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(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.
 

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Fun Fun Fun

Did you re-set that spot?

Don't you use an Otter or other type of sled (even on dry land)?
 

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You’re hard core!! lol
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Fun Fun Fun

Did you re-set that spot?

Don't you use an Otter or other type of sled (even on dry land)?
I added more weight to the bag, and did reset it in same spot. I had a 2 1/2 year old there this morning, and another one in a set 30 yards away. The added weight did the trick, and this beaver came out without any excitement.

I have 3 different sleds, but I don’t mind packing out beaver. I’ve had to make 2 trips back a couple of times this year...but I’m retired with nothing but time, so I’m in no hurry. Good exercise.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
You get any beaver fleas on you? Bet your itching after I sad that.. Nice going.
Laylow....funny you mentioned fleas. Normally beavers seemed to be covered in them. I caught and skinned the first 24, never saw a single flea. This week, the five I skinned were crawling with them. I mean I’d have a half a dozen on my hands before I made the belly cut. I had to spray them with permethrin and leave them in a garbage bag for an hour. I don’t know if it’s the warmer weather or a new location....but the fleas were nasty.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I think the fleas are the worst when you get beavers out of larger communal lodges. Solitary bank beavers don’t seem to get infested with them as bad as they do from those from huts.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
When the water got crotch deep, I was thinking about the Chuck Berry song, My Ding A Ling. Especially the part about the snappers in Turtle Creek.

 
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