Tag Archives: beaver removal

Beaver Damage

beaver removal

My wife got so sick of my bellyaching about the beaver damage down by the creek, that she kicked me out of the house this morning with my video camera so I could at least record it.  It’s just such a shame to have so many trees comin’ down out there.  We’ve lived here for near on twenty years, and we’ve never had so much trouble as we do this year.  I’ve been trying to get the county to do somethin’ about it, but they keep tellin’ me it’s lean times and all, and they barely have enough funds to keep up with snow removal and fixin’ pot holes.  It means the landowners around here are gonna have to do somethin’ ourselves, or we’re gonna be in a real fix before too long.  Property taxes have been goin’ up something awful over the last few years, and the county council members all got raises.  Plus, they hired a few more people up in the county offices.  So, I’m getting’ pretty worked up that they refuse to help us out here.  If they don’t, I think they’ll find the beaver damage will cost ‘em a lot more than if they’d removed the beavers causin’ all the problems in the first place.

Well, my wife has heard me say this over and over and over again.  She keeps tellin’ me I ought to do something about it other than just preachin’ to the choir.  So, she shoved the camera in my hand this morning and told me to get out there and get something on record.  That way, I’d have something to take to the city council and see if they’ll finally get off their butts and do something about it.

So, I got myself out here with my dog, Trixie, and we had no problem findin’ most of the trees the beavers took down.  Most of ‘em are pretty young trees, only about two to five years old, maybe.  There’s one that’s an old oak tree, though.  Been there for as long as we’ve been here, and you can see the beavers have been working at it.  Probably taken ‘em weeks and weeks of chewing on that thing just to get it down to a point where it’s teetering over a bit.  Won’t take ‘em much longer to get that old tree down.  Shame.  Just a shame.

I counted over thirty trees been taken down, some of them in the creek, and you can see where the creek’s risin’ up past the banks.  Downhill from here, about only a quarter mile or so, is a main road.  When that creek gets dammed up, no telling what the water damage is gonna do.  Some of the trees have been knocked over a popular jogging trail, so someone’s going to have to clear that up come Spring, when people come out here to walk or ride their bikes.

Yep, I’ll have to bring this tape into the council and see if they’ll figure something out so they can afford to get some professional in here to rid of the beaver and clean up the beaver damage.  Dunno what I’ll do if they ignore me again this time.

Beaver Removal

beaver removal

My friends and I are pretty adventurous, but this last weekend, we got to witness beaver removal firsthand on our weekend adventure.  It’s weird, but true.

When we go on one of our little weekend adventures, we pack up one of our cars with food, sleeping bags and a tent or two, and then we just drive.  We drive as far as we can on one tank of gas, and when we stop to fill up, we ask the gas station employee for cool places to camp around the area.  We get directions, buy some cold drinks, get back in our gassed-up vehicle, and drive towards the general area pointed out to us.  But, we don’t go to the camp grounds.  Instead, we look for little side roads that aren’t very heavily traveled, and head down one until we find something interesting or until it gets dark enough to set up camp.

Beaver eating a twig in water
A beaver causing havoc for a little logging town.
(Artwork by Sharon Davis. Contact us for her contact info.)

This last weekend, our little dirt road led us right up and over the crest of a mountain, something that rarely happens.  We were driving my friend’s little four-door sedan, so it was kind of iffy whether or not we’d actually make it over the crest.  There were times we nervously joked about what we’d do if the car just got stuck up there in the middle of nowhere.  Would we walk back down the mountain or just camp wherever we got stuck?  Miraculously, though, that little car kept on going up, up, up and over the mountain to the beaver removal site.

We found out that this little dirt road was actually a logging road.  Of course, by then we knew it was intended for much more rugged vehicles than we were driving, but we didn’t care.  We were on an adventure.  We discovered this tiny little logging town in the middle of the forest.  A small store sat in the middle of log cabins, and a make-shift golf course.  The “golf course” was just a series of tree trunks with numbers painted on them, indicating the “holes.”  It was off-season, so the town was only occupied by a handful of people, most of whom were now involved in the beaver removal project.

Apparently, a couple of beavers had dammed up a creek and created a small lake, or giant pond, whichever you want to call it.  Unfortunately, the dirt logging road was now located under the water.  For the loggers, it meant they had to remove the beavers and their beaver dam in order to let the road dry out in time for logging season.  For us, it meant the only way back down off the mountain was back the way we came.

