Tag Archives: beavers

Living With Beavers Part II

The Beaver Saga continues. I tried and tried to simply talk to them and beg them to quietly move downstream to the golf course. Their answer was pretty simple, “What, and give up the peace and quiet of your perfect backyard?” With an alarmingly loud slap of his tail he dove and hid out for a couple of days. Of course he returned at night to cut the brush and rebuild the dam.
A Beaver dam of sticks and mudHubs went to remove the dam again, I tried again to persuade him that while his dam work was magnificent, flooding the lower level of the back yard was not cool. Not cool at all. Did he listen?Water is high up in the grass of the back yard. No he did not listen.

In fact in the morning the dam was back. Hubs began his morning ritual of removing the dam. I wasn’t sure where Mr. Beaver was, but I figured in the calm quiet of the morning he would be able to hear me wherever he was. I tried talking some sense into the beaver.

“But the golf course is so large, it is so pretty,” I tried my best to convince him to move.

“You move to the golf course if you think it’s so great; sprinklers all night; mowers and weed eaters, golf carts and golfers roaming around and yelling, ‘Fore’ all day. Bwahahaha,” was the last I heard as he waddled through the cattails to the water and dove. He was probably going back to his den to nap away the day.

He was toying with us, because the next morning our yard had shrunk and the pond had enlarged, the dam was back. Trees were being felled into the pond, the leaves eaten for dinner and my beautiful waterlilies were being eaten for desert.
Very High Water The beaver has to go. But Fish and Wildlife laughed out our pleading call. “Tag you’re it,” was their reply, “We don’t take care of that. Dispose of him yourself, just don’t fire a gun in the city limits. Your yard. Your problem. “Bwahaaa,” click. Buzzzzzz.

A trap was ordered.  Next Post: Part III

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.