beaver trapping, water trapping — February 3, 2014 at 5:32 pm

Trapping beaver with Foothold Traps, body grip traps, ice and snow, thoughts from Dustin Drews

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how to trap beaver with foot trapLast week I started focusing on beaver trapping. Now I am going to be honest, right now in Nebraska beaver are no fun. We have over a foot of ice on most of the creeks and all the ponds are rock solid. Now I am not a great beaver trapper but I have learned a few things here and there over the last few years.
A little back ground from my beaver trapping career as kid. I used to be 330s exclusively. I used to try and force them every where and every place. No matter what I did I had very little success. I mean I caught some beaver here and there, thought beaver were tough to catch or smart and all that other jazz.
Fast forward to a couple years ago. I bought a bottle of beaver lure and went out and set some #3 dukes. I put in some hideous looking castor mound sets. At the time I only had 3 traps. I set them along the bank in the sand creek east of town up stream of a beaver dam. I staked them with a 36 inch 3/8s tee stake and left.
Not really expecting much from my previous beaver attempts I did not check the traps till later the next evening.Low and behold I peek over the bank and looked down and what do you know, I had not one beaver but a pair of beaver looking at me! Dealing with a live beaver was a first for me. I would definitely recommend a 22 LR  if you are dealing with live beaver because they are no fun to deal with if using cave man methods.
So fast forward a month or so I am having great success with my three #3 dukes. But I have had a few pull outs so I went out and bought some MB-750s. From that moment on my beaver trapping ways were changed forever. Over Christmas break armed with my new steel and a friend, we went out and caught a bunch of beaver. All we did was replace the 330s with footholds, in front of den entrances, on the cross over and in front of caster mounds and in front of bait sticks.
Last year I really did not trap beaver at all. Most of them were accidental catches. Until last week I was on the same path. Then I got a call to clean out a few beavers out of some sand pits. With never trapping a beaver out of a pond it was a learning experience.
This place was the first time I ever was able to trap a place with true runs like you see in the trapping videos and books. I was super excited! I took a bunch of 330s along with me with h stands and I was ready to slay some beaver. Along with the 330s I took a few of my CDR’s. The water was thawed around the edges. I thought I am going to make a couple baited food sets and a castor set. Well in 3 days the footholds produced 6 beaver and the 330s in the runs produced a big fat zero. I had dive sticks set up the way everyone says to do it and still nothing? After a week of trapping the ponds and dealing with the rock solid ice off and on I had 11 beaver with foot holds, zero with 330s.
beaver trapping castor mound set
 
If you guys have never used foot holds on beaver give them a try. I own 6 doz 330s, I am going to sell them! I feel they have no place on my line. It has proved itself over and over to me on my line.Not only with beaver but coon also.
I am going to play with snares and beaver some this year. I have never really played with snaring beaver. I cannot wait to give this a try. If it works like it does on raccoon I am definitely going to have 330s for sale!
Until then 2 big pan CDRs set side by side dog to dog in front of castor mounds, at the exit of the runs, on the cross overs seem to be doing everything I can ask for! I know you guys are thinking two CDRS are over kill but I love the insurance of the second trap. I got them, it only takes another second to put in and I do not have to use any blocking with 2 traps. It keeps everything natural and my snapped trap issues have completely come to an end.
I got the CDRs so I could put the big pans on them, but if I had to do it all again for beaver trapping I would hands down be using mb-750 instead of the CDRs. Not that the CDRs are a bad trap but even without the big pans I had to really crank up the pan tension to prevent pull outs from belly catches. It seemed that the 750s with the counter sunk pan and the lower profile really helps the trap bed better and seemed to really cut down on the belly tripped traps.
I still think blind setting beaver with big foot holds is king! But food lure and castor are sure fun to play with! I honestly wish that every animal reacted to lure like beaver do. It is almost like you are cheating with the lure. If you never have tried it, give it a shot. I think you will be pleasantly surprised.
I have a huge change coming in to my life! A dream come true. Unfortunately my trapping season is coming to end early this year. I am bummed for the fact that I will not be able to reach some of my goals. But this life changing event is something I never thought I could get. I will make a post explaining everything in detail!
Until then, guys thanks for the emails you have sent me thanking me for my posts it means a lot! 
God Bless,
Dustin Drews
 
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4 Comments

  1. Ok this is probably the wrong place to ask a question like this but I couldn’t find anywhere else. Im a yound trapper in south east MO (an hour south of st. Louis) and im wanting to get and expert opinion on a system im planning. Running 18 fox traps, 12 coyote and cat traps (all with big pans) 18 dps ten 1.5s for mink and a lot of various conibear sizes for beaver rats mink otter ect. Any advice you have would be helpful

    • Jacob, I am an expert but I will give it a shot..
      You are asking one of the most random open ended questions there is! You are looking for a system to catch every fur toting critter in MO.
      Well for starters lets look at your traps.
      You say you have 18 fox traps and 12 coyote and cat traps. If you do not have traps yet and are planning to purchase traps I would look at getting #2 Bridgers. and have them doubled jawed.
      If you do this you can use these traps on fox, coon, coyotes, rats, mink, otter and even beaver in the right situation targeting a front foot. This year for me my Bridger #2s were a real fur taker. All you need to do is change the pan tension from one species to the next and you are good to go. If you have traps already any #2 or bigger trap will work on all k9 and cats.
      I would hold off on the body grip traps for now. in my experience foot holds are more forgiving and you will have less refusals because you are not forcing the animal into the trap.
      Dps are a great tool. If I were you I would research bait stations and set up 10 of them on good denning areas and rotate your dog proofs on these bait stations throughout the year. Because DPs work best in a situation where coon are normally eating.
      As for a system. I would learn how to read tracks and find trails and blind set for the critters. All the animals you are after use the trails you find in the woods… Learn how to make a blind set. This will teach you a lot about location and will also teach you what animals travel the different types of trails.
      If you want more specific questions answered ask them on the wolfernation forum and the guys will do the best to get them answered!
      God Bless,
      Dustin

  2. I am a young trapper and was wondering if you guys could put up a video on mink trapping skinning and stretching

  3. I am a young trapper and i want to get an advice from you all guys – how can i catch a man, what system could you recomend me to easily catch another trapper like you? I want to be honest, i dont want to spend too many time waiting for a trapper, I want to catch trapper fast and i dont want to kill him, so could you offer me the system that kills trapper before i find him catched? :)

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