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Author Topic: Spring Trapping  (Read 562 times)
Bill S
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« on: March 26, 2017, 01:02:08 PM »

I have a ditch that helps drain about 1/2 my place.  Recently, beavers have come up from the slough that it connects to and built a dam that is blocking it.  So, I pulled out a chunk of dam to lower the water level some and set some 330 Conibear Chinese copies in the runs.  I figure there is only one or two at the most, I hope to trap them out before they get established.

This was three days ago, it rained last night, so I figured the beavers would be active and work on their dam out in the slough and come up my ditch for some willows and other small stuff for the main dam.

Walked down to the end of the ditch and it was full of water.  However, the stakes where one CCC was were all knocked down, so I figured I had something.  Pulled out the plug in the ditch dam and let the water out so I could get to my set. 

Sure enough, I had something.  A 15-20 pound snapping turtle. 

Damn.

He was still alive, so I let him go.  And pulled the stakes and posts  I had used to set my trap out of the dam and re set the trap.  Supposed to rain again tonight, hopefully I'll get the beaver them.

And while that is an interesting story, I have caught numerous snapping turtles in beaver sets.  And while they are a bit of a problem to clean, there is actually a great deal of meat on a snapper and I prefer it to a lot of wild game, such as rabbits and squirrels.

I have caught them in both Conibear and in snares, usually at this time of year.  I use the same sets as I do for beaver in the runs the beavers wallow out.  So, if you have trapped out the beavers in a swampy area, you may want to leave a couple of sets to see if you can get a little different type of meat in your diet.

I have had better luck in an old beaver pond, one where there is a large area where masses of aquatic weeds have grown up over the years.  FWIW, nutria also prefer those same types of areas.  As do 'gators. And water moccasins, so pay attention to your surroundings.  Pull out a plug and let the water down about a couple of feet, so you can see the beaver runs.  Set your traps or snares there. 
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vector001
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« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2017, 01:13:13 PM »

outstanding intel.

too bad the beavers can't stay, which is understandable, but that is a good animal.

they just came back down to San Diego about ten years ago, hiding in Camp Pendleton. this county could use their help.

vec
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Quill
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« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2017, 04:04:08 PM »

Will roast the beaver or at least the tail?
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Bill S
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« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2017, 05:17:25 PM »

Tail is nothing but fat and gristle, the mountain men ate them because they didn't have hardly any fat in their diet.

Beaver is a dark red, lean meat that tastes just like beef.  Unless you cut the castor glandes and get it on the meat, in which case it tastes like sh*t.    Or unless they have been eating pine trees or cypress, in which case they taste just like pine trees or cypress.
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Quill
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« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2017, 11:35:28 PM »

Beaver Tail Soup
Bones from a beaver          4 sweet bay leaves
1 beaver tail                         1 Tbsp wild mustard
4 wild onions                       1Tbsp bush spice powder
4 quarts water                     1Tbsp salt

Separate the bones from meat and break bones in 6 pieces. Skin the tail by broiling the tail over the campfire. The scaly skin will come off in a blistered sheet to reveal the white, solid meat underneath. Put bones and pieces of tail in a large kettle, add water and salt. Bring to a boil,  lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Keep the surface clean with large spoon, then add the sliced onions, bay leaves wild mustard and spice bush powder. Keep on simmering for another 30 min.

Remove the beaver tail pieces. Let drain on a plate and set aside to be added to the soup at a later time. Strain soup through fine sieve into another large pot and boil down to about a quarter of its original volume.  Clarify with the white from an egg.

Cut the meat from the tail into cubes about 1/2 inch square,  add to the soup and serve hot.  You can add to the taste with freshly cut mint, sprinkled over the individual servings.
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Combat-Trout
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2017, 03:35:58 AM »

Hmmm, where does one find bush spice powder? A quick Google showed it to be an Aussie thing... A mix similar to Italian seasoning but with pepper, paprika, and some lemonish bits.

I mean, bush spice for eating beaver, I was expecting more excitement from the google...
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Bill S
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Posts: 2455


« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2017, 08:05:36 AM »

Trust me, it isn't white meat.  The muscle is red and there is some in there but you have a lot more fat and gristle.

Also, if the beaver is fat, the tail will be thicker and wider.  That's where he stores his fat.

And you skin the tail just like you do the rest of the beaver.  There is a small but steady market for beaver tails, it seems to be the preferred grip material for traditional bows.

And unlike cleaning a deer, you pretty much have to cut the hide off a beaver, it doesn't peel off like a cow, deer or elk hide.  A crank and a clamp comes in handy, the same type of crank most boat trailers use.  When you are skinning, if you aren't careful, that's when you hit the castor glandes.  They are around the vent.
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Quill
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2017, 10:20:28 AM »

Bush spice is also known as Benjamin bush, wild allspice bush and fever bush.
I don't know which tribe the recipe was from, although my History from the Hearth book lists cooking it like salt pork. Also  they mention of pan frying slices of it after dredging in seasoned flour.  The author Sally Eustice speaks of it as gristle too, but the Chippewa called it meat and considered it a treat for the fat content. I am guessing it is a cultural distinction. We have plenty of fat available and don't need it. Since we don't need it, we aren't raised eating it. Could be likened to the Plains Tribes eating dog. Or like the English in colonial days saying maize was just pig food.
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Bill S
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2017, 11:05:53 AM »

If it was Native American or Colonial days, where people ate lots of wild game, most of that meat is very lean and doesn't have much fat.  And the animals that did have lots of fat, such as raccoons, or mature deer, the fat has an off taste and isn't all that good.

Raccoons have something like 11 small castor glandes, deer, you have to render the fat down or it has a very strong after taste.

And bears occasionally try to eat the people hunting them.

So, a beaver tail was an easy source of fat in the diet.  Plus some good meat and a warm fur for clothing or blankets.

And I know people that like pigs' feet, which is mostly cartilage or gristle, just like a beavers' tail.  I wonder if there are health advantages to it?  Possibly helps with arthritis?  Or just joint health? 
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Quill
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2017, 10:28:46 PM »

Pickled pigs feet is something my dad ate. Said was just pickled pork.As a kid,  I passed that by like lutefisk.
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ghost 0311/8541
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2017, 02:46:14 PM »

If you use a jig saw to cut the side of the shell on the belly side then pocket knife you can have one cleaned in about 10 min back before the put a small limit on turtles we would dive 60 turtles a night and clean the next day turtle meat flowerd and fried then put in a crock pot with gravy for 6 hours served over white rice
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Bill S
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2017, 08:19:21 PM »

Yep, you really need to slow cook turtle in a stew or in a crock pot, otherwise it gets tough as boot leather.
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deerstalker
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« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2017, 05:01:36 AM »

Ok
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deerstalker
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« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2017, 05:03:43 AM »

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gE0kte348-k
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Rooster
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« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2017, 10:52:50 AM »

 Reminded me that I used to occasionally wonder what I had consumed over the last fifty years, preservatives and God knows what else. Actually still do, but I'm still here, so I guess I shouldn't complain. If I knew then what I think is true now, I'd go a much more natural route with food consumption.

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