Winter season brings damage from hungry beavers
(Reprinted from above link)
The North American Beaver is present in all 46 counties of South Carolina. Beavers use trees not only for dams and lodges, but also for the inner bark, twigs, and leaves to eat.
Winter is the most common time for beavers to fell trees for food causing a lot of landowners’ problems on their property.
Beaver damage may include: flooding by building dams, damage to crops and trees, either from flooding or by felling trees for food, and weakening banks and levees by burrowing. Beavers also may carry diseases which can spread to humans.
If you are wanting to control and manage beavers on your property, there are several lethal and non-lethal options to choose from. Shooting and/or trapping beavers is often the most effective lethal strategy, depending on the situation. Non-lethal options include foothold traps and live traps. Shooting beavers and trapping beavers require either a hunting or trapping license or a depredation permit from South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR). Also remember, the relocation of live beavers is illegal! Contact your local SCDNR office to find out more information and to make sure what you plan to do is legal.
When trapping, it is best to check your traps daily. This decreases the animal’s stress and pain from harming itself as well as the amount of time the beaver will have to escape. Checking traps regularly will also help prevent the injury or death of non-target species that may have been accidentally caught, potentially saving you from a fine.
Use caution when handling beavers. Wear disposable gloves (nitrile or latex). Use a catch pole, if needed, to keep the beaver at a safe distance. Keep away from the mouth and the feet of the beaver, as they are capable of inflicting severe injury by biting and clawing. Lastly, wash your clothes thoroughly to prevent the contraction of disease.
If you have questions about beavers, legal issues, control techniques, advice on trapping, etc., contact the SCDNR Furbearer Project at 803-734-3609.