Can you recommend a good air rifle to take out beavers?


April 17, 2006, 10:41 AM
I work in a town that is having beaver problems and one of the two suggestions is to quietly deal with them by using air rifles (discharging a firearm in town limits is illegal but air guns are alright). I obviously need something accurate and powerful enough to take out one of these varmints (well several of them). Any suggestions?

And note, we are also looking at hiring an outside firm to "remove" these as well...not sure if it's removal by euthanization or by trapping and relocating. But I said I'd check on the details of option 1 (airgun option).


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April 17, 2006, 10:50 AM
my son took out a bird with metal pellet from an air gun[ got in trouble], but I doubt theres enough firepower to do anything but cruelly injure a beaver. better to relocate, although statistically relocated animals die within 2 months

April 17, 2006, 10:54 AM
Conibear traps or snares are quiet and efficient. Send me the pelts.

April 17, 2006, 11:01 AM
I figured a 1100 fps pellot gun would do the job, but I never even thought about a snare...thanks for pointing that out. Yeah, that's definately the way to go in place of an air rifle.

Now we just have to see what people think ....snares or paying a company to come in and clean them up.

April 17, 2006, 11:03 AM
Does the town have an animal control department? If they won't let you discharge a gun in town, I would let them deal with it. Air guns can reliably take out animals up to the size of squirrels and rabbits but beavers are way too big for an airgun pellet unless you have the accuracy and marksmanship to hit them in the head.

April 17, 2006, 11:06 AM
My neighbor shot a 86 pound beaver that was cutting this trees. He used a .30-06. You may get in trouble for crulety to animals with such a small round. Drown them or other wise be quiet. S.S.S.

cracked butt
April 17, 2006, 11:11 AM
Beavers are way too big to have any hopes in quickly dispatching them with an air gun.

Best bet is to find a trapper to take them out.

April 17, 2006, 11:14 AM
There are some very powerful airguns out there. Like this one:

That power level is very close to .22LR standard velocity ammo.

April 17, 2006, 11:38 AM
Beaver is too tough for an air rifle to humanely kill them. Comabear (sic?) traps are most effective because they are quiet, kill by breaking the neck and back, and are the most humane method to use. You can't live trap them, because where would you take them? In Mississippi, beavers are among the largest causes of damage, particularly timber damage and destruction from flooding.

I used to trap beavers, and if you go that route, plan on using several traps and checking them at least every other day. You must be very, VERY careful or else you'll break your wrist with that trap. It is far better to have a trained guy do it for you. Surely you have access to animal damage control officers who do just this.


April 17, 2006, 11:38 AM
what kind of beaver?:D

April 17, 2006, 12:11 PM
If this is a serious city issue then I would go to city council and ask if they would temporarily allow you to shoot the beavers with a .22 LR. In my youth I dispatched many a beaver with my trusty 10/22, but shot placement is very important when shooting them with a smaller caliber. My favorite caliber to use on beavers was either .223, or 7.62X39. I shot one old beaver that had to weigh clost to 80 lbs!!! The easiest way I found to hunt them was at night when there is a full moon, or at dusk. Even if they know you are there they will often times cruise around in the water because they think they are safe. If they are in the water just aim for the eyes and take the shot. Growing up there was nothing I enjoyed hunting more then beavers.

I knew an old farmer that would poor oil in their ponds hoping they would get it on themselves and get sick, but I always thought that was kind of a cruel way to go. Plus I think the EPA and DNR would crap themselves if they found out about it.

April 17, 2006, 01:05 PM
I've used a .25 caliber Beeman Kodiak on nutria. In the winter they'll get out in the sun and not pay attention to their surroundings, a close head shot (25 feet) isn't a problem. Just aim right infront of the ear.

I wouldn't use it for beavers, the Kodiak is a powerful air rifle, but using it would involve getting too close to what can be a mean and dangerous critter.

A .22LR or traps would be the better route.

April 17, 2006, 02:07 PM
Do not try to kill a beaver with an air rifle. Any air rifle.

April 17, 2006, 02:10 PM
There are air rifles that would kill beavers, but they're expensive and loud. And .50 caliber.

That said, what sort of trouble are the beavers causing?

It's hard to imagine beavers being half the trouble that public employee unions are here. We don't have beavers, though.

April 17, 2006, 02:13 PM
Talk to either your state conservations department or the USDA department of Wildlife Services to see if they can do anything for you. Also, unless this is during the posted season, you will most likely need a nuisance permit from your state conservation department.

Now, for a little how to. If you get the permit to shoot and have the ok to use a rifle, this is what you do to get a clear shot. A couple hours before dark, take a rake or some other garden tool and make a hole in the dam so that water starts to run out of the pond. Find a place where you can have a good shot at that hole and then wait for dusk. Once the sun goes down, the beaver will come out to repair the damage and when a clear shot is present, take it.

I did this about 6 weeks ago here at the airport and it worked like a charm. By the way, I used a .223.

April 17, 2006, 03:38 PM
I talked with the public works guy and he wants to contract out to someone to take care of it. He didn't like the idea of getting his hands dirty (but it was his decision, I was just giving him options).

