Your website is very educational. It is really helping in my attempt to trap beavers on our property.
I do have one question…
We have a large beaver problem behind our house in the flood plain. There are several large dams causing major flooding. In particular, there is one on our land that is only about 4 feet wide that is causing us trouble. For a while, we would knock down the dams and each morning they would be rebuilt. There is a perfectly groomed path that they have worn down to get to the dam.
This past weekend, I purchased (2) Conibear 330. They are at the entrance of the path partially covered in water and camouflaged in grass and leaves. I have skinned 2 large pieces of Poplar and placed them on the other side of the trap.
However… here is my problem. The beaver has yet to return. I have never seen him go this long with out rebuilding the dam. So far, the dam has been removed and no trace of any work has been done on it.
Is it possible that he smells my scent from setting the traps? Due to the fact that we live in a neighborhood, I go down in the evening and remove the safety latch from the trap and every morning, I go back and replace it. Is this too much activity around the traps? I am just confused why he is not returning.
Any help would be great!!
First, I don’t think you’re using the right “mix” of traps, bait and trap placement to achieve success. Additionally, I’m afraid the constant activity around the trap site is no doubt interfering with the process. So here is my suggestion based on my past experience with trapping beaver.
If you read through our BEAVER CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll see the use of traps like the Conibear are really best when employed at a damaged dam or den entrance. Trying to use one out in the open, along a drag path, is not a proven method. In general these traps should be used without bait and applied in areas where the animal is forced to do something. For example, having to fix a leaking dam where there is water motion and a sense of urgency for the beaver is a much better location to get success. In such an environment, the beaver will be so preoccupied he’ll let down his guard making him more vulnerable to the trap laying in wait. Additionally, these traps do pose a hazard to non target animals and based on where you’re employing them, I would say there is a both a risk to local pets and people. Obviously you must feel the same risk which is why you’re constantly clasping and unclasping the safety latches daily. But this constant trap manipulation combined with less than ideal location tells me you have little chance of success. For this reason I would say to reconsider the trap placement and possibly not using this design at all if you’re not able to make a good set away from people and pets. I say this because in the long run, keeping it in “play” the way you’re using it now will only make the animal that much tougher to catch.
And based on the fact that he hasn’t returned in a few days, I would like to know just how committed he is to this body of water. As our article explains, young males can become rogue and tend to wander. To find out, I’d make some placements of poplar out in the open, along his drags or shoreline where you’ve seen him, to see if any one placement is accepted. Spicing up the offering with some POPLAR OIL would no doubt help to get the fast acceptance. And if you were to set out 4-6 snacks, there is no doubt if he’s seriously committed to your lake he’ll return.
Lastly, if he does return and feeds at any of these placements, I’d consider changing up strategies and go with one of the live beaver traps we have listed in our article. The EASY SET is one of the best being that it can be employed in the water as well as on land. But we do have a few other designs that work under a wide range of conditions and you may find another one to work just as well based on the lay of the land at your location. But in my estimation, if you want to employ a “bait and trap” catching method, you’ll need to use a live trap and not the Conibear design.
Here are direct links to the information and products listed above:
Beaver Control Article: http://www.bugspray.com/articles99/beaver.html
Easy Set Live Beaver Trap: http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page1848.html
Beaver Control Products: http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page562.html