We watched as the backhoe broke through the felled trees blocking the waterway.  The beavers were nowhere to be seen, but we imagined they were in a safe place witnessing the destruction of their destruction.  Slowly, the machinery broke through the beaver dam.  The water rushed out at first, forming temporary creeks that led down the mountain.  Then, as the water slowed and the day got darker, my friends and I set up camp nearby.  Some of the loggers joined us by the fire, and we listened to logging stories until late that night.  It was an odd adventure, but entertaining.  After all, we got to play logger golf and witness beaver removal.  Who knows what’ll happen next weekend?

Beaver Dam

get rid of beaverSploosh, drip drip, shooooosh. I looked around and couldn’t believe the damage I saw swirling in the water around me, all thanks to a beaver dam on the stream running through my property.

I’d bought the small place because of its idyllic location.  It wasn’t a mansion, by any standards, but it was beautiful; rather it was an older small farm house tucked away in a sunny, green valley.  My whole life I’d wanted a place like this, but never thought it was a possibility, because I grew up, lived and worked in the city.  But, one day, I woke up and realized I could change my lifestyle any time I wanted, as long as I was willing to make the change and give up some things like the good money I was making and the huge amounts of stress and the wasted hours that went into making that money.  So, I gave them up and made the change.

I looked at a lot of places around the state, but fell in love the moment my realtor and I drove up.  It was absolutely perfect.  A small home on a lot of land.  A well-established garden was out back, complete with an herb garden for the kitchen.  The small stream wandered through the property and a beautiful, large willow tree offered stream-side shade.  I got a job where I could work from home, and sat under the willow tree in the summer, typing and enjoying the quiet outdoors.

Then, the beavers moved in.  Just two of them, but they found my property as idyllic as I did.  At first, I loved watching them from afar, swimming and diving and busily building their beaver dam.  The stream was just a little too fast for them to make their home in the bank and do all the things that beavers do, so they had to do something to slow the water. Being from the city, it never occurred to me that I should start to worry about the effects of that beaver dam.

The first sign of trouble was I noticed water encroaching on my beloved herb garden.  I wasn’t sure whether to shrug and let nature do its thing, or if I should do something about the beaver dam.  Time passed and I figured it just made it easier to water the garden.

With the stream being diverted in some places and pooling in others, I naively enjoyed watching the other wildlife that was attracted to my property.  More birds than ever made the willow their home or skimmed across the surface of the stream to catch the bugs flitting right above the water.  Deer prints and little raccoon prints dotted the new little wetland area the beavers had created.  I thought I was in heaven.

And then came the day when I went down into the basement for something and found a few inches of water stagnating on the basement floor and seeping into my stored belongings.  The beaver dam had diverted the water just enough that it found its way into my perfect little place.  I’d let nature do its thing, and it did, much to my expense and regret.

Beaver Problems

You farmers think you have beaver problems, try being a trout.  I mean, here I am, not bothering anyone, and all of a sudden some beavers come along, build their dam or lodge, and I’m stuck.  I’m supposed to be able to swim my normal route, along this cute little stream with a nice rocky bottom and lots of cover so I can hide from predators from above.  But, as soon as it’s time to move, I notice the water temperature’s different and I’m suddenly blocked by a huge pile of twigs and logs.  Beaver problems! My precious running water that’s supposed to take me to my spawning grounds is now diverted into little pools and ponds.  That’s just great for some other fish, but it’s a death trap for me!  The shallow ponds don’t give me much cover or depth to hide from fish-eating birds or other animals like raccoons.  I can’t get to my spawning grounds, then I can’t spawn, and I’ll probably be caught and eaten by something.  Just an awful situation for me.

Yes, other animals love it.  Beavers come in, create new ponds or divert waterways, and all of a sudden new plants are springing up, all kinds of other water creatures move in, and birds and animals are attracted.  I’ll be honest, beavers even help trout sometimes when they make larger rearing grounds.  But, I have to be able to get there first!  Right now, I’m stuck and there’s nothing I can do about it.

So, you farmers can moan about your beaver problems.  Sure, they take down swaths of your corn fields, or take down your precious willow trees or cottonwoods.  Maybe they destroy one of your fences in search of some pretty young tree in your yard. Perhaps you don’t have as much land as you used to, now that so much more of it is under water.  Or, maybe it’s gotten so bad that your basement’s flooded.  Beavers can contaminate your drinking water, you could get giardiasis.

And the animals attracted to those pretty new ponds the beavers made could also get onto your property.  Sure, they won’t kill you like they’d kill me, but you’re still going to have a problem.  How about more birds raiding your fields?  How about raccoons nesting in your home because they’ve got a nice new pond to play in just filled with fish like me?

