spring trapping season~

It's that time of the year again ... when Dear Hubby can't sit in the house or his office at work ... it's spring time beaver season ... and a trapping he must go!  Like the generations before him ... he is still a trapper ... and will continue to be a trapper until his dying day.  Our family has always been supplemented by the fur industry.  It's our  livelihood ~ not always understood by many; but a vital important part of management of the natural resources.  Because of controlled management; hopefully our great grandchildren and their great grandchildren will also be able to go out into the woods like we do and see the things we see.

The snow is just about gone in most of the areas we've been trapping in.  You can see a little bit of snow along the ditches ~
The cricks and creeks, ponds, lakes and river are all thawed.  Surprisingly, the water levels though are quite low for this time of the year.  Despite our last snow storm we are still coming off a drought and the water tables are not as full as normal. 
Speaking of cricks and creeks ... do you know the difference?  A crick is a small trickle of water that you can most likely take a running leap and navigate your way across it without getting wet.  A creek, is grander than a crick.  A creek has a span of water too big to leap across from shoreline to shoreline and most times is worthy enough of getting  a name.  Most cricks are smaller tributaries of a larger creek.  At least, that's the way we see them in my neck of the woods :)

This morning we had a live beaver in one of the sets ~ and it was also a black one ... a little rarer than the usual brown.  Still ugly though, if you ask me.  They really are just big old woods rats with webbed feet  ... that love to swim, kill trees, cause flooding and spread disease.

Don't go squeamish on me now ... the following may contain some pics of dead beaver.  Just quit reading my post if it bothers you.

Look at the size of these yellow teeth ... no wonder they can take down a tree in a few chomps as fast as a buzz saw ~
and quite the toenails these beaver have ... here's a pic of the front feet

and a pic of the webbed hind feet ~ or should I say a pic of a hind foot
The back feet of 50+ pound beaver are larger than a human's hand.  With those big webbed feet and canoe paddle tail no wonder they can swim so fast.

Do you know where perfume comes from?  Beaver scent glands is one place ~ do an internet search if you don't believe me ... beaver castors.  Enough on that subject. lol

On to something prettier ~ how about geese?

The Canadian Geese are back in the area ... claiming their nesting grounds along the river.

The Boat Tailed Gracko is also back ~ claiming it's territory for the breeding season and being quite boisterous at that!  Boy... you get a flock of them going in the trees and they are loud.

Although not quite leafed out ... the trees and alder brush are beginning to bloom ~ especially the Pussy Willows.

I love the clustered blossoms of the alder brush ~

We may not be in our full summer and fall colors ~ but color is returning to the north woods after it's winter white and gray:
The days are getting longer .. the sky seems bluer ... the snow and ice are gone and the waters are flowing:

I even woke up a chipmunk this morning from it's sleep ~ when I stepped behind a tree to take a pee ...

and also had an otter looking at me...
Yes, spring has sprung in the north woods ... and I'll be a hard person to track down if I'm running with my man on the trap line.  He's earning a living and I just follow along with my camera.  Can't get much better than that.  I'm loving it!

Until next time ...
So it goes in my neck of the woods.


  1. Mel, that is surely beautiful country. With snow, but more so without. Just an opinion from a guy in northern Delaware.

  2. Wow, that's a huge change from the last snow photos! Must be getting about time to put out the fairy stuff!

  3. sure wish your water levels were better for this spring. we've had a couple of nutria here - smaller than the beaver w/o the paddle tail, but those same yellow gnashers...

  4. My guess is that is a common grackle. Boat-tailed grackles only occur in the south. :)

    Do you eat the beaver tails as the native Americans did?

  5. Oh ho, you do a great job of keeping up with Slim. A man's man. (evidently a woman's too!)
    The pictures are great. Hope to get a chance to show these to my buddy and child hood friend who is down for a visit.
    Love the entry and glad you are getting out.
    Take care of yourself.
    Sherry & jack

  6. RE: Judy and Emma ~ I stand corrected ... I guess it is just the Common Grackle. Still a pretty noisy bird:)
    Do we eat the beaver tails - NO! But we did have a lady that would stop in once in awhile and get them from us who did. I guess she would fry them. Personally, I've NEVER been that hungry!! I've eaten a lot of different foods ~ but couldn't bring myself to trying the tails. We have eaten the meat (once) prepared at a wild game feed; but I haven't fixed it ... and never will. The meat, when we did try it was really sweet tasting. I wasn't a fan. We also have a guy that raises sled dogs and he would get the carcasses for them to eat. We also feed it to our outside dogs in the winter months; but not in the spring time. Our carcasses now get hauled out to the woods for the wolves, coyotes, bobcats, bear and eagles to eat them. They don't last long with all the wild critters we have around here.

  7. What a wonderful part of the country! And thanks for explaining the difference between a crick and a creek! Love your story and pictures about trapping as a way of life. Altho I've never taken anything with a trap (except mice and rats) I know it would be fun but also work. Slim can handle it tho, of that I'm confident.

  8. Thanks for visiting Nyack Backyard and I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get over here to visit. I do believe this is the first post about beaver trapping that I've ever read - and the first time I've ever been "taken along" on such an expedition. So thanks for introducing me to something new! I agree with Fred - you live in a beautiful part of the country (well except for the beaver teeth - they weren't so pretty ;)

  9. You've been on the road so much of late, that I was surprised to see an entry before the trapping was over...nice job, girly. Next weekend is coming fast and I have a heck of a lot of cooking to, won't be back for awhile. Come have coffee while I work. Keep me company, Sis, that is, if Slimmer can part with you for a bit. Loved the pic of the otter and I don't think I've ever seen a black beaver