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  #1  
Old 01-21-2008, 03:23 PM
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Coalman Coalman is offline
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Default Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.
01/12/08
Each species of furbearers have many different methods of harvest. One of my favorite is under ice beaver trapping. Our NH trapping seasons are long. We are allowed to set the bank and lodge entrance holes. Ice gives a trapper the advantage of walking directly to the lodge from their access to the pond or river.
The plan is to set a couple traps next weekend. With the anticipated snow for tomorrow which may hide a lot of sign I went out to scout a few set locations. The pond I have in mind feeds the Lamprey River. The beaver come off the river each year and winter here. There are multiple old lodges around the pond that bring back tons of memories of full traps past.
Each year the beavers recondition a different lodge. All the domes of the other huts are snow covered. This year the lodge is one I have never trapped. It is the hardest lodge to get to. The tops of the winter food supply buried under water in front of the hut are barely visible. The melted snow and fresh peeled sticks on the dome pin point the active lodge.


The black ice leading out away from the lodge is a good sign of an active run.


The ice was paper thin and fresh peeled sticks are calling for a couple 330 conibear traps in the runs. I stuck sticks upright in the snow to mark the location. I found two entrances.


Lets see what Mother Nature throws us for weather this week. Looking forward to going back.

01/19/08
Took a trip down to the pond and set 3 330's today.
First set in that hot run from last week. Wasn't to hard to find.


The second run was snow covered. The beaver come out of the lodge from the left. The stick in the water marks the center of the run. The trap wants to be on the bottom and right in the middle of the run.


Not much water to bury the trap at the second set. Here's the set up.


There is a set now on each side of the lodge. The feed bed is barely showing.


I also set this run at the dam. I'll check tomorrow.


01/20/08
I met the caretaker of the property kids yesterday on their snowmobiles while setting traps. They watched me make the set at the dam. They asked every trapping question in the book. I was happy to teach them the what and why.
We made plans to meet today and check traps together. It was a pleasure to have the company.
We had nothing in our set at the dam. We crossed the pond next out to the sets at the lodge. I could tell we had some action here. This was a set yesterday.


My helpers were very happy when we pulled this beaver onto the ice.


This is the first beaver I have caught in a few years. The caretaker asked my why I was trapping. I told him I was having fun.


It was nice to share the moment with our future.


The youngest boy here just got his own" tree stand" for Christmas. His dad told me he is a future sportsman. You can add trapper to that list now.


I told the boys I would be back. We'll trap the Lamprey River together.
We aren't done yet.
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  #2  
Old 01-21-2008, 03:33 PM
GunnySniper GunnySniper is offline
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

And that my friends is why Coal is the Man! Start'em young and keep'em going!
Been a while since I put any sets out, maybe next year will be better, I had every intention of being out there. Beaver are downright out of control here.
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  #3  
Old 01-21-2008, 07:57 PM
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Wild Dave Wild Dave is offline
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

I trapped with my Dad when I was like 10 years old. Still remember it like it was last year. Dad was 61 when I was born, in saying that I was about 14 by the time he became less active in the outdoors. But he always would tell me stories and give me advice the rest of his live about his or my outdoor adventures. He lived til he was 93 and we would always enjoy everthing I would bring home from my hunts or fishing trips. Great stuff buddy keep up the good work.
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Old 01-21-2008, 10:17 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

Great Job! That is a Great story and what is needed of our future generation, to show and teach and get them involved in the history of being an outdoorsman. Great photos also! Keep up the good work!
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  #5  
Old 01-21-2008, 11:22 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

Coalman.....You seem to enjoy every season regardless of what is in season. That's a truly wonderful thing. You take what is on this great Earth and enjoy every minute of it. There should be more people like you.
BTW, I must of had a deprived childhood because I never learned to trap beaver. The only beaver I ever tried to trap was the 2 legged type. If you ever get the urge to show an older kid how to trap, or fish smelt, or turkey hunt, or duck/goose hunt, deer hunt, rabbit hunt(I do have a retired Greyhound. It's my third), ice fish, etc, etc, etc, give me a call. You live what many only dream about. In my opinion, this is one lucky site to have you around.

AtaBoy David
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  #6  
Old 01-24-2008, 09:37 AM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

Great posts coalman....I love ice trapping beaver! it's my favorite, mostly because it's one of the easiest ways to trap. That's generally what i do when i go up to the allagash (northern maine) deer hunting is run a trap line at the same time! Awesome!
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  #7  
Old 01-24-2008, 01:22 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

I cant see the pictures. but I am sure they look great.

nice job coalman
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  #8  
Old 02-02-2008, 03:36 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

While bird hunting with Jay and Piper this fall we found a brand new beaver pond. Permission to trap was granted to me this week. The landowner wants them gone.
This pond's challenge is to get to it. The old class 6 road is not plowed.
It is a twenty minute walk in. The exercise is good for the ticker.
The pond is spring fed, not deep and crystal clear. The food cache is buried in the deepest part of the pond right at the dam. But the hut is 100 feet back in the woods.

