In Montana, for $29 a resident trapper can trap and kill as many beaver as they want, almost year round and not even report it!
Just 1/3 of trappers voluntarily reporting to FWP, close to 6,000 beaver are known trapped annually in Montana.
Trapping has far reaching deleterious effects and is not science based.
In the last 3 recorded years, based on approximately 1/3 of trappers voluntarily reporting in Montana, 19,354 beaver were reported trapped and killed. Does that mean there were perhaps closer to 60,000 trapped and killed in 3 years? What of their orphaned offspring, also?
Now think for just a moment of the fires, their intensity, and the drought like conditions that fuel them that have impacted us all in Montana. Consider then we have no quota on the number of beaver that can be killed and no reporting required of perhaps one of the most important species for water conservation, wetlands and wildlife. We know they are trapped overwhelmingly for fun, fur and profit but where does this fit into a science based management equation?
Eliminating recreational trapping would restore ponds in headwater creeks. The loss of gross revenue to trappers is small compared to the tens to hundreds of millions of dollars gained through late season water flows for irrigation, animal browse, fish habitat and tourism.
A beaver's services to landscape and wetland management are worth $120,000 a year "3".
Scientific findings are beaver dams are of fundamental importance to restoration and conservation efforts aimed at restoring dwindling native trout populations.