I forgot how much of a PITA this sport is!

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Kelley O. Roos
PostsCOLON 944
JoinedCOLON Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:55 pm

Post by Kelley O. Roos » Sun Apr 29, 2007 4:03 pm

Beavers gone, :shock: next on the list, Muskrats :?:

Very good Ironramrod, Good reading.

Kelley O.

Dphariss
PostsCOLON 205
JoinedCOLON Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:50 pm
LocationCOLON Montana

Post by Dphariss » Sun Apr 29, 2007 9:06 pm

[quote="SPG"]Chuck,

On the two beaver toes...sounds like you need a No. 4 (or maybe 4 1/2)Newhouse with 8 ft. of chain. Those old Newhouse's don't give up much...

Gute Ziele,

Steve[/quote]

I had a grown female pull out of a B&L #4 with teeth welded in last fall, hind foot and didn't get a high hold. Water was rising and falling with a freeze up.
But she went back to a den by the house and ran into a 330.
#4 Newhouse did for the old male.
Got to go out and find the trap. D. Groshens has another colony he wants killed off so you know where it is.
Might even find the Blake & Lamb #4, was tied to a rock, poor business but thats what the bottom was made of. She got it back under the ice and I could not find it.
Dan

Dphariss
PostsCOLON 205
JoinedCOLON Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:50 pm
LocationCOLON Montana

Post by Dphariss » Sun Apr 29, 2007 9:21 pm

[quote="Coydog D."]

Went out tonight and found two beaver toes in one of my traps, so now I've got to get the other 98% of him. So I'll set Friday night, get back here SAT evening to check and reset.

Chuck[/quote]

Keep the castors out of one. Dry (they grind easier) then grind in a blender you don't want for anything else, blend in some heavy mineral oil till its gooey and a few drops, 2-4, of anise oil. Will make about 1/2-3/4 cup or so.
Beaver will not pass this stuff. Can kill off a colony in 1-3 passes over the traps.
If you lost a 330 it may be in the house entrance or a bank den someplace if they got away with it. If it kept them from breathing they might be out in deep water or hung in the feed bed if they have one. A beaver can get a surprising distance through one sometimes if the trigger is off set too much. If you don't offset it enough big beaver may pull his head out. I don't really like them since they damage the fur to a greater or lesser extent.

Setting traps in pairs is really not worth it. Further the #3 victor long spring will only hold grown beaver sometimes though the 3N is better. Generally Victor long springs are useless, aside from the 3N. Beaver need a #4 or bigger. 4 1/2 Newhouse is a little too big, not to mention expensive.
The big coil springs with a jaw spread bigger than a #4 will work well if the springs are like they should be.
Drowning wires are great.

Dan

Ironramrod
PostsCOLON 97
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LocationCOLON Roughrider country

Post by Ironramrod » Mon Apr 30, 2007 8:41 pm

Kelley O.,

Thanks for the compliment.

This is really getting away from BPCR, but you bring up a very good point re: muskrats. Muskrats really like to build bank dens and the majority of them are where the shoreline: water gradient is the steepest. In ponds and small lakes that typically is the face of the dam. The dam is a fill area and is generally easier digging for the muskrats compared to the rest of the shoreline where the shoreline:water gradient is also more gradual. It's almost a no-brainer what will eventually happen to a dam filled with muskrat bank dens, if the problem isn't solved; especially if one gets an occasional 5" or so rainstorm on top of the problem. Trees on dams are almost as bad as the muskrats, because the root systems also create places for water to seep into the dam interior.

A couple other things re: muskrats are that they aren't nearly so territorial as beaver so densities can get fairly high in a small area; much higher than beaver. Also, reproductive performance is considerably higher than beaver; about 1800-2200 young/year for every 100 adult females in the northern plains. They can be kinda like an aquatic cottontail rabbit resulting from multiple large litters. I thought about mentioning muskrats originally, but decided not to because they hadn't been brought it up.

