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We live on a vast sprawling estate – almost an acre of land, which for suburban Southern California is consider vast and sprawling. Along with the orange trees and the magnificent herds of bison, there is a lawn, upon which the children play and the dog shits, and beneath which tunnels various forms of rodentia. I suspect gophers, and there could be moles. Possibly sandworms.

I bear moles, gophers, groundhogs, and other such subterranean critters no ill will; nevertheless, they’re inflicting some serious damage. The yard looks like the Bugs Bunny-ravaged landscape of an old Warner Brothers cartoon. Somehow these little furry bastards missed that left turn at Albuquerque and ended up here. They were turning my turf into their private Habitrail and for that there would be Hell to pay. On the flip side – killing cute little furry animals is not something I have a passion for. There is a legend floating through my family that my grandfather would pipe some kind of horrific poisonous gas – chlorine, or mustard – down the gopher holes (taking out the gophers, several neighborhood cats, and his own gardener), and rumor has it that my dad killed one with a knife. (I tried to live up to this by sitting out in the yard in my ninja suit, with a box of my best throwing stars; the gophers were having none of it.) So, lacking the killer instinct, and not wanting to unleash an ecological catastrophe that would probably result in giant mutant gophers roaming the earth feasting on human flesh, we looked for alternate, possibly humane methods of ridding ourselves of the gophers.

Enter the Owl Box.