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Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Northie, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. Northie

    Northie Songster

    We have a set of new neighbors, a family of beavers has moved onto our land and they're going to be a real problem. They're down stream from our house, our pasture our chicken coop and most of the trees on our land. They've already managed to flood a good portion of the pasture and the treed land behind our house (which shelters us from winter storms) and as they keep building the water is rising towards the house. It's amazing how fast they work and we're already having water problems because the levels are so high this year...
    I like beavers, they're neat animals, but Aaaaaahhh!!!!!
    They need to go!
    My DH has been out there hunting them and wrecking their dams with an axe and a shovel but so far we're loosing this war. They can fix a dam faster than we can wreck them. We aren't allowed to blow them up, you need a license for that and hunting them is proving really difficult because of the flood and the thick undergrowth. We don't really have access to any traps and even if we did I think we'd be out of luck anyway. The neighbors had been complaining about a huge trap smart beaver that had been causing problems on their land. It takes logs and jams the traps, at first they thought it was a coincidence but it was happening to every trap every time they put them out. The last time I talked to the neighbors they still hadn't managed to get the big smart one and they hadn't seen it either. I think it has moved onto our land. I know we have a really big one back there... Darn it...
    Now what....
  2. Whatever you do DON"T wreck a beaver dam. You are only goading the rascals to higher feats of engineering and forcing them to cut more trees from ever further away and drag these new trees into the stream to rebuild their dam. It is a never ending cycle or race and one that the beavers will win every time.

    If you don't want a beaver dam where the beavers are intent on building one the only solution is to first remove ALL of the beavers and once that job is complete remove the dam.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  3. chickortreat

    chickortreat Songster

    May 26, 2009
    I'd have a hoot shooting the rascals! We don't have them on our land, only the occasional wanderer that gnaws a few trees and leaves.
  4. Northie

    Northie Songster

    Hmm thanks, I'll tell hubby not to get after the dam until last then.
  5. annewandering

    annewandering Songster

    Apr 2, 2013
    There is another solution. :D It will take a bit of work but in this heat might be fun! And you can enjoy the beavers when you are finished. How wide is the water? Hopefully not too wide. Ok When I was a kid my brothers and I loved the beaver dams where we lived in the mountains but we wanted one closer to the house that would be fun to swim in. We were pretty determined kids so we built our own. Now we had observed the beaver dams already around so tried to use the same building techniques. We got it built! It was no where near as good as theirs was but it held water enough to give us a few feet of water to wade in.
    Now the thing is the beavers saw it and thought to themselves "Hey there is a start for a real dam!" So they built it up and made it nice and used it themselves.
    What I am thinking is if you build a dam where it will not cause problems and is a good place for a beaver, then break the other dam they may well move to your new one. That way you both win.
  6. Northie

    Northie Songster

    Unfortunately just because of the way the stream runs through our land there isn't a place where they could be allowed to build without causing a lot of damage to our living space on the land. Some people do leave them on their land because it helps hold water on their land for their livestock but our land is too flat so everything floods instead of making one deep pond. Heck if I could make it work I'd have them build me a fish pond lol.
    1 person likes this.
  7. annewandering

    annewandering Songster

    Apr 2, 2013
    You are going to have to call someone to get them then. Have you got government trappers where you live?
  8. sometimes one beaver pond is a pond to many.

    A local row crop and fruit farmer who has gone to his reward got a USDA grant to build himself a pond. Everything went well until the first storm, then it became apparent that his pond didn't hold water. Since Government Employees never make mistakes when they recommend were to dig, the landowner was stuck with a useless dry hole. The hole in the ground stayed dry for several years until a newly wed pair of beavers moved in and set up house keeping. In no time they had the pond fixed and it was about 1/2 full of water. Over the next few years the beavers raised the dam bit by bit until the pond was full.

    I and several other young blades kept pestering the old farmer to let us trap a few of his excess beavers but you would have thought that we were asking him for permission to skin his mother.
    Things went on like this for a few more years and the beavers kept improving the pond until one morning after an especially heavy thunderstorm the farmer awoke to find 10 acres of soy beans flooded out from the beavers backwater.

    This old fellow was so tight that he squeaked when he walked, so loosing 10 acres of soy beans would never do. By 12 noon the old guy was back from town with dynamite, blasting caps, and fuse in hand. (at the time you could buy dynamite at the Farmers CO-OP) With a blinding flash and a mighty boom the beaver dam rose skyward. When the beavers awoke to go on the grave yard shift, they didn't have a dam, any water, or anything left to rebuild the dam. Fortunately, at least from the beavers point of view some nice man had planted 40 acres of new peach trees a few years ago and they were a little over head high now and getting ready to bear their first crop next year. The beavers didn't even bother to leave an IOU behind for the 16 acres of young peach trees that they cut down and carried off to patch their dam.

    That is when the gloves came off and the beaver traps came out, I charged him twice the going price for a beaver pelt and he gladly paid it for every beaver I caught. If he had allowed me or someone else to managed his beavers in a responsible manner, and for free I might add instead of protecting them at all costs he would still have had his peach trees, his soy beans, his fish pond and a few beavers. Without proper management he had neither and suffered a financial setback as well. When I advise what some view as blood thirsty tactics when dealing with chicken eating vermin, I speak from sad, sad experience and plenty of it.

    Some pest are best controlled (exterminated) others can be managed (they don't pose an unacceptable danger to your property) Only the man or woman at the sharp point of the spear knows for sure whether to control or to manage a pest species, but if you are unsure control is the safest course.
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2013
  9. Northie, you could make a beaver drain or culvert. It is three or maybe 4 cedar logs (or some other wood that beavers won't gnaw) nailed together in a triangle or square pattern, then wrapped for their whole length in sheet metal. Beavers are drawn to the sound of running water. That is how they "know" were to build, or when to enlarge and repair their dam.

    You breach the dam, install the log culvert, making sure the lower end is below the level of the water in the stream below the dam. The beavers will repair the breach but hopefully they can't figure out were the water is being lost because there will be no audible sound of running water. Maybe this will help keep the tree roots above water and prevent your windbreak trees from dying before the beavers do. I have used this method to manage the Summer water levels in beaver ponds on duck hunting leases. I have never tried to drain an entire beaver swamp this way but it just may work
  10. Northie

    Northie Songster

    DH has managed to find the main lodge. He got one for sure, a second one is a maybe, he hit it twice but it either sunk or made it back into the house and he's waiting on a third... Not sure how many are left in there though.

    Thanks for the advice guys :)

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