousands over the years using the tried and true Macabee traps (invented right here, and still manufactured in Los Gatos). Living in Los Gatos for quite a few years now, I can see why they were invented here. We get some pretty bad infestations with the heavier rainfall and softer ground in wetter seasons. Not that the hard dry clay stops them very much when it dries out. I still trap about one to two dozen gophers per year on my property, thanks in large part to a small creek that runs through It, and which they use a super highway to find their way to my trees, plants and vegetables!
Now, not to be too picky, because you have it absolutely right in 99.9% of the article! The only thing I disagree with you, is the small item, where it said: “As we walked, Wittman clears sprung cinch traps and tucks expired gophers gently back down into their burrows. ”Fertilizer,” he said.” Now, the only reason I disagree with you on this one item, is that I’ve caught as many as 7 gophers and even moles resetting the trap back in the SAME holes/tunnels, and this can continue for a period of up to a couple of weeks! When I catch a gopher/mole, I will leave the carcass on the surface for cats, owls, etc. to eat. Not sure but it seems, at least for the cats anyway, that it entices them to come back and maybe to do some nocturnal and daytime hunting in the same area. I’ll take any help I can get from Mother Nature! I will continue to set the traps in the same holes/tunnels until I no longer catch anything for a period of a couple of weeks. I can catch an entire family of gophers, as well as other gophers/moles which may claim that tunnel system if the infestation is severe or the tunnel is abandoned. They are not solitary creatures while raising their litter. As a kid, I use to tuck the gophers or moles back down the hole, and cover it, thinking exactly as you do, that it was good fertilizer. My Father corrected my ways and showed me that I was wasting a valuable “catch” hole/tunnel resource by putting that carcass back down there. The old ranchers and farmers knew quite a bit about not wasting time and resources!
If it’s possible, after I’ve caught the last gopher/mole from that tunnel system, I will spade the entire burrow system if it’s in an unplanted area, or if it’s in the lawn, flower or vegetable section of the garden, I will break the top of the soil from the surface down to the tunnel, all along the burrow system as much as I can, and/or flood it to cave it in, then refill with top soil. That slows the re-infestation by new gophers/moles claiming that same tunnel system. We use to accomplish the same thing on the ranch each year by discing in Spring and Fall.
Please accept this critique (and it’s not even that), in the spirit of friendship, and for whatever it’s worth. I’m sure you could teach me quite a few things! Thank you again for sharing your insights with some of the newer residents, and fledgling gardeners out there! Please keep up the good work! Good hunting!
Dear Gopher Guru...
I ordered your kit and received it about one month ago, you may remember I wrote asking for
help because I wasn't having any success with the trap. Well, the dead gopher count is up to
10 today and my gardens are finally safe from mayhem. My daschund has learned from
watching me set and empty traps so she tells me when a trap has been successful. I have a pair
of nesting ravens who have lived on the farm as wild/semi-tame pets for the past few years
and they have also learned when the traps are successful. They circle me until the gopher is
freed and then swoop down to claim it. I figure this is just contributing to the food chain ha
A few days ago one of my barn cats stuck his paw down a hole and the trap closed on his leg. I
was relieved to find no damage at all to his leg when I released it from the trap. Since then, I
place a (now) unused gopher basket upside down over a trap-set gopher hole to avoid this
I am a Master Gardener in Mariposa, CA and next week I have been asked to give a
presentation to the group on the cinch trap. My friends enjoy my enthusiasm and the first
question they ask is, "What is the number up to now?" My husband wants me to paint a dead
gopher on the side of the barn for every success....
Thanks again for your product and stay tuned for more orders after I give my presentation!
I want to let you know how helpful your Saturday seminar was for me and my
We have a 60 acre ranch in Lake County and I have been trying, for years, to
control the gopher population around our landscaped home, without success.
Now I know it was because I did not know enough about gophers and their
habits. I have tried gum, rose thorns and most recently sulfur gassers,
which I do not like to use because I fear they could harm snakes.
Well your seminar taught us how to get a handle on these pesky buggers. We
purchased three Cinch traps and one Japanese garden tool and within 24 hours
we have five confirmed kills!! We actually find it fun and challenging to
monitor the gophers activities and set the traps and watch for results. I
know, us country folks need to get a life!
