Beaver (Castor canadensis)
Beaver, the rodent I admire and swear at on a regular basis. A mature beaver can weigh 50 pounds. Their teeth grow continuously and allow them eat bark and cambium, and fell trees. I can’t help but admire them even though they cause a lot of road damage in our neck of the woods. They’re determined, driven hard workers and it’s not unusual to find a beaver tugging a sapling down the road on the way to the dam it’s building or repairing.
Beaver provides “natural raspberry” flavor. Yes, I’m serious. If you want to be grossed out or convinced to never drink natural raspberry flavor or curiosity is getting the best of you, Bing it.
Beavers cause many problems by flooding roads and felling valuable trees (sometimes landing them on valuable items) but I admire them. They’re nature’s engineers. They’re always busy, clever and hard working. And surprisingly, they taste good. I didn’t think I was going to like it but each time I’ve tasted it I’ve liked beaver meat. I’m hoping to acquire a carcass so I can cook it myself and share the recipes I come up with.
For perspective, this lodge is approximately ten feet tall. Beavers build dams to stop water flow and lodges to live in. A lodge might also be in the bank of a stream or river, or along the shore of a lake or pond. This lodge has been empty for years but there’s an active one behind and to the right.
This is an old food plot. They eat leaves, the inner bark and twigs, ferns, shrubs, water plants, grass, and fish. There seems to be no preference in food but it’s often thought they favor alder, birch, aspen and willow. Is it coincidence that these are the trees that grow near water? They store what they aren’t eating in these food banks as well as jamming branches into the mud in the water.