They are semi-aquatic mammals of the Rodentia order, modern representatives of the Castoridae family.
Beaver is the largest living rodents, with adults averaging 40 pounds in weight and measuring more than 3 feet in length, including the tail. These semi-aquatic mammals have webbed hind feet, large incisor teeth, and a broad, flat tail.
Their most distinctive physical feature, though, is a flat, naked, and leathery tail. The tail is shaped like a flounder, and used as a rudder when swimming, a powerful, stabilizing tripod as the beaver sits up on it’s haunches. A storehouse for body fat, which may be necessary in rough winters. But despite the myth, beavers do not use their tails to carry mud, or pack it down.
Beavers live in family groups or colonies. A colony is made up of a breeding male and female beaver and their offspring. Beavers are very territorial and protect their lodges from other beavers. They mark their territory by building piles of mud and marking it with scent.
Beavers can have both a positive and a negative impact on the environment. When beavers build dams, they create new wetland environments for other species. These wetlands can help slow erosion, raise the water table, and help purify the water. Beavers can play a major role in succession. When beavers abandon their lodges and dams, aquatic plants take over the pond. Eventually, shrubs and other plants grow, and the area will become a meadow. The shrubs in the meadow will provide enough shade to allow tree seedlings to grow. Once the trees grow, they will take over, and the land will turn into a woodland area.
Beaver dams can also cause problems. Dams can slow the flow of water in streams and cause silt to build up, and some other species can loose habitat. Dams can also cause flooding in low-lying areas.
Beavers live near rivers, streams, ponds, small lakes, and marshes. They build lodges of sticks and mud on islands, on pond banks, or on lake shores. Beaver dams are domed-shaped and can be up to ten feet tall. Beaver lodges have one large central chamber and one or two entrances. The floor of the chamber is a little bit above the water and is usually covered in woodchips to absorb moisture. A vent in the lodge lets in fresh air. Not all beavers build lodges; some beavers build burrows in the banks of rivers.
Most active at night, they rely on their excellent senses of smell and hearing, but are extremely near-sighted, and will sometimes simply feel around for things with their little hand-like front paws.
Methods of hunting permitted for use:
- wambush hunting,
- trapping (automatic trap)
Permitted hunting tools:
Hunting fire smooth-bore long-barreled arms; firearm with a rifled barrel of caliber no more than 8 mm and a seating distance of not more than 51 mm (including a caliber of 5.6 mm for a rim-fire cartridge). Hunting firearm combined weapons (smooth-bore and rifted gun), including with rebarreling and auxiliary rifled barrels of 5.6 mm caliber for rim-fire cartridge; traps (automatic traps), including deadfalls of various types, mole traps, cherkans (wooden traps for animals living in lodges), gin traps, snares, and other analogues of automatic traps, as well as nets, cages, live traps and etc; cold bladed hunting weapon.
It is allowed to use a hunting pneumatic weapon with a muzzle energy of no more than 25 J for taking a chipmunk. Ground squirrel, ground squirrel, hamster, water vole. Hunting for a lynx, badger, wolverine, hare and beaver using a hunting firearm with a rifled barrel of 5.6 mm caliber for a rim-fire cartridge is not performed.
Depending on its age, a whole beaver can weigh 20 to 40 pounds or more. They’re similar to rabbits or squirrels in structure, with large, meaty hind legs, thinner forelegs, and a pair of tender loin muscles or “backstraps” running from shoulder to hip along their spine. The beaver’s flesh is quite lean, with most of its fat in visible seams between and around the muscles rather than as marbling throughout. These pockets of fat should always be trimmed away before cooking, because they’re strongly flavored. Before cooking, soak your beaver overnight in cold, lightly salted water to minimize its gamy flavor and draw out the blood.
Beaver meat is fine-textured and can be tough if cooked too quickly, so most recipes call for it to be slow-cooked until tender. The whole animal or its meaty legs can be slow-roasted in a low oven, at 275 to 325 degrees Fahrenheit, in a covered roaster with a splash of water, wine or broth to provide moisture. Alternatively, use enough cooking liquid to cover the beaver at least halfway and simmer it instead on the stovetop or in your oven, until it’s very tender. For beaver stew, instead of braised beaver, cut the animal into serving-sized pieces and brown them first on the stovetop. Use generous quantities of onions, celery and garlic to give the gravy a rich flavor.