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wtnhunt

trapping, learning some lessons....

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Been having some major issues with beaver damage this past winter and this spring. Been trying to kill as many as we can between trapping and shooting them. Seems to be some mixed opinions on whether a beaver sinks or floats when shot, they can and do often sink like a brick, and will float later.

This trapping has been out of necessity and a learning as i am going experience. Learned that if you have a large beaver that it will take your trap if the trap is not staked real well. Had a double dam break set with two conibear 330's. Last week when I checked the traps caught an average size beaver in one, probably about 40 lbs, that trap was tied to a t post, my other trap was gone.

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The missing trap was a new bridger 330, missed dying it with the others so I painted it with primer and let it set a few days before setting it out. That trap was tied to a 4.5 ft piece of 5/8 rebar. Figured the missing trap probably either caught the back end or a large beaver pulled the loop over the rebar. Tried using a rake to fish for the beaver with no luck. Yesterday I went to check the trap and saw the floating beaver about 15 feet from the dam, was at least 70 lbs. So that rat sunk after it got caught and floated after it got bloated enough and my missing trap was attached to his head.

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Next time I catch a snapping turtle, I won't try to get it out of the trap live, freaking thing almost got me.

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Beavers are crafty critters William. Good luck getting all of them and limiting the damage. The hides are worth a few $. So Skin and stretch them. If you tan them they are worth more.

A 70lb Beaver is a BIG one. Have fun.

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Beavers are crafty critters William. Good luck getting all of them and limiting the damage. The hides are worth a few $. So Skin and stretch them. If you tan them they are worth more.

A 70lb Beaver is a BIG one. Have fun.

Yes, I thought that was a big one too Anthony. Most of them been between 35-40 lbs, that one was significantly bigger.

And yes they are crafty, especially once they learn traps are there. After one got pinched had several issues with them springing my traps with sticks and then building them into the dams. Rearranged that setup and caught those 2.

They are fun to shoot, but due to the nature of them sinking sometimes tough to tell for certain you hit them. Catrina killed several, I popped 5 in one morning and went back that afternoon and popped 2 more. Those 55 grain varmageddon's seem to work pretty well on them. Think we put a good dent in the population between Catrina and I hunting them and the few I was able to catch in traps would guess we killed somewhere between 40 to 50 of them the past few months along our stretch of this old river channel. Been no beaver tracks and no new building activity, grass on the banks is even growing back. Sure there are a few still around, but we will do better about trying to keep them in check.

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Found evidence a rat moved back in this morning along the old river channel where the water was open. Set a trap near the edge of the bank close to the tree that had been recently gnawed on.  Went back this afternoon about an hour and a half before dark with the varmint rifle and sure enough a medium sized beaver came along about 15 minutes after sunset.  About a second after i shot the beaver flopped around a few seconds and then the water went still.  

This was the first sign i have seen of any being back around since last spring. 

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Went back this morning to see if anymore might come out and saw that the one i shot yesterday was at the bank. 

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To the bottom to be yote bait.

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