Musher: Good observation. However, in many parts of the civilized world there are ice and snow free days in February. But there is another explanation. This is
the Ohio River. Thatís Ohio River water youíre looking at. Iíve lived here more than 30 years, and that river has frozen exactly once.
And thatís also part of the explanation for the weird catch. This is a navigable river. The water level and river traffic is maintained through a series of locks and dams. Twelve inch fluctuations are normal. That trap was out of position when the beaver hit it. The trap hadnít moved an inch, but the water level, up or down, had chanced by several inches.
I canít fully discount the possibility that the beaver clawed its way into the trap, but look closer. Look how deeply the front foot is into that trap, and how far forward it is. The beaverís front foot was standing between the pan and the jaw hinge when that trap fired. It fired the pan with the back edge of its front leg, as it was bringing itís back foot forward.
If the water had been a little shallower, I would have made solid front foot catch. If it had been a little deeper I would have had a back foot catch.