Monthly Archives: June 2011

Man Against the Beaver

With thoughts of the beavers cutting down all the trees and then working their way into our landscaping; hubs has researched, studied, watched video and become a “Beaver Expert.” Perhaps not as expert as a person who lives in the wild and documents the beavers’ every move, but none the less he does know what signs to look for, where to set the trap, and how exactly to set the trap without breaking his own leg or arm in the thing.

So far he knows that most beavers are very docile, shy and peaceful creatures. Catching one neither appears to upset the beaver nor to anger it. Aside from long nails and bright yellow teeth they are a handsome animal.  Equipped with soft fur, shiny black eyes, long whiskers and a strange tail; they are not a threat to man, unless of course a pair decides your back yard would be a perfect home for them.

One of the tips presented in several articles about removing a beaver pair is to simply take down the dam on a daily basis. Eventually the beaver will tire of all the work and move on to a more peaceful setting. It seems that whoever began that rumor had never actually dealt with these two beavers. In the past 6 weeks, or roughly 42 times hubs has gone out before work every morning to remove the dam.

The contents from the dam then get sent down stream as the water gushes out and the other neighbors spend their mornings cleaning up the mess of logs, sticks, grass, leaves, and mud from their stream bed. The debris is filling all the recycle bins on a daily basis. The beavers show no sign of giving up.

They also appear to know exactly what a trap is and how to avoid it. Most of the time it is untouched, but on several occasions it has been sprung and was holding a splintered stick. We investigated using a live trap, but the government regulations make moving them a huge obstacle. Even if someone has a place wants  beavers and would gladly take them, the permits, certifications, follow-up, and paper work are for people with nothing to do for six weeks or so besides fill out forms and file them to be processed and approved. It’s basically our government at work for us and undoubtedly requires fees to of course cover the cost of the government workers to read, approve and certify the forms.

It was beginning to look like the beavers would be allowed to stay until fur-bearing season when a fur trapper will jump at the opportunity to trap at least two beavers that weight in the 35 to 45 pound each range. Until today.

Our neighbor ran over, “You should see the big hole in our back yard.” Yowzer, it is an area about 4 feet wide by 12 feet long. It terminates in the middle of his back lawn about 12 feet above the pond.  It must have something to do with the beavers. But none of the experts mentioned that beavers tunnel 20 feet inland and 12 feet up, for any reason.

Giant backyard sinkhole

A 36 inch by 35 foot tunnel into the neighbor's back yard.

The neighbor knows both hubs and I have hunted and own guns. It turned into an “Annie Get Your Gun” moment.

“But discharging firearms in the city is illegal,” we countered.

‘It’s almost the 4th of July, and it’ll just sound like fireworks. Kill the varmints before our houses topple into the chasms in our yards. They are cutting down the trees. They could chew down our deck supports next!”

Do they really think fireworks will not affect the wildlife the same way it affects our pets? I suspect those quiet, shy, mostly nocturnal animals will stay deep inside their dens and wait for a quiet evening and return to their nightly mission.

In the meantime the trap has been moved and reset. I think the beavers are enjoying a good laugh and will be no shows on the fourth.

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