Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Beaver "Hunting"

  1. #1
    Member Limetrude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    129

    Default Beaver "Hunting"

    I have a friend who wants a few beaver pelts to make a rather small 'sofa' blanket. He likes hunting and would prefer to shoot the beaver rather than have to buy traps and learn how to operate them, or for that matter buy the pelts... something special about having something you did yourself.

    Anyhow, he has purchased a trapping license and we have made ourselves aware of the units where shooting beaver is legal and the regulations pertaining thereto. I have my jon-boat and a "dip net" so we will be able to paddle along downriver to retrieve them, however I am concerned about a few things... First of all, I am not sure if a head shot beaver will float, if I am risking losing a killed beaver because they sink, I will rethink my plan... Any comments or suggestions would be immensely appreciated, we are hoping to bag 5 average to large size beavers for this project. We have done a good bit of reading and viewed many videos on how to skin them out and are, in general, fairly confident that once we get them to the boat, all will be fine and we are prepared to deal with them... its just that time between pulling the trigger and getting them in the boat that I am concerned about.

    My last curiosity is would you reccomend saving the meat for food. I am inclined to keep it since I don't like shooting things for the hide, but large rodents could go either way with me.

    -limetrude

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    481

    Default sink

    They sink. See if you can get a trapper to sell them to you fleshed or tanned.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Los Anchorage
    Posts
    481

    Default

    "We have done a good bit of reading and viewed many videos on how to skin them out and are, in general, fairly confident that once we get them to the boat, all will be fine and we are prepared to deal with them..."

    Also you have not lived till you have fleshed a beaver. It is by far the hardest thing to flesh. It has taken me years to get good at it. I dont mean to sound like a *****, but they are nothing, but work. See if you can get some tanned ones.

  4. #4

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    They sink. See if you can get a trapper to sell them to you fleshed or tanned.
    They don't all sink. In fact, it's rare that they do sink. If you are worried about it, wait until they are in the shallows to shoot. If they do sink and are in slow water, give them a half an hour and the gases in their body will build and they will float.

  5. #5
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Beavers have sustained us (as food) for quite a long time out here. Especially in the early years. It's our favorite meat, and I certainly would suggest you at least try some, see if you like it, before just taking the hide. We also get quite a bit of oil from beaver fat. You need to be aware of where the castor glands are, and be sure to not even nick those with knife, as they will ruin the meat if any gets on it. Cut meat in chunks and simmer in water for a couple hours, drain water then lightly fry...that should remove most of any gamey flavor and we like it that way.


    Kusko is right, not all beavers sink. In my experience it's about half and half. Also, shooting them in moving current will often lead to losing them, even with head shots. I won't even try to take one in a moving river, only sloughs and beaver ponds, and even then it is easy to lose them if you don't keep an eye on where they sink. Kusko is also right that if you wait about a half hour that the sinkers will rise to the surface, but in my experience if you aren't standing there watching and know where they sank, and where they come up, it's pretty hard to find them, as when they surface you can see them but right after that all that shows is a bit of the tail on the surface.

    There are many place-names out here related to beavers, and one of the more well-known ones is "Sinker Puddle," where some river rats used to shoot beavers, but they would sink, and they wouldn't find them, and so they'd shoot another, and another, til one floated. This was in a backwater series of ponds and sloughs. Even with high-powered rifle and head shot a beaver will often swim erratically for a spell before dying and either floating or sinking. They are very powerful animals as well, and trying to net one that is still alive, or pull it into a boat, can be dangerous.
    Good luck,


  6. #6
    Member dkwarthog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Mat-Su
    Posts
    2,150

    Default

    I cant speak to the sinking/floating issue, but in regards to skinning, it is not that hard to do. Take a look at the fur handling video put out by F&G (they will probably send you one for free if you ask).

    It has a terrific segment on clean skinning beaver using a rounded putty knife. I did my first 4 beaver this last spring and it was pretty much a piece of cake if you follow how they did it on the video. I cant do it as fast as some of the others, but the result was darned near as good.

    As far as tanning goes, Moyles in Idaho does a great job and I think avg/large beaver were about 22-24$ each for tanning, plus shipping.

    BTW, even though it is legal to harvest beaver this time of year, I would think the pelts would be much better quality in winter/spring. Spring trapping of beaver is about as easy as it gets too.... Find a beaver hole in the spring ice and set a anchored #330. Done deal and they will be there waiting for you dead as a door knob.
    Last edited by dkwarthog; 09-09-2008 at 13:20. Reason: spelling

  7. #7
    Member Limetrude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    129

    Default Some other ideas...

    First of all, I really really appreciate how helpful you folks have been. The responses have really helped me figure out my expectations and my limitations.

    We know we can get some that are tanned, but there are a few drawbacks. One is expense, unless I can find someone who is not dead set on making a profit (yeah right) we will be paying a small fortune for 5 large pelts for a mini-blanket. Since we will be hunting the beavers in the same area that I normally go fishing, there will be no additional cost except a few .22 rounds and some sweat and salt for him.

    Next there is nothing quite like a do it yourself project, I think my friend would greatly prefer to break a sweat and have to flesh his beaver...

    Thus I think we would like to pursue this getting our own avenue... I am now wondering however if I should instead try using a bow with the line reel as is used in bow-hunting for pike if we want to hunt in the river. Based upon Bushrat's comments (much appreciated) I feel I don't want to risk shooting one with a rifle in a river - too much guilt with shooting something only to let it go to waste. I have a friend who might loan me his piking set-up, only problem is we would have to put some effort into becoming a decent shot with the setup. I don't think I could ever manage to be a good shot with a bow, so I may have to stick to rowing... probably a bad idea but just wondering what you folks think.

