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#2370933 - 01/13/11 09:17 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: HFT AK]
Ol' Blister Offline


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 875
Loc: McGrath, Alaska
Originally Posted By: HFT AK
I tried setting today.My little 18 inch chainsaw couldn't even get me close to water. After cutting 3 and 1/2 feet I started busting a sweat and called it quits! What the heck do you do when the ice is that darn thick?


Ken would cut me the four edges and one down the middle and one across. Then I would go to work with the ice pick. I'd go till I hit water. One of my favorite pictures, that I have posted before, is of that clear, clear ice that forms under the overflow and snow. When I see that I know the water isn't too far below.



I wish I had pictures of this one hole I kept chopping away at, saying, "Surely I am going to hit water with this chop!" I dug down about 4 feet !!!! Thank goodness there really WAS that fateful chop that brought water ;o) .....and it was a gusher!

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#2371139 - 01/13/11 10:45 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: Ol' Blister]
Ak trout Offline
trapper

Registered: 10/30/08
Posts: 30
Loc: Alaska
Heres my very first beaver. Did a bit of read through the archives to get ideas and to see some sets. Then had a buddy that knew of some beavers that no one was going after so, what the heck. Why not.

I started out trying a baited set and I'm pretty sure the beavers were just laughing as they swam by. Then this heat wave we have a bit ago re=opened everything and I found this sweet little chute leading straight from the hut to the stream.




So I threw a 330 in there, its just deep enough for a 330 with maybe a couple inches above the top.
Came back two days later and ....





This thing was heavy or I'm just out of shape from sitting in front of my computer working on my masters
Reset and checked again today and picked up another one. Re-set and repeat

Thanks for all the tips and advice that you guys are willing to share.
Trout-


Edited by Ak trout (01/13/11 11:08 PM)
Edit Reason: spelling
_________________________
Dont forget your trapping License

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#2371171 - 01/13/11 11:01 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
HFT AK Online   content
trapper

Registered: 12/26/08
Posts: 404
Loc: Wasilla AK
Way to go!
OB- I feel like a sis now! Thanks!

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#2371270 - 01/14/11 01:18 AM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
A few pointer from my beaver trapping in the cold and ice.
Chainsaw. I found nothing worked better than keeping my saw thawed out on the day I was setting a lot. I filled jugs up with hot water and it was nice. Cut and put it away.


One trick I figured out for going deeper than the blade was to saw a bunch of chris cross cubes. They fell apart real easy. Got them out and went deeper.



When ever I set runs coming out of the house. And this is my favorite Dec set. I use my hole finder. A piece of conduit bent with a 90 and a wooden handle. It is my underwater eyes. And if you use one, and you are like me, you won't ever want to be without it again. Multiples ways to use it under the ice. It is my underwater eyes.



I often don't get back right away and with conibears my beaver can be under the water for quite a while. While I prefer a two to three day check I can wait a week if I need to. I insulate all my holes. Stick, cardboard, pile of snow.
20below for a week. You might have a couple of inches. Most of the time it is a half inch. I don't like chopping ice.


And when it is cold out be happy your not skinning beaver on your sled. Cause you don't have a house to do it at. ;0)



_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#2371484 - 01/14/11 08:03 AM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
STUMPMAKER Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 44
Loc: Northwest Wisconsin
HFK AK-et a longer chain bar. I start with a 20" bar and go up to a 36" bar and then if still not long enough I take up reading till spring time. Good luck and stay warm

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#2371600 - 01/14/11 09:31 AM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
WI Coonarse Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/10/10
Posts: 16
Loc: WI, between EauClaire and Supe...
we must be soft down here in WI stumpmaker- I was gonna say the same thing- When the ice gets that thick I figure them beaver can wait til spring. We got it a little easier than them guys up in God's country as far as that goes though.
_________________________
Some day they'll name a trap after me.

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#2371704 - 01/14/11 10:43 AM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
Spek Jones Offline
"FATHER"

Registered: 01/10/09
Posts: 812
Loc: Homer, Alaska
Theres a line somewhere there between too soft and too bullheaded. smile
Anymore if I can't stick a 28" bar through the ice and hit water I move to
another spot or another pond. The days when I would chop through 4 ft of
ice for a 12 dollar beaver are pretty well past. Seemed like too many times I would chop a 4 foot hole and hit gravel or not enough water to make a set.
Went up river about ten miles one time and cut a hole through 3 ft of ice
to make a set for bank beaver. We cut a hole about 30" square and hit a gusher like OB mentioned. Water was boiling up about a foot above the surface and that hole flooded the whole river all the way to the mouth with two feet of water. It shut down that whole section of trapline for a
week before it finally froze over again enough to travel on. (Something to watch out for).

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#2371841 - 01/14/11 12:17 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
piperniner Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1275
Loc: Alaska
Each to his own - I'll take a 10 inch Jiffy . I asked them about a 12 inch one time, but they said the spiral stock doesn't pencil out for limited sales. Anyone try out the new propane model yet ?

