beaver trapping, water trapping — November 30, 2013 at 1:55 am

How to catch trap shy beaver, are they trap shy?


bevset2How to catch trap shy beaver, are they trap shy?

beaver trap shy

You get out of your truck, the sun is shinning and there is a little nip in the air. You are feeling good, what a great day to be in the woods. You pull up your waders and you step off into the water. As you approach the first foothold set, your heart drops to your knees. As you look down at the Bridger # 5, it is snapped off. You can’t believe it, you did everything right, but there it is mocking you with its steel jaws slammed shut holding nothing but water. Then you check the rest of the sets, nothing!

This is not good, you snapped a beaver, now you have an educated beaver to deal with. Over the next few days, nothing! What started off as a great beaver location gives you ….the middle figure. We have all been there if you have been in the beaver game very long.

Lets talk about what experience has taught me. First off, most beaver that have a foothold trap fire off from them are truly trap shy. Most beaver trappers that are kind of new to beaver trapping and have filled their heads up with garbage about trap shy beaver. I’m not saying that beaver do not get trap shy, most of the time the local beaver population feels pressure. So what do prey animals do when they feel pressure? They hole up. All prey animal wait out …..what they perceive as danger.

So do you have a trap shy beaver or a prey animal just being a prey animal?

The first 3-4 years of my beaver trapping for ADC, I thought beaver got trap shy quick. Not true, they do not have a way to reason through a problem or understand that something you left behind in the water is set to catch them. Saying that, prey animals are also very phobic about anything new in the local home range.

Most of the time, all you have to do is wait out the beaver. They will start moving again. It may be 2-3 days to two weeks before they ……….stop holding up. The hard part for most trappers is staying motivated and keep all the sets in working order. When you are not catching, it is way too easy to not straighten up a snare. Get the silt out from under a pan or clean the leaves off of the body grip trap triggers. You know exactly what I am saying and you know you do.

Your job is to have everything in working order when the beaver start moving again. You might not have the time to wait the out, so you can pull out for a few weeks and come back when they start moving around.

Keep in mind that the smaller the area that you are trapping, like a pond, the beaver can be spooked with little action from you. So if you are working small water, don’t tromp around like a raging bull. Keep quiet and don’t throw up walls of sticks for blocking.

So what is the point, don’t jump on the ….trap shy beaver….ban wagon to quickly. Time is your friend, so before you start making all kinds of crazy sets and using “uncle bob’s supper secrete lure”.

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One Comment

  1. Thank you for these words of wisdom . I am new to trapping and I caught three the first week .. and everything went cold …We check daily and the soft swamp get tore up really quick .. I did not think about them holding up because of the activity where there has been none for years … Thank you
    God Bless

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