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Last time I had a challenging open water beaver problem to solve, I pulled Kyle Kaatz’ “Open Water Beaver Trapping Made Simple” off the shelf for some ideas. Kyle has taken beaver in a variety of open water situations, and his book is loaded with pictures showing set examples and beaver catches.
After an overview of beaver population dynamics, harvest management, and the types of footholds, bodygrips and snares to use for beavers, Kyle gets into the details of various beaver sets. Castor mounds, baited sets and trail sets are all covered in good detail, with a lot of discussion on various intricacies you’ll encounter in the field. Kyle also discusses various things he did wrong early on, and how he got better at making particular sets through experience.
Beaver lure is discussed a bit, and though it may not account for a large percentage of the beaver catch, there are some sets where lure is important. Kyle advocates using a wide variety of lures, particularly when dealing with ADC work where you may encounter the occasional trap-shy beaver. Other ideas are discussed as well, including the front-foot/back-foot debate. There’s also a very valuable description of the A-Frame set, which is so simple, but has made my life a whole lot easier in situations where I don’t have pre-made stabilizers on hand.
In 56 pages, Kyle Kaatz’ “Open Water Beaver Trapping Made Simple” is a great resource for the beaver trapper. The only major drawback I had in using the book’s concepts was the fact that a lot of the sets described aren’t legal in my state – but that’s another issue altogether!