August 17, 2012
Field & Stream Reader Shares His Story of Another Beaver Attack
By Chad Love
Not long after we posted the story of a New York scoutmaster who was attacked by a rabid beaver, we got an e-mail from reader Trent Drobnick who wanted to relay the story of his own bad beaver encounter. Trent writes:
After hearing a 3rd story of individuals getting attacked by beavers, I decided to listen to my friends advice and write in to Field and Stream about my encounter on 6/22/12.
I was fly fishing the Potomac River near Seneca Rocks with my friend Dave. We were catching a nice number of fish and then I hooked into a 18+ incher and fought it for a few minutes before it spit my hook out and left me with a tangled mess of a top fly and 2 droppers. While I was untangling my line I felt this gush of water come upon my lower legs and then felt something between my feet. I looked down and seen a brown streak of fur over 3 ft. long and immediately jumped. When I jumped it latched on to the outside of my left leg and would not let go.
After what seemed like minutes, I finally took the butt of my fly rod and beat it until it left go and I could get to the bank and climb up on a fallen tree. My friend came across the river and was throwing rocks at it to try and get it away from us and it started lunging at the rocks he was throwing. Finally after multiple hits with rocks it swam off and we were able to go to Yoakum’s general store to get help.
Later that day my [wife and Dave's wife] took our children to the Seneca Rocks discovery center near where the encounter happened and sure enough, this crazed beaver came right up to them and multiple other people that were standing on the walking bridge that crossed the small feeder stream. There was definitely something wrong with this animal and it ended up leaving me with 8 stitches, immunoglobulin shots, and [I] started the rabies vaccination while at Grant Memorial Hospital to which I had to have follow up ER visits for the remaining shots and a celluloses infection that spread from my knee to ankle…not to mention the few thousand dollars the entire encounter has cost me so far…
Trent says he reported his encounter to both state and federal wildlife officials, as well as the National Park Service. The beaver couldn't be found, but signs were erected warning visitors to beware. Is the recent spat of beaver attacks just an anomaly? Have you heard of any rabid beavers in your area?