OK now I have your attention. If you have read any of my other posts I have mentioned several times that my wife Karen likes to hunt as much as I do. She also likes mounts, furs and skins all around the house too. I know I am a lucky man! Not only do we like the big animal mounts like deer, elk, lions and bears but we also like small critters, birds, and fish mounts too. We have gone as far as making a list of mounts we want and will hopefully get all on the list someday. In September 2009 we were looking at the list of critters we wanted and Karen thought it would be great to get a full size beaver mount. Now I have heard of trapping beavers but honestly never heard of anyone hunting for beavers. I did a quick check of the game laws and sure enough all I needed was a small game license and to wait until October first when the season opened.
Like any hunting trip you need to scout your area so in the evenings Karen and I would head up into the national forest not far from our home to scout. We knew a few ponds that we had seen beavers in so it was only logical to start there. It did not take long and we were seeing beavers almost every night in these small ponds and the creek. The trick was which pond where they in on a given night and what time would they come out as we saw several right at dark. After about 2 weeks we picked the pond we thought would be best and waited for opening day. We also check the depth of the pond as we knew if we got one we would need to retrieve it from the water. It was about 3 foots deep with a semi-hard bottom so we were good to go.
October first was on a Thursday and we had no plans to take vacation for this hunt so the hunt would start after work just as we had scouted. I think Karen was excited to go as she was already dressed and waiting to go once I got home from work. We left a little earlier than we usual did for scouting but that was fine with me. Just figured we would set up and sit at the pond a little longer and see what happened. We arrived at the national forest area; I put on my waders and headed to the spot we picked out during our scouting trips. It was a short 10 minute walk and as we approached the pond we heard a large splash and knew we had just spooked a beaver that was in the pond. This had not happened to us during our scouting trips and since we were earlier than usual we were a little surprised. We figured we will still set up and see what happens as we were there to hunt a beaver. The pond, more of a wide slow spot in a creek had allot of bush cover so I started to watch one direction and Karen the other. We both figured we spooked the beaver and really did not expect to see it again until dark which was a good hour away.
Just as I was getting settled in Karen taps me on the shoulder and points at a fair sized beaver swimming straight at us. It had not been 5 minutes since we spooked the beaver walking in. It swam in a few circles then took a straight line swim down the creek. I steadied the .22 and fired one shot at the base of the skull. It took a hard right turn and swan in a tight circle. From the blood in the water I knew it was a good hit so I went in after it. I did not want it to sink or get into a den or something where I could not retrieve it. It took about 20 seconds to get to the beaver and by this time it had little more than a twitch left in it. Just to be safe I picked it up by the tail as that end does not have big teeth! It did not matter as by now it was dead. I took it over to Karen and showed her our trophy and new home decoration. It was not a huge beaver at 25 pounds but more than enough for what we wanted it for.
It was by far the shortest hunt I have even been on. Heck it took longer to walk to the pond than the whole hunt took but it sure was fun and very memorable. Sometimes we overlook the small game or do not give it the credit it should get but to Karen and I, it was just as memorable as any elk or deer hunt we have been on. Now lots of hunters tell the story of their big game hunts but how many folks tell you about their beaver hunt with their wife?
Oh believe me there have been plenty of jokes and fun from this story and mount but that is another story for a different forum.