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Land with a huge beaver pond
I have an opportunity to purchase 80 acres of hunting land (photo attached) in Michigan. There is a pretty good size beaver pond on the property and another smaller one. I have been to an adjacent property, but have not been on this particular piece. I won't have a chance to put my eyes on this piece for a couple months. I know people remove beaver dams and some people protect them. What might be the issues and/or advantages of having a beaver pond on hunting land?
Looks like it creates some edges and funnels. Do you have a topo of the same area?
it just adds to the diversity of the property at this point.
There is an outstanding looking funnel in between the two. I’d leave them personally. Good funnel and some diversity habitat wise.
If the flooded water is contained it is great habitat for pooled up brook trout and harbors a ton of wildlife and waterfowl. Like mentioned above it also is a good funnel for deer. The only time a flooded beaver area sucks is when it gets out of control for example excessive rain and it completely floods out where you walk other then that they are great for wildlife.
I hunt a similar spot, the deer cross the brook above the pond to circle around it. Also the edges provide damp browse. Love ponds.
keep em. I love beaver ponds kill a lot of deer around them and ducks
I'd get rid of them. They ruin timber and land value. Every inch under water is one that won't produce something to eat for the game. The water is still there, it just running through instead of seeping into the ground and ruining it. You will then have the edge and thick cover explosion come up after the water leaches out of the soil and allows air back in.
Be prepared. It is hard work. You gotta kill everyone of them, put on your waders, get the dam draining, then when it dries up, get a excavator in there and dig out if need be. You can do it by hand but, you'll earn it. It is going to be an ongoing effort too. Especially if you don't get all remnants of the previous tenants out. But, it is worth it. Because it is going to keep getting bigger.
Thanks all. Glad to hear this isn't such a bad thing. I was thinking it was probably more negative than positive. I would guess the duck hunting would be great though. Not many other ponds for them in the area. The topo shows very little, if any, elevation variation. I'll have to see if I can find a better topo for the area though. I walked the adjacent property last year during a historically wet fall and it looks the same from satellite (sans beaver ponds) and knee muck boots were required for much of the walk. Might have been the wet year, might have been the land type, but it was really really wet. Can't imagine dragging deer out of there much less putting trails in, but I think my perspective is skewed because of all the rain they had. There are lots of 3"-5" poplar where I walked and looks like that is what is around the beaver ponds. I would imaging it was logged in recent years and when the poplars started popping up again, the beavers were in heaven.
Beaver ponds aren't a bad thing, they draw in a lot of wildlife. Keep the beavers under control by trapping and it should be a benefit for you depending on your purpose for the property.
Trap some beavers and use them for bear bait.
You should leave them.
When you bust the dams, the surrounding area won't suddenly start to grow trees. Instead you'll have a large swamp grass area with wonderful trenches to step in to. As far as a funnel between the two, deer are unlikely to travel there. There's not much reason for such travel and even if they did, how would you hunt it?
The longer those ponds stay the wetter that ground is going to get. It is a swampy type ground as it. It's only going to get worse. Everyone says keep it. That's fine as long as you understand that everyone is not going to be paying property taxes on a marsh like you are going to be if you buy it and let the ponds stay.
It wasn't likely logged recently either because it has always been wet causing stunted growth. Skidders can't drive through a bog. They sink. And, that is what you got. A natural bog.
It's likely always been a bog but, The beaver ponds are making it worse. There will be more ponds coming too. Rains may have complicated the problem but, they didn't cause what you described as walking conditions. Only a saturated bog will do that. You aren't going to change that. Only improve it by removing the ponds. Which will improve it to some degree. But, its going to be a long battle and it is never going to be dry ground. Good luck and God Bless.
Water on your property is always an advantage, keep it. Probably have some decent fishing too.
Water on your property is always an advantage, keep it. Probably have some decent fishing too.
Every place is gonna be different, and nobody can give you explicit advice unless they've been there or at least see a topo for elevations. Some places they'll get bigger, some places they won't. I duck hunted a place for fifteen years that had three beaver ponds on the same creek. They never got bigger or smaller. The duck hunting was fantastic !
The 217 acres I just sold had beavers damming up the creek at least three times in the 11 years that I owned it. I trapped a couple, shot the biggest one, and finally just let the last one do what beavers do simply because he didn't want to flood my bottom, he just wanted a little more water :-) He actually built the dam to where it benefitted me. It made a nice little pool that attracted wood ducks (I didn't shoot, only observed), and prevented deer from bypassing my food plot on an end where I couldn't see them. He finally left of his own accord and I took the dam out. My point is, look at the pond and what surrounds it and make your own conclusion.
