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#6323350 - 09/12/18 09:35 AM Fisher v Marten
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
I have been running trail cameras on bear baits for the past 10 years in Maine. One of the hunters this week got me thinking. He asked "where have the marten gone"? Now that I think about it there seems to be less marten and more fishers where I operate. Ten years ago it was common to see marten at the bear baits and fisher not so much. Now the exact opposite is true. In the past it was common to see marten at the baits in Sep. Now no marten before Oct when the juveniles start to show up. Seems to be plenty of fisher all of the time. I'll know more after the trapping season starts, but for now I think the fisher are displacing the marten.

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#6323496 - 09/12/18 01:08 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
cyaukeyy Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 44
Loc: pa
Interesting, keep us posted with your findings. Where I used to run fisher were slim to none. Predominately all marten. How's the beech crop and bears this year?

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#6323508 - 09/12/18 01:25 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 16829
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
I know for a fact that some areas of the province of Ontario fisher and marten co-exist in good numbers(central Ontario).
Here in the north More fisher means less marten.I believe because of the more slim pickings here fisher outcompete marten for rabbits.
Now Marten do not normally prey on rabbits,their prey base is voles under the snow in winter.But once the crust comes on at the end of march,marten depend on rabbits at that short time of year,as they are unable to acess their normal prey because of the crust.If the female marten(because of their size they are not as successful as the large males in hunting rabbits)cannot accumulate enough body fat at that time of year,they will have a reproductive failure.
The fisher tip the scale and the cumulative effect is a decline in the marten population here in the north where spring crust is a normal occurrence.


Edited by Boco (09/12/18 01:27 PM)

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#6324267 - 09/13/18 12:33 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
Fisher and marten are opportunistic predator/scavengers that will eat virtually anything; berries, birds and eggs, fish and of coarse MEAT. Also, being they both often live in the same habitat and go for the same food, and the fisher is the larger of the two, the fisher will generally win out in a limited food supply situation. Thus with an increasing fisher population I would expect a decline in the marten.


Edited by bctomcat (09/13/18 01:48 PM)
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#6324273 - 09/13/18 12:46 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
jk Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/27/06
Posts: 2601
Loc: Williamsport, Pa.
Ok an observation of mine here in Pa on fisher vs bobcats. I have three guarenteed (ha ha) bobcat hollows that for years I caught and released bobcat. These three spots now have fisher and no cats for the last four years. Are the fisher chasing them out of here like they might be in your case with martin?????........jk
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#6324278 - 09/13/18 01:01 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
I would say it sure looks like it as the cats and fishers would both be competing for the rabbits.


Edited by bctomcat (09/13/18 01:27 PM)
_________________________
The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.







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#6324286 - 09/13/18 01:15 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
cyaukeyy Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 44
Loc: pa
Had a marten chasing a showshoe under my truck one time. I jumped out and watched the show. 3 inches of powder snow on the ground total. That marten was certainly opportunistic. Caught one there the next day.

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#6324288 - 09/13/18 01:16 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
joepennanti Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/24/18
Posts: 264
Loc: New York STATE
Interesting observations, I like reading of 1st hand experiences like these. What can you guys say about snow accumulation, and foliage type?

Some areas here in NY state have very optimal habitat for fisher, where the harvest is literally ~1 fisher per square mile. In those areas the marten population is little to none, in fact there's no open marten season in those areas.

In the areas where marten harvest is highest, there are very few fisher.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I associate the ideal:
1) fisher habitat with <2' of snow accumulation at any give time, and deciduous forest.
2) marten habitat with >3' of snow accumulation, and coniferous forest.

Of course there's overlap, but in regards to ideal, optimal, highest harvest numbers, I've come to those conclusions.
_________________________
2x kinds of trappers
1. humble/inquisitive enough to learn from all sources: young & old, near & far, written & verbal
2. Legends in their own Minds

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#6324289 - 09/13/18 01:18 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
joepennanti Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/24/18
Posts: 264
Loc: New York STATE
cyaukeyy you caught a marten in PA?
_________________________
2x kinds of trappers
1. humble/inquisitive enough to learn from all sources: young & old, near & far, written & verbal
2. Legends in their own Minds

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#6324375 - 09/13/18 03:47 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Fisherman Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 769
Loc: northern New York
As an Adirondack trapper, my observations have been that in general, but not always, fisher and marten do not occupy the same range. In the Adirondacks fisher are in decline while marten are expanding their range.In recent years there has been little to no snow during their joint trapping season. This may not be true of all areas, particularly Tug Hill. My observations have been that until snow arrives fisher feed on mostly vegetative materials. Once the snow comes they change their habits and become mostly meat eaters as they do not dig down through the snow like a deer. Some years we have a fairly large fisher catch, other years practically nothing.
I believe that snowshoe hares are a primary pray species in the Adirondacks, but their numbers seem to run in cycles and I wonder if fisher numbers react accordingly.I'm no expert, just my observations. It seems like in the New England states the large numbers of fisher in previous years has dropped; why I do not know.In New York fisher have greatly expanded their range from the Adirondacks, due I believe in the closing of many dairy farms now reverting back to brush and forest. Fisher are going to be where the food is.

