View Full Version : Beaver problems

February 12, 2002, 09:15 AM
Hunting buddys farm is now infested with beavers! he has a small 140 acre farm with a low valley and a creek running through it. His father found a beaver dam this weekend after he noticed that the creek was dry at one end after a heavy rain fall last week. We have a couple of weeks left in beaver season, so anyone got any tips on caring for a beaver pelt? How do I take care of it after skinning the critter?
BTW, the last week of deer season, I thought I was listning to a buck rubbing a tree for about half an hour, I now believe it was a beaver chewing through a tree!:rolleyes:

W. F. McElhany
February 13, 2002, 09:45 AM
I can not answer your question but I know a trapper in the York/Chester county area that could help. Email me and I will find his number. If your buddy's farm is being damaged by the beavers he may be able to get a permit to trap out of season.

February 13, 2002, 10:03 AM
W.F., I'll let him know. Catching them I don't think will be the hard part. Caring for the pelts and tanning is what I'm looking for. After a net search yesterday, I found out the problem is not the beaver population, but the dams that they build turns the property into a "wetlands" thus, you cannot remove the dam legally once it is established. Thank, Clinton. :barf:

Art Eatman
February 13, 2002, 10:14 AM
Got no use for Clinton, but this started long before his presidency.

An offshoot of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969, signed by Nixon in 1972, was something called "Section 404". This bit of law gave control of wetlands to the U.S. Corps of Engineers. In the vicinity of 1976 or 1977.

In order that there be control of wetlands, wetlands had to be defined. The format of the definition is so broad that a once-dry area, after inundation by a beaver pond, can easily then be included into "wetlands" designation.

One might essay the ploy that since the beavers lacked a permit from the USCE to build a dam, you were merely doing your civic duty to eradicate said structure.

:), Art

February 13, 2002, 10:31 AM
Hey Art, I like the way you think. And the land owner will too, since he is an attorney, and he went through all the permits two years back so he could build a dam on the property for a small 2.5 acre pond. Hell, he had 4 different agencies on the property at once, US Corp of Engineers, DHEC, the county's authority person, and I cannot remember who else. They asked him if that area was already a wet lands. He handed them a bush ax and pointed into the valley, and said you tell me. After 4 feet of briars and 50 ft. to go, it was declared "non wetlands" by all agencies!
I've got to admit, I never really paid attention to politics, until I saw Clinton running for prez. on the Arsenio Hall show when I used to work for a FOX TV station. That's the first time I ever remember puking and not being sick with the flu! So I'm the typical pissed off American that likes to blame everything on Clinton. Hell, he did enough damage to take blame for everything.

Art Eatman
February 13, 2002, 09:07 PM
"Permit? Heck, that pond's been there since way before I bought this place!"

It's easier to get forgiveness than permission.

:), Art

February 15, 2002, 12:00 AM
So go with it.

Make a Nice Bass Pond! ;)

February 15, 2002, 01:04 AM
An unmaintained beaver pond will quickly dry up as it will not hold water. The industious rodents constantly pack the inner dam face with mud and do lots of little repairs to keep it full. So you've go the right idea - Don't want a beaver pond on the farm, eradicate that particular family of beaver, the pond will dry up on its own and can be bulldozed.

Pelt care -
Skin the beaver using a cut from tail to chin on the belly side. Cut around the wrists/ankles and peel the skin (gotta cut it away, it's attatched well all around) off the carcass without any other cuts through the hide. You'll end up with a roughly circular hide.

There are several methods to stretch a beaver pelt - the easiest and my favorite is to nail it to a large peice of plywood. Start with one in nail through the hide where the nose is and then one in the tail, One to each side and then start splitting the distance between each nail until you have a circle of nails about two or three inches apart. If the hide is loose, pull the nails up and renail them after a good tug. The thing should be pretty taunt. In the end it should be pretty solid as it will try to shrink as it dries and will pull loose nails right out.

Next close off the leg holes - just stretch them out toward the outer edge and nail off with three or four nails.

Fleshing - Tough to do, so practice alot. Take a SHARP knife with a curved blade and draw it toward you, across the hide, to scrape away the fat and membrane attached to the skin. Do a good job as you'll start realizing now just how full of fat these guys are! You've got to get as much off as possible for the best tanning job. If you accidently cut a hole in the hide or find bite marks bullet holes, etc. at this point, nail them closed. (Alternate methods sew them shut with needle and thread)

About now you'll become enamored to the odor of beaver and with all that fat and grease getting into your hands and under your fingernails, you'll start to see just what it was the mountainmen saw in the trapping trade.... Or not. :D

Dry the hide for processing or salt treat, or start the tanning process right away. I've always sold my beaver pelts, so I won't get into the tanning process at all, - anyone else?

