(Beaver was tangled on tree on left side of pic. Big beaver is the one on left side.)
I set a new area yesterday morning....never trapped this watershed. I was given directions where to go, and was told there was a dam across a large swamp. It was a pretty good hoof upstream, maybe 3/4 mile, but I did find the spot. Not a lot of sign, but the dam was well maintained, so I ended up setting 5 traps. All #4 double coils on slide cables/ with rock sacks.
I hiked up this morning but was kinda disappointed,as the temperature was 21 degrees and the swamp was covered in a thin layer of ice. It’s hard to make a catch in a foothold when they’re laying under 1/4 ice. The first two traps were undisturbed, and I busted up the ice in the area around the trap. To my surprise, the next two traps were both gone from their beds, and when I pulled in the cables, both had 2 1/2 year olds in the traps. I walked up to the last set and noticed that that trap was also gone. I started tugging on the 1/8 inch cable, but nothing was moving. After about 10 minutes of yanking on the cable, I made two observations.....#1. There definately was a beaver in the trap, an a big one at that. #2 The beaver was hopelessly tangled on a fallen tree in 3 1/2 feet of water.
I debated my options....leave him there till tomorrow and bring a saw to cut the tree free. Or wade out and free it today. I didn’t want to leave the beaver in the trap, because this time of year other beavers want to take a whack out of their dead brethren’s backside when they come across them. I had only knee high boots on, but I wanted this beaver....so I stripped down to my birthday suit and waded out. The water was a little over waiste high. Surprisingly, the water didn’t seem as bad as I thought it would. I couldn’t untangle the cable, but was able to get the beaver’s hind foot out of the #4. I released the sack, and then was able to unwrap the slider from the tree.
I got back to shore and dried off with a towel I had in my pack basket. I lugged the two smallest beavers back to the car, and made another trip with the bigger beaver (54 lb). That warmed me up. All in all, a memorable morning for sure.