The second weekend of Montana’s general rifle season included another season opener this year–water trapping! On November 1st, trapping season for beaver, muskrat, mink and otter opened, and trappers were out just after midnight in some areas setting traps–Angela Montana (that’s me) was one of those trappers.
My trapping partner, Jason Maxwell, and I were out in the freezing rain at about 1am with a flashlight and a cell phone flashlight setting 330 conibears in an area we found full of fresh beaver sign. We were ready. I set three traps in the places I thought looked the most promising, while Jason set one. We then headed back to sleep to prepare to head out hunting in the morning.
Around 6am, my alarm went off, and we headed back to our trapping spot to check our traps. First trap=nothing…second trap=BINGO! There was a nice beaver there. I am guessing he was somewhere around 40 pounds–nothing HUGE, but definitely a nice surprise. A healthy beaver, for sure, to say the least. The other two traps had nothing in them, but both of us were happy that one of us got something on opening day.
The previous year, Jason had beaver trapping success, along with two friends Aarron and Matt Watrous of Conner, on opening day, too, so this was pretty awesome that I got to experience what they did last year when they got their first beavers. What a rush.
Overall, it was awesome! It was a great feeling to head out hunting that morning “buzzing” from the high of trapping my very first beaver. What a great experience, and what a beautiful coat he has!
If you are interested in learning about trapping and/or joining the Montana Trappers Association, visit www.montanatrappers.org right now! You can become a member online 24/7. Good luck to all the hunters and trappers still looking for their critters!