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> Noble Or Not, The Beaver's Got To Go.
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oldraven 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 12:14 PM
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ZodiacHazel

Realm: Guysborough Co., Nova Scotia

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We've been having a bit of a problem since moving into our house with a small beaver dam at the corner of our property. The lot borders a lake fed brook (lake's across the road) and a few times last year we had flooding on our lawn. Nothing to really worry about, but it's a nuisance.

Last autumn, our youngest dog Oz got into a scuffle with one of the beavers. It was late at night and he was in the brook, which is a place he loves to be. He would not come back to the house no matter how loud I was calling him. When he finally came back, I gave him a swat on the arse for running off and he went to his bed for the night. It was pitch dark out, so I saw nothing out of the ordinary until morning. He had a gash on the side of his gut that had laid open all night, yet he made no complaint (dogs have a tendency to hide their pain from their owners). We got him to the vet. and a few hours later he was stitched back up and dopey enough to sleep the rest of the day.

We called the Department of Lands and Forests, and they told us that they don't bother trapping them anymore, since their population is so high and they're very adaptable to environments (or should that be, they verily adapt their environments?). He told us to take care of it ourselves, which meant "call a trapper". We did our best to keep the dogs out of the brook, but what can you do aside from tying them up 24/7?

On thursday Buffy, our six year old Shepherd, wouldn't come back to the house. I let them out to pee before jumping in the shower, and when I called them back in only Oz returned. I called for Buff and could hear her splashing around a lot. And I mean a lot. Like she was jumping off a rock into the 'pool'. I assumed she just couldn't find her way out where she was and being late for work told Angela the situation and hopped in the car. There was a message waiting for me at work, and I knew upon seeing the light flashing exactly what happened. It got her. Ange went down by the waters edge and coaxed her back to shore, but it was Oz who showed her how to get out. Ange said she saw something big flip at the surface. When they got on the deck that's when Buff started to bleed, and I got a phone call.

I rushed home, we piled into the car and left for the Vet. again. Ange told me that whilst I was coming home Oz went back again, and when she called for him she heard him yelp. Back at the house he appeared to be fine, so she tied him up and let it at that.

Buffy ended up needing 15 stitches. It got her right in the underbelly, and she had a large patch of skin just hanging open, revealing her insides. When she got home, she threw up all over the kitchen floor. Of course, it was nothing but a whole lot of brook water. It had tried to drown her. The thought of her bleeding in the brook and getting tired brings a ball to my throat enough without seeing her struggle for air.

Two days later, she's doing miraculously fine. But Oz sat in front of me and looked up. Then I saw he had a nickel sized hole in his chest, and again as deep. It was clean and not infected, and being two days on too late for stitches.

This time the DLF officer came to the house, looked at the situation and even showed Angela where it had been walking around the border of the property looking for food. But he wouldn't issue an early permit before trapping season, also informing us that it's illegal to let your dogs in the woods (yeah, ok buddy).

It's going to be an ex beaver by monday. If this were a Coyote, it would be dead already. I don't know why we even bothered asking those F@$&#*S for help. As useless as the day is long. They seriously get paid, by me, to do nothing all day long. Of course, unless it comes to ticketing people.

I love animals, but if it comes down to a Beaver or my Dogs, the Beaver's got to go.


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oldraven 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 12:17 PM
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ZodiacHazel

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Oh yes. Aside from attacking my pets, I have two children, a wife, and a boat load of nieces and nephews who love the outdoors come to our house. Knowing full well that a Beaver will attack a human, that's not a chance I'm going to take. I'll chance the fine, if the officer has the balls to come to my house an issue one. If he tries, he won't be hearing for a week.
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ctbard 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 12:23 PM
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ZodiacAlder

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oh my!! I never new Beavers could get so aggressive! I guess I know nothing about beavers.
Your poor pups!


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oldraven 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 12:33 PM
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ZodiacHazel

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To be honest, neither did I. We never had any near our house growing up, and I've never really heard about them attacking until after we started telling people about Oz getting attacked. It's funny, everyone in our neighbourhood just shakes their head when we tell them about the DLF, and they all say the same thing. "You should just shoot the thing."

I don't have any photos of Buffy yet, or Oz's new one, but I do have these old ones of Oz from the first time round.

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Camac
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 01:12 PM
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oldraven;

About 20 years ago my Dad had the same proplem at his place 100 miles North of Toronto. Beaver dammed up the creek running through his place and he had a hell of a time with them. They are vicious and destructive. He ended up calling the Game and Fisheries people and they gave him the name of a licensed trapper in the area and he came and got them. Made a few bucks on the deal I guess.


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oldraven 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 01:19 PM
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ZodiacHazel

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Thanks Camac. The only problem with that is we're not in trapping season and I don't really want to wait for one of my dogs to be dead or witness a horrific accident with a kid.
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ctbard 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 01:32 PM
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Oh! Poor Oz, he looks so pitiful in the picture.
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Camac
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 02:32 PM
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oldraven;

You can try to have the Games and Fisheries relocate them but there is a good chance they or others will return. No sense destroying the dam for they just rebuild it. If I remember correctly the ones at my Dads were trapped out of season
which was allowed because of the damage they were doing and the threat to the pets in the area.


