Voles, and Moles and Gophers, Oh My!

Along with springtime, the grass fields are growing, the birds are all a’twitter, and burrowing critters are busy with their activities. The barn cats have been catching voles and since they are not good eating, they save them for me after they catch them. Those silly cats think that I will feed them if they bring me a vole once and awhile. I guess they have me figured out!

Burrowing creatures create issues in pastures and hay fields. The mounds left from their tunnels make the fields bumpy for equipment, and the dirt dulls the blades of the mowers. They also excavate rocks as they are pushing the dirt above the soil level. These rocks can get mixed in with the grass or hay the cows are eating and cause tooth loss. When the mounds deteriorate, the holes and tunnels sink and these holes are dangerous for four legged and two legged creatures when walking the fields. A turned ankle can happen with one wrong step.

The moles and gophers are another matter. Mike sets traps and has to check them daily. The dogs are in charge during the rounds of trapping. Many times Mike has to push a dog nose out of the way just to get to the traps.

When trapping moles, this attention by the dogs is just for show. Apparently they taste awful and the dogs won’t eat them.

But when a gopher is caught, the dog will grab it right out of the trap to have a tasty morsel. Because the are so delicious, the traps have to be checked each day, the local coyotes will scent out the trap, dig it up and run off with both the critter and the trap. The trap may never be found.

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