Wildlife Trapping In The Modern Era

The majority of my clients are landowners in Ottawa County, Michigan where I provide wildlife trapping, removal and control. I primarily trap beaver, muskrat, raccoon, ground hogs, opossum and skunk using both modern and traditional means. Through these means, I’ll work with landowners on how to reduce and mitigate damage to personal property.

Like I said, I help landowners, primarily on Ottawa County, with the trapping and removal of wildlife. However, there are times where I may travel outside Ottawa County. That time was recently, I decided to travel to northern Michigan for a consulting job. The job was to remove an over-abundance of beaver on a section of land.

I enjoy consulting. I don’t have to set my traps and check them on a regular basis, as required by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Instead, I can teach the property owner how to trap, where to trap and the regulations and ethics around trapping.

Why We Trap:

First off, I want to say that I, by no means am advocating that we trap an area out. It would be unethical to leave an area devoid of the targeted species. These targeted species play an important role in the broader ecosystem to help maintain balance, habitat, food, recreational enjoyment, etc.

Contrary to what you see on the internet, trapping is very humane and has come along way over the years. It’s highly regulated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and it plays an important role in helping manage the balance of an ecosystem in today’s world.

Unfortunately, wildlife removal is a tricky subject in today’s politically correct environment. Whether we like it or not, we are stewards of the land. As a result of that, we have the responsibility to manage wild animal populations so as to keep them in balance to protect other more vulnerable species.

With that said, for this job, the property owner wanted to learn how to trap beaver. He owns a large tract of land on a river that is known for it’s migratory runs of salmon and steelhead. In addition, it holds resident brown trout and rainbow trout through out the year and has prime gravel areas.

Do to a lack of predators and human activity beaver activity has picked up on his property. Beaver have been taking a number of trees out and as such the river banks have begun to collapse. When a bank collapses it fills the river with sand. Some of this sand has started to cover prime spawning habitat for the migratory fish. As the sand covers the gravel, in time, it will eventually reduce the migratory runs as less fish return to their home waters to spawn. Trapping can help maintain and restore balance to this river, the land and and its ecosystems.

Imbalance On The Land:

We, as humans, have manipulated the land for our benefit. As a result, there are times when wildlife populations become unbalanced. Once this imbalance occurs, other species will be come vulnerable, threatened, endanger or extinct. For that reason, trapping plays an important role in the conservation of wildlife.

Tom Werkman – Trapper