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MarkEsq
04-29-2008, 09:54 PM
So here's the set up: my MC has been coerced into helping a mad Texan blow up a colony of gophers using a home-made bomb. Or dozens of them. They have all the ingredients (fertilizer etc) but I'm not clear on what the final "bomb" would look like. Could the materials be packed into an oil drum and exploded? How else might they do it? How does one ignite such a concoction?
So at the risk of attracting attention from the authorities, :tongue I'd sure like to get a picture for how someone might explode home-made bomb(s) on a patch of land to maximum effect.
Thanks!

slcboston
04-29-2008, 09:58 PM
I'd start by watching "Caddyshack."

But that's just me. :)

(And in the realm of the serious... the words "mad Texan" "home-made" and "blow up" ought to be enough to at least give you serious pause - if not out-right back out.)

Smiling Ted
04-30-2008, 11:21 AM
These days, the way folks ACTUALLY get rid of gophers is even funnier than blowing 'em up...

There's a genuine, actual GOPHER-SUCKING service. It uses a giant vacuum to suck the poor little bastards out of their holes into a holding tank, then trucks the uninjured, but slightly shook up, varmints to a new site, miles away.

jclarkdawe
04-30-2008, 04:26 PM
I'm not going to claim any great experience here, but ANFO (or AN/FO, for ammonium nitrate / fuel oil) would not be the explosive of choice here. Explosions go up and out, not down into the ground. Unless you used a massive amount, the gophers would probably only have ringing ears. Depending on the type of earth, laying on an explosive on the surface isn't terribly effective.

Here you'd have to dig down to the depth of the lowest den and insert the explosive there. Even then it's questionable how far an explosion would go laterally.

Also with ANFO you need a detonator. You can find information on ANFO on Wikipedia.

Now the easiest approach for gophers that I can think of is throwing an M-80 down the hole. However, if I wanted an over-the-top, Texas style approach and didn't want to suck them up, I'd bring in a super-huge bucket loader, something that would fill up a dump truck in one bucket. As you're scooping them up, the gophers are spilling out the side.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

JamieFord
04-30-2008, 05:31 PM
Call your local feed store. They'll sell this stuff, I can't remember what it's called, but it comes in a can and looks like gravel. You dump it in and add water and it turns into acetylene gas (stuff used in welding torches). The gas flows through the terrain and then you drop a match in and WHOOOOSH--like a flame thrower. BUT, if you covered all the holes so there was no venting and dumped a TON in there, you'd have a pretty nice fireworks show.

Pyrotechnically yours,

J

waylander
04-30-2008, 05:48 PM
Call your local feed store. They'll sell this stuff, I can't remember what it's called, but it comes in a can and looks like gravel. You dump it in and add water and it turns into acetylene gas (stuff used in welding torches). The gas flows through the terrain and then you drop a match in and WHOOOOSH--like a flame thrower. BUT, if you covered all the holes so there was no venting and dumped a TON in there, you'd have a pretty nice fireworks show.

Pyrotechnically yours,

J

Calcium carbide?

Kathie Freeman
04-30-2008, 07:33 PM
Not to get too technical here, but gophers don't normally live in colonies. If your setting is in Texas, think prairie dogs. An added benefit here is that they don't just skulk quietly around in ther tunnels, they also stand up and yell at you making for a great showdown scene.

Tornadoboy
05-02-2008, 01:43 AM
These days, the way folks ACTUALLY get rid of gophers is even funnier than blowing 'em up...

There's a genuine, actual GOPHER-SUCKING service. It uses a giant vacuum to suck the poor little bastards out of their holes into a holding tank, then trucks the uninjured, but slightly shook up, varmints to a new site, miles away.

You mean this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLQ70JJpa0M

StephanieFox
05-02-2008, 02:32 AM
If it's in rural Texas, chances are that no one would notice people exploding things on their own land. If they did, they'd probably just come over with a six-pack or two to watch.

Smiling Ted
05-02-2008, 02:44 AM
You mean this?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLQ70JJpa0M

That's the one!

Sorry, I should've said "prairie dog" instead of "gopher."

Leva
05-02-2008, 03:08 AM
Not to get too technical here, but gophers don't normally live in colonies. If your setting is in Texas, think prairie dogs. An added benefit here is that they don't just skulk quietly around in ther tunnels, they also stand up and yell at you making for a great showdown scene.

Actually, in the southwest, there's a critter generally called a "gopher" that is technically a ground squirrel. It looks like a miniature prairie dog. True prairie dogs are rare enough that there's been some talk of putting them on the endangered species list.

Gophers -- the southwest kind -- are very definitely a colony animal. I can provide pictures if need be. ;-)

I wage war on them every summer as they like my field, and I have goats, and sooner or later somebody's going to break an ankle. And it might just be ME. Plus they commit suicide by drowning in the goat's water, and then the goats won't drink it. And they're murder on a garden.

To the OP, the best way to explode a colony is with propane. They make commercial colony-exploding devices that sort've look like a weed whacker. Push one button, and propane floods the burrows. Push another, and it sparks and ignites the propane and whoooooosh. Great hilarity is had by all (particularly if a few beverages are involved) except for the gophers. This is not the safest method, however, and many injuries have resulted, plus a few wildfires.

Other methods for gopher eradication include dry ice in a bucket of hot water set down next to the highest hole; put a barrel over the top and the expanding CO2 is forced into the burrows and asphyxiates them. A less creative form of gassing them is to use auto exhaust. Drowning is also a favorite -- though I've run a hose full blast into a network of burrows for three hours straight and not filled it up. (Judging by the odor later, which smelled rather like large dead cow, I did kill some.)

There are also traps which work okay but are somewhat labor intensive.

My personal method of choice is a BB gun. It's quick, humane, and fairly efficient.

Gopher holes also tend to harbor snakes, including ones with buzzing tails, if you need to add more excitement to your exploding-gopher scene.

-- Leva
(NOT a fan of gophers. The local name may be gophers, but I've been known to refer to them as garden rats.)