Sometimes that good ol' country living has a few drawbacks, when some of the new neighbors don't have the same set of values, concepts and perspectives as the designated owner.

Regards

Kelley O. Roos
PostsCOLON 944
JoinedCOLON Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:55 pm

Post by Kelley O. Roos » Mon Apr 30, 2007 9:32 pm

Ironramrod,

I think it's cool that guys like you know of these things and how to take care of them.

I know Ole OtieDog has Muskrats in his pond. That pond of OtieDogs is about 5-6 acres and OtieDog had the dam and spill way worked over when he bought the place a few years ago. The pond above OtieDogs is about 10 acres and the one below is about 20 acres, so you can see there is trouble ahead for OtieDog if he doesn't take care of the critters.

I know this isn't BPCR, except there's stuff to learn here, and it is interesting.

Kelley O.

MLR
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LocationCOLON Okla, U.S.A.

Post by MLR » Mon Apr 30, 2007 10:21 pm

Years back I used to get $4 for muskrats. That was unskinned too. Figuring any where from 20 to 30 a night that was pretty good money. I dont think there is a dumber creature on this earth.
They are good eating too.

Michael

Coydog D.
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Post by Coydog D. » Tue May 01, 2007 9:25 am

Guys,

A BIG THANKS FOR ALL THE INFO! Please keep it coming, even though it’s not BPCR related. Maybe once I get these things under control, I’ll nail one with my 45-100 just to keep on topic.

Yes, as Kelley pointed out I now have to work on the muskrats and as you guys pointed out they have some strange fascination with putting their dens in my dam. For them I’m using 110s in den sets, # 1.5s on drowning sliders with bait, and a couple of floating bait stations. For the beaver, I’m using a commercial beaver castor lure that has at least worked twice so far combined with #3 double coil spring traps now, but will upgrade to #4s before my next trapping run. I also have two #3s on drowning slides protecting each corner of my drain tube fence.

Here’s a picture of the place. The gravel road on the dam leads into my 30 meter pistol range and is the backstop for the rifle range. The north eastern portion is at higher elevation that overlooks the pond and that is where the house and pole barn will go. Either this fall or next spring we're putting in the pole barn, a real road down to the dam, and a fence/gate.

Image

The pond is from 8-9 acres depending on the water level and freaking beaver activity on the drain pipe. North of me is a 11-13 acre pond and south of me there is the 5 Acre Cambodia like sanctuary that looks like an unkempt version of “Walden’s Pond”.

What we’ve done so far is to completely remove the beaver’s food source by cutting down all the willows that used to ring our pond. All other trees are a decent distance from the waters edge. We’ve also removed trees from the dam and are working on the backside to completely clear it. The only other trees are in the southern “flooded timber” which I’m going to keep as is because the wood ducks, snakes, and large frogs like it down there.

It may be premature, but right now I’m not seeing a whole lot of activity on either pond. As of right now, I have no beaver activity on my place at all, so I’m going to keep the southern sanctuary under observation and focus my efforts on their little cousins the muskrats.

MLR, I'll gladly pay you $4.00 per to come up here and get rid of thee things!

Thanks again for the help/advice, you guys are a wealth of information.


Chuck
"I do not think that word means what you think it means..."

Kelley O. Roos
PostsCOLON 944
JoinedCOLON Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:55 pm

Post by Kelley O. Roos » Tue May 01, 2007 11:04 am

Chuck,

I see the, "moot" & island are looking pretty good. I noticed just toward the dam on the same side as the island and moot a small inlet, was that there when I first saw your place? Looks like a little farming activity going on? I thought you weren't into farming?

By the way how's the new pup doing :?: , not Coypup either :wink:

Kelley O.

Dphariss
PostsCOLON 205
JoinedCOLON Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:50 pm
LocationCOLON Montana

Post by Dphariss » Tue May 01, 2007 11:08 am

[quote="Coydog D."]Guys,

A BIG THANKS FOR ALL THE INFO! Please keep it coming, even though it’s not BPCR related. Maybe once I get these things under control, I’ll nail one with my 45-100 just to keep on topic.

