Time For Beaver Hunting
Hunting beavers during wintertime can be tricky depending weather conditions. Usually, beavers have all their winter supplies collected and don’t come out from the water. Since spring is arriving and the weather is getting warmer I have been out checking any signs of beaver activities. So far nothing.
I decided to give another go. It’s late March and ice is melting on the river. Beaver wintertime supplies are running low. I should be able to see something. To my surprise, there has been a lot of movement. Beavers been munching with trees and branches everywhere.
You can say that spring is a great time to catch beavers. Beavers have been inside their burrows all winter and they would like to come out to get some sun and fresh food. Spring is the time when juices in trees start flowing again. Making small trees and branches especially tasty for beaver.
When hunting in springtime you don’t have to wait until night to see some action. Beavers come out during daylight also. Today I’m going to stake out in my favourite place. The most important thing in beaver hunt is choosing the right place for stakeout and proper binoculars. Because beaver has an excellent sense of smell. Better stay upwind in order to prevent beaver catching your scent.
A good friend called to tell me about beaver he saw. He said that yesterday he saw beaver sitting on ice. I told him I believe it when I see it. He points me the direction where to go and I started walking along a stream.
Finding A Beaver Lodge
There are definitely signs about beaver movements. But I can’t find a place where he comes out of the water. I’ll continue walking upstream. Another half an hour and I found a beaver lodge.
Something doesn’t feel right. I found the beaver lodge but I can’t see any holes in the ice. I start looking for that hole which beaver use for coming out for his lodge. It took me awhile but I found it.
Opening in ice is about 200 meters from the lodge. Generally, beaver won’t travel this far from his lodge. Unless he is running low on food. During springtime, beaver is easy picking for larger predators. They just sit next to the hole where beaver comes out and wait.
Biggest enemies are brown bear and bobcat. Sometimes the brown bear is so lazy that he just start digging straight to lodge and tries to get the beaver that way.
It’s getting late so I start heading for my stakeout position. I should be able to spot a beaver today. There isn’t any wind which is a big plus for me. One less thing to worry about. Set up my portable chair and started waiting.
For about hour in I noticed something in the distance. Waves started forming in front of the beaver lodge. Moments later there was a small head on the top of the water. It was the first beaver who come out for recon and checking that everything is good. As fast as he appears he disappears.
Probably went to tell the other that all checks out. Don’t shoot the first beaver you see coming out of the water. First one is just checking for surroundings. Be patience and you should a least couple beaver together after that.
It’s been 45 minutes after the first one went back under water. I notice that water starts moving in front of the lodge. First one is out. Sitting on shore eating small branches. Couple minutes later another one comes out.
I need to get closer to get proper shot. I start crawling. Occasionally stopping for a look through my binoculars. I saw that one is standing and sniffing the air. Hoping that he doesn’t catch my smell. I lay there still. For my luck, they continue eating. Another 25 meter and I’m in perfect position. Try to catch my breath. Pulse is running high. It is game of patience.
Slowly shoulder my rifle and trying to get a good aim. I’ll make my first shot. Bang! I missed. After reloading I managed to get another shot. This one was a hit. Beaver started wiggling. He was trying to get back to water.
If he does manage to get inside water you may lose him for good. So you better run fast if you saw beaver doing that. But be mindful of his tail and teeth. Don’t let him bite you. I ran as fast I could to grab him. Got him by the tail. A beautiful beaver with nice black fur. I reckon about 18 kg. Throw him onto the shoulder and start walking back.