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#516427 02/04/20 06:06 PM
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Saw a bluegill in the water with his tail bitten off last week.

Today it was warm so I went to pond and was suprised to see an otter (or something very similar) swimming about like it was hunting for fish. Went back and got a varmit rifle and after awhile spotted the otter swimming about. It must have been hunting as it was arching it's body out of water with head below. The body seemed to offer the best target so aimed center mass at it and took a shot with a 50gr ballistic tip and the water exploded. Didn't see a body but also didn't see any more activity except for some bubbles that came up not too far away about 5 minutes later.

The otter looked to be about 25-30lbs. Never saw any sign of otters until the bluegill last week. Is it normal for a lone otter to migrate to a pond or do they move in families?

Last edited by nvcdl; 02/04/20 06:07 PM.
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I have read that otters are usually solo except females with young, and also during mating season, they may run in pairs for a while.

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Originally Posted By: John Fitzgerald
I have read that otters are usually solo except females with young, and also during mating season, they may run in pairs for a while.


Hopefully this is the case. Only saw the one bluegill half eaten so hoping the otter didn't get too many fish. Think most of fish are in deeper water this time of year.

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Saw another otter yesterday morning but was in a rush so didn't have time to fetch a rifle. This otter swam differently - head popped out of water briefly then reappeared about 75 yards away. No real chance of a shot with my pistol.

Staked the pond out this morning and saw no sign of otter.

I figure the otters must have a circuit of ponds they hit. Saw some prints in the little runoff creek that my outflow goes into and that feeds a larger creek. Set several 330s today and will see if I can catch one of these interlopers.

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Think I must have had a pair and one was just more cautious than the first one as I spotted a bunch of weeds floating in pond over the deep water today and was trying to figure out what was going on when the otter head popped out of the water. He spotted me and dove so I went back for my rifle. Staked out the pond for at least an hour and was glassing the area around an old beaver lodge when I spotted a big otter coming around side of lodge - looked about 50-60lbs. Started to swim through pond and had upper part of body showing so I shot and believe I hit him. To be sure I moved a couple traps to the beaver lodge entrances.


Seems like the otter was living in the lodge all along as I had a bunch of traps set in the creek leading to the pond. Oddly there isn't a large amount of scat in toliet areas around lodge. Hopefully they didn't eat too many fish.

Last edited by nvcdl; 02/22/20 06:07 PM.
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I have shot 3 otters with a 410 shotgun and none of them went under. They thrashed around a little and just stayed floating on the surface. Paddle out in my little boat and scoop them up.Yours may show up floating soon.


Dear Alcohol, We had a deal where you would make me funnier, smarter, and a better dancer... I saw the video... We need to talk.
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Originally Posted By: Flame
I have shot 3 otters with a 410 shotgun and none of them went under. They thrashed around a little and just stayed floating on the surface. Paddle out in my little boat and scoop them up.Yours may show up floating soon.


Both otters reacted when I shot and then disappeared. The 50gr ballistic tip is a pretty explosive bullet so could be it blew out the lungs. I motored around in my boat this afternoon quite a bit and saw no sign of otter. I have a lot of confidence in the rifle and round - very accurate.

Last edited by nvcdl; 02/22/20 06:38 PM.
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Caught an otter in one of my traps today. Seemed to be bugging out from the pond so hopefully the otter band is retreating.

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50-60 #? Thought they were much smaller than that

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Pat, Wikipedia states the common river otter is between 20-30lbs full grown.


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That is what I thought, beavers 50#

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Originally Posted By: Pat Williamson
50-60 #? Thought they were much smaller than that


Maybe over estimating weight but it was a BIG otter. Looked a lot bigger than the other ones which looked to be in 20-30lb range.

Caught another small otter today - think the ones I'm trapping were caught on way to pond.

Last edited by nvcdl; 02/29/20 02:04 PM.
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I had otters wipe me out in 2017. I stocked a small amount again. Now I have otters again. I'm done with the ponds as far as management. In hindsight, I must consider them a total loss and mistake to even do in the first place now. Totally disgusted. Hundreds of $$$$ of fish food wasted on feeding otters.

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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
I had otters wipe me out in 2017. I stocked a small amount again. Now I have otters again. I'm done with the ponds as far as management. In hindsight, I must consider them a total loss and mistake to even do in the first place now. Totally disgusted. Hundreds of $$$$ of fish food wasted on feeding otters.



I know the feeling but I'm not quite ready to give up yet, I think it takes some serious time and effort to control the numbers to tolerable levels.
Still just disgusted that the government has the intellect to restock and protect these horrible animals, using my own tax dollars to do it, and then they want to try to tell you what beautiful, wonderful, playful, agile creatures they are,
Next thing you know they will be singing the praises of cormorants,, and coons.


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Originally Posted by John Fitzgerald
I had otters wipe me out in 2017. Now I have otters again. I'm done with the ponds as far as management. In hindsight, Totally disgusted. Hundreds of $$$$ of fish food wasted on feeding otters.


Dang John that is really sad, but I know the feeling. Between water-turkey birds, otters, beavers, and FA these ponds are a challenge. Guests drive up and think "it all just happened"....lol...no these things require a lot of TLC. I've already trapped a beaver and an otter this year and predict there will be more in the coming weeks.


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Thanks for the reply. My two ponds are only 1/4 acre each, and easy for an otter to wipe out. I don't know how big yours are. I did enjoy seeing the CC come up to feed, but I may not feed any more. Too much expense for no return....

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Trapped another small otter - so far I've shot 2 and trapped three. Had 5 beavers trapped last year so my investment in conibears is paying off.

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Originally Posted by nvcdl
Trapped another small otter - so far I've shot 2 and trapped three. Had 5 beavers trapped last year so my investment in conibears is paying off.

way2go nvcdl


Fishing has never been about the fish....

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Got another one - this makes 6. Seems like these guys have a circuit they all share. Makes me sad as they are cute but I believe they are one of the reason the bass population is on low side.

Have been seeing some good bass cruising the pond so the otters didn't get them all.

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Got another otter and my first beaver of the year.


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