Thanks for the responses. And the trouble we've been having is the P/W department would clear out dams and then in a few weeks have to go back and do it again. It get's to be a waste of time and going back into the woods is not the safest. Plus dams of course are near creeks, which is where sanitary sewers are always when the dams make things flood, then the sewer easements flood which means we can't do our manditory maintenance on the easments. PLUS if there is a blockage, we can't get equipment in to clear it....and if there's a spill, well then that's a whole new headache!

April 17, 2006, 04:06 PM
Leave those furry little beavers alone...they never hurt anyone and we couldnt live with out them :neener:

April 17, 2006, 04:12 PM
Ah yes. Beaver problems...:rolleyes:

I've got just the "gun" for that:evil:

April 17, 2006, 04:21 PM
Agree with advice of checking with agencies. Alleviates hassles and legal problems.

April 17, 2006, 04:29 PM thinks Slinger's being innapropriate. :eek:

April 17, 2006, 04:32 PM
An air rifle may be ineffictive on beavers. BUT a crossbow shure would take care of them and since it's not a firearm it's legal.

April 17, 2006, 04:35 PM
Your state wildlife resources folks will remove them if they are a nuisance and especially since they are a public works problem. What state/town are the critters in?

April 17, 2006, 04:41 PM
First, let me add my voice to the chorus of people saying "don't use an air rifle". Beavers are tough, man. They're more common than most people think, tougher than most people think, bigger than most people think, and definitely meaner (in the right situation) than most people think.

A crossbow (as krochus suggested) is probably an excellent an idea for this if there's simply no way you can get a waiver to use a firearm or get some animal control outfit to do it. But for the love of God, don't go near a beaver you've stuck with a crossbow bolt until you're absolutely certain he's dead. In fact, I'd do my "is it dead yet" check with a baseball bat if it were me.

April 17, 2006, 04:52 PM

And here I was thinking my friends .22 airgun was big...

April 17, 2006, 05:01 PM
That said, what sort of trouble are the beavers causing?

It's hard to imagine beavers being half the trouble that public employee unions are here. We don't have beavers, though.


Those rodents can be a big problem, as JoseM already outlined. Around here they routinely build dams on the many small streams, causing flooding of trails and roads. Mostly, that's what they cause; flooding.

But we had a good flood last October that should have wiped most of the offenders well downstream (say, all the way to Connecticut!). Of course, when they're on class 5 and 6 roads, nobody really cares anyway, until they use the road.

Browns Fan
April 17, 2006, 08:42 PM
Some of you guys are sick puppies!:scrutiny:

Chuck R.
April 17, 2006, 10:12 PM
I can sympathize with anyone going through a Beaver problem!

That said, what sort of trouble are the beavers causing?

Last August I bout a 40 acre parcel complete with 9 acre pond. It cost me close to 14K right off the bat to repair the overflow tube, dam and spillway from the cute little ^&&% beavers. They made a dam around the original flow tube and raised the pond level 6 feet. When it washed out the spillway, they made another dam to protect that, adding about another 2 feet. As the water reaches the trees, theyíre goners.

Iíve hunted just about everything on North America and Europe, and after 21 years in the Army, Iíve never seen anything like these things. Theyíre like some furry little aquatic Terminators, they donít sleep, they donít rest, and they will never give up. Iíve cleared the brush around the pond, Iíve shot them at night with rifles, a Benelli M1S90, Iíve set #3 leg hold traps, 330 Conibears (careful, 330s really, really hurt), I even burned their lodges to the ground, and they still keep coming. I tried a .22 at first, but it has to be a perfect shot, at around 40-60 lbs they're pretty tough. I managed to chase them off to my neighborís pond this winter, but now one (or more) has come back. Where thereís one, thereís many or will be.

Besides cutting trees, as if thatís not bad enough, every time we get a decent rain they try to dam up the overflow tube. They hate the sound of running water, make a break in the dam, or clear the drain and they will come. Theyíre also adaptive thinkers, shoot a couple at close to dusk, theyíll just start coming out later.

Trust me, there is no peaceful coexistence with these things. Donít try to ďlive and let liveĒ, they'll just take it as a sign of weakness.

At this point, they're winning. Iím willing to hire someone and pay a bounty.


PS: Also watch out for their nasty little cousins the Muskrats. They have a habit of burrowing into dams to make their dens.

April 17, 2006, 10:42 PM
Chuck if I lived close to where you live I would take you up on the beaver bounty. Hunting beavers can be a ton of fun if you aren't trying to protect you land from their boundless amounts of energy. All I can recomend is just keep shooting the little critters sooner or later you will hunt them out. Your right about the running water it is like nails on a chalk board to them.

I have a some friends that were in a similar situation to what you are dealing with. They finally installed a overflow that the little buggers can't damn up. It comes out from the road about 8ft then has a 90 degree elbow on the end with a grill over it. Since the pipe is free floating in the pond the beavers can't build up anything to block it up. If you are interested I can see if I could find a picture of it.

