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Trigger Mike

17 or 22 mag for beaver/otter

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Which is better for a swimming beaver or otter 17 or 22 mag

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Tough critters. I've shot clean through them with rimfires and they kept right on going. Maybe a hollow point in the .22 mag. I prefer my deer rifles now. 

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If shots are within 50 yards, a high quality .25 call air rifle might be interesting.  Less noise = other critters not scared away or into a den

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Have an big return irrigation ditch next to the house. Beavers like our globe willows and swim up from the river and chew away on the base of the trees. If they make it all the way around the tree will die fairly quickly. Tried a 22 pistol (or rifle) at about 50 feet and worked ok on the small ones. Used the CCI segmented rounds. Bigger ones (adults) get the 22 magnum rifle with a 36 grain HP once I found that if you don't hit them in the head (with a regular 22) they will jump right back into the water and swim away. 22 magnum stops them in their tracks.

Side note -- my neighbor found I was removing the rodents and now demands their bodies (he is from Tennessee somewhere) and he eats them. He thinks they are a delicacy and I find them (especially the tail) to be pretty gross. Any one else eat these things?

Regards

 

:FlagAm: :FlagAm: :FlagAm:

 

Gateway Kid

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The choice is made by shot placement.

And whether your plan to keep the pelts.

.17 is used in Alaska during seal season to minimize the damage to the pelts to bring high prices.

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I figure with them usually swimming I won't always get the best shot placement.  Usually only see the head. My son got one with a 22 lr ruger 10/ 22 but it took several rounds.  He had multiple wounds by the time he got him

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Posted (edited)

.22 mag works great. If you want to eat the tail - skin it first. Cook with onions for 3 hours in a pot outside. Feed it to your dog and take your wife out for a steak dinner. Beaver meat tends to be very oily - not my cup of tea unless I was starving. However, it is better than Muktuk (if you know what that is).

Edited by Too Tall Bob
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My son skinned part of the one he killed and thought of eating it and cut off the tail but changed his mind and just tanned a small piece of fur for keepsake 

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Seems the general view is 22 mag instead of 17. I was afraid a 223 would bounce off the water if we missed.  My nearest neighbor is over 100 yards through trees but don't want to take chances 

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12 ga. works well! And, they do taste excellent.

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Most folks I know trap the beaver. Personally, I don't like traps or having any animal suffer. Use a big gun and get the job done quickly.

As for eating beaver, its a personal preference. Why would anyone kill an otter? You'd think they might be a managed species with special hunting regulations. 

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Otter will clean out all the fish in my pond that I spend money to stock. Last year I saw a family of 4 otters in it. 

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The otters are protected up here. The beavers not so much. I think you need a nuisance permit but I'm not sure. 

A 12 gauge with #4 buck would work well.

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They are open to hunt here and are a nuisance.  They travel from pond to pond cleaning them out as they go like the aliens in independence day.  

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Wait till winter when the fur is prime.

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22 hours ago, Trigger Mike said:

Seems the general view is 22 mag instead of 17. I was afraid a 223 would bounce off the water if we missed.  My nearest neighbor is over 100 yards through trees but don't want to take chances 

From time to time I have a muskrat invasion in my 2 acre pond. I shoot them with a shotgun when I can. But they get pretty savvy and stay away from people. I use a HMR .17. like it better than any .22 rimfire. The .17 never bounces off anything. It has a very thin jacket and is going fast, the bullet just explodes when it hits anything. the .22 rimfires bounce off anything and end up going all over the place.

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If you are NOT concerned about any fish in the pond, a stick of dynamite might do the trick on the beaver (water hammer concussion).  I don't think you could legally obtain any WWII depth charges...  Wonder what the effect of a .45-70 hit near the head of a swimming beaver would be... Again, water concussion????:rolleyes:

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, Trailrider #896 said:

If you are NOT concerned about any fish in the pond, a stick of dynamite might do the trick on the beaver (water hammer concussion).  I don't think you could legally obtain any WWII depth charges...  Wonder what the effect of a .45-70 hit near the head of a swimming beaver would be... Again, water concussion????:rolleyes:

There is a Youtube video of a doe that is killed by concussive force by a close passing 50 BMG.  

 

17HMR over the 22WMR, 17 WSM over 17 HMR if you are using a scope.

Edited by sassnetguy50
This advice is for beaver, I have no experience with otter.
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3 hours ago, Trigger Mike said:

Why 17 wsm if using a scope?

The 17 HMR is adequate at open sights distances.  The HMR is quieter, more widely available, available in a reliable semi auto and smooth bolt actions.

 

The 17 WSM gives you extended ethical range to take advantage of the scope.  Ammunition can be had for 17 HMR prices.  You can buy whatever brand ammunition you want in 20gr, it is all made on the same line.  I don't know if all 25gr is made on the same line.  

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I researched the 17wsm and it looks like what I want.  This means the savage camo 93xp that caught my eye won't be following me home as it comes in 22 mag or 17 hmr at my store and I already have a 22 mag bolt I got used off the wire. I will make do with it for now.  The camo savage was real pretty and I was trying to justify getting it

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It'll be a B-mag if you're looking at the Savage line.  This is a rifle that should be tried in store before buying or ordering as the bolt action is not as fluid as the 93r17.

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I wonder if the ruger version is more accurate and better quality. 

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Handling the Ruger 77/17 in the store, it is a better fit and finish rifle.  The bolt is more refined and felt tighter.   The B-mag bolt has more slop when pulled back, my bolt handle can hit the optic bell.  The bolt likes to be man handled for proper feeding, not a slow and easy "don't spook the coyote" type bolt.   The Ruger balance was better than the synthetic stock B-mag.  Haven't found a local Ruger owner to compare accuracy with.

 

Some of the early B-mags did not group well.  My first field barrel would group 5 shots 2.5" at 100 yards.  Some people say it was poor production ammunition and others said it was the Savage barrel.  Savage fixed it a few years ago, tweaking the rate of twist.  My newer field barrel groups well, around an inch (eye balled, not measured) at 100 yards.  The heavy stainless barrel in a wood stock was measuring groups of an inch (measured) at about 125 yards.  These were impressive groups for me, even shooting on the bench.

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I agree with SASSNETGUY50's assessment of the .17 HMR vs. the .17 WSM.

 

But if you like to reload and enjoy thinking about more options,  also check out the .17 Hornet.

 

I got one in Ruger.    I've never put it on paper (I got it already set up from a friend) but when I put

the cross hairs on ole Mr. Crow at the 150 yd mark,  Mr.Crow will be 'Caw'n for the last time and will

be meeting his Waterloo.

 

..........Widder

 

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