...yes, you can. And, here's how.
I had me, wait for it...three gophers at once this spring. I have no idea if gophers are like birds and only spawn a certain time of the year, but it certainly seems that way. Anyway, I had one in three of the four corners of the yard. The trap I use is a cinch trap. Works like a charm. I nailed the first two in the same day. Set the trap in the front about 11 am then went back out around 2 pm to a varmint. Moved the trap to the other side of the yard then went back out around 6 and got a second. Supremely easy. Here's the third. And, don't panic, there aren't any pictures of dead animals.
Here's the utensils. Cinch trap is second from the right. Gloves are for the fact that the trap is a bugger to set. The trowel and weed puller are for finding the holes. Got it all together? Good, off we go.
Below are the telltale signs of gopher problems. Mounds of dirt. That, you didn't make. Now, if you have kids it's entirely possibly random mounds of dirt could be their doing. In which case, flatten out the mound and come back the next day to see if it or any others have appeared.
This particular hole was on the side of a hill, which I found makes it extremely difficult to dig out as the hole wants to collapse. As it's hard to tell which direction the tunnel goes, I start poking the weed puller into the dirt until I can find which way it's running. It's pretty easy to tell, as you can see, the puller goes in right up to the handle when you've found the tunnel.
Using the trowel dig it out. I don't have any pictures of that, as I was digging and am not talented enough to photograph myself digging.
When you're done, the hole should look like the above. Stick the weed puller back down in there to make sure it's a tunnel and not just a deep hole.
When that's done, set the trap. There are instructions that come with it, so I won't get into that here. I will point out that step one is to put on gloves. Put. Them. On. The spring mechanism is strong and when you get your finger trapped in a sprung trap it hurts like hell. Hurts more like purgatory with the gloves, so wear those. If you have gauntlets, more power to you. Now, from the above picture you get an idea on how it works. There is a small trigger that the vermin's nose hits which springs the trap and "cinch's" (get it?) it's neck in the end that's laying on the trowel.
Then it's quite simple. Stick the business end of the trap in the hole. And, you're done. One thing to consider, though. The hole needs to be big enough for the trap to actually be able to close. Otherwise, it gets hung up on the dirt and the little bastard gets away. If it's difficult to put into the hole, use your trowel to widen the hole. Don't dig, just stick the trowel in there and pry on all sides until the hold is wide enough.
As you can see, I speak from experience. First attempt the hole was too small. Trap got hung up. The little terrorist then moved into the lawn, so I had to have a second go. I'm not sure what happened with the second go, but...
...I needed a third go. That was the charm.
The trap is reusable and runs about $15 USD. To get the gopher out, just start to reset the trap and it will fall right out. Be sure you're above whatever you want to dispose it in before doing this, though.
And, there you. If you're from cinchtraps.com, put my check in the mail.