I am standing at the feed bed. The lodge is just out of sight in the foreground. This is the run leading back to the hut. It is now guarded by 3 330 conibear traps in the narrowest spots.


A tree fell across the pond and the beaver chewed it in half to open the run. It is just the right size and depth for a set.


Bucky's got a mine field to get through tonight to get some food.
I'll sleep tonight like a kid waiting to open presents on Christmas morning.
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Old 02-03-2008, 12:52 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

02/03/08
The journey begins. It is good "trappercise".


This is the set where the beaver cut the log in half.
The conibear trap is on the right.


An extra large beaver. Very dark color. Life is good.


Mountain man blood flows through my veins. And technology is sweet.
It is a labor of love.
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  #10  
Old 02-03-2008, 01:25 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

I was looking forward to your post, after reading yesterdays. At-A-Boy Coalman.
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  #11  
Old 02-06-2008, 08:43 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

Running the line this evening was not a labor of love. It was a battle with nature. The mist was coming in sideways. The warm weather and rain have made the snow soft and it will not support my weight. Those last couple hundred yards off the snowmobile trail were tough.

But the rewards are sweet.


My job is done at this pond. I pulled the sets. Time to plan a new adventure.
Bucky went 40 lbs and will stretch close to a blanket beaver.
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  #12  
Old 02-17-2008, 04:23 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

02/16/08
What ever avenue we pursue in our quest as sportsmen there is value in learning the woods and water. If we listen to our elements and train our eyes and ears we reap the rewards.

To be a successful trapper we must learn our critters. Valuable time is spent in the woods searching and pursuing our quarry. Scouting can save time and weight. Winter beaver trapping in Northern New England is a time of solace in the woods.
I grabbed the snowshoes and a chisel and went for a walk


Today was spent looking along the shores of the Lamprey River. This is a very large flood plain flooded :( due to our recent rain.


Between here and the far shore,


There are beaver. This place is on my list as #1 for ice out.


02/17/08
I really love this property. Last weeks beaver came from the upper right of this field. There is another flowage that originates from the left. There has been beaver activity in a few past turkey seasons.


The plan was to follow the flowage looking for beaver sign. There were fresh beaver chewing along the brook. This told me the beaver were close. It also told me at least a couple beaver are large. Not many beaver attack mature red oak for this reason. The red oak usually wins but...... then dies.


Down over the hill was this small pond. Can you find the lodge and feed bed on the left?


This is the lodge up tight to the steep bank. I suspect more bank dens along the shore.


On the bank above the lodge the beaver had been enjoying any opening in the ice.


This week we had warm weather and rain followed by two single digit cold nights. The beaver were not active in the severe freeze. But they were when it was warm. Spillway #1. There were beaver, muskrat and otter using this slide.


Down 100 yards from here the brook flows into the marsh. There was twice the critter sign at Spillway# 2


A mental image of each set and each location is now stored in my head.
Now it is up to my tools and techniques. I will be prepared.
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  #13  
Old 03-08-2008, 02:29 PM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

03/08/08
It has been three weeks since I've been back to Spillway #1 and Spillway #2. Temperatures have been above freezing. It rained last night and they are calling for more rain today. Perfect conditions to take a traveling flattail.

I'll bring you along for the set up and you can feel my anticipaction for checking tomorrow. Full traps are a bonus. Time spent in the woods, priceless.


Spillway #1
Should have brought the hip boots and snowshoes for both were needed.
There is still some serious snow left around the pond. The snow on the dam was 3' deep.


The set will go on this slide.


Spillway #2
Is where all the action is.


First set will go in below the slide.


Natures camo. The trap is in the middle. The beaver will select the opening and duck.


There was also activity on this side.


This is what spring beaver trapping is all about.


I’ll have the snowshoes and hip boots tomorrow.
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  #14  
Old 03-08-2008, 11:14 PM
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Striperjim Striperjim is offline
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

What a great thread Dave.
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  #15  
Old 03-09-2008, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Under ice beaver trapping. Diary of a trapper.

03/09/08
The "Natural Camo" set had the action last night. Bucky ducked. 8)


Beaver are my target. I also saw sign of otter, muskrat, deer, fox, partridge and turkey. The call to the line is strong.


It was time to pack the sled on my diary.


I enjoyed the walks in. I will return to duel a monarch at daybreak.


The light at the end of the road is the start of a new adventure.


Thank you for coming along.
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