    Bushrat: I will definitely be trying the meat, probably will take a sample off of every beaver we get the first night and fry it up in camp. That will give me a good statistical sample and prevent me from making my decision based on one gamey beaver. What do you normally do with the oil?

    dkwarthog: I have no doubt that the best hides are winter hides, but was wondering when they really come in. Would late september/early october be way too early? I am sure the coat is still coming in then, but would it be hugely inferior to one that was caught in spring? I am a big proponent of patience, but was also hoping the quilt could be a winter project...

    Lastly, on a humerous note: many years ago, I was once fishing a section of lake near a beaver dam on the inlet... had a juvenile beaver actually swim up to my lure and managed to get himself hooked before I knew what happened. Long story short, 1/2 hour battle ensued that cumulated in me netting the guy (maybe a 15 pounder) headfirst and cutting the barbs off my hooks. I was using stainless hooks and was concerned that it would not rust away and get him snagged up in some brush and kill him. I had no reason to kill a beaver at the time - but it is living proof that fishing for beavers could actually work (though is extremely not reccomended) harhar.

  8. #8
    Member tjm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Limetrude View Post
    only problem is we would have to put some effort into becoming a decent shot with the setup. I don't think I could ever manage to be a good shot with a bow, so I may have to stick to rowing...
    that's a neat idea, I think it would be worth it to try and stick 'em with a bowfishing setup, really not difficult at all, I think it would be harder to get within 40 yards of them before they go under...lol
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

  9. #9
    Member Limetrude's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairbanks
    Posts
    129

    Default TJM - not all that hard

    TJM

    Ok, I must sound like a nitwit when it comes to archery... let me put it this way... I don't own a bow, but love to shoot them when I have the opportunity... just thought with the spool of line going behind the arrow it might now work out for accuracy past 20 or 30 feet. Could I really have a chance (assuming I had normal coordination skills and can shoot a rifle well) to shoot an arrow tailing a line 40 yards and hit something the size of a cantelope?? I am asking this in pure earnest as there is a huge lightbulb sitting over my head right now waiting for the affirmative to go ahead and try it out...

    Side note, I can normally get withing about 30 feet of a beaver, yes they submerge with a slap of the tail around 100 feet away, but they surface again in short order and you can easily follow the bubbles... so you are right on them when they pop up... at least in my experience trying to catch them on film...

  10. #10
    Member tjm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    2,125

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Limetrude View Post
    TJM
    Could I really have a chance ??
    Absolutely!!.... especially if you are within 30 ft... The more I think of it the better the idea sounds..I say go for it....please report back with video footage......
    ------------------------------------------------
    pull my finger....

  11. #11
    Member Vince's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
    Posts
    8,989

    Default

    row out in morning, set some snares on there pads. trails and dams row back out next morning use 22 pistol... all done. it may take you a day or two. but late sept. they are BUSY getting food heck you can sit and watch them go ashore for that matter..then use the 22... and bush rat is correct they taste great.
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  12. #12
    Member bushrat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Now residing in Fairbanks from the bush
    Posts
    4,363

    Default

    Limetrude,

    We use the oil for frying (meat). It is rather beavery tasting <grin> though and not the best for frying other things. Beaver fat when rendered down doesn't harden, but stays liquid. Unless you cut into the castor glands by accident, one beaver is as good as another. Generally we will cut up a ham and shoulder and one side of ribs for the first big meal, and if you aren't into the fat you can cut most of that off, but we like to leave it on the chunks.

    I also thought the bowfishing setup would be slick.
    I'd want to use some pretty strong line though! As you noted, you can get pretty close to most beavers, especially if you stake out their ponds and feed piles and feeding areas. I usually pick out a spot near their house/feed pile to sit, and isn't hard at all to get within ten yards.

    Plenty of beaver stories from up here. Had an experienced bush dog bay up a beaver once that it caught thirty yards or so from its pond. I heard the barking and pulled canoe over and got there just in time to see the beaver (good sized one too) getting the best of the dog. Was a 120lb dog too. The depth of the bites on the dogs face from the beaver's teeth were quite amazing. Another friend once stumbled upon a beaver while walking along a creek. He didn't think much of it until the beaver used its tail to propel itself up and forward, and it just missed biting him in the neck as he jumped aside. They are really remarkable animals, much more agile even on land than you'd think.

    There are horror stories from out here of bushrats pulling beavers into canoes that they thought were dead, but weren't, and fending an angry wounded beaver off with paddle, capsizing, injuries etc <grin>.
    Good luck and let us know how it turns out,

  13. #13

    Question tanned ones

    Quote Originally Posted by swapdonkey View Post
    They sink. See if you can get a trapper to sell them to you fleshed or tanned.
    I have some that are tanned, or wait a little while and i will have alot that are not tanned, is it legal to sell raw fur???

  14. #14
    Member Anglette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Houston, AK
    Posts
    229

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by propbender View Post
    is it legal to sell raw fur???
    Don't sell the fur, sell the bag that it comes in, and you are legal!

  15. #15
    Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Bristol Bay
    Posts
    328

    Default

    it is legal to sell raw fur trappers do it all the time. However if they are harvested in an area that requires sealing they must have the seal on them
    meats meat don't knock it till you try it

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Eagle River
    Posts
    61

    Default what caliber?

    what calibers does everyone suggest for beaver hunting and minimal pelt damage?

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •