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I’m a novice to beaver trapping, even though I have been in the woods my entire life. On one of our ponds there were a set of tracks and a long slide mark into a whole in the ice. Would a beaver do that or only otters? Never saw an otter in this area before, but maybe something moved in?
 

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Are their beavers in close proximity? A lodge or bank holes? If there’s snow, where do the tracks go? Is there a trail leading to fresh cuttings? Although otters are well known for their slides, beavers will often slide down a bank into the water also.

A couple days ago something caught my eye while driving along a river while checking traps. I saw a trail in the snow, that ended abruptly 40 feet from the river. At the river’s edge, a large beaver ( could see front and back tracks ) had slid down the bank back into the water. Looking closer, there were 2 large, deep bank den holes, one on either side of slide/trail. It took me a minute to process what I was looking at.....beavers had climber out of the river and were cleaning the snow/ice off their breather hole for the bank dens.
 

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There are beavers in the area. A lodge in the swamp not to far away. The wind had swept away where the tracks came from and the ice was a little to thin to walk out on to check what they looked like. The slide was about 30 feet long and disappeared into a whole in the ice in the middle of the pond
 

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I’d have to think that the hole in the ice would be froze over now, with the cold temps we’re experiencing. If in doubt, I’d try setting baited sets with fresh cut aspen....pile up some pieces 12-16 inches long, 1 inch diameter. Scarf up a few of them to give the appearance of them being chewed. Try some food based beaver lure, poplar bud oil is a good attractor. Use biggest legal foothold you got, with a drowning slider to 3 feet of water. I like castor mound - mud pies in March, but otters are attracted to castor too.

I had an otter at a mud pie set that was unfortunately drowned 2 weeks ago. No one had ever seen or known of otters on this watershed, and there was no otter sign in the area. But they are turning up in new streams and rivers every year, good to see folks trying to avoid them if they can.
 

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Beaver, Otter & Muskrats make & use slides
You mentioned Beaver, so I assume the slide is wide? Wider than a Muskrat?

The slide was about 30 feet long and disappeared into a whole in the ice in the middle of the pond
I normally see Beaver exiting/entering frozen ponds near shoreline in search of food.
You may discover what species by back tracking in snow. Where/what was it doing on land; looking for tracks. cuttings or droppings. (maybe you looked but didn't mention).
 
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