U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version



Published in Proceedings of the 13th WDM Conference (2009).


In the mid-1820s, Anglo-American fur trappers, known as "mountain men," entered Arizona and began trapping beaver (Castor canadensis). In Arizona there have been a number of famous mountain men such as Sylvester and James Pattie, Ewing Young, Jededia Smith, and Bill Williams who trapped along the waterways in northern and southern Arizona. Although the heyday of mountain men lasted only a few decades due to a population decline of beaver, management of these animals continues to this day. The purpose of managing beavers shifted from monetary gain to controlling wildlife damage. During the late 1900s, beaver were still widely distributed in limited numbers throughout much of the state. We provide a historical overview of beaver management in Arizona with emphasis on the mountain men, recreational trapping, wildlife damage management, and beaver research in Arizona.