Hey, maybe you like that sort of thing – more birds and wild animals hanging around on your property, destroying your crops, getting into your home or out buildings.  I’m just saying, maybe we have a mutual interest here.  What do you say?  Get a professional in here who knows how to get rid of our beaver problem, and my life cycle goes back to normal and your property stays the way you like it.

How to Get Rid of Beavers

how to get rid of beaver        
    I can’t believe my Mom asked me, of all people, how to get rid of beavers living on her cabin property.  I’m an animal rights activist!  Does she not get that?  I’m not the kind of activist that breaks into places and releases zoo animals out onto suburban streets or anything, but I attend rallies and work in the local no-kill shelter and want mankind to preserve the natural habitats of wild animals. 

            So you can understand why I was a little shocked when my Mom called me up and asked me if I knew how to remove the beavers off her property upstate.  She said she figured I knew all about wild animals, or at least knew people who knew about them, that I could help her out.  Fact is, I don’t know anything about how to get rid of beavers, but I helped petition a state park to stop their demonstration on how to skin a beaver once.  I guess my Mom thought I was an expert, then.

            I agreed to meet up with her on the property and take a look at it for myself.  As I drove up there, I thought about how great Mom’s been at taking care of everything herself since Dad passed away several years ago.  She has the house and the large lot upstate with the cabin.  I resolved to help her out more.

            I got there before she did, and let myself in.  The cabin held a lot of memories for me: family trips up in the mountains, cross-country skiing, Dad trying to teach me how to fish in the stream that ran through the property, Mom taking me on long hikes in the fall to watch the leaves change color.  I strolled outside, fondly remembering the time when Mom and Dad let me throw a big party up here in high school.  Somehow we all made it back in one piece!

            And then, something caught my eye.  Several trees that had been here forever lay dead on the ground.  The beavers had gotten to them.  I decided to walk a little further over to the stream and was amazed to see the little stream was now a big pond.  The new pond had eroded away a good portion of the cabin’s backyard.  If it got any bigger, it would flood the cabin, or worse, damage its foundation.  I wondered if it had backed up the septic pipe, or contaminated the water feeding our well. 

No wonder Mom was so upset.  If the cabin flooded or was seriously damaged, if the well water was undrinkable, it would cost her a lot of money, money I didn’t think she had.   Beavers could live anywhere they wanted up here in the mountains, why’d they have to choose my Mom’s property?  As I saw my Mom’s car driving up to the cabin, I whipped out my cell phone and called a friend.  “Hey, Rick, any idea how to get rid of beavers?” I asked him.

Beaver Removal

beaver removal

            A group of families in Oshawa, Ontario Canada had finally had enough of improper beaver removal.  They had learned that many beavers were being trapped inhumanely in grotesque metal traps that snapped on their legs.  The beavers were left to suffer until they were either freed or died. 

            The group met on a public sidewalk, holding up signs denouncing the use of inhumane methods to control the growing beaver population.  They laid one of the traps on the sidewalk, pressed one of the wires with a shovel, and watched as the crowd jumped back in surprise and shock.  The trap shut fast and quick, and it wasn’t hard to imagine the awful pain and terror a beaver would experience if its leg were caught.

            More humane methods of beaver removal have been developed and are used throughout the world.  But, as one protestor said, “They are using our tax dollars to buy and set these traps.”  Another one added, “Yeah, $3,000 to buy a $20 trap.”

            Admittedly, this type of trap has been illegal for the past four or five years, but that doesn’t mean it’s not still being used.  Even if the government wasn’t using it in their current efforts to control the beaver population, individual property owners were setting this type of trap up, and would often not check them regularly, leaving the beaver to suffer.

            Beavers aren’t normally thought of as a pest, but they can be.  A family of beaver can take down about 400 trees a year.  They can alter waterways with their dams, which can result in flooded homes or roads.  Local water supplies can be contaminated when natural waterways are altered by beaver dams. 

            And beaver populations are on the rise.  In some areas, beaver removal has become more and more necessary.

            These Canadian protestors aren’t debating whether or not beaver removal is necessary. They are simply calling for more humane ways of combating the increasing problem.

            First, identify that you have a problem.  Look for felled trees or trees stripped of their bark around the base.  You can look for a burrowed den in the water bank.  Of course, beaver dams are a pretty obvious symptom.

Then, the best course of action is to contact a true professional, who can set traps to capture the large rodent and release them in an area where they can’t cause as much damage.  Beaver repellants are also a good idea, to discourage other beavers from setting up shop on your property.  Proper beaver removal can save your trees, ornamental gardens, and property lines.