HOUGHTON, S.D. (AP) – An 88-year-old man has made his mark on a farming community in northeastern South Dakota as a prolific gopher killer.
Clayton Sanderson of Houghton estimates he has caught 22,000 of the varmints since he started hunting them down in 1997.
Sanderson states that he doesn’t poison the animals, because he can’t reach their bodies if they go deep into their gopher holes to die. So he widens the top of the hole and sets a trap; the gopher unwittingly enters the trap when it comes to the surface to close the hole back up.
He says he earns $3 for every set of gopher front paws that he hands over to Shelby or Lansing township officials. And he feeds the gopher bodies to the cats.