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Is .22 enough for Beaver?

Discussion in 'Hunting' started by <SLV>, Feb 11, 2009.

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  1. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    I've been reading the journals of Lewis and Clark, and a favorite staple for them across the upper plains was beaver. In fact, Lewis preferred the tail more than any other meat they harvested.

    Anyway, I'd like to go out and get a couple to give it a try. Is there any reason I shouldn't try to kill a beaver with a .22 LR? I have a scoped bolt rifle that I'm good for about 1MOA. Would you shoot it behind the head with .22 because of the thickness of the pelt?

    I'd be using CCI Velocitors (40 gr HP)

    My only other option would be an SKS (7.62x39), but that seems overkill and imprecise.
     
  2. Pulsar

    Pulsar Member

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    the 22 is plenty,
    plus 1 for the Velocitors that's my culling choice
    stingers are also great round if you like CCI

    the 7.62 is too much and will cause alot of meat/pelt damage on somthing as small as a bever unless you shot it in the head
     
  3. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    You might check the legality of shooting beavers. IIRC, they're regarded as furbearers by the DOW, and used to require a special license. I don't think that applies if they're doing damage to your property.
     
  4. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    Yep, I've killed a lot of beaver with a .22lr though I prefer a .22 win.mag. Here in Alabama the beaver is a nuisance animal that can be hunted/trapped with no closed season and no bag limit(unless it has changed in the last few years) day light hours only.
     
  5. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Haven't shot beaver, but .22 is deadly on nutria and raccoon, similar size animals.
     
  6. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Kinda depends on where you are. Beavers in Canada and northern USA can grow to 1.5-2x the weight of a coyote, and most people don't think .22lr is enough for yotes. Dunno how big they get in Colo. Probably a .22 mag or bigger is going to be preferred for a body shot. For a head shot, .22lr will be great.
     
  7. Larry Ashcraft

    Larry Ashcraft Moderator Staff Member

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    We had a professional trapper on our place years ago, when it was still legal. He snared a beaver that weighed over 50 pounds. He had to bring it by my shop to show me.

    It looked like a small bear in his pickup. :uhoh:
     
  8. tango2echo

    tango2echo Member

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    No laws on beaver in my area. I have taken some up to 60lbs with the .22lr and 36gr hp's. (headshots)

    They make great jerky. Most people cannot tell it from beef jerky.

    On a side note, I took 16 beavers off of a farmers property for him a few years ago because they were flooding a field. Within 6 months a new bunch had moved in. He finally gave up on that field. I now duck hunt there.....


    T2E
     
  9. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    See, beavers are good for something! :D
     
  10. saskboy

    saskboy Member

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    It will work, shot lots of them with the .22 and .17hmr. The hardest part is trying to get them after you shoot them, either they sink right away or they will surive the initial shot and make it to the bottom and never come up. I have used the shotgun, 308, and .300wsm on them, if you hit them in the body they will dive and you wont see them again, you need head shots.
     
  11. HB

    HB Member

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    Might be illegal, we can only trap them in Missouri I believe. Most people use a walking stick, sawed off baseball bat, or .22 pistol here, so a .22 rifle should work.

    HB
     
  12. caribou

    caribou Member

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    .22lr is plenty good for shooting Beaver.

    when our river ice breaks up in late May, its fun to follow the ice as it plugs up and builds up water. The Muskrats, Beaver, Otter and such animlas have no home for a few days, and we hunt them during those 3-4 days that the water is high, high enough to let a boat into alot of lakes and former sloughs.

    If you shoot a Beaver and it sinks, give 'em 1/2 hour and they will float up every time, must be gas in the guts, from eating plants..... but just be patient.

    Good luck
     
  13. MCgunner

    MCgunner Member

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    Well, I found something my .22 mag I traded for is good for. LOL! We don't have a lot of beaver right here on the coast, have to go inland a bit up in east Texas. I like that .22 mag, but anything I could use it for, I can use a LR for. It seems a might much for squirrel and rabbits. I'd thought it might be neat out in west Texas where you can snipe jack rabbits at 100 yards.
     