February 18, 2002, 09:52 PM
I am no tree hugger but I have to ask. WHY?
Is valuable timber being damged?
Is the pond in an inconveneint place?

On most of my leases we have beavers. They live in all the creeks here in central N.C. that have stands of young trees nearby and are not too polluted to support them. Some build dams and some live in the river and creek banks like the European beavers do. I must say that for wildlife habitat the beaver ponds we have actually improve the eco system. They provide a more constant source of water than a seasonal creek. They harbor fish and water birds. They provide swamps and wetlands that are home to deer and other huntable critters.
The only dam we have ever had to remove was one that was backing up water across an access road. After blowing it twice the beavers moved 1/4 mile down stream and that pond has some of the best brim fishing in our area. I killed both wood ducks and mallards there this fall and one of the biggest bucks on our lease lives in the upper reaches of thier swamp.
Don't get me wrong, I consider beavers to be a potentially harvestable reasource. However, I don't think you could get enough money from the pelts of our small thin furred N.C. beavers to offset the environmental engineering they do.

February 18, 2002, 11:13 PM
Right! Mostly Beavers are fishing pond creators. :)

Fred Hansen
February 19, 2002, 12:17 AM
For pelt care, go here:



This is most likely the most modern Manual on the subject of pelts.


For an idea of the kind of havoc that is wreaked on property/human health, by out of control beaver populations, go here:


February 19, 2002, 08:30 AM
The owner just spent $22,000 making his own dam, stocked with brim and bass. The creek they have dammed is a shallow creek with a crossing to the other side of the property and the creek runs through a low valley that he plants in. It would be flooded if we don't do anything about it. Were thinking about dropping in a corrugated plastic pipe with 25 ft. on either side of the dam to control the level for a wildlife pond. Would be nice to have a natural area to hunt around.

Art Eatman
February 19, 2002, 10:36 AM
Now, ain't that just like a datgum bivver? A fella goes out and drops 22 Large for a pond. Do the bivvers appreciate it? NOOOOOO!!!

They gotta go off on their own and mess up the middle of a fella's farm! Who knows, maybe they want him to become a rice farmer...

(Grumble, gritch. Worse than the danged Corp of Engineers...)

:D, Art

February 20, 2002, 12:00 AM
Beaver should be trapped. The pelts are very valuable.

My advise is to check out a magazine called FUR-FISH-GAME for more information on trapping. Also try an online search for trapping furbearers. There are some very good websites on the subject.

six 4 sure
February 20, 2002, 03:55 PM
But, several years ago (20+) the coal mine my father worked at had a problem with beavers. Being a good engineer he contacted the proper agencies with his plan of action. After their approval, (something that would never happen today), here is what he did. He acquired a liberal amount of DET cord from the blasters at the mine.:D Then appiled said DET cort to the beaver dams. From what I heard the explosion and resulting destructions was most impressive.:D About a half dozen dams were disposed with this method.

Wish he'd taken some pictures.


February 20, 2002, 07:48 PM
I have "Beaver Problems" every night before I go to bed!;)

April 3, 2002, 10:34 PM
I took a large PVC pipe, about 8" and 10-12 feet long, drilled holes all around it, and pushed it through under the dam so it was sticking out the downstream side about a foot, the beaver will only build upstream of an existing dam ( bad programing I guess) and will leave after they are unable to stop the water coming out of the big white plastic log...:D

April 8, 2002, 10:23 AM
In Louisiana where I grew up, beaver were never part of the original ecological scheme. Seems those larger members of the reptile family (alligators) liked to snack on beavers, hence beavers were unheard below south Arkansas and were never considered native to this reigon. With the massive shrinkage of the alligator's numbers and the re-introduction of beavers further
north and increasing, they migrated all the way to north Louisiana
about 20-30 years ago. Growing up in the 60's-70's on a farm surrounded on 3 sides by bayou, our only experience with beavers was reading about them in books. Now they are everywhere, and they like to feed on any $200-300 pines that have the misfortune of being close to a waterway.

April 8, 2002, 06:01 PM
Maybe these would come in handy


April 9, 2002, 02:40 PM
I have seen a few beaver in the state of Louisiana but very few south of the St. Francisville area. Like someone said earlier they are too much of a good thing for a gator to pass up and believe me we have the gators to take care of them. Why way back in the 70's when the feds closed hunting of the aligator I know of very few Cajuns (myself included) that paid any attention to what the feds said.................hell we ate gator all of our lives and no fed can stop that and the gators were and still are all over the place. I could have shown you places in the 60's (when they were considered endangered) where you could see over 100 in a day and it's still like that.

I agree with Art it's easier to get forgiveness than permission, but what is even easier than forgiveness is don'tgetcaughtness. Shot/trap the beaver blow the damn but be sneaky about it and if asked about what happened lie like hell :D.