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#6324388 - 09/13/18 03:57 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Whopper Stopper Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/24/11
Posts: 352
Loc: Under my hat in Mn and Wi
On my property in WI I have been baiting bear for the last month. I have never seen a Martin here in the last 25 years, however the fishers are alive and well.

Hardly a night (or day) goes by that 1-2 Fishers don't come raiding the stash. There favorite food seems to be frosting lol

WS

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#6324410 - 09/13/18 04:31 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: jk]
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
Originally Posted By: jk
Ok an observation of mine here in Pa on fisher vs bobcats. I have three guarenteed (ha ha) bobcat hollows that for years I caught and released bobcat. These three spots now have fisher and no cats for the last four years. Are the fisher chasing them out of here like they might be in your case with martin?????........jk


Maine "collared" some lynx ten years or so ago. A high percentage of them were killed by fisher.

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#6324414 - 09/13/18 04:39 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Osky Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/09/13
Posts: 5723
Loc: Northern MN
I have a few marten sprinkled in my area but very rarely have they come to my bear baits. Fisher however are common visitors at the bear baits. The marten boxes I built and put out as per Dale Torma's instruction have not been used.

Cats visit my bear baits often, fisher in the area or not. The difference is the fisher eat at the bait while the cats come in and perch on the nearest high stump or horizontal tree. The camera shows the cats are waiting for mice and other small rodents the bait attracts.

Osky
_________________________
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#6324424 - 09/13/18 05:02 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: Fisherman]
odiferous Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/23/18
Posts: 221
Loc: Central, NY
Originally Posted By: Fisherman
As an Adirondack trapper, my observations have been that in general, but not always, fisher and marten do not occupy the same range. In the Adirondacks fisher are in decline while marten are expanding their range.In recent years there has been little to no snow during their joint trapping season. This may not be true of all areas, particularly Tug Hill. My observations have been that until snow arrives fisher feed on mostly vegetative materials. Once the snow comes they change their habits and become mostly meat eaters as they do not dig down through the snow like a deer. Some years we have a fairly large fisher catch, other years practically nothing.
I believe that snowshoe hares are a primary pray species in the Adirondacks, but their numbers seem to run in cycles and I wonder if fisher numbers react accordingly.I'm no expert, just my observations. It seems like in the New England states the large numbers of fisher in previous years has dropped; why I do not know.In New York fisher have greatly expanded their range from the Adirondacks, due I believe in the closing of many dairy farms now reverting back to brush and forest. Fisher are going to be where the food is.


My thoughts exactly.
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#6324578 - 09/13/18 08:14 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
In northern Maine I can catch Marten or fisher in every place I trap. Here is a typical bear bait photo catch. I've seen many dozen of photos like these.




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#6324845 - 09/14/18 07:41 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
jwood Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 277
Loc: Northern Maine
This has always been a fascinating topic to me. Butch, it was funny running into you yesterday because just a few hours before that I'd talked with a bear guide south of you who had the same general observations.

There has been a lot of marten and fisher research out of the University of Maine over the decades. The general consensus is that the distribution of fisher is limited by snow depth, while marten are limited by the presence of fisher. In other words, areas with severe snow depth will have fewer fisher, and the northern extent of their range is generally determined by how much snow accumulates in a region. That's probably why we tend to see fisher concentrated in cedar swamps in mid winter, where snow depths aren't as great and they can hunt more effectively.
Marten do fine in deep, soft snow. Like Boco said, they do much of their winter feeding under the snow. But where fisher and marten overlap, fisher will often kill or outcompete marten, so the marten range is also controlled indirectly by snow depth.

Now, the big thing that complicates all of this is the thousand other factors that affect these two species. For instance, we know fisher kill marten, but we regularly see marten and fisher in the same areas, and catch them in the same sets. In northern Maine, we have incredibly diverse marten/fisher habitat due to: regenerating farmlands, mixed hardwood and softwood forests, and above all, a very aggressive timber industry that's constantly changing the makeup of these forest stands. So it's difficult to make general conclusions.

There definitely appears to be more fisher up here in recent years based on both observations and trapper harvest rates (marten:fisher ratio). It could be due to several winters with suitable conditions for fisher survival. Could be due to lack of fisher harvest since the 10 fisher limit and lynx related regulations were put in place. Could be due to habitat changes as we've trended toward a younger forest in the north woods with aggressive timber harvest. It could be a long term thing, or could be part of a cycle.

