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Beaver trapping in Virginia
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Author:  Pierre [ 18 Mar 2012, 13:22 ]
Post subject:  Beaver trapping in Virginia

Does anyone trap beavers on the North Anna in Virginia? Back in the '70's my trapping partner and I got permission to trap the cooling water reservoir for the North Anna Nuclear facility. An uncle of one of the guys we worked with had property on this lake. He gave us permission to trap and used his influence with other property owners to allow us access. He also allowed us to use a lake camp shelter with a small masonry building for sleeping and cooking.

We trapped for two weeks starting right after Christmas. Weather was cold - in those days one had to use layers and lots of them when on the lake and traveling by boat. Portions of the lake starting freezing up after the first few days, but there was always some open water that we could access. Plus we used our v-bottom boat for ice breaking the thinner layers.

We had about a dozen footholds (mix of #3 and #4's) each and 6 #330 Conibear's apiece. There were no dvd's back in those days but we had some good books including Hawbakers. We were two greenhorns determined to learn beaver trapping. We connected right off with the Conibears, but the legholds took a bit more learning curve.

I learned I was placing my legholds traps too close to the bank, because I kept finding snapped traps that held hairs. So i moved them back and started connecting. We used drowner wires with the legholds. Biggest problem was freezing water that would put our sets out of commission.

We were fairly proud of our take after the two weeks, about two dozen beaver apiece; plus good coon, one mink and a good bit of muskrat. I was puffed up like a peacock and even thought about writing an article for FFG. A few months later in spring some guys who knew what they were doing trapped there and took about 100 beavers, proving that I wasn't quite ready for the self congratulations and that I still had more to learn.

What a fun that trip was.

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