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Room, board and Ammo eh


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"Gopher tourism" is making inroads across the southern grainbelt, with some farmers offering free room, board and even free ammunition to anyone willing to kill the voracious gophers gobbling up their crops.


—Les Jordet, Hazenmore farmerFarmers near Swift Current, Sask., are looking for tourists with guns to combat an infestation they say is especially bad near Aneroid, Ponteix and Hazenmore.


Les Jordet, a mixed crop farmer near Hazenmore, has opened his home to host visitors from Manitoba as well as a group from B.C.


"They drove 17 hours to get here. They just totally went on a real hunt," Jordet said. "They would drive to where they seen a pocket of gophers and sit out, and walk. They'd shoot for hours and hours in spots."


Local officials welcome the gun-toters so long as they save farmers' crops.


Jordet said the out-of-towners shot thousands of gophers a day, and even worried they would run out targets. He assured them that was not the case.


"They could shoot here for years and never run out of gophers," Jordet said.


The critters, cute as they may seem, are a severe infestation problem for him. Most of his land is a write-off for growing anything at all, he said.


Still, although he's hopeful the hunters' efforts will help save his farm, Jordet said there was another problem he did not factor in — the stench of dead gopher.


"The next three, four days, the smell of the gophers decaying is just about overwhelming. It gets so strong that it's hard to believe that these little guys are five, six inches long, probably a pound-and-a-half in weight," he said.


"That's a lot of gophers to get a smell going like that."


Full article here.

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