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Beaver Trapping

    Beaver, the animal that built America. This is the most historically important animal in the world. Empires were built on this animal and many these trappers died in the pursuit of this animal. The beaver, due to the popularity, was put on the Endangered Species list in the early 1900's then made a come back to a healthy and , in many states to the nuisance level, population.

     Beaver, when an establish colony is found, leave a lot of sign. The most significant sign is fresh chews and a well maintained dam. After finding these, you need to find the lodge or den, channels or run that beaver frequently travel. After this, its time to make the sets.

     One of the sets you need to know how to make is the den set if legal in your area.When you locate the den or lodge entrance, you simply place and stabilize your conibear preferably of the 330 size. The next set which is an absolute must when going for just the big beaver is the run set. When looking for the run that shows promise when you find the run take a stick or whatever you have with you and check the firmness of the run, if its hard set this one, if not this one isn't too popular.

     The next three sets that are effective beaver killers are the dam beak, crossover and bottom edge set. The first set is made by knocking a hole in the dam that is big enough to prompt the beaver to fix it. Depending on the slope of the upstream side if the dam, place the trap which is a foothold either just in front of the hole if its a low grade slope or a foot deep its a steeper slope. Then toss the anchor or stake into deep water over a four feet deep. The crossover set involves placing a conibear at the bottom of a crossover that the beaver are using to cross to the downstream side of the dam, beware if you are in area where otter are present this set might not be good to use since otter like to use the crossovers also. The bottom edge dam set for beaver (this it what I call it, not sure if that is the true name and the bottom edge set for mink can be made the same but along the stream channel) is made by finding a place on the upstream side of the dam near the bottom that has has the firm bottom and place the conibear there.

     These last sets use some kind of visual or scent attractant. The first set is the castor set. This is made by making a mud pie on the bank in the beavers' territory and luring it with a beaver castor lure, some people don't even use the mud pie but use a stick with beaver castor on it, and place the trap similar to the trap location on the dam break set. This next set involves placing some kind of bright-fleshed veggie or peal aspen twigs on the triggers on the conibear with wire and setting it near and on the outside of the beavers' feed pile.

     After catching the beaver and putting up the fur, time to figure out what to do with the carcass. Well the best thing to do is to remove the oil sac and castors. Castors are large, gray glands containing materials used to mark territory. These are to be removed after removing oil glands. The oil glands are about 2 inches long in large beaver, they contain the oil needed to make its fur waterproof. The castors and oil glands are encased in a thin membrane that must be separated from the glands and castors.

     After the oil glands and castors are removed time to decide whether to sell them or keep 'em for your lure making. You can make castor lures so you can catch more beaver or to throw a change up at the canines. When making castor lures to catch just the adults don't use the oil glands or you will catch a lot of the juveniles. You ca also use these in making food lures, just put them with some kind of foodstuff and you got, hopefully, an effective canine lure. If you decide to leave the lure making to the commercial lure makers you can sell these to the lure makers or to auctions where they are sold to the lure makers or to the perfume industry. Beaver meat is another good bait and lure ingredient. Happy Trapping.

All information on this site is by Dustin Caudill. E-mail for permission to use information or picture at