Yes, as Kelley pointed out I now have to work on the muskrats and as you guys pointed out they have some strange fascination with putting their dens in my dam. For them I’m using 110s in den sets, # 1.5s on drowning sliders with bait, and a couple of floating bait stations. For the beaver, I’m using a commercial beaver castor lure that has at least worked twice so far combined with #3 double coil spring traps now, but will upgrade to #4s before my next trapping run. I also have two #3s on drowning slides protecting each corner of my drain tube fence.

Here’s a picture of the place. The gravel road on the dam leads into my 30 meter pistol range and is the backstop for the rifle range. The north eastern portion is at higher elevation that overlooks the pond and that is where the house and pole barn will go. Either this fall or next spring we're putting in the pole barn, a real road down to the dam, and a fence/gate.

[img]http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a5/CFR ... ing06a.jpg[/img]

The pond is from 8-9 acres depending on the water level and freaking beaver activity on the drain pipe. North of me is a 11-13 acre pond and south of me there is the 5 Acre Cambodia like sanctuary that looks like an unkempt version of “Walden’s Pond”.

What we’ve done so far is to completely remove the beaver’s food source by cutting down all the willows that used to ring our pond. All other trees are a decent distance from the waters edge. We’ve also removed trees from the dam and are working on the backside to completely clear it. The only other trees are in the southern “flooded timber” which I’m going to keep as is because the wood ducks, snakes, and large frogs like it down there.

It may be premature, but right now I’m not seeing a whole lot of activity on either pond. As of right now, I have no beaver activity on my place at all, so I’m going to keep the southern sanctuary under observation and focus my efforts on their little cousins the muskrats.

MLR, I'll gladly pay you $4.00 per to come up here and get rid of thee things!

Thanks again for the help/advice, you guys are a wealth of information.


Chuck[/quote]

Some states have been using "fences" set out from the culvert several feet to stop beaver from making roads into dams.
Might be worth looking into. I don't know if its actually working well but one never knows. Won't eliminate the problem of them denning in the dam though.

Its nearly impossible to prevent a new infestation if you have good habitat. When the 2 year olds leave the colony they are looking for a home.
Dan

Ironramrod
PostsCOLON 97
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LocationCOLON Roughrider country

Post by Ironramrod » Tue May 01, 2007 7:36 pm

Coydog,

You have a very nice looking place; my compliments. Kinda nice to have something like that, too.

Reviewing your muskrat removal protocol I see nothing wrong with it at all. It looks to me like you have all your bases covered; just about everywhere the muskrats go to conduct their important affairs there is something there waiting to kill them. Just about perfect. One additional thing you can do is some muskrat shooting in addition to the traps, and if Ks F&W has already given you the ok to shoot beaver I'm sure they will for muskrats. After all you're not taking them for furs, but trying to solve an animal damage problem (ADC). I've shoot a lot of muskrats in the water for fur, and they always float when shot in the head in contrast to the beaver which sink with head shots. That means you might have some carcasses floating around, but there are lots of things running around in the dark (e.g. skunks, oppossums, etc.) that eat dead stuff that has washed up on shore. And for ADC purposes who cares where they end up or what they look like; the objective is removal and "dead"works about as good as any method and a lot cheaper than most of the other options with a lot less fiddling around.

Ditto on your beaver trapping/shooting; no one can argue with success. Beaver always leave indications of their presence; cuttings, floating branches stripped of bark, castor smell, etc. My guess is there is at least a 50:50 chance you've taken them all, but time will tell. Even if you start seeing some fresh sign a week from now, it could easily be a new dispersing juvenile that is trying to homestead your pond. Also, can't argue with your lure selection for the beaver either. Personally, I make my own like Dan P. suggested, but not everyone has the time or the interest, and the important thing is getting the job done.

