Unless you really know how to kill voles and moles with a gun … this is unlikely to be an effective way of vole control on its own. This is because these animals are active at night … and they largely live below the surface. Even if you manage to shoot a few … their high reproductive rate will ensure population to re-grow fast. Shooting rodents is hence only suitable as an additional effort to complement other methods described here.
How to kill voles and moles with a gun
Learning how to kill voles, moles and gophers with a weapon is largely about getting them come out of the burrow. Naturally this only happens when it’s dark. So one option is to wait until then.
They are most likely to come out where you find fresh mounds (darker soil then old mounds) … so try to find and mark those during the day. Make sure not to touch the mounds though … as this may make them suspicious and avoid the area. The easiest time to shoot the animals is when they just look out of hole scanning the area before leaving the burrow. Usually this should happen in the first hour of complete darkness.
Hunting moles and voles during the day is more difficult. They will only come out of the ground if they have to. Methods #11 and #15 described on this website may result in the animals being forced to come out. Again, the key is to locate the likely exit holes beforehand.
How effective is this method short and long term?
Even if you know well how to kill voles and moles with a gun … this method is usually insufficient to make a big difference to your rodent problem. Even the best hunter will only be able to shoot a small proportion of the voles and moles present.
Since you will not be able to kill all animals … and since they will continue to reproduce … you will also need to continue shooting them on an ongoing basis.
Is this method expensive?
No, unless you use excessive amount of ammunition.
How much effort does this method involve?
Even if you are trained how to kill voles, moles and gophers using a gun … you will need to put in a lot of time ongoing … as the animals can take ages to come out of their holes.
Environmental, animal and safety matters
The environmental impact is debatable: Some people will argue that this method kills animals … and that the noise of the gun disturbs the sensitive wildlife of the night. Others will say that this method is more environmentally friendly than using poison, gas or explosives.
From a safety point of view … everything will depend on your level of caution and control.
Summary of pro’s and con’s
- Low cost
- Practices shooting skills
- Method is insufficient on in most case. You will still need to use additional mole/vole control methods
- High effort, both short and long-term
- Environmental and safety risks if done inappropriately
For a complete overview over all 18 vole and mole control methods … see our page: “18 methods for getting rid of voles and moles”