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Beaver - Most of the time if your trapping beaver, it will be done in the water. The exception is when creating a mound set with beaver castors. You will encounter two types of trapping, open water and through the ice. Both can present different and unique challenges.

Open Water:

Channel Set (blind set)-We like to use the 330 for most of our channel sets because it is one of the most humane way to harvest the animal. The idea is to find major runways that the beavers are using, the most common is the dam set. If you walk out on any active beaver dam, toy will notice one area that is pretty well worn down and looks to be similar to a slide.

Check your local regulations on dam and house sets and the distance you need to be from them. I prefer to set the 330 at the top of the dam. I use sticks from the dam that has the bark cleaned off them to anchor the trap in order for it not to get tipped over. Once the trap is secure I place more sticks in a V shaped pattern to get the beaver to funnel into the trap. I also place a larger stick over the trap to get the animal to dive down forcing it to go through the trap.

I buy at the local hardware store stove pipe wire in a coil and make it 4 strands strong. I make the overall length somewhere around 6 foot long and attach that securely to a larger stick driven into the bank. The reason for this is that when the beaver sets the trap off they will go into a roll and end out in deeper water. By having the wire in place, you can simply grab hold of the wire and pull the trapped animal to shore. Make sure not to use any sticks with the bark still present. Beaver will look at it as food

Muskrat, mink and otters will also use the slide/spillway off the dam

Poplar seems to be at least in our area their major food source. They will cut down just about anything when construction the house and dams.

Mound Set (Scent Beaver Castor) - Where beaver are actively working and living in an area you will come across a mud build mound located somewhere along the banks where the beavers will secrete fluids from the castor glands in a way of making the territory. You can actually build one yourself and it's best used when applying the castor sent from a beaver trapped from another location. The smallest trap to use on a beaver is the #3 and you want to be able to catch the animal by the back foot and have it head for deeper water to drown.

Beaver are well know for twisting off their front feet so keep this in mind when doing trap placement.

Active Cutting areas: I also like using either a 220 or 330 in areas where beaver are actively working a hillside cutting trees down for dam, house and feedbed construction. It's pretty easy to spot where they are coming and going on the waters edge. I set the trap similar to the blind set mentioned above in enough water so that the top of the trap is just under the surface of the water. You will need to place a dive stick (anything large enough over the trap to get the beaver to submerge into the trap) over the trap.

You can also use a # 3 or 4 foothold and place it so that the beavers hind foot will get caught and not the front as  already mentioned.

Ice Trapping:

Pole set. Take a pole of dry wood and nail or tie green aspen to it for bait. Place a trap on the pole (tie it in place with string) about a foot below the bait with the trap chain secured to the pole below the trap. Place the pole through a hole in the ice and push it firmly into the mud until the bait is about six inches below the bottom of the ice. Nail a cross arm to the end of the pole sticking up through the ice so that the beaver cannot pull the pole under the ice.

The pole set can be modified in many ways to suit various conditions. Small dry sticks can be nailed to either side of the pole to hold the trap in a horizontal position. Some trappers use two small poles in place of one larger one and nail cross arms across for the bait and trap.


Muskrat - Feed beds, floating sets, channel sets

Mink - Channel sets, cubbies (muskrat as bait)

Fisher - Cubby set

Coon - Cubby set, tin foil on foot trap, dam set

Otter - channel set is usually the best way to harvest otters. What I've found in the past which works well when setting out to harvest otter, is to locate narrow streams and channels to interconnect beaver ponds and flows. Otter love to travel and scout new areas. Their main diet is fish and fresh water claims.

As I have mentioned earlier on another page (tips), my major set for this animal is setting 2 220's about 7 inches apart using sticks to narrow the channel with a V-shaped look to force the otter into the trap. I also place sticks over the top of the trap to force the otter to dive. If you forget this step, the otter will usually swim over the top usually knocking the traps over.

I also look for natural roots or fallen trees that are already present and place the trap directly below them.


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