It kinda sounds like you might be in the market for a few new traps. If so, I can recommend the MB750 beaver/otter trap for Minnesota Trapline supply www.minntrapprod.com and from my own experience they are an excellent beaver trap for drown type sets. They are a heavy 4 coil trap with an excellent base mounted drowner attachment. These are a real serious beaver trap; I've never lost a beaver in one. The ones I have are the standard trap rather than offset jaw or laminated jaw traps which I think work fine in drown sets which I think is the best type of steel trap set for beaver. Nothing wrong with the OS or Lam. jaw traps, but I haven't seen where I needed them in drown sets. The nice thing about drown sets for beaver is they start fighting for air fairly quick as they slide down the drown wire and do not fight the trap itself. Same principle holds for raccoons as well, but then there are 220 conibears and egg traps, etc. that work excellent on raccoons, too.

Additionally, I kinda remember you were using cable on your drown sets. Nothing at all wrong with cable, but it is a lot more expensive than wire. I use 11 ga. wire; works well and I've never lost a beaver with some of them weighing around 60 lbs.

If you want to plant some trees that are reasonably beaver proof, I would take a look at the conifers. Beaver don't really like them very well at all. The stuff they really like to eat is cottonwood, willow, aspen, green ash, populars, etc. In your country I would think species like eastern red cedar, scotch pine and maybe austrian pine. If it doesn't get too cold in your area in the winter, you might even get some cypress to survive at the waters edge as well. You can also check with your local county agent or Ks F&W for recommendations on beaver proof tree species.

Anyway, I think you've done a good job; nicely done.

Regards

Ironramrod
PostsCOLON 97
JoinedCOLON Fri Nov 25, 2005 3:36 pm
LocationCOLON Roughrider country

Post by Ironramrod » Wed May 02, 2007 8:45 am

Coydog,

I forgot to mention a couple of things re: the muskrats in the dam on your pond. If the water levels are fairly stable throughout the year the bank dens will stay close to that level. If they flucuate a lot over the year, the bank dens will be at multiple levels which is much worse for your dam. The reason is the muskrats like to have the entrance to the dens around 6-18" or so below the water line, and the living chamber above the water line. So if the water levels rise several feet (e.g. heavy rains) this floods the living chamber, and they then dig new bank dens to meet their favorite den specs. If the water levels drop significantly, they then dig new bank dens to keep the entrance underwater to meet specs.

Also, check your dam and if you see any old muskrat tunnels/dens that have caved in; your dam would be a lot happier if these were filled them in with dirt and rock. It's generally best to use a fill soil type that has quite a lot of clay, if you have something like that available. The more the fill is packed the better. Your local NRCS/SCS office should be able to give you some technical assistance on how to do this. They may also have some suggestions on muskrat proof barriers that will minimize or prevent muskrats from digging bank dens in critical locations like dams (e.g. plastic snow fence). I have been retired from the professional wildlife field for several years so I don't know if any suitable barriers to muskrat building bank dens have been developed. I wanted to do some research on this topic because I feel this a very real wildlife management need, but several ND Game and Fish administrations at that time weren't interested. Not trendy or politically correct enough. Politics sucks.

Keep us posted on the muskrat removal process. The objective is a body count; the faster you can get them trimmed down, the better. However, it's almost impossible to get them all like what can be done with beaver. Because of multiple litters during the annual breeding season, there will likely be young muskrats showing up a various times during the spring-summer. If you are still seeing lots of rats, but not catching very many you may need to change some things. For instance, I don't know what you're using for baits on the baited sets, but muskrats really like potatoes this time of year. Cut them in chunks so they can see the white part, but leave the peelings on. Be inventive, the sky is the limit for creative trapping ideas. Also, keep changing techniques as you come up with new ideas; that helps to keep them off balance so they don't start avoiding your sets.

Not trying to rain on your parade, but it's always best to know as much as possible about this kind of stuff. If I think of something else, I'll let you know that, too. Also, I shoot a .45/70 and a .45/110 at present; is that enough BPCR talk to keep this on track?