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#2371856 - 01/14/11 12:26 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
otterman Offline



Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 2399
Loc: SW Alaska
I like the ice auger as well use to do the chisel thing and remember being on my knees on the ice hanging on to the end of a 5 foot chisel more than once before punching through, and people wonder why I don't like chiseling ice much anymore.
_________________________

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#2371871 - 01/14/11 12:42 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: otterman]
yukonjeff Online   content
trapper

Registered: 01/02/08
Posts: 826
Loc: M.T.V. Alaska
I also use the the 10'' jiffy..and was the best investment I ever made..two or 3 side by side holes and chip out the pointed sections and you can hang 3 snares and off to the next house..you can set 10 houses or more a day...the checking then is the hard part..dont want to set to many.

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#2371872 - 01/14/11 12:43 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
I have always been hesitant to use my ice auger after my first time using it. I thought man this is going to be cool. First time on a beaver hole. I reved it up and let fly. About half way down it grabbed a hold of a nice chunk of frozen wood and wam! About turned me around in a circle and bent my shaft. The auger always had a very slight wobble after that. shocked
That is why I like Dec beaver trapping runs. If I can punch through with my icepick in one good thrust when looking for the run I move on. Too many beaver out here to not just move to the next house.
Once they get bait hungry I will move from entrances. But I pretty much do beaver just for bait now.
I wish the price would spike on them some day. A guy could make some money at $100 a beaver.
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#2371906 - 01/14/11 01:10 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
piperniner Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1275
Loc: Alaska
Like YJ says, side by side holes allows for 330's as well. One hole works for me on snares. Similar to Rally, I make one snare with two loops( no nails ) and you can stack them depending on water depth. Just lightly squeeze both loops together and slide down on the pole through the hole.
I'm like you FT, mostly for Wolverine bait. But if a guy has the energy, you could do ok between hide, musher carcass, castor and skull sales.
I'm thinking the new propane one might be interesting. Just keep the bottle under the cowl for a short period if real cold.

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#2372747 - 01/14/11 07:37 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
Predator Wild Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/14/10
Posts: 30
Loc: NW Missouri
That was a GREAT read, thanks for all the info and especially the pictures. Any idea what trees the beaver eat in MO?
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~ Heath

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#2372775 - 01/14/11 07:47 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: Predator Wild]
otterman Offline



Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 2399
Loc: SW Alaska
Originally Posted By: Predator Wild
Any idea what trees the beaver eat in MO?

Green ones laugh laugh
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#2372877 - 01/14/11 08:38 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: otterman]
Clark Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 935
Loc: Duluth, MN
Rally - I always enjoy your information about trapping beaver under the ice. Several years ago you wrote an article that appeared in one of NAFA's publications and you detailed how you set runs with snares. Thanks to that information I caught this beauty by the snout:



Interestingly we caught two beaver at this lodge on the same check and both were caught exactly as you see this one. I never had it happen before and never since like that.

Concerning loaded snares I've always gone the other way with unloaded snares. My theory was that a beaver is not real delicate when it is under water and the chances of it being outside your snare loop when it bumps it are just as good as it being inside the snare loop. With the unloaded snare (and a real raspy lock, too) the beaver would have to really pull on the loop before the snare was fired. Merely swimming by or bumping it with a tail wouldn't fire it. Any thoughts on this system? Typically I was using 5/64" 7x7 cable and catching beaver by extremities so I was satisfied with it.

Clark
_________________________
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. -Albert Einstein

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#2372925 - 01/14/11 09:06 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
I have a question.
Our beaver population is over the top. Not a bit of water that could hold one that doesn't have a house on it. Were talking lots.
When I trapped beaver in Montana the typical was one large breeding pair per house and of course the subadults and kits.
Never do I remember getting multiple large beaver in a house.
However the other day we pulled out a nice female. I would say in the blanket class. 68 inch or so. Female as I was showing a teacher the parts and pieces. She had had no kits however the previous summer. Three days later out of the same house we got another, slightly larger female that had had kits as you could see lactating nipples from this summer. Rally or others have you seen this very often. I have not paid a lot of attention but know of at least thee times I have seen this out here.
Curious if our beaver are the ones practicing polygamy.
grin

On another note. Got a pm from someone wanting to know any tips on finding entrances.
Thought I would share some ideas with all.
I have set a lot and they are my preferred in Nov and Dec as that is when bait is easiest to get and the least work to get it.
I like to go out in Nov early Dec. After that it is a lot harder. But still you can look for some things.
The entrances, always a min of two but not uncommon to have 3 or 4. I like to get three set on a big house. Early in the season I look for bubble paths. They guide you right in.
But usually after snow this is harder. But the fact that their are bubbles in the ice works to your benifit. I walk around the house with my ice pick and thud hard ever foot or so. Listen, alot of the time you will get a different feel and sound. Hollow sounding and softer. It is not much different but it it often a clue. It is made from the air bubbles in the ice from their air bubbles when swimming. In Nov and early Dec on a warm year like this 80% of the houses your ice pick will go right through it is so thin over these entrances. Be careful. If you find this you find the entrance.
Later but not too late I take my chainsaw an bury the blade every two feet or so straight up and down looking for water. It is like getting an instant hole to the water. As you work your way around the house the thinner ice will show up in the depth you have to go with the chainsaw. This is a great technique. A good saw goes in like a hot knife on butter.
You can generally count on an entrance coming out on both sides of the house if the feeder is right in front. I look for subtle differences in the house to see where an entrance might be but it still varies a lot.
Indentations seem to hold a entrance a lot of times.

