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#20425 - 11/20/14 01:14 PM Smart beaver?
KathyP Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Indiana
Hi all. Just got a call from a guy who hired a company to trap a few beaver in a retention pond that has woods on the side. There is a lodge. (He called me months ago, but went with someone else.)

Apparently, two guys from the company have been trying to trap them for about a month now with no luck. So now he wants me to try.

My initial thought is that all the activity will likely make them trap shy and I'll be fighting a losing battle.

Thoughts?

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#20427 - 11/20/14 02:05 PM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10158
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: KathyP

My initial thought is that all the activity will likely make them trap shy and I'll be fighting a losing battle.


Maybe not a losing battle but it will sure be an uphill battle.

That always irks me. I don't get it so much from professionals, but from amateur trappers trying to catch beaver for a landowner. Yes, I have walked away from some of those jobs. But if you want to give it a go, triple your fee.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20429 - 11/20/14 02:27 PM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
KathyP Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Indiana
No, these guys were from an ADC company, but I don't know if they're good or not. Maybe they didn't use enough traps. The homeowner said after three weeks they hadn't caught anything and two more trees were chewed down. I'm too new to trapping to understand how that happens. If traps are set in all the runs out of the lodge, how does a beaver avoid them?

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#20430 - 11/20/14 02:51 PM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10158
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Originally Posted By: KathyP
I don't know if they're good or not


Actually, I think you do. They didn't catch the beaver did they?

How do beaver avoid those traps? At the risk of being trite, they swim around them -- especially bodygrip traps. If that's all the previous trappers knew how to use, that might be why they weren't successful.

If you are going to catch these beaver you will need different tactics.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20444 - 11/20/14 08:50 PM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Paul Dobbins Offline
Member

Registered: 09/11/03
Posts: 119
Loc: Goldsboro, NC
In my opinion, educated beavers aren't good critters for a novice trapper to attempt to catch, especially for pay. They can frustrate the most experienced beaver trappers at times.

I suggest getting your feet wet by tackling normal ignorant beavers first. While doing this, you can learn the habits of the beavers and see firsthand how they react to mistakes you make. Sometimes they just have a horseshoe stuck in their rear and are lucky. In any event, you will know what that beaver has experienced and you will be able to figure out how to catch it. Pay attention to the beaver and it will tell you how to catch it.

Once you have had some experience, you will have the correct mindset and techniques to catch the illusive ones. I would never encourage a novice beaver trapper to trap beavers for pay.

Just my opinion.

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#20447 - 11/21/14 08:01 AM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
castiron Offline
Member

Registered: 01/31/11
Posts: 238
Loc: North Carolina USA
A well placed foot hold will catch some of them. Make sure that you set the traps in a manner so the beaver will drown and if possible be out of sight. How large is the retention pond and is the water around the edge deep enough to drown the beaver?

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#20448 - 11/21/14 08:30 AM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
Kathy, Paul offers excellent advise. Sometimes it is very difficult for experienced trappers to catch beavers under your circumstances. Trying to do so with little experience and for pay only adds to the frustration and the pressure.

I do nuisance trapping in my area. I am currently dealing with folks who "knew a friend" who would trap the poor innocent beavers for free in a live trap and take them to a great new place to live happily ever after. He didn't take them far enough away and now they are back and no one has been able to catch them. Now they are contemplating whether to pay me to trap them or not. Like Hal said above, the prices have tripled, both for my set-up fee and for my catch fee, and they are told up front - no guarantees - due to their actions.

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#20449 - 11/21/14 11:16 AM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10158
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Guys: Things got a little off track here. Kathy does ADC work. I talked to her last fall at the IN convention. But, I'm not exactly sure what her experience level is with beaver.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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#20453 - 11/21/14 03:21 PM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Mike McChurin Online   content
Member

Registered: 12/03/02
Posts: 497
Loc: NE Oklahoma
Believe I read an article a while back about a trapper who was hired to do an ADC beaver job and wound up dealing with an educated one.

He shot it at dusk with a rifle.

If I remember correctly, his words were, "The contract called for dead beaver, not trapped beaver."

We all pride ourselves on being trappers. But sometimes alternative methods are the only route. Fortunately, money has a way of salving a bruised ego.

Mike

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#20465 - 11/22/14 06:08 AM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
KathyP Offline
Member

Registered: 04/28/12
Posts: 49
Loc: Indiana
Re: experience, I've done about a dozen urban beaver jobs -- all successful with no callbacks. I have a tremendous mentor who's been trapping for almost 80 years to credit for that success.

Because it's in a subdivision in the city, shooting it isn't an option.

When I use 330s in runs, I almost always use a floating stick on top and vertical sticks to create a fence on either side so they're less likely to swim around. I'll use 750s more often if I have a choice.

This job would likely be a nightmare and not worth the headache so I've decided to pass on it.

I was just wondering what techniques other people have used when beaver are avoiding traps or have been harassed too much. Shooting makes sense where it's allowed.

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#20467 - 11/22/14 08:38 AM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Mike Conrad Offline
Member

Registered: 07/17/05
Posts: 272
Loc: Sheffield, Ohio
I had a job once where two beavers moved into a 2-3 acre pond. Took the first one, about 25-30 lbs., on night one in a channel set that ran up to a feeding area. Second and third sets sprung that same night as were all the sets over the next three nights. After that nothing. No fresh cuttings, not ever air bubbles under the clear ice. Pulled everything and told the land owner to call me when he saw fresh cuttings again. Two weeks later I got called back. There was a slightly used crossover about 75 yards away from the lodge. Climbed down the bank about 50 feet from the crossover and walked in the water to it with a CDR. Wire and drowning weight under water, of course, but the anchor stake was under water too. Trap set in about 14" of water. No sign left anywhere near the crossover of my activity. Next day a 45-50 lb. beaver was waiting at the end of the wire. It had a couple of scars on it and was older than its mate. I believe it was already trap shy from an encounter elsewhere and after its mate was caught it was alerted to my attempts to catch it. Moral; sometimes give it a rest and then return with as little disruption as possible with something different.

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#20471 - 11/22/14 05:33 PM Re: Smart beaver? [Re: KathyP]
Hal Offline
Moderator

Registered: 07/17/00
Posts: 10158
Loc: Blue Creek, Ohio, USA
Kathy: You are probably wise to just avoid that job. After you've caught 200, 300, maybe 400 beaver, you might be able to catch the smarts ones. For example, putting sticks in and around your bodygrip traps is in fact a good way to funnel "ordinary" beaver into the trap. You do that around an educated beaver, and you might as well hang up red flags all over the place.

When I have a really smart one, I employ the same tactics that Mike described. Most of the time, this involves a foothold trap because it's "invisible" and that's what it takes for smart ones. I get in the water way away from the site where I want to make the set, carrying all my equipment with me. A blind set is super. The trick is to not leave any disturbance on the bank.

As far as shooting them. It certainly is expedient. However you have to be a good enough shot to pull it off.

Hal
_________________________
Endeavor to persevere.

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