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Biggest beaver of my career, over 70 pounds!
Biggest beaver of my career, over 70 pounds!
Kids love the spring line
Kids love the spring line
It's been a good year on the trapline so far. Had a great spring beaver season, collecting 10 pelts and enough meat for 25 pounds of summer sausage and backstraps for the smoker. I still have a bow tag and am leaving this week for a bison hunt on an Indian Reservation in South Dakota so I set a line last week to catch some raccoon and skunk. We ended the week with 12 raccoon and 5 skunk. I kept on pair of hind quarters for the freezer and the rest were donated to a local church for a wild game feed. After the next 4 weeks of bowhunting I'll set again, targeting canines, raccoon and fisher, once that season opens.
End of the line
End of the line
Spring beaver is a lot of work but well worth it after a long North Dakota winter
Jeff, I look forward to those Beaver mittens from you. :>)))
Awesome,, how do you dispatch the stinkers without them letting loose?
I catch all my skunks in bodygrips. They may leak a little, but not full out spray. After skinning I soak the pelt in a mixture of peroxide, baking soda and dish soap and it removes any residual odor. It's worth the extra work as skunk pelts are beautiful!
That’s a beautiful skunk… really
No wonder that beaver is so heavy...siamese twin!! Nice job so far
Jeff made this hat for me. Not only beautiful but very, very warm.
This is awesome. Thanks for sharing.
Jrhendricks are you in Arizona?
Jmiller, The great cage state of Colorado. Good on you for getting the kids involved.
Good luck! We don't have bobcats in my area, they look like a blast to target!
Same to you, hope you continue to post pics!
What bait are you using in the box traps ?? just curious Good luck all and thanks for posting Lewis
Good stuff, as usual, Jeff! Guys that have never trapped, don’t know what they’re missing! Do you catch many skunks each season? Beings that you are turning some of your furs into garments, are you targeting them, or are they incidental catches? Pretty interesting how much variation a guy sees on the stripes on them. Coolest one I’ve ever seen, was one waddling down a lease road in Oklahoma, years ago. He had a small white “V” on his forehead, that went back to about his shoulder blades, and the rest of him was completely black. Have you caught many with unusual markings?
Nice cat, jrhendricks! Is that a visual attractant by the cat’s right, hind foot in your first pic?
Lovin this! Haven't trapped for many, many years but it's still in my blood. Still have a pile of traps and snare cable ready to go for when I pick it up again.
T-Roy I started targeting skunks this year. They love to run the dry ditches in farm country, so I use body grip traps in the culverts. Properties that turn me down flat for permission to bowhunt welcome me to trap! There isn't much for variation in color here. Some have a bit narrower stripes but that's about it. Further west in the state the stripes are usually tinged with yellow. I think the soil must have more iron in it and that affects the color.
T-Roy, Yep, that is some flagging made from a couple feathers. Probably don't really need it at this set but put it out front out of habit mostly.
jmiller - Would you post some pics of your fleshing tools (or give some recommendations)? I tanned my first hide over the summer and really enjoyed the process, want to do more... but I sure screwed up the face and ears when I was fleshing it! Very long and tedious process for what I was working with. I'm kind of hooked though and want to do more.
Catscratch, get yourself a good Necker fleshing knife.It will make a huge difference. I started with a Weibe and it was ok, but switching to a Necker was a game changer for me on coon and possums. Make sure you have a good solid beam and that it fits the blade you are using as well. Around the face and ears, i usually just use a Havalon and go slow, but you can also leave alot of that material on the carcass during the skinning process and avoid having to remove it during fleshing.
Thanks molsonarcher! I trapped a lot as a kid. Still like to trap but with such low fur prices it's just been to keep certain nuisance populations down (and for fun). Lost my old beam over the years so I need to make a new one. The knives I have are probably ancient compared to the new ones. I'll look into the Necker knives.
Good work guys! Can't believe those cages are so effective on cats!
