How to Kill Gophers With a BB Gun

How to Kill Gophers With a BB Gun

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Much like their comedic representation in the movie "Caddyshack," gophers can be a serious nuisance for garden owners. These small pests love to burrow tunnels underground, which inevitably result in bothersome mounds of dirt at tunnel entrances. One of the more permanent gopher elimination methods is to kill them with an air rifle. As with all lethal pest-elimination methods, you should take the necessary steps to ensure quick, humane kills.

Items you will need

  • .177 airgun (+500 fps)

  • BB ammunition

Sight in your rifle before attempting to kill any gophers. Position yourself an equal distance from the paper target as you will be from your prey. Practice your shots until you can create a reliable grouping in the center of the target no more than one inch across.

Approach a well-used gopher hole just after dawn. Sit less than 100 feet away with your back to a tree or hedge to avoid creating a noticeable silhouette.

Rest with your rifle across your knees, with the barrel aimed in the direction of the gopher hole. This position will result in the least amount of movement when you raise your rifle to your shoulder.

Wait quietly without moving until a gopher appears at the hole. Once the gopher looks in another direction, slowly and smoothly raise the rifle to your shoulder.

Aim for the gopher's head just between the ears, or armpit for a shot to the heart. Slowly pull the trigger to fire your weapon.

Approach the gopher and fire once more into the head if the gopher is still alive. Do not attempt to pick up the gopher for at least five minutes, as animals tend to become quite vicious when their lives are threatened.


  • Don't take the shot unless you are confident that it will result in a humane kill. Avoid causing undue suffering or misery to any animals.


  • BBs tend to curve in the air due to their spherical shape. Use pellets if available to increase your shooting accuracy.
  • For more humane alternatives for eliminating your gopher problem, check the link in the "Resources" section.
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