It was almost too late for this one but I think I've found enough to make it interesting for some. I got a call for a job two counties over. It is 50.2 miles to the entrance of the property. I arrived a week after one of the biggest rains I can remember. The whole area was flooded. The man let me ride his four wheeler into the area on the raised road. After informing me not to go off to the right, " a creek that would send me swimming," I entered.
This place is in the delta, the road bed was the highest place anywhere around. I found this lodge built onto the roadbed. The owner said it wasn't there in January.
Most of the front of the lodge was under-water. I made four sets around it as it was the only place I could find. I caught five beaver there. Two large males the first night. Two above medium males the second check. One small beaver the third check. The water level was steadily going down and after it exposed the top of the dam I made a small cut and continued lowering it. The animals really started showing up and the top of the dam became a their highway. I saw unbelievable amounts of coon tracks, two bobcat tracks, and a coyote. The bobcat covered one of the dead beaver at the place I carried the carcasses to.
I don't have a blasters permit so I'll show how I cut a five foot gap in the very old dam. These are the types that give me trouble with the Tater Rake. Lots of sticks woven into the mud. I use the Sharp-shooter that I made a handle for after the original broke. It is 1 inch rebar with the same welded at the top for the handle. It is heavy enough to slice through most of the sticks, allowing for a much easier removeal. I sliced two rows at a time the width of the dam, then use the Tater rake to pull the rows into the current. The current helps clear out the cut up chunks and mud.
After using the spade to cut the roots and move deeper into the dam.
I cut a five foot gap through the dam in about thirty minutes. I probably took two 5 minute breaks during that time..LOL I'm getting old. I charged $40. for the cut that the blaster would have charged $75. for. I made a nice wage for my time and saved the customer money while doing it.
I chopped a hole into the hut after removing the beaver, making sure there weren't any little fellows. Thought some might like to see the inside. I held my breath as I stuck my hands into to take the picture. More than one time a very large cottonmouth came out from the hut while I was there. You can see one of the exit holes that is out of the water. There were three entrances to the hut that I found, this one was the only one all the way out of the water at the time the picture was taken.
Of course, after cutting the dam and finishing up on that end of the track, I had checked the other end every trip in as they had two of the duck unlimited culverts. No activity until yesterday. All of the hunting clubs were draining the many fields around and I guess it finally got low enough for the beaver to go back to work.....Just my luck.....1 mile from the dam and area I had just worked. At least this one is accessable with a truck.
I decided not to wait on the beaver to raise the level high enough for a drowning set. I only use this set with Belisle traps because they will hold the beaver by feet, tail, or whatever in case he gets caught there while working on the dam. I put the traps on slider poles so he will go out into the water instead of on the bank where his chances of escape improve dramatically. Time will tell if I made the right decision. Two snakes were killed at this last location while setting.
I let the owners know that if they have trouble this winter during trapping season, that I would sure like to help their turkey population by thinning out the predators....LOL