Wednesday, February 11, 2015

ACE Basin - Trapping Takes Hold Over Time

Outdoor Writer and trapper John Nolan hoist a beaver harvest

When Walterboro resident John Nolan makes his rounds to private properties around the Lowcountry he calls on both predators and nuisance critters. Cold weather makes for the best trapping weather and February has offered consistent temps when setting traps for coyotes, bobcats and beavers. Just as an avid deer hunter must focus during the rut, a trapper must be vigilant to work long hours while checking his traps and I caught up with Nolan during his annual two-week stretch run.
Jeff Young and Nolan with trapping tools of the trade
Nolan is an active duty U.S. Marine and deserves a salute from the public for his dedication to military matters. As a lifelong trapper he honors a commitment to the outdoors by taking two weeks leave in February to run trap lines. His contributions in the ACE Basin have some private landowners giving him another salute for his effectiveness when it comes to predator control. 

When it comes to talk about trapping for beavers Nolan’s strapping frame comes to attention. “Beavers have always fascinated me, and I have had some memorable encounters over the year’s trying to remove nuisance beaver colonies,” said Nolan. He speaks of this adversary with the respect one gives your enemy when waging an ongoing campaign, with 2015 just one chapter in the larger novel of beaver battles.

Timber managers know that hardwood timber cannot be flooded for twelve months of the year because it kills the trees. On one property, Nolan’s assignment was to infiltrate the beaver swamp, locate the den and then trap out the colony of beavers that had created a large area of dead trees. We donned full waders to access the area where Nolan had his traps and good fortune came in the form of a double-harvest on beavers.

What's better than one beaver harvest? Two!
When it was my turn to go from observer to guest trapper, Nolan wanted me to check the next underwater leg trap secured with a drowning rod. Once the rod come unstuck it wasn’t hard to lift it out of the water, but what followed was a heavy trap that was covered in vegetation and attached to a dead beaver. Steel traps don’t produce results without a knowledgeable trapper running them, and passionate professionals like Nolan will benefit the ACE Basin with their skills over time.

To read this entire article in the newspaper click on Colletonian.

To view past articles on the ACE Basin click on 2015 Duck Finale - 25th Anniversary - 2012 Update / John  Frampton - 2013 Waterfowl Warrior Hunt - ACE Basin QDMA - Friends of Nemours - Wounded Warrior Deer Hunt - Colleton Plantation Tour - Mottled Duck Study - Red-Cockaded Woodpeckers.

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