Earlier discussion talked about breathing vents.
This was the mother of all vents I have seen.
We took two otter and a pile of beaver out of this house. Had the entrances just right and it was 2-3 animals for a number of checks. I love that when that happens. That one house kept me in beaver all winter for bait.











Edited by Family Trapper (01/14/11 09:11 PM)
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#2373255 - 01/14/11 11:18 PM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
otterman Offline



Registered: 12/24/06
Posts: 2399
Loc: SW Alaska
Len, In the past I trapped in what most would consider a large group as many as 10 guys in a beaver camp but with limits of 10 or 20 it wasn't a big deal as there were plenty of beaver and it was a fun time for all. Anyway we would pull snares off a house if we got a kit after the 2nd check if not we kept snaring till we got a kit often getting as many as 6 or 8 large/med beaver out of the house and once we took an all time high of 11 before with one being a kit. We trapped one house and took something like 6 out of it and my wife's uncle recalled how yrs before he and several others including my father in law had taken 21 out of that same house with none being kits. We would trap a place one yr rest it 2 then hit it again but often someone else would hit it when we were not trapping it. It seems incredible but it is the truth. With the explosion of the beaver population here I no longer see this on the river beaver. If I take 4 out of a house one is a kit and try not to take more than 2 or 3 out of any house. The beaver in the flats I never saw in big numbers we seldom took more than 4 from a house and now days I seldom take more than 2.
_________________________

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#2373472 - 01/15/11 02:40 AM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
trapperbobs Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 87
Loc: Alaska, USA
I have been lurking a lot this year, and finally got a little gear out. Out of several hundred beaver I have caught, only one has been under ice with bait. I just have always favored dam breaks, castor mounds, bank dens and channel sets. But last week I added two more to my baited catch using Rally's bait pole with snares. So to get to the point I went to a pond I took two beaver out of last winter, a large female in a bank den, and a kit in a bank den. I also had several fired conibears at the dam. So upon return this year I was amazed at the sign around this pond, the entire bottom is covered in chewed sticks. A government agency has been breaking the dam as indicated by what looked like two new houses where the dam is. I decided I would hit them hard on this pond. I proceeded to set 2 dam breaks with 330's, foot hold drowner where they had been in open water chewing on a old dry log, a baited 330 on a pole, a bank den with a 280 and a 3" snare pole with 4 snares a foot below 1 1/2" of clear ice where a lot of feeding was occuring. The open water was left over from our latest melt down. Return next day to nothing in traps WOW I wasn't ready for that. One 330 at dam break holds a 3'x1" stick carefully placed by smart old beaver. The snare pole is gone about 16" below the ice all snares knocked down but not pulled tight. The night before I read this topic from cover to cover. So I moved the foothold over to the dam break and cut a much bigger 5" pole from a cottonwood they had downed I set it with two snares a foot below the ice and two more below that in about 7' of water. I return two days later to ever thickening ice. Walah A kit is frozen to the bottom of the ice which is still clear but about 5" thick. I chop a big square free to remove him as pole is still intact, and then try and figure out which snares are on him without pulling the whole pole out. In the process I dropped a snare down the hole, not a big deal. Finally take both top snares off the kit and load him and 10+ pounds of ice in bag and sled. Because of thickening ice I decide to pull all gear until schedule works better. A voice in my head says that snare sunk down the hole just a little fast so I sweep the ice out of the hole and peer down to a big tail snared male laying 7' down on the bottom. It took a little fishing but I got him out of there and was pretty jazzed about the results. I am one of those guys that loves to trap beaver. I pulled an ice glazed marten also so not to bad a day. Thanks for the pictures and info, I really like the nail/snare and plan to use it soon. I have caught up to ten beaver out of a house, and a 58 and a 63 LB male out of the same house. I found a couple other good prospects I will try and get before and after pictures next time.




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#2373478 - 01/15/11 03:00 AM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
Family Trapper Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2087
Loc: Homer, Alaska
Cool. Looks like your making this thread work in your favor. Do you ever rub your soaked beaver in snow to dry off? Does't look like you have much to work with.
_________________________
Passion- There are some people who live in a dream world, and their are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other.

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#2373489 - 01/15/11 03:28 AM Re: Under ice beaver/conibear? [Re: TrapperTy]
trapperbobs Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/20/08
Posts: 87
Loc: Alaska, USA
The whole country is hard as a brick from that last warm, but yes I have dried them in the snow it does work well. Iwas right around 10 deg and I couldn't even let them touch the ice or they would have stuck. I want to get it so they don't get up to the ice and freeze in that will give me a little more challenge to ponder for future sets.

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