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Anyone good at trapping beavers? Mind sharing some knowledge?

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  • Anyone good at trapping beavers? Mind sharing some knowledge?

    Anyone good at trapping beavers? Mind sharing some knowledge?

  • #2
    Only way we trapped beavers was by placing logs on both sides of a trail used by beavers and then put a double door trap between the logs. We covered it up with nearby plants(make sure the beaver can see completely through the trap though) and placed some beaver scent on the top of the trap. From what I was told, the trick was replicating the scent mounds that beavers make to make their territory.
    -I was not a fan of this method, but to kill the beaver we would just toss the entire trap into the water until the beaver drowned. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Also, from what I heard snaring is the best method for trapping beavers(until you get good - then you can move onto conibears). I heard that you can not tie up your snare to a tree - beavers have been known to chew down the tree and get away with the snare still attached to it lol.

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      • #4
        I don't know that I'm very good at trapping beavers, but I have caught quite a few over the years. The most important thing is to use a killer trap, such as the Conibear, or a drown set with a foothold trap because the beaver will quickly chew off the trapped foot---I once caught one with only one good foot remaining. Drown sets can be hard to make and require deep water nearby, at least three feet, so I'd try the killer traps first. Check out online information, you can find more there than I can tell you.

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        • #5
          I have been trapping them for a number of years, and while I don't claim to be an expert, I like to think I've learned a couple things, so here's my 2 cents worth.
          My favorite set, hands down, is the castor mound set. If you're not familiar with it, here's brief rundown. To be effective, you need at least #4 traps, whether they are longsprings or coils (I personally use #4 Duke coils). To make the set, you first have to find an area where beavers are active, and where the water is at least 3 feet deep. Then you need to find a moderately steep bank with about 12-18 inches of earth between the waterline and the top of the bank. Then you dig a shallow U-shaped trough into the bank, and pile a couple of hand fulls of mud onto the bank at the top of the trough, using your hand and some water to "shine-up" the mud mound. I assume you know how to make a typical drowning set, with a stake driven into the bank, and a wire or cable leading from it to a cement block or other weight down in the water. So finally you set the trap, and there's as many opinions about that as there are beaver trappers, but I typically set it about 10-12 inches from the bank, and about 4-6 inches under the water, slightly offset to one side of the trough. I usually poke a couple slender sticks in front of the trap into the bottom so they poke up from the water surface slightly, to make the beaver drop it's feet, but they aren't necessary. You do need to have the trap bedded solidly, and the pan tension set heavy (4-5 pounds), so the beaver steps down hard and you make a solid catch.
          The other set I use a lot is a simple snare set on their bank trails, it is easy and effective, but not legal everywhere. The main things to keep in mind for that set are DON'T USE A WOODEN STAKE, and keep your loops big (~10" diameter), and set just off the ground.
          Hope this helps, and let us know how you do.

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          • #6
            Whoops, forgot one important piece of advice about the castor mound set, you need to put some commercial castor lure on the mound of mud, it's available through any trapping-supply company, and the amount to use depends on the brand.

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            • #7
              Thanks for your help guys. PA requires trappers take a written test to use snares or cable restraints so i am out of luck for this year. I am also not in possesion of any 330 conibears or big cage traps at the moment so i will have to stick to trying the castor mound.
              Smitty18

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              • #8
                Hi...


                I'd like to think that by now you have read some trapping books, and/or asked some local trappers for some hints. Starting without at least some minimal knowledge will be quite a handicap.

                Sometimes your local Conservation Officer can be of help.

                As soon as possible, get some snares and #330 and #220 Conibear traps. These can be set in beaver runways, paths, etc., if legal in your state.

                Meanwhile, I hope that you have some #3 and #4 steel traps, which are good sizes for trapping beaver.

                Will you be trapping in open water, still water, fast water, under the ice, etc.?

                Also...are you sure that beaver are in your trapping area?

                Under ice and open water sets can be baited with a piece of poplar or other native type wood they feed on, especially if some of the bark is removed to leave a visible "white" patch that beaver can easily see.

                For open water, beaver lure might increase your potential for a catch.

                Drowning sets are a must. I generally have my beaver traps well wired to rocks of about five to ten pounds. This is enough weight to drown them. Either have another wire leading to a secure point on shore, so the trapped beaver can be retrieved, or fish it out with something to grip the underwater wire, like a hoe, for example.

                If using snares or Conibears, they can be anchored to points on land.

                In some states it is legal to make sets on beaver dams, which are quite effective...just be sure that is legal in your state, okay?

                I hope you find these hints helpful. Let me know how you make out, okay? Good luck.

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                • #9
                  Um, sorry to argue with you Bob, and I don't wish to offend you, but I just felt you were a little off base when you said that a five to ten pound weight is enough to hold the end of the drowning wire. Maybe you have smaller beavers where you trap, but here in IA, and probably in PA too, the beavers run from 40 to 50 pounds for adults, and ones of that size can easily drag a weight of that size into shallower water where they might be able to free themselves from the trap, or break the drowning wire.
                  I personally use concrete blocks for weights, they range from 25 to 40 pounds, and I've never had a problem with them. I wouldn't recommend anything lighter than 25 where beavers of that size are a possibility.
                  Again, I don't want to sound argumentative, I just would hate to see anyone lose their catch because of something as easily fixed as the drowning weight.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Hi, huntfishtrap...


                    Thanks for your reply. I don't know what prompted me to say to anchor them to a land-based item.... although I have sucessfully done that at times.
                    In either instance, it has been my experience that drowning stones of that weight are very successful in deep water, and you were right about also anchoring those traps in deep water.
                    Thank you for pointing that out to me. (I also need a brighter night light in front of this computer, so I can better see what I'm typing...!!).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I can highly recommend the book Conibear Beaver Trapping In Open Water by Wesley Murphey. Many have said it is the best conibear beaver trapping book on the market for actually showing how to trap beavers. I take that as a great compliment since I wrote the book myself. Best of luck.
                      Wesley Murphey

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