New Castle News

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March 15, 2013

Gary Church: Forget ‘Duck Dynasty,’ ‘The Mole Hunter’ is my guy

NEW CASTLE — My wife is going to the Barry Manilow concert in Pittsburgh.

I'm not.

Our ideas of entertainment just aren't the same.

After being married 28 years, she should know that by now.

I wanted to go to the Pittsburgh Home and Garden show.

She hopped in the car and went with me.

I didn't tell her why I wanted to go to the show. She thought I wanted to walk around and look at all the plants and new patio designs.

That wasn't the case.

Appearing at the Home and Garden show was a hero of mine. I couldn't let him come this close in our area and not meet him.

As I was walking through the show, I spotted him.

My heart rate went up and I started to perspire.

I'm not a real backward person, so I went straight up to him and introduced myself.

I finally got to shake hands with my hero, Jeff Hopler, "The Mole Hunter."

What do you say to a guy who has killed more than 35,000 moles in his lifetime?

He's Rambo, Jason Bourne, and James Bond, all rolled into one.

He is a professional mole killer.

I found out that he gets paid $69 a mole.

After doing the math, I thought this might be a good racquet to get into.

I told him what a big fan I was, and asked him if I could take a photo.

He obliged.

My wife and I sat and waited for when he was scheduled to speak. I wanted to make sure I had a seat for his standing-room-only talk.

It was so nice hearing how moles either lay on their back or side to push the dirt out onto your lawn.

The part where he told about the guy in Kansas City who was so happy to catch his first mole he had it mounted was priceless.

I could tell my wife was really into his speech.

She didn't scream like she would at the Manilow concert, but I think she was close. Especially when he demonstrated his trap.

The Mole Hunter was selling his mole traps at the show.

When I saw all the boxes, I figured they were $19.95 a case.

Boy, was I wrong!

How about $150 a case.

After his speech, people went walking out with their mole killing kits.

You're probably wondering if I bought one.

No, but I walked out with one.

Being a garden writer sometimes has a few benefits.

Free mole traps are one of them.

Does anyone know of any good taxidermists around here?



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