I’ve seen three beavers on the Minnesota River over the past two weeks, while hiking on trails that I’ve been using regularly for many years. I’ve never seen a beaver in the wild before, so this has been a delight, but I’m also wondering why I’m suddenly so fortunate. I’m thinking it’s maybe:
a) I’ve usually hiked with a dog, and maybe the beavers make themselves scarce from that potential predator. My dog is getting more dogpark time, so we hike with just the humans now. I’ve dismissed this as a reason for seeing beaver, since a beaver would be no happier to be seen by people that a dog. In fact, the beavers have been doing the tail slap alert when they notice us.
b) I’m hiking every single day, due to shelter-in-place restrictions, so maybe my odds of seeing wildlife are increased.
c) It’s been a mild April, so I’m on trails that would normally be too icy/muddy for use. Maybe beavers are always active at this point in the spring, but I haven’t been around them.
d) An explosion of the beaver population on this section of the Minnesota River, maybe due to continual flooding of timbered areas.
e) Just good luck.
f) Something else I haven’t thought of?