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Thread: trapping beaver

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    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Default trapping beaver

    I found a couple beaver lodges when out walking the other day and thought about trying my luck at trapping beaver. The only problem is I have no idea where to start. Can anyone give me some advice on what to do?
    Thanks

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    out in the village, we'd cut a hole in the ice, about the size of a laundry basket, hang two snares in the hole, so they are below the lowest ice level, dump snow in the hole(holds the branches up), then jam it full of fresh cut birch branches...beavers like the fresh stuff by their feed pile, they cut it off at the bottom surface of the ice...caught quiet a few beaver that way. much eaiser than doing the "fence" with the conibear in it.
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    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BRWNBR View Post
    out in the village, we'd cut a hole in the ice, about the size of a laundry basket, hang two snares in the hole, so they are below the lowest ice level, dump snow in the hole(holds the branches up), then jam it full of fresh cut birch branches...beavers like the fresh stuff by their feed pile, they cut it off at the bottom surface of the ice...caught quiet a few beaver that way. much eaiser than doing the "fence" with the conibear in it.

    How do I hang the snares? Should I make a cross and attach the snare to it? How close should I put the hole in relation to the lodge and feed pile? Or should I put them between the two?

    Thanks

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    akff- Make sure the lodges are active by looking for trees cut down by the beavers from the fall and also make sure there is a feed bed in front of the lodges. It will look like just a pile of brush sticking up thru the ice. I usually drill a hole on the outter edge of each side of the feed bed. Make sure not to drill too close to the feed bed as you will end up with hole and a tangle of sticks. After you have drilled and cleaned out the hole, shove a small tree(3-5" dia) that has had ALL the branches trimmed off down the hole and stick it down into the mud if possible. Use birch or aspen as they are lighter in color and stick out under the ice nicely. Now cut you six heavy sticks(3 per hole) about 3 foot long and attatch your beaver snares to the middle of each stick. Place the three sticks around and close to the hole but make sure to set them ON smaller sticks or branches so they don't freeze solid onto the top of the ice. Make the loops on your snares slightly smaller then the size of a basket ball and carefully place them thru the hole one at a time making them loop out away from the pole at 3 different angles and make sure your snare lock is just an inch or two below the bottem of the ice. Once you get each hole set, you can use cardbaord or even just snow to cover your hole but be carefull not to bump you set up and knock your snares outta place. If you have trouble with using three snares per hole then just place two. Ideally you want to check every 3-4 days but many times I have to go a week between checks. The problem with a longer check is that you risk catching a beaver and having it float up to the bottem of the ice and freeze. Happy chipping....

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    Make sure no one else is trapping the lodge. Try to look for old sign, even if there are no traps now. Someone may have already taken a few out of the lodge and left some for breed stock. There is no law stating these rules, just good trapping etiquette. Good luck!

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    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Default Dam breaks and bank den sets

    If the beaver are on refuge land there are more restrictions including a permit and only one set. I prefer dam breaks and bank den sets over bait. I have seen beaver ignore bait if their food stash is still fresh and it is not uncommon to have many snares pulled without catching. I like to break the dam down 6" or so and fence in a conibear in the path to the hole in the dam. Chewed sticks and bubbles under the ice indicate bank dens or places they are taking food to eat outside of the house. I picked up this 44#'r in a bank den set this week. A couple pictures before and after on a dam break.




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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    I'm going to be doing a bit of beaver trapping in May on a lodge that we took two beavers out of two years ago. We did what was mentioned above - left some for breed stock instead of trapping all that we could. What we did before (and what I plan to do again by default, since it is what I've experienced) is to kick a small hole in their dam, then set a foothold right in the gap in the dam. The foothold was attached to a wire with a slide on it that only goes in one direction. The wire is in turn connected to a canvas bag filled with rocks sitting on the bottom of the pond. After setting off the trap the beaver dives, then cannot resurface and drowns in short order. We checked the two sets the next day and had two beavers, so it was very effective.

    I think my plan for this spring is to hike into this same pond, set some traps there, then use my packraft to float back to the road while hopefully finding some more places to set downstream. I'm also planning to carry my rifle, as this river corridor seems like a likely place to find a spring bear foraging for carrion. Beavers, boats, and bears - sounds like a nice way to spend a spring weekend. I know the fur quality might be better in the winter, but lugging something to cut a hole in the ice doesn't sound very fun based on where this spot is at.

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    Default Snared by the tail

    Somehow I managed to snare on by the tail this week also. The snare was hanging off the tipped log with a castor mound and some fresh sticks above on a well used slide. I was glad I checked it the next day. Also included a picture of my rendition of a water trail set. It didn't catch but thought I would give it a try.



