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Mole and Gopher Trap Instructions
With a bit of practice and an understanding of the function of the trap, setting The Trapline Mole Trap is quick and easy. The trap is more powerful than it may appear from its small size, and it is capable of injuring hands or fingers, so wear work or gardening gloves and do not place hands or fingers between tines of set trap at any time. Do not allow winder to slip from your fingers while it’s under tension, as it will whip around and hit your fingers with considerable force. Do not set trap with wet or slippery fingers.  

1.Unhook rear winder from upright portion of trap body at point “A”, as shown in the first figure. Note that traps are shipped in unhooked position.  

2.Open front tines of trap, and hook left tine “B” under the small nub on the front end of trip wire at point “C”, as shown. Only the short nub goes over the tine—do not attempt to force the long length of the trip wire over the tine, as damage may result.  

3.Place distant end of trip wire under the inverted U-shaped hook on the left side of wire trip pan at point “D”.  

4.Now the trap is in the set position, and ready to be tensioned with a turn of the winder. Holding down the wire pan with the trip wire hooked in place(as shown in second figure), and keeping your hands and fingers clear of the front tines of the trap, give the winder one full turn under tension, and hook the handle of the winder onto the upright portion of the trap body at point “A”. Winding the spring does take some strength in the fingers, but with the right finger positioning as demonstrated in the second figure, it’s easy. Start with thumb underneath the spring coils, as shown, and wind spring with index finger. Positioning the cable tether in a forwards position as show will keep it out of the way of the winder. Again, DO NOT allow winder to slip from your fingers while it is under tension. Do not turn winder more than one full turn under tension, or damage to the spring will occur. 

 Note: A small nylon string or cable should be attached to the trap just behind the spring as shown in second photo, so trap can be staked down to prevent loss due to moles pulling trap into tunnel or scavengers digging up trap and carrying off dead mole with trap attached. It’s easier to attach the string with the spring in the un-tensioned position.  









Moles
Gophers
Voles
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Placement of Trapline Mole Traps 
Setting the Trapline Mole Trap
Placement of the set trap in the mole runs is pretty straight forward. Dig open a 4 or 5 inch section of tunnel, and push the set trap into the tunnel, tines upwards as shown in the photos to right. When placing the trap into tunnel, hold the trap by the winder spring handle with thumb and index finger, and keep some pressure on the back of the wire trigger pan with index finger(as shown in first photo), to prevent the trap from firing as you slide it into the mole run. The trap is a pretty tight fit in the runs, but don’t enlarge the runs to accommodate the trap, just force the trap in while holding that trigger pan forwards to prevent firing. Most of your push is going to be on the back of the wire trigger pan, but don’t worry about pushing the trigger pan too far forwards, as it will pop back into correct position on its own just from the spring tension on the trap.  

Slide the traps in to the run far enough that the pan and usually part or all of the winder spring are inside the run. Once you have the trap in far enough, bed the trap slightly into the soil by putting a little downwards and forwards pressure on the winder handle, just where it hooks onto the body of the trap(point “A” on first photo on setting instruction sheet). This downwards and forwards pressure will drive the tines of the trap slightly down into the soil, which is what you want. Do not bed the trap by pushing straight down on the winder spring, as that tends to rock the front end of the trap up into the air, which may block the moles path into the trap. It’s a tight fit, and it takes a little practice to be able to place these into the tiny mole runs efficiently, but once you get it down it becomes a quick and easy process. 

Be careful not to get soil on the end of the trip wire where it hooks under the little inverted “U” shaped hook on the pan, or trigger sensitivity will be significantly reduced.  

After placing trap in run, fill in behind traps with a couple of dirt clods and loose soil to prevent light from entering end of tunnel, and you’re done. 
This page contains the online version of the printed instructions that are supplied with our traps.  Though our mole and gopher traps work in much the same way, and the instructions for the two traps are very similar, we recommend that you follow the clickable links below and read the instruction for the type of trap you will be setting.  
Setting the Gophinator Gopher Trap
 With a bit of practice and an understanding of the function of the trap, setting The Gophinator is quick and easy. It is a powerful trap and is capable of injuring hands or fingers, so wear work or gardening gloves and do not place hands or fingers between tines of set trap at any time. Do not allow winder to slip from your fingers while it’s under tension, as it will whip around and hit your fingers with considerable force. Do not set trap with wet or slippery fingers.  

1.Unhook rear winder from upright portion of trap body at point “A”, as shown in the first figure. Note that traps are shipped in unhooked position.  

2.Open front tines of trap, and hook left tine “B” under the small nub on the front end of trip wire at point “C”, as shown. Only the short nub goes over the tine—do not attempt to force the long length of the trip wire over the tine, as damage may result.  

3.Place distant end of trip wire under the inverted U-shaped hook on the left side of wire trip pan at point “D”.  

4.Now the trap is in the set position, and ready to be tensioned with a turn of the winder. Holding down the wire pan with the trip wire hooked in place(as shown in second figure), and keeping your hands and fingers clear of the front tines of the trap, give the winder one full turn under tension, and hook the handle of the winder onto the upright portion of the trap body at point “A”. Winding the spring does take some strength in the fingers, but with the right finger positioning as demonstrated in the second figure, it’s easy. Start with thumb underneath the spring coils, as shown, and wind spring with index finger. Positioning the cable tether in a forwards position as show will keep it out of the way of the winder. Again, DO NOT allow winder to slip from your fingers while it is under tension. Do not turn winder more than one full turn under tension, or damage to the spring will occur.  
   
 Note: A small nylon string or cable should be attached to the trap just behind the spring as shown in second photo, so trap can be staked down to prevent loss due to gophers pulling trap into tunnel or scavengers digging up trap and carrying off dead gopher with Gophinator attached. It’s easier to attach the string with the spring in the un-tensioned position.  

Placement of the Gophinator Gopher Trap
Step One. Locate tunnels by using a 10 to12 inch long screwdriver or other metal rod to probe into soil and feel for the “give” when you hit a tunnel. For best results, probe along the perimeter of a 1 to 2 foot diameter circle around freshest mounds, or probe a transect half way between freshest mounds. Most tunnels are between 4 inches and 12 inches below surface. If activity is located on a slope, the tunnel will almost always be located on the uphill side of the mounds(when cleaning out a tunnel, they push the dirt down hill as miners push out tailings from a mine shaft).  

Step Two. Using a trowel or shovel, dig a roughly six to eight inch diameter hole down to the tunnel. Clean out loose dirt from tunnels. If you have dug into the side of a tunnel, you must set traps in both directions. If you have by chance dug into the end of dead end section of tunnel, then you only need to set a single trap. If you feel that tunnels fork in the first six or eight inches into a tunnel, then dig back to the fork, and set traps in both forks of the tunnel. The traps should be inserted tines first and tines pointed upwards into the tunnels, as shown in photo below, though they should be inserted a few inches further into the tunnels than what’s shown in the picture. Traps should be inserted far enough that the whole trap including the spring are inside the tunnel. Finally, I recommend a small dab of peanut butter be used as bait, which can be applied on the spring of the trap, or on the side of the tunnel near the spring of the trap. This will encourage the gopher to come through the tines of the set trap, and push his way through the trigger mechanism. 

Step Three. After traps are set and baited, use a piece of cardboard or dirt clod to block off open end of tunnel behind trap, and fill in above this blockage with loose dirt so as to block off light from entering the tunnel. Gophers are often caught in the traps within a matter of hours, but for best results, check traps after 24 hours, and reset on any new activity.