I just wish these little guys weren't so cute!
I am writing in regards to a lecture that you gave here in Amador County
about 2 months ago at a local nursery on Gopher, Ground Squirrel, Mole and
Vole Control. I am the advisor for the county Master Gardener program and
by chance about 6 of my Master Gardeners happen to attend your presentation
and all of them were very impressed by the information you presented. I was
wondering if you would be interested in coming back to Jackson to attend one
of our monthly master gardener meetings and give the presentation to the
entire group? We meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 1:30. We
typically have a short business meeting from 1:30 to 2:00 and then have a
speaker from 2:15 to 3:30. Would you be interested? Right now, the two
months open are October 19 and November 15. Look forward to hearing from
University of California
Since I haven't seen any fresh dirt mounds since last Friday, I think I can say with some
confidence that I have eliminated the critter that had been terrorizing my yard and flower
I followed your instructions closely and they worked like a charm. A couple hours after you
left I returned to the yard to find the hole on the right side of the walk (right if you're
facing away from the house) capped off. I remembered you said that was the cue to move the
trap from the shrubs to the hole in the yard. I moved the trap to the capped hole and within
an hour or less I noticed the trap had released and it was being moved back and forth by the
gopher (apparently, he was not killed instantly). The trap continued to move, although less
vigorously for about two hours. Eventually, the trap stopped moving and I assumed the gopher
had expired. However, when I pulled the trap from the hole, he somehow sprung himself free
-- perhaps some sort of involuntary muscular movement. I was disappointed that he wriggled
free, but I could not imagine he would survive having obviously sustained some severe internal
As I said, I haven't seen any evidence of his handiwork since our encounter last Friday so I'm
hoping he's gone forever. Thanks so much for your help. Please feel free to use me as a
reference for future clients. I think you have a great business model!
Thomas. I finally got around to looking you up again. I took
your calss about 3 years ago and started using the cinch trap
right away. You may remember I had a small, 200 tree avo farm
in Soquel which was being overun. The first year into fall I
caught nearly a hundred of the little buggers. Most of them
were not small. By fall I could walk the trees and not find a
gopher for weeks at a time. Since I do a cover crop each year,
they come back each year. It is a battle to both do erosion
control over the winter and try to keep the g's from coming
back. Looks like I will have to work on that cause each of the
last 2 years I essentially have to start over again. I am
thinking I should use the fence option one of these days if I
get the time and energy to do it. I have been working on
getting this years crop down since about March, and have finally
gotten to the point that of my 6 traps, I am really having to
look hard to get most of them set every day.
The trees are looking quite good now, though some of the younger
ones will likely end up being replaced due mainly from the g's.
Started selling the fruit last year for the first time, and
doing so organically thanks to the cinch traps and your help!
Jeff Mill P.E.
Thanks for a great class on Saturday. It was exactly what I needed to know.
I set out my 6 cinch traps in about 15 minutes this morning and had 1 gopher by this
afternoon. That is encouraging. I also set out a feral kitty feeding station to see if I could
get them to help, and they did eat the food, so maybe we can strike a bargain. Also, my 3rd
grade son has a passion for owls and wants to help build a barn owl house. So, hopefully, this
will quickly become a high-risk neighborhood for gophers! Although I have seen several voles
in my small orchard, I don't have any bark damage on the trunks of the trees. I will set out
some traps anyway, just in case they get any ideas.
Thanks again for all the help. I would strongly recommend your class to anyone.
Hi there, I purchased 6 cinch traps from you a couple of weeks ago. My husband looked at
them and shook his head saying that he doubted they would work. I set them up in a "strike
team" fashion, and placed all of them in one area. I used a hose and water to help find the
holes that were fresh and not filled in. In every area that I have placed these miracle traps I
have gotten these buggers!!!! 5 total so far. My husband is eating his words. We have
traditionally used the Mcabee traps,and they work well, but we have to dig up our lawn to get
them. These appear to work much better,faster, and less damage to our planting areas.
REVENGE is sooo sweet. Thank you so much for selling such a great product!!!! Cathy Whitney
La Honda, Calif.