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Beavzilla, my first big catch
By Keith Dewars*

I started trapping a few years ago.  I had always been interested but never had the knowledge until a new friend invited me to go with him one day.  He took me along as we checked his under-ice beaver line in northern Wisconsin.  Even though it was –20 degrees that day I was hooked from the start.  As an avid hunter and fisherman, I was looking for an extra excuse (as if I needed one) to get out of the house after hunting seasons were over.  The next year, after passing the mandatory Wisconsin trapper’s education class I purchased a few 330 conibears and headed out to try my luck.  I set one of the conibears as my friend had shown me, using long sticks to position the trap correctly in the run coming out of a beaver lodge in about four feet of water.  I also set a few snares, cutting fresh popple sticks to use as a lure.  The next day I set out eagerly to see what I had caught.  First I checked the snares.  Nothing.  As I went to where my conibear was set I was expecting the same result but was pleasantly elated when I pulled out a young beaver.  Re-setting the traps, I headed home to show my wife and children the results of this newfound hobby of mine.

The trapping continued through the week and I caught another young one.  I was beginning to wonder if there were any bigger beavers around.  On the fifth day I arrived and went through the motions that had by now become routine to me.  As I started pulling the conibear out of the water, it seemed a lot harder to lift than it normally was, and when I could see the trap I caught a glimpse of the biggest beaver head I’d ever seen.  With much effort I hefted it up onto the ice and proceeded to dry it off with snow.  What a beauty!  I pulled my traps from that area so I would be able to come back next year and hopefully have the same kind of luck.

After getting the monster (now christened “Beavzilla”) home I put it on the scale.  Fifty-seven pounds!  This blanket beaver is now in our den and is enjoyed by all who come into contact with it.  And although I’ve trapped quite a few more big ones over the years, that first one will always be a wonderful memory for me to look back upon.

*Keith Dewars is a freelance writer, avid outdoorsman and owner/webmaster of Malum Internet Properties. He can be contacted at [email protected].

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