Beaver (Castor canadensis)

By Photo by David J. Stang - source: David Stang. First published at, CC BY-SA 4.0,

General Information

The beaver is the largest rodent in North America and occurs in every county in North Carolina.  They are herbivores, feeding mostly on the inner bark of many kinds of trees. In the fall, beavers stockpile branches and small trees to use as food during the winter. They don’t eat the wood, but feast on leaves, twigs and bark.

Beaver Skull

Hunting and Trapping

In North Carolina there is an open season for taking beaver with firearms or archery equipment throughout the year. However, trapping is the most effective and practical method for beaver population control and management. For both activities all applicable state laws and regulations must be followed and permission must be obtained from the owner or lessee of the land on which the beaver is being taken.

Beaver Dam


Beaver activity in your woodlands can be managed to positively impact both wildlife and people. Management options include water level control, plantings for waterfowl food, installing nest boxes, and removing beaver and their dams.