  14. Husker1911

    Husker1911 Member

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    Nebraska grows some hardy, full size beaver. They occasionally become destructive pests. Still, they're regulated as "fur-bearers" here. Doesn't mean I've not eliminated a few pests for friends. Stingers in your .22LR will eliminate beaver, but actually harvesting their carcasses becomes iffy. The .22 WRM really shines in this task, anchoring them for the harvest. Hornet is nearly perfect, and .223 Rem is a little much.

    Oh, and I appreciate the nod toward recipes for the critter. I've eaten a few at game feeds.
     
  15. Big Daddy Grim

    Big Daddy Grim Member

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    .22 is just fine taken a few myself friends farm.
     
  16. John828

    John828 Member

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    Want to shoot beaver?

    You have to break up their dam and then wait at night with 20 ga. (or 12 ga.) single aught. It waughrks!

    Want meat? Set live traps. But you got to check 'em fast.
     
  17. cliffy

    cliffy member

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    .22 LR Velocitors

    CCI makes the best .22 fare, bar none. No misfires, no wimp rounds, just dependable firepower. Velocitors are without peer to date, for performance expected from a .22 Long Rifle round. Pay a few pennies more per round and expect the best for tagging beavers and other game up to forty pounds of body weight. Limit those shots to fifty yards, and voila! Velocitors are the best of the breed for dependable performance, at least this has been my personal preference to date. cliffy
     
  18. John828

    John828 Member

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    One reason not to use .22 LR is that you will probably be shooting on water. Just make sure of your backstop since shooting at a low angle on water tends to create some awesome ballistic qualities.

    My best night at hunting beavers was a few days after a full moon (similar to what we will have tonight.) During the day we disturbed their dam and created some water flow. That night we just waited at the dam, and those little industrious engineers showed up to correct the situation. I was using a 20 ga single shot with buckshot. We killed three beavers, but let them rot where they were since it was purely pest control. Their activites were flooding a little subdivision of homes.
     
  19. <SLV>

    <SLV> Member

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    Thanks for all of the tips. I'll look into "fur bearers"... I wasn't aware of special restrictions. I did see that the season for Beaver is open until the end of April and the Colorado statewide bag limit is unlimited. I was planning on hunting on a State Wildlife Area nearby. Does "fur bearers" mean that I need to pay a special tax (stamp) just because the pelt can be sold?

    I'm going to give it a try with the .22LR and velocitors -- head shots only. I'll take an extending fishing net to drag them out of the ponds. I'm sure most will be on the perimeter and flop into the water.

    Any tips on skinning a Beaver? I've heard there are glands near the **** that you have to be really careful around.
     
  20. ~z

    ~z Member

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    Check your regs, but most places you dont need the "tax" or fur bearer lisc unless you are selling the furs.
    ~z
     
  21. Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow

    Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow member

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    Hey John828, are you saying that a .22lr is more prone to ricochet than the alternatives, such as ______? I have had .22 ricochet off water, but I'm wondering why this is, any more so than other rounds. Must... resist... urge.... to make...crude joke about beaver hunting....
     
  22. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    I think a .22LR is no more likely to skip or ricochet off water then any other round-nose bullet going 1,000 - 1,200 FPS tops.
    Not enough velocity to fragment the bullet, and the round-nose shape doesn't dig in and penetrate water at shallow angles.

    A magnum pistol JHP, or almost any high-velocity rifle hunting bullet will mushroom and dump a lot of energy in water, or in the case of the HV rifle, fragment completely.

    rc
     
  23. John828

    John828 Member

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    Shooting on water always presents some challenges for any caliber. I understand what rc is saying, but think about the angle you are shooting at--maybe seven or ten degrees. At that angle almost everything is going to richochet. I have always used buckshot for beaver.

    Make a joke about hunting beavers? Nah, just use the gun you own. I would never use someone else's gun. What fun would that be?
     
  24. JWF III

    JWF III Member

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    It's taking a lot of self control not to make a joke here. But it is the HighRoad, so I'll refrain for the moment.

    Wyman
     
  25. ~z

    ~z Member

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    Again, rc hit the nail on the head.
    ~z
     
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