Dang! The Beavers are Back!

catherinet(5 IN)March 4, 2006

Hi all,

We live on a good-sized piece of land with a very large creek meandering through the middle of it. Several years ago, we had soooooo much trouble and damage from beavers. But it's such a philosophical dilemma! I love beavers. That are magnificent animals. But what to do????? For several years, my husband spent his weekends tearing down their dams and trying to scare them off. I spent alot of time protecting hundreds of trees along the banks with chicken wire fencing. They finally left several years ago, but today we found freshly chewed down trees again.

Nothing seems to work in scaring them off. Maybe there's been some new invention that I haven't heard of? Maybe one of those ultrasonic noise makers? (but we'd need a few dozen!). Darn. I hate these dilemmas. They even started coming up the banks and chewing down trees in our yard a few years ago. We don't let our dog run loose....but maybe we could borrow the neighbors??

Any suggestions? (And moving them isn't an option. It's over $500 per animal, and they just move them somewhere where they become someone else's problem). And we're not into killing.....so that's not an option.

Hopefully, they're just passing through. I guess I can't blame them. I love living here too!

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Elly_NJ(NJ z6)

Don't know if this will help.

Here is a link that might be useful: HSUS

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 12:11AM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Thanks for that link elly,
It looks like it has some interesting solutions. When we bought this land, we thought it was so neat that it had this big creek......which meanders through our property (it has 6 90 degree turns in it, just on our property)......but after a few years with the beavers, we sure wish it weren't here. Beavers are such incredible animals, and their work ethic is unbelieveable! lol! One year, I decided to try to outsmart them, but putting a long piece of drainage tubing from one side of their dam to the other....so it would drain the back-up of water. Next morning, DH went to check on it, and the beavers had pulled it out of creek completely. They are very intelligent, and they are good parents.
I'm usually a live-and-let-live kind of person, but the trees they destroy in a short period of time is unbelieveable. So....we just try to encourage them to move on. Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2006 at 9:19AM
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ericwi

We have a labrador retriever who would be in heaven if she had a creek to swim in, and beavers to sniff out and chase. But she has to settle for walks in the city, sniffing for raccoons and rabbits, and the occasional swim at the dog park.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2006 at 8:24AM
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dirtgirl(So. Illinois)

Too bad UPS won't deliver beavers, Cathy. They would be more than welcome here, as long as the current resident beeves and muskers wouldn't mind. We don't have neighbors, and that means no humans except us to complain when their yards flood (ours is currently happily in the process of doing just that from all the 5+ inches of rain we are getting)and their plantings get chewed. I figure beavers were once a normal part of the picture here, and although I am sure things in my neighborhood are not the same as they were 300 years ago ecologically speaking, having them come back here would surely not have the impact on people that it would if this were a highly populated area.
Amazing how the balance is always shifting...50 years ago you would be hard pressed to find a beaver anywhere in this area and now they are once again making their presence known in just about every watershed. I keep a section of log on my bookshelf, the first sign of beaver re-arrival I ever found in "my own" woods. Maybe one day seeing those chew marks and pointy little tree stumps will seem as common as noticing a squirrel-chewed walnut hull on the trail.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 3:27PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Hi Dirtgirl.........they're in the mail!! lol! Just be sure to open the packages with gloves on!
I have real philosophical dissonance with beavers. If you remember, I was a tree in my previous life, and hold them in a special place in my heart. It's so hard to find some beautiful trees chewed down over night. I know they are part of the natural plan.........and I want to just let them be. But dang........they have destroyed so many of "our" trees. They even have come up in our yard and chewed down nice trees. I think we'll just use scare tactics. (I'll go out about dusk, and if I see one, I yell "BOO" real loud).
Seriously though, we use fire crackers, canned horns, and other totally useless stuff. I agree that we need to let a dog run around there. I'll have to borrow the neighbors. Even though our dog Suzi (the princess warrior) could take on any sized beaver, we insist on keeping her as a prisoner of love here in our house and fenced in back yard, so she doesn't get squished on the road.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 5:35PM
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terryr(z5a IL)

Hmmm....do you think me being right smack dab in the middle of this little town, that the other residents would care if I adopted your beavers?? They're already going to have a field day with me when they see what I do this "yard"....lol.....ahhh, I can hear it all now....

Terry

    Bookmark   March 9, 2006 at 7:50PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Found another chewed down tree today. And we've gotten a ton of rain, so the creek is super high.......which I'm sure the beavers will love. I'm going to have to spend alot of time cutting 2 or 3' chicken wire to put around a few hundred trees. :(

    Bookmark   March 10, 2006 at 5:15PM
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gardener_sandy

I love this "live and let live" attitude towards the beavers. Our local botanical garden has had several killed over the last year or so due to the damage they did to some very expensive trees. In Virginia it's against the law to trap and transport any wildlife so I guess they didn't have a choice but it's still sad. The garden officials are making an effort to fence them out now but I don't know if it will work or not.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2006 at 1:24AM
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adirondackgardener(Western Maine)

>We have a labrador retriever who would be in heaven if she had a creek to swim in, and beavers to sniff out and chase.

Careful what you wish for. I once had a contractor working for me who showed up late one day because he had to rush his german shepherd to the vet. Seems it tangled with a beaver who sunk its teeth through the loose skin in the dog's throat and began dragging it towards the water. It took a well aimed 2x4 to convice the beaver to let go.

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 3:57PM
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leslie123(Z8 WA)

I was a wildlife rehabilitator for 4 years, and raised/released 3 beavers. (Awesome creatures!!!) Having raised them and seen their strength -- and their teeth -- I would never let my beloved dogs tangle with one. Even on land, beavers are very powerful and have almost no neck for a predator to grab. I'm afraid a dog would lose badly.

Leslie

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 12:55PM
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catherinet(5 IN)

Have you ever seen xrays of their heads? Their teeth go back soooooo far!

    Bookmark   March 22, 2006 at 5:49PM
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