Friday, February 18, 2011
I happen to be rather fond of beavers. They create excellent ponds for puddle ducks. However, it is understandable that the increasing population is a problem for landowners due to destruction of trees and sometimes damaging dams as well.
In past years, control was not a problem. The interest in pelts for use in the fur trade made trapping very lucrative. With the reduced interest in fur for the last few years and the ruckus created by groups such as PETA, the population is out of control.
There is a parallel with the nutria population as well. They are not native to the U.S., but were imported with hopes that they would be a valuable furbearer. The same decline in fur value caused a similar increase in nutria population. They reproduce rapidly, voraciously destroy plants with tubers and can severely injure dogs. Retrievers are the most common victims of these confrontations.
An attendee to the recent Primitive Crafts classes at the YMCA PEAK conference sent me some photos of beaver that have been trapped and shot on family property. Bryce Ball is featured in the photos that he provided as well as some large beavers. We often learn that when some species outproduce their predators ability to control the populations, problems arise. This is true of many wildlife species and is part of DNR's role to propose regulations concerning these species.
As a hunter, beaver are an asset to me, but to landowners, they represent a problem that needs to be controlled. Thanks to Bryce for sharing his photos.