Beavers - Why won't anything eat them?

Discussion in 'Varmint Hunters Forum' started by WoodieSC, Apr 7, 2008.

  1. WoodieSC

    WoodieSC North/South Carolina Flyway Forum Moderator Flyway Manager

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    I've been told, and observed, that pretty much nothing, including buzzards, will eat a (four-legged) beaver. I've also been told that they're pretty rank smelling when you go to skin one, although I've never bothered so I don't know.

    I've also been told by at least one guy that beaver meat is "the best there is". Now, I don't know the guy personally but I tend to classify that as a very "Country" opinion from what I know of beavers. :yes

    What's the scoop?
     
  2. SeniorCoot

    SeniorCoot Elite Refuge Member

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    I've eaten Beaver in a native Village in AK- cooked by native women and cooked quite a few for game dinners myself. I would say it's OK not great- not real bad--a couple of caveats are- eat it HOT if baked and hope it was cooked on rack so grease dripped off into bottom of pan-- it will still be fatty but Ilike it that way--If it gets cold as it did once in a native village during a dog race--we were guests so served first BUT had to wait for invocation to eat and cold beaver is NOT good!--second I usually boil chunks if making stew or similar dish-- throw out water and start again--it will still taste like beaver but not be real strong.
    Incidently DOGS love beaver--used to keep them eating on long trips or races.great nutritition also.
     
  3. salthunter

    salthunter Moderator Moderator

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    Not in most of the US
    I was a full-time trapper,.. A buddy and I had a big carcass pile. Beaver were the first carcasses eaten by ravens hawks, coyotes fox, mink crows and coons. Muskrats next. Raccoon were seldom touched,. Even fisher refused to eat them. I sold lots of carcasses to a mink and fox rancher,.. he perferred beaver over cows and turkey
    I also sold trapping baits and other lures. Beaver meat in the fresher stages of aging is a perfered bait for most preditors.

    Beaver meat makes fine table fare. I perfer it over white-tail deer, moose or elk. My brother and I would put up hundreds of pounds a year.
    Tenderloin butterfly steaks, burger and sausage. We could be picky about our selection of meat and the age of the beaver ( two year olds in most cases.)
    Beaver have glands,.(castors) . like most animals, just make sure to not let any get on the meat.
    Beaver tail is nasty stuff,.. fatty and gristly. The red meat is nearly void of fat after trimming,.. we never left the fat on the meat.Dont cook the meat with the fat still on , or on the bone,.. fat and bone give the meat a flavor i dont care for. No reason to boil either.
    We ground the hams for burger and sausage.
    The hams have a texture much like moose,.. sort of stringy but not tough. They can be sliced for fahitas, chopped for stews, or ground
    Tenderloins make great steaks , or grilled whole.
    In the ealy spring beaver will be stronger smelling,.. mostly the older adults producing castor.
    I may have been a trapper and a bit redneck,.. but my wife isnt and either are my friends wives.
    Anytime there was a party I would bring 10-40lbs of ground burger,.. Beaver was the only wild game many of them would eat. some years we had a list of people that wanted clean carcasses,,
    Beaver to many may seem a bit unussual,.. all they eat is water plants, roots and bark,... They are simple to prepare and taste very good.
    Growing up in the midwest I always heard horror stories about how bad mule deer and antelop tasted. I still think most mule deer arent to great on the table, but antelope is the best by far,.. Just needs to be butcheds and froze ASAP, instead of laying in the desert a couple days before going back east in 80 degree temps
     
  4. WoodieSC

    WoodieSC North/South Carolina Flyway Forum Moderator Flyway Manager

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    salthunter,

    Very interesting information. And you'll please note that I edited my comment to read "Country". ;)

    I'm not sure I'm yet "game" enough to give a (four-legged, Luigi :D ) beaver a try, but I'll keep it in mind the next time I kill a younger one. I've got a whole mess of them screwing up my creek bank out back and killing some nice big trees so I'm "thinnin' the herd" a bit since this section of creek isn't set up well for wetlands.

    But it doesn't explain why when I see a dead beaver on the road the carcass will sit there untouched for weeks. Maybe it's because it's the older ones that seem to get killed out there and they get rank quickly in these warmer temps.

    Thanks again. :tu
     
  5. lwingwatcher

    lwingwatcher Elite Refuge Member

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    Beaver is probably one of those things that if you ate without knowing what it was....you might have a totally different perspective.

    Back in my college days, I could throw together a mighty mean porcupine meal, saving my money for evening refreshments.

    Today, I think I might pass....
     
  6. WoodieSC

    WoodieSC North/South Carolina Flyway Forum Moderator Flyway Manager

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    LOL... I think you're right on that. There's something about eating a big rodent/river rat that doesn't appeal to my gourmet tastes. :yes
     
  7. Ring King

    Ring King Elite Refuge Member

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    Bears love beaver carcasses. We hang them high near our bait stands to give something for the bears after they've raided the bait barrels (easy pickings). I've seen some pretty wild acrobatics from bears trying to get that chunk of meat off of the hanging poles.

    Other than that I've never tried to eat them myself. I wouldn't turn up my nose at them just because it's a big river rodent though. When I lived in New Orleans I got suckered into eating nutria meat and found that it was pretty good. The back legs of a young nutria tasted really similar to rabbit meat. I was quite surprised to find out what I was eating!!
     
  8. blklabs2

    blklabs2 Senior Refuge Member

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    I agree salt&king beaver is the best bait for bears bar none if I use bait at any of my cat sets it is beaver, and it is ok to eat:tu
     
  9. kjrice

    kjrice Elite Refuge Member

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    Why am I laughing so hard...
     
  10. SeniorCoot

    SeniorCoot Elite Refuge Member

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    Dog Musher and their dogs love them also--We used to pay $15 a carcass for them--dogs really liked them as a change of diet and they have super nutrition in them--
     

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