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Swanny 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 03:21 PM
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ZodiacBirch

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Although beavers aren't inclined to attack, they also aren't inclined to back down much. If they feel threatened by your dogs or a human or anything else they are likely to fight very aggressively, and they have a nasty set of teeth to work with.

For the immediate beaver problem, unless you have excessively nosy close neighbor's I'd suggest the triple-S approach (shoot, supper and shut up). A .22 LR placed between the eye and base of the ear will do the job nicely. If you don't have the skill to take the head shot then practice up some. It doesn't hurt to do a bunch of target practice on your property anyway, gives the potentially nosy neighbors a reason to ignore gunfire coming from your property. Use a cheap firearm that you won't mind giving up if you get caught. Forfeiture of your firearm and any vehicle used in the illegal taking of game or fur animals is common to most of the United States and I believe all Canadian provinces and territories.

BTW, if you have have beavers on or near your property, you can bet big money you also have porcupines, and they aren't much fun for dogs either. Beaver and porcupine makes a fine meal for both humans and dogs. No, eating the meat won't make your dogs more inclined to hunt them (that's an old wive's tale).

The "shut up" part is really important. The fine can hurt, but the loss of your firearm, hunting privileges in all 50 States and all Canadian provinces and territories can hurt more. It really will "go into your permanent record", and could even be construed as a firearm related crime that won't look pretty on your rap sheet.

If you do get caught, hire a good lawyer. You may be able to beat the rap if your province permits destroying wildlife in defense of life or property, but you will likely need a real "pro" in order to make your case in front of the Crown.

For the less immediate but still problematic obedience problem in the dogs (refusing a recall), consider this - would YOU come when called if all it earned you was am angry swat on the arse? I sure wouldn't.

To train a bullet-proof recall (which we REALLY need when living in rural or wild areas where beaver, bears, coyotes, porcupines and other potentially dangerous critters abide), practice lots. Call the dogs and make sure they get something really tasty or really fun each and every time they respond. Pretty soon they'll figure out that coming when called is much more fun than harassing the local wildlife or anything else they can possibly imagine.

If they don't "come", go get them. Calling them louder, longer or more often only teaches them that they can ignore it. Don't get upset (punishment doesn't work on dogs anymore than it works on human criminals), just bring them to the house or where ever you want them.

In the meantime, you may need to confine them closer to the house until you've dealt with beaver population.



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Skeleman 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 03:38 PM
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I'm not surprised that a beaver could do that (with those teeth) but I surprised that they would. I feel sorry for your dogs and have to agree that killing the beavers would be the best thing.


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stoirmeil 
Posted: 27-Aug-2008, 06:14 PM
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Those wounds are awful. Poor dogs -- and if you have even the idea that the thing would as soon go for one of your kids?

Yup -- it'd be beaver bourguignon and "Who, me?" at my house. Splendid idea.
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oldraven 
Posted: 09-Sep-2008, 09:46 AM
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ZodiacHazel

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Thanks for the advice, Swanny. We're going to end up calling the trapper. We just can't let our dogs out of our sight until then. We do have one last resort. After talking to a wildlife officer who informed us that if the flood waters we had last summer reached the dug well, which it did three times, then we could call a Nuisance Wildlife Officer and see if they would remove them. Ange mentioned that 'we're just going to shoot it' which sent the guy off on a stuttering mumble-spree. I told him that we'll be trapping it, as in calling Mr. Giffin (name dropping a trapper from the area to get him to calm down. Ange was meaning to say get someone to shoot it, but the way it came out set the guy off.). I have a feeling that they'll be keeping an ear out for any gun-shots in Goshen.

As for the dogs, my shepherd is a very well behaved and fully trained dog. She does not enter the woods unless she's chasing Oz, who doesn't see borders like Buffy does. Oz is a work in progress (he was found roaming wild before we got him), but both receive more than their fair share of positive reinforcement. wink.gif Most times they come back when they're called, and they get praise for that every time. Even on the third call, sometimes, as long as they come back before I go back in the house. Usually, if I catch him on the road or if he's run off, he gets put in his kennel for a few minutes. He's a very skiddish dog, (we think he was abused by a man, judging by the way he pees almost every time I lean over him, even to pet him), so he doesn't get a swat very often. That night he had been gone for hours in the dark and when he got back he knew he had been bad. Since I wasn't going to put him in his kennel for the night (I was heading to bed when he came 'stumbling in') so he got the swat and sent to bed.
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Harlot 
Posted: 09-Sep-2008, 07:23 PM
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ZodiacIvy

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I talked to my son-in- law about what he would if something like this was happening with him. He has hunting dogs and my 2 babies, he said he'd shoot it and tell the DNR that it was attacking one of his kids. He would never give up one of his guns, bows or anything else he might have. I call him "The Great White Hunter". gunsmilie.gif


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oldraven 
Posted: 10-Sep-2008, 06:25 AM
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ZodiacHazel

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Well, I don't own any guns. I don't even have a permit to use a firearm. I'm at the mercy of family who own guns but don't want to risk losing them over it. If you transport a rifle to someone else's house and shoot a beaver, you can hardly call it self-defence. My Father in law is a hunter and wants to stay a hunter, whilst my Father hasn't registered the majority of his guns and doesn't want to lose them over that. I really can't say I blame either of them.
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