Savannah Valley District

Beaver Control and Management

Parker Johnson, Forestry and Wildlife Agent

The North American Beaver is present in all 46 counties of South Carolina. If you want to control and manage beavers on your property, there are several lethal and non-lethal options to implement in your management strategy. Depending on the situation, trapping or shooting beavers is often the most effective lethal strategy. Non-lethal options include foothold traps, live traps, and snares. Shooting beavers and trapping beavers both require either a hunting or trapping license or a depredation permit from the 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 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 and the amount of time the beaver will have to escape.
Regularly check your traps to 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 catchpole, if needed, to keep the beaver at a safe distance. Please keep away from the mouth and the feet of the beaver, as they can inflict severe injury by biting and clawing. Lastly, wash your clothes thoroughly to prevent the contraction of a disease.

If you have questions about beavers, legal issues, control techniques, advice on trapping, etc., contact the SCDNR Furbearer Project.

Resources to explore:

SCDNR Wildlife: Beavers
SCDNR Publication: Beaver Control
USDA Wildlife Damage Management: Beavers

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to people of all ages, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, political beliefs, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital or family status and is an equal opportunity employer.



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