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The Very Best Traps To Catch Beavers And Rabbits

beaver trapThe beaver is North America’s largest rodent. The average weight of a mature male beaver is 40-60 pounds; however, they can exceed 100 pounds. A female becomes pregnant once a year. After about 100 days, she delivers between 4-6 kits in the spring. The kits stay within the family unit until two years of age, when they strike out on their own. Beavers usually live 5-10 years. However, the population can turn over 30 percent a year by trapping and never significantly dent the population.

Their natural habitat is self-built ponds, which are both good and bad depending on who you ask.  The ponds tend to help with erosion and runoff concerns and improve soil quality. As a result of all of these attributes, the ponds are full of animals and plants, an ideal place to get some food and fur.

Owners of land may cull the beaver population on that land without limitations, and may even open the land to hunters and trappers to help them in the process, without limitations.

Beavers

Beaver traps of all kinds exist, but perhaps one of the more effective ones is called a body trap, or a body grip trap. The amount of tension in the trap itself is enough to cause a danger when trappers and hunters are setting them up, so it’s recommended that you understand the way the trap works and carry a hacksaw blade that can free you from the trap if you accidentally get stuck during setup. Safety clamps should be employed to ensure the safest possible setup.

An easy and quick setup is the canal setup. Essentially you will find a narrow area with good beaver traffic. You’ll feed a wooden pole through the trap end and lay the pole horizontally across the canal, dropping the pole onto the water surface, thereby hiding the trap hanging below.  Staking the two land-based ends of the pole to secure it, you will catch a beaver when they dip under the water to avoid the pole at the water surface level.

A trap set and camouflaged at the opening to a den of beavers may yield an excellent result as well. Secure the trap in front of the hole/entrance and camouflage the wire trap.  If done underwater, make sure that you anchor the trap so a lively beaver stays put.

Explosives can be used for easier killing, but typically don’t have a place outside of major beaver populations and government-supported landowners (petitioning for licensure and cost-sharing).

A box trap for beavers can yield good results too. You simply have a lure that is enticing enough to draw a beaver to the bait. You set bait into a propped-up box lid and then the baited lid closes when the trigger is knocked loose.  It isn’t brain surgery, but you must make sure you bait the trap properly, and make it interesting enough for the animal. When you come to clear the traps, knock before entering. Chances are, if you have a closed box, then you have a beaver. You’ll need to be careful when opening the trap so that he doesn’t get away. Transfer your beaver to the holding area for food and fur/skin prep.

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Rabbits

Wild rabbits are fuzzy and cute, but also tasty and relatively easy to trap. Here are effective ways to trap a rabbit for a meal.

The box trap detailed above works well for rabbits. Simply use a carrot from your garden as bait and it is nearly 100 percent reliable and humane.

To construct a simple snare trap, you will make a wire noose and put it directly in line with a pathway frequented by small animals, anchoring it to something stationary like a branch, log or rock. As the animal goes through the snare head first, they will get caught into the snare and then entangle themselves around the fatter part of their body. This type of snare will work well for raccoons and rabbits, as well as several other animals whose head is smaller than their belly.

An improvement on the basic snare is a hoisting snare. It hoists the animal up off
the ground out of the reach of predators and helps prevent the wire from twisting
and breaking. It is made by using a forked stick holding up a straight stick. The animal catches in the snare and the stick slides off the peg, lifting the animal up.

Restricted exit traps rely on “the animal has a small head and a chubby body” principle also. They basically create a hard-to-exit scenario, once the head is into the trap. These are available commercially.

A flange trap is where you funnel an animal into a small can baited with food, with four flanges cut and hanging down into the can trap. When they enter they are fine, but when they try to back away from the trap, they are stuck. If anchored properly, you can expect that an animal will get caught in the can with the flanges acting as a hook system to cut into their skin and prevent an exit.

Trapping is a trial and error scenario. You can’t really improve through knowledge alone. The more you try, the better you become at it. Obviously knowledge is helpful (and you should know what you’re dealing with before you try it), but hands-on experience can give you volumes of knowledge each time you succeed or fail.

Failing is good as long as you don’t get hurt, and as long as you use the information you learned to improve your situation. The goal of trapping is to stabilize your hunting efforts and mix up the food supply a bit.  But the ancillary benefits like furs and other moneymakers. (For example, beaver scent sacks can be sold at a good price as long as you know how to maintain the integrity of them, and have the right buyer.)  Money or bartered goods from your trapping can help you support your lifestyle and is worth the extra time and small investment it takes to buy a few traps and make a few calls to the local area landowners who may have population problems.

If you utilize sound judgment and good planning, trapping can be beneficial in many ways.

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