Tanner Flowers of Tennessee Technicians said his company has been hired on a 30-day contract to remove the animals and three dams.
Residents of the subdivision have complained to Bradley County commissioners since March about the beavers and beaver dams causing water in Wilkerson Creek to overflow its banks onto about five properties in the subdivision.
Flowers watched from the road as wildlife removal specialist Clint Presley pulled on a pair of waders, grabbed a pickax and waded in water about two-feet deep toward the dam.
“The beaver’s lodge will be located downstream and whenever you bust a dam, excess water flow changes the water level inside their lodge,” he said. “They’ll have to repair the damage and usually they repair it overnight every single time.”
Presley used the pickax to trench a waterway through the dam, set the traps and returned to road.
“That water stinks,” he said. “It doesn’t taste good, either.”
Flowers said finding the right spot is a little bit like finding the best fishing hole or a hunting spot. If they don’t catch anything in the traps, then Presley will move the traps to another spot.
“It’s just trial and error, but when you start catching them, that’s the spot you want to use every time,” he said. “Once you get a good spot, just stick with it.”
The beaver colony has built three dams on the small creek. The largest — the one farthest upstream — is about 200-feet wide. The lodge is somewhere in the creek bank between the three structures. He estimated there could be as many as 10 beavers in the colony.
“That’s a big dam,” he said. “And there are two more farther down, but this is the biggest dam we’ve encountered. We’ve been in business six years. If you go downstream a half-mile, the creek is not more than 10 feet wide. That tells you how dammed up it is.”