  9. #9

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    if your not sure where the entrance hole to the dam is due to cloudy ice you can take a 330 conibear ( i prefer to use Belisles ) & after the trap is set crank back the levers so you can thread a stick through the spring eyes, the length will be based on the water depth, be sure to use a dead stick as any beavers will chew off a live one, wire bait to the triggers such as fresh cut willow or even a carrot, now you can either chip a hole through the ice w/an ice bar or spud bar but i just use my chainsaw & if the ice is longer than the bar, well then your gonna get wet using the chipping method to get the rest of the way through, now be sure & run a lenght of wire or cable from the trap to the top of the ice fastened to the top of your pole as it will aid in trap loss should the pole become broken by whatever reason. slip the trap into the hole & shove the end of the stick into the bottom be sure & remove safety hooks from springs check the trap in about 4 days or so, im required by law here in Ill. to check traps every 24hrs. which is nonsence so i usually wait till spring to trap beaver in open water but also take advantage of thin ice in Dec. usually only 8"-1' you should also dress out the carcass's & sell them to mushers to feed their dogs, they will usually pay around $10ea so it only adds to the $$$ you recieve from the sale of the hide, i usually keep a couple young ones to eat for myself but the rest get ground up for my own dogs, beaver trapping can be very hard work so maybe you could find someone locally who traps to help you out ,also look into attending the trapping school put on by the Alaska Trappers Assoc. you will learn a great deal & make some new friends, good luck to you.

  10. #10

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    Nice sets Tbob. I take all of my casters and mash them up in corn syrup, I have a large jar that I keep adding casters to. This stuff is deadly! Wire a stick to the trigger of a 330 and lather with this mixture. Dosn't matter where you put the trap, but it is good to find a place close to where the lodge is and it won't get snowed in like the bace of a tree. I have only had 1 beaver that I wouldn't fall for this and he was 61lbs. (ended up catching him by the back leg on a dam set).

    Brian, I would ask around to see if you could get ahold of some casters from someone before this spring and give it a try.

    One spring My partner and I got 3 in 12hrs. this way. The traps were on small gravel bars out in the open near the dam. !t is beaver crack!

  11. #11
    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Wow guys thanks for all the great replys. I am going to go out monday and start on the process. It is about a 6 mile walk to where I am going so It is going to be an adventure just getting the gear there...I will post pics as I go along.
    Thanks

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    Member trapperbob's Avatar
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    Default They are heavy !!!!

    Don't catch to many at once, and are you a good skinner???

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    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by trapperbob View Post
    Don't catch to many at once, and are you a good skinner???

    haha ya, I actually work for a taxidermist part time. Beavers are one of the more enjoyable things to flesh...

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    Member BRWNBR's Avatar
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    i usually skin on sight unless i've got a snowmachine, even then i roll them in fresh snow to soak water and keep them from freezin' to everything.
    i like the pole in the ice idea from, simialr concept to the branches...just with a pole..have to try that way and see what happens.

    one little tip i found when going thru the ice, when you cut your hole back open, pull on the snare a little and see if it is froze up, if it is, pull harder if its feels a little spongy probably a beaver on the other end and it'll float and be right up against the ice, so dont' whip out the chainsaw to get it out!!
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    Member akfirefighter's Avatar
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    Well I went out today and set up between the lodge and feed stack. I was surprised that the water was only 5-6 feet deep. I figured they would have been deeper for sure. Well I will go out on tuesday and set up around the other lodge on the next lake and check this one. Hope it goes well.

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    trailblazersteve, you say "drill a hole" so I am assuming you are using an ice auger? Do you have to do a couple holes figure eight style and spud them out in between?

    I was just out early this AM cutting a hole for a 330 set with my chain saw and it must have taken me an hour. There has to be a better way. The ice was close to 3 feet thick.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryHyde View Post
    I was just out early this AM cutting a hole for a 330 set with my chain saw and it must have taken me an hour. There has to be a better way. The ice was close to 3 feet thick.
    Harry this doesn't sound right...I hate to ask the obvious, but is your chain on the bar backwards? The saw should zip through the ice very quickly, unless you are using a very small saw & bar combination and have to beaver your way through.

    No offense meant, just asking.

  18. #18

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    Hey brwbr u say u skin on site? Is there a reason for it? New to the beaver trapping, great forums guys. Learning a lot thanks

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    Beavers are really heavy I'm assuming he doesn't want to carry all the extra weight.

  20. #20

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    That cant be it? Have you seen this guys website? It shows him with 2 big backpacks on at once hiking around
    I thought it had to do with the pelt freezing or something like that. I could be wrong.

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