Catscratch, its all for fun for me. No money to be made as a hobby trapper, but trapping sure beats sitting around doing nothing when the big game tags are filled!
I use a beam I purchased and I use a green English fleshing knife. It works very well. I then use a sharp filet knife to clean up the face and what not. Practice makes perfect!
Jmiller, are you taking the skunk essence as well? supposedly money to be had doing it but I never have.
When I was a kid, Dad trapped beaver every spring. Had a 10 beaver limit and short season, now long seasons and I don't think they have a limit. Hard to find someone to trap if land owner wants them gone as no money for pelts any more. Was a guy a couple years ago trapping in the area and told us he made more money selling the beaver musk. Dad used to trap skunks before my time, got a dollar a hide and kept a set of "skinning clothes" buried in some horse "droppings" I was told? Enjoying this thread, thank you!
First trap season retired and ready to go.
Finally got some coyote traps.
Going to try tanning and make something this year, maybe a hat.
Those are nice traps gflight! I could use a few more of them. The tanning thing was way easier than I thought it would be. Enjoyable!
As I get set up for fleshing is it a good thing to have the curve of your beam match the curve of your knife, or should it lean one way or the other (larger or smaller radius)?
So my beam is homemade and kind of flat.
Saw from a YouTube video that you should probably have about 2 in wide that match the blade radius.
If the whole thing matches radius you're trying to push all the flesh at once.
Sure some more experience with chime in and give you a good answer.
I reread my post. Wanted to say that I'm retired from my job.
Played with a couple of traps since I moved on my place. Skinned a few coons. Mainly used dog proofs so I'm by no means an expert.
Hoping for some other than coon catches.
Saw two skunks and a fox back in the spring. Saw some coyote late summer.
No water critters so I don't have any conibear traps. Guess I just shoot a skunk in head?
Hey gflight, if you shoot the skunk behind the shoulder they are less likely to spray. shooting them in the head almost always releases the spray. Contrary to what you'd think.
Jeff, I don't know what you do with them, but please don't throw those beaver tails away. I use them for selfbow grips. I hope you eat the meat. Beaver is the best tasting wild game I've ever eaten. Lots of fun bein had there. Have fun brother!
Yep I keep the beaver tails and have them tanned and then I sew them into wallets. We keep all the meat too, it is fantastic! I don't keep the skunk essence, I tried once and my significant other was not happy! If I did it again she would probably pack her bags!
It’s awesome to see the kids involved. Nice work. Your absolutely right beaver is some good eating. I’ll get my line rolling November 10th when season comes in. Good luck this year!
Great to see some more of your trapping pictures! Do you have a website for selling the things you make?
Deer hunting has been slow so put out a few sets.
It's about time to start tanning and crafting. I have some tanned deer and elk hides coming from the tannery for mitten palms, and will start tanning raccoon and skunk pelts next week. It's so much fun to watch the transformation from dried pelt to warm fur garment.
Jeff, Im looking forward to my getting Beaver mittens.
It’s even 50 plus years since I set a steel trap, but I sure remember trapping and love to hear the stories of todays trappers. My brother trapped coyotes for many years and caught 40-80 per year. I ran his trap line with him a few times, what a blast. He has all but quit due to fur prices.
I am getting ready to catch some coons for a coon hunter friend. He trains his puppies and uses them on coon hunt competitions they have. You can see I put a piece of rerod through the trap so the coons can't upset the trap. I use apple for bait and it catches coons, foxes and possums. By using apple for bait when I trap the neighbor's house i don't catch his cats. Got five coons in his back yard.
The end result of the trapping. Warm, sustainable and renewable hats and mittens.
I believe that many kids have had their lives changed by being on a trap line.
40 lbs or so. Should be able to get a few more on this permission. Gonna let it warm up a bit and re set.
My new beaver mittens made by Jeff. Just in time for the chilly temps
Jeff, beautiful Mittens and hats
Thank you! Jay those mittens look great on you!
Beautiful work Jeff! Some great looking stuff! And awesome with the kids getting involved!