I use a pellet rifle on the gofers and the rabbits. There is a never supply of little varmints to destroy the gardens though.
Although I prefer not to harm the critters, if something like that actually worked I would use it as a last resort. The thing is, as you point out, it doesn't work. I'm usually looking for effective repellents. I'm thinking if I hear of someone getting rid of a barn cat that I might see if I could get one to live in one of our sheds.