Regards

Coydog D.
PostsCOLON 71
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LocationCOLON Unknown

Post by Coydog D. » Wed May 02, 2007 8:48 am

Kelley,

That “farming” is actually a food plot for the deer and turkeys, the feds say that I’ve got to maintain an animal welfare system as part of the CRP contract, which BTW is up on 1 OCT. I can’t freaking wait, between the food plot and spraying the CRP grass for weeds, there isn’t a whole lot of the CRP check left. Plus I really need to get an improved road in, and I can’t build squat till the contract is up. The Island is now squared away and is really a “lollypop” with a wider moat. Making an Island sounded good and briefed well, except for the part of getting to it to cut weeds and put out dog dummies. There are also 3 new coves & points, for dog training, and a road and improved creek bed below the dam. While my father-in-law was here he also made an “authentic” Austrian mountain bridge across the new stream using logs for Coypup. He loves it and is probably the only little kind in his preschool class that owns his own bridge.

We’ve been busy since you last saw the place. The new pup, not Coypup A. but, AKA "Trooper the wonder Dog" passed a couple of senior tests this weekend. Mrs. Coydog has done some good work with him. They’re both flying back to the Fatherland next week, so I’ll be on my own to get some shooting in and work down around the place.


Dan,

I’ve seen the fences and made one modeled after a thing called a “Beaver Deceiver” which is basically a fenced enclosure built at strange angles cause the large rodents can’t deal with the concept. I need to make mine larger with stronger mesh panels. I’m torn between a larger version and leaving the smaller one because the smaller only takes me about 20-40 minutes to completely remove a dam. Mine does protect the actual pipe pretty well, but it also gives them a base for their dam.

Ironramrod,

I also do occasional night patrols with my Benelli with the MOD choke loaded with 6 shot, mostly just because I get more satisfaction shooting the little SOBs than trapping them. I found out about sinking beavers the first week we owned the place, kind of like their last act of defiance. Damndest thing I’d ever seen, and prevents an accurate body count.

I know about the wire Vs Cable, but since I’m only working with 4-5 traps per I find the cable easier to work with and since this is going to be a long war of attrition, I just made up 5 drowning slides per “animal species” and got it over with. I even made little loops with snap links for the weights and anchor points. If I were really doing the Jeremiah Johnson thing, and running a bunch of traps I’d definitely go with wire. I am going to invest in larger, more better traps though.

As for the trees, I may be hard headed, but I’d rather fight these things every year for the rest of my life than plant trees I don’t like. Luckily I don’t like willows, but we are putting in maples, oaks, and walnuts. That way when I'm 70 I should have a squirrel overpopulation problem to bitch about.

Again, thanks for all the help.

Chuck
"I do not think that word means what you think it means..."

Gary M.
PostsCOLON 2
JoinedCOLON Wed May 02, 2007 11:48 am
LocationCOLON Central Kansas

Post by Gary M. » Wed May 02, 2007 7:27 pm

Otie-rascal,

Neat looking place. Only problem with livin' in the country is You can cever go back. :shock: I can generally come up with several reasons "NOT" to go to town. :cry: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Them gov'ment programs aint all the city folk make them out to be 'er they!! :lol: :lol:

You back on yer feet yet and takin' names? Won't be long till it's "Miller Time" again.

GM
Gary M.

RMulhern
PostsCOLON 322
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LocationCOLON Down South

Beavers??

Post by RMulhern » Fri May 04, 2007 4:33 pm

Coydog D.

Iffen ya has any trouble a bustin up any beaver damns or their permanent places of residence.....a 2 liter coke bottle full of urea fertilizer wif a little diesel fuel and a dyno fuse will cure the problem!! Just light a long fuse and run!! :lol: :wink:

EDWARD MALINOWSKI
PostsCOLON 54
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LocationCOLON KEARNY N.J.

Post by EDWARD MALINOWSKI » Sun May 13, 2007 9:30 pm

Ironjaw
Please stop giving away my fishing secrets. :D :D :D :D

Ed Malinowski

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