April 17, 2006, 10:43 PM

April 17, 2006, 10:53 PM
I'm tempted to say "Yoghurt cannon"....but I won't :uhoh:

April 17, 2006, 10:57 PM
I'm a bit suprized that nobody has mantioned that beavers can be pretty good to eat, Especally BB-Qed on a sandwich.

And NO I'm not being perverse

April 17, 2006, 11:04 PM
I trap and drown skunks, but if you want to have some fun and have a fat wallet these guys can help you out:

They don't have it on their site anymore, but their AR style air rifle is also available in .38 caliber. Its a pricey rifle, and the ammo is hard to come by, but a 38 caliber semi auto air gun that fires pellets at 1100 fps is worth dumping some coin on. My friend has one, and its fun as hell. Plus, it makes an effective anti personell weapon.

April 17, 2006, 11:06 PM
Id just use a .22 Seems it would be a little easier.

April 17, 2006, 11:36 PM
A .22 would be my preference also, but when you have tree hugging neighbors who will immediatly call the cops, it would seem a worse option. Besides, illegaly discharging a firearm can bring some stiff penalties in some places. Like my city.:cuss:

April 17, 2006, 11:41 PM
Beavers are very tough with thick skulls and thick pelts. Dont bother shooting them with any of the weak calibers. Use a trap or use a rifle cartrdidge.

April 18, 2006, 12:16 AM
you would need a specialty ari rifle, firng a 30 cal size bullet, i think Arizona arms sells them , but they are very expensive, you would do better with a trap or crossbow.

April 18, 2006, 07:26 AM
I'd just use one of the older Mossberg or Marlin(with Ballard style rifling),24 inch barrel and the Aguila SSS.Sounds like an air gun.

April 18, 2006, 09:16 AM
The point is, a beaver is a big animal, bigger than most realize and weighs, generally, more than a coyote. They are dangerous if cornered (not likely given their circumstances, but I do know of a logger who caught a baby beaver to take home to the kids, but when he picked it up, it mauled his arms terribly). They are a menace and their populations have been expanding. You cannot transport them anywhere else (would you gather up all the termites in your house and give them to your neighbor?) so the only thing that can be done is to humanely kill them.

If you hunt them, you do so at night with a 12 ga shotgun or a decent rifle. Trapping is generally the best option, using a neck-breaking trap to kill them quickly and as humanely as possible. They are like having rats in your house. Few people really worry about killing rats, or bats in their attics. Beavers, in the wild, are fine animals. But when they move (and because of aggressive parents, young beavers DO move), they enter areas which are not wetlands and cause tremendous damage. Worse, if you allow beavers to live on your property long enough, you end up with a federally protected wetland and then you are "up the creek".

In any case, the most effective option, given the location, is trapping. As far as I know, every state has an animal damage control agency which can take care of this. Being a city, you will have no trouble getting permission to have them erradicated.


April 18, 2006, 10:14 PM
Trust me, there is no peaceful coexistence with these things. Don’t try to “live and let live”, they'll just take it as a sign of weakness.
I feel your pain ... believe me. Been there - done (and still doing) that. These things are about as bad as illegal border jumpers .... but allot smarter. If you see 'one' .... you know there's usually many more you don't see, and you sometimes don't realize the extent of the problem, until it's too late.

Beavers are extremely tough critters, especially when they get up in the 50lb range. Even with the smaller ones, you'll need something larger than a .22 to get the job done quickly, and cleanly.
Unless you're way out in boonies, with no close neighbors, I'd suggest not using a snare, (unless it's underwater) because you could easily end up with the neighbor's (or your own) dog in it .... and they can easily kill an animal, by strangulation. If you do use a snare, be sure to anchor it to something 'substantial'.

There are two other ponds besides mine, within 1/8 mile. About 5 years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to another friend of his, who had hunted & trapped since he was a kid. He came by and set out a couple conibears .... on my place, then at the neighbors'. Within a couple weeks, he pulled a total of 11 beaver out of these ponds.
Actually you usually set these conibears, in the creek (underwater) that flows into the pond. It gets 'em when they go upstream in the creek.

April 19, 2006, 01:03 AM
Can you recommend a good air rifle to take out beavers?
Ummmm.... if you shoot it with a freakin' air rifle, a good beaver is likely to take you out.

I had 'em on my property a couple of times over the years. Tree damage and a flooded, overflowing pond made me appreciate the wisdom of bringing in a trapper. He made a few bucks, got to keep the carcass, and I got my property back sans giant water rats.


Except for the freakin' beaver.......:D

April 19, 2006, 01:23 AM
A .22 would be my preference also, but when you have tree hugging neighbors who will immediatly call the cops, it would seem a worse option. Besides, illegaly discharging a firearm can bring some stiff penalties in some places. Like my city.Ewwww. That sucks. But how exactly could they prove you fired it? Plenty of things sound like a .22 Plenty of tools for instance.

April 19, 2006, 01:24 AM
I love air rifles and I have a few really nice ones. But beavers are HUGE. The can go 60 or 70 pounds NO problem.

Beavers are just out of an air rifle's class. I guess I'd try a .22 (.22 Mag is better) and go for real accuracy. Beaver is about like a pretty fair-sized dog.

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