Saturday, September 17, 2016

This means war

While I was laid up a week ago with a severe case of pseudo-gout, the beavers decided to launch an all-out attack. In just a couple of nights they cut the steel wire fencing -- yes, you read that correctly, cut the steel wire fencing -- and girdled five trees, including a red pine we planted 20 years ago, and felled one quaking aspen. All of this took place around the boathouse where the big rodents had taken up residence under the decking of the dock.
After first checking with Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry conservation officers who pointed out it is legal to kill animals in defense of your property, I took out the 12 gauge and shot two of about five of the critters.  The big one in the photos might have weighed 90 pounds. It was all I could do to lift it off the ground with one hand.
The area they were living in under the dock had an air space of just eight inches. That would seem to be a really poor den, especially come winter. Shooting animals is never a permanent solution so there was nothing to do but take up some of the dock decking and nail chicken wire completely around the water sides of the dock. I weighed down the free end with rocks. So far, so good but if there is anything I've learned about beavers it is that they are the very definition of persistence. I wouldn't be surprised if I end up shooting the rest.


Joe Overman said...

What is pseudo gout? Dee and I have gout. The real kind.

Dan Baughman said...

Sorry. Its proper name is calcium pyrophosphate diyhyrate crystal deposition disease (CPPD) or pyrophosphate arthropathy or chondrocalcinosis. Like gout, it is caused by crystals in the joint but instead of uric acid crystals these are calcium pyrophospate crystals. Unlike gout which usually is just in the big toe, CPPD can appear in all the joints but most often the knees. In this last bout I had it in both knees, the right hip and the right ankle. Also unlike gout there is no known trigger for its appearance other than, possibly, dehydration.

Joe Overman said...

Ouch! I hope it is not as painful as Gout. I wouldn't wish that on anyone. Sounds like you couldn't move!