Camp Stories – The Pocket Gopher and the Broad-footed Mole

While sitting around camp, I had a couple new sets of ears to listen to one of my favorite stories about a pocket gopher that climbed out of his hole while I sat glassing for blacktail in Klamath National Forest.

As I sat on a ridge overlooking some pretty nice habitat where I spotted a group of large-antlered blacktails a day earlier, I noticed the gopher rise onto the mound of soft dirt only inches from my leg. As I watched, the gopher shivered a couple times and rolled over dead.

I figured nobody could top this observation which was one of my most unique, but then my brother Rob reminded me of the spring turkey hunt he’d been on with my cousin Wes. With Wes there to confirm the story, there was nothing I could do but admit that I’d been one-uped.

While sitting against a large bolder listening for gobblers, Rob and Wes noticed the ground shaking a few feet away. They watched as a mole worked it’s way beneath the ground’s surface through the soft wet dirt of springtime. As the shaking approached a rock, blocking the path, a worm shot out of the ground and by leaving the dirt behind, escaped the mole. Reaching the rock, the mole turned and proceeded in the opposite direction, apparently in search of a new victim.

The gopher story had been trumped by the mole.

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