Keep the ponds. I have one property where we have several beaver ponds, and the deer hunting is great. We trap anywhere from 4-6 beaver per season, and the population stays in check. When beaver cut trees, the undergrowth around them grows thick, and creates good browse and bedding cover. Your piece looks similar to mine with good standing timber near the ponds, and some open areas around them also. I would suggest leaving them for at least the first seasons hunt and decide for sure from there. One thing to note. Beaver tend to like the same areas, so eradicating these may only buy you a year or two anyway before more decide to make your property their new home. Good luck and happy hunting.
Keep it, diversity of habitat is far better than 80 acres of homogenous forest. What good will another couple acres of timber do for you? Water will draw in wildlife and also create potential waterfowl hunting and fishing opportunities. The dam also looks like it has lots of growth on it, which may indicate the beaver is long gone anyway.
Keep it. Use it as mentioned above, hunt, trap, waterfowl etc.
I grew up in Minnesota and there was a similar size beaver dam on some state land about 3/4 mi from home. I killed more stuff around that beaver dam than I can remember.
In your first pic, I like the looks of that strip of timber between the main pond and the one to the lower right.
Al depends on what’s in the miles surrounding your 80. If that’s all swampy type country than it’s nothing special and I wouldn’t be interested in buying. If it’s all pretty dry forest and you’ve got the anomaly with the ponds it would interest me for the sake of keeping them. As Surfbow mentioned you want your piece to have that “special something.” Maybe in your case it’s the ponds. Diversity is what gives you multiple stand locations for different winds. And it’s actually tough to have that many different spots on 80 acres. As far as swamp goes - big bucks and swamps are made for each other
My marshes hold the deer and provide diversity and edge habitat. I can’t imagine getting rid of them.
Pros: Beaver trapping, duck hunting, aesthetic value, maybe fishing
Cons: Worse for growing stuff around them, flooding when its a wet year.
Looks like big woods country. If so, might be nice to have a big clearing to create some edges and just have somewhere you can see a bit.
buy it land... they aint making any more
Keep it! Why mess with nature if you don't have to. I assume this is mainly hunting property? Control the beaver population, maybe even have it stocked every few years with bass and catfish, sunfish. You won't need tons of fish to get it going! Fun fishing, ducks, geese? deer... What could be bad about that. if it starts getting out of control then take care of it. Nothing an a good operator on an excavator couldn't wipe out in a day or two, Rip it up and let it dry up if needed. I wouldn't touch it!
We are dealing with a large beaver pond a lot like the one in your photo on land I hunt in the UP of Michigan. The pond has gotten big enough to be causing problems with our roads and raising the water table enough that it is starting to kill a large area of trees. We are going to try and lower the pond about a foot using a pond leveler system so we can keep the pond and maintain the water level at a point where it doesn't effect our roads and timber. That might be an option with the land your looking at.
I would leave it, good water source, maybe some fish, good edge area .... If I was to ever buy property. a good water source is a must, ponds, flowing creek, etc, , I'd like some decent acreage of marsh/swamp/cattails on it also ....
I leave them they clear out a lot of brush, and make for better fishing.
DJB that pond leveler system is pretty cool. I've seen people trying to run pipes through the damn and the the beavers plug it almost immediately. The pond leveler system is a simple but clever solution to reduce that. Looks like it wouldn't take too much cost or time to make it happen. As many have suggested keeping the damn, I tend to agree and would prefer it, but I also wouldn't want it any larger. So control would be key.
Climb.on I think it will work very well. I have seen a couple other designs and I like this one the best. I do know they work from talking with the county foresters that have installed them where they need to control water levels in beaver ponds. We are going to build ours and get it in place before the ice goes out. Then all we will have to do is dig the dam out and put the pipe in place after after ice out.
I have a big beaver pond on the little slice of heaven 60 acres that I live on and I love it. It adds a lot of diversity and I have ducks, geese, sandhill cranes, beavers, muskrats, otters and also fishers, fox and coyotes that investigate the beaver and muskrat houses. I have lots of eagles around during the spring and summer that hunt for the baby geese. I leave a canoe next to it if I want to go out for little paddle. Yes, it reduces the amount of timber on my property but I think the added value of the pond more than makes up for it. For me, owning land goes way beyond timber value...
Cheesehead...if the pond on the property I'm looking at looks anything like yours, I'll be thrilled to death. That's gorgeous!
Cheesehead Mike, it looks as though you have found a bit of heaven. Where I live in the lower Hudson Valley of NY, living on a 60 acre parcel as beautiful as your looks would cost somewhere in the low seven figures, not including the property taxes that would be somewhere 50-75K per year. I really should move...
I have a brook and a beaver pond on my property. As a trapper, I love it. Take 2 adult beaver per year and leave the juveniles. I also take mink and otter.