Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Northern Beaver and Muskrat

The Beaver is a symbol of Canada.  Trappers loved beaver hats for their warmth.  Natives say 'beaver tail' soup is the best. I've never shot a beaver. I've known that were I to be in a survival situation they'd be up their on the menu list.  The natives cherished them for the 'fat' supplies since 'fat' was hard to come by, most animals being lean and kentucky fried chicken not being available till the last decades.  Goose is popular for it's fat too.
I come across beaver and muskrat when I'm hunting deer and moose.  The beaver was in the woods by the side of the trail near a swamp and I noted the brush moving and heard him chomping first.  When I came over to take his picture, being shy he left. The muskrat however was swimming and quite happy to watch me.  He didn't like Gilbert and Gilbert didn't like him but he was near his wood house so felt safe with a near by exit. One of true joys of back country hiking is watching wildlife in the wild.  I watched the beaver for a while before I let him know I was near and the muskrat went back to it's business of buidling a damn as if I wasn't there even with Gilbert whining.  The beaver is rounder and bigger than the muskrat.  Beaver are more wary usually.  One road to a guiding area was flooded thanks to these fellows. We came by later in the week when the guides had returned to prepare their lodge for American customers. They'd broken the damn and the road was clear for travel.  These industrious little fellows will just build another damn so I expect the guiding operation has to do this a few times a season to keep it's lodges available to the outside world. DSCN0314DSCN0313DSCN0312DSCN0311DSCN0108DSCN0107

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