It Comes with the Territory
Swamps, ponds, and creeks are commonplace for those who’ve chased behind coonhounds. It’s been awhile since I was chest deep in swamp water, but those aren’t memories you readily forget, either.
It comes with the territory: the territory ringtails are known to roam.
But there are other critters who inhabit these same places--one such being the beaver.
Interestingly, many of the things you’ve likely heard about beavers--which are actually part of the rodent family--are true!
They are industrious, vegetarian, build dams, and even “beaver” trees. (I’ve not seen it personally, but the old-timers tell me of finding beaver killed when a large tree—likely caught by the wind—crushed nature’s first logger while it worked on chewing the tree down!)
Beavers average more than 50 pounds (by comparison, an average racoon in these parts is under 20 pounds) and can easily reach over 70 pounds. Beavers are not small animals!
And yes, they do slap their tail down hard on the water’s surface. I had a young coon hunter just recently tell me that he heard someone throwing rocks into the river very near him one night. I smiled when I informed him the “rock thrower” was likely a beaver upset he’d stumbled too close to its home.
So, while the beaver might be nature's first logger, this critter may be the first home alert system, too!