Based on past experiences, I wouldn't be too concerned about taking action to 'save' marten just yet, though. Back in 2008 much of Maine had over 200 inches of accumulated snow for a large part of the winter. Marten liked it, but, trappers stopped seeing fisher in many areas, and cried for the state to do something about it. The season was shortened and a 10-fisher limit put into place. There was not much scientific rigor involved in that decision (that is a polite way of putting it, and I apologize if that offends anyone who was involved). Then a few favorable winters came and went, fisher numbers recovered, and now we have what seems to be too many fishers and too few marten. And yes, we know fisher kill lynx, which are an endangered species here, so there's that too.

There's a new university study getting underway to see how marten populations have been impacted by recent forest harvest, so that will be interesting. More importantly, though, I'm excited to get trapping in November and see what we find!
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Trapping Today Podcast: http://trappingtoday.com/category/trapping-today-podcast/


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#6324893 - 09/14/18 09:12 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Dirt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 3730
Loc: Armpit, ak
How do we know fisher kill marten?
_________________________
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#6324898 - 09/14/18 09:18 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: Dirt]
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
Originally Posted By: Dirt
How do we know fisher kill marten?


I do know that fisher eat marten. The fisher came back two more times but could not/would not go in the box.


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#6324912 - 09/14/18 09:37 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Dirt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 3730
Loc: Armpit, ak
Scavenging is different than killing. I had a coyote eat a wolverine out of a trap, but I don't believe coyotes kill wolverine. I have had weasels scavenge marten.
_________________________
Who is John Galt?

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#6324947 - 09/14/18 11:03 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: Dirt]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
Originally Posted By: Dirt
Scavenging is different than killing.
Agree; as I stated earlier fishers are opportunistic scavengers and will eat virtually anything.
_________________________
The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.







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#6324956 - 09/14/18 11:17 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
jwood Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 277
Loc: Northern Maine
Numerous instances of radio tagged Martin being killed by Fisher
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Trapping Today Podcast: http://trappingtoday.com/category/trapping-today-podcast/


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#6324961 - 09/14/18 11:22 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
jwood Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 277
Loc: Northern Maine
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Trapping Today Podcast: http://trappingtoday.com/category/trapping-today-podcast/


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#6324974 - 09/14/18 11:48 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
"jwood": I'm pretty dense so possibly you can show, or explain, where in your last two post where it explains how they know radio collared marten were kill by fisher and not just scavenged after the marten just died for some other reason. Evidence of a fisher eating marten does not necessarily prove it killed the marten.
_________________________
The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.







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#6324985 - 09/14/18 12:01 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Clark Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 1323
Loc: Duluth, MN
Originally Posted By: ebsurveyor
Maine "collared" some lynx ten years or so ago. A high percentage of them were killed by fisher.


We are going to need a reference on that.

I think I recall an instance of a radio-collared lynx being killed by a fisher in MN but the circumstances were unusual and it was one out of ~40 cats collared.

Clark
_________________________
Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen. -Albert Einstein

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#6324987 - 09/14/18 12:02 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Dirt Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/01/10
Posts: 3730
Loc: Armpit, ak
" Predation. Direct predation, through either a competitory or predatory mechanism, is the
major cause of mortality of martens in Wisconsin. McCann et al. (2010) reported predationrelated
mortalities for 9 of 12 (75%) verified mortalities in the Chequamegon MPA. For these
mortalities, four (25%) were killed by raptors, four (25%) by fishers, one (8%) by an unknown
mammal, one (8%) by incidental trapping, and two (16%) by unknown causes. "

I found one study. Most seem to classify predation mortality as Avian or Mammalian. Probably hard to get to a dead marten fast enough to figure out conclusively how it got killed.
_________________________
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#6325007 - 09/14/18 12:59 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 16829
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
I have no doubt fisher can kill marten.But due to the fact that there are places where both live together in good numbers,i don't believe fishers go out of their way to hunt and kill marten.
Now since there are places where marten and fisher do not co exist well,I believe it is a matter of habitat and the fact fisher outcompete marten for food,when the habitat is optimal for fisher,and sub optimal for marten.
Back before the 1940's there were very few marten here in the Kap,Hearst,Cochrane district.It was strictly Fisher.Today it is the opposite. (huge fires swept the North between 1910 and 1916)
There are few to no marten in eastern Ontario due to poor habitat but the Fisher population there is exploding with the changing habitat there.(old abandoned farm country reclaimed by nature).

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#6325044 - 09/14/18 02:17 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
jwood Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 277
Loc: Northern Maine
I probably didn't explain the whole 'fisher eating marten' thing as well as I meant to earlier. There's a concept in ecology known as 'intraguild predation', where one species kills another, less dominant species that competes for a similar food source. Here's a link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intraguild_predation
In this case, fisher are probably killing marten where they represent competition for food.

I would say that if a study shows as many marten are killed by fisher as are killed by raptors, then fisher represent an important element controlling the distribution of marten populations on a landscape.

Lots of other studies out there, but I have way too much work to do outside right now smile
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#6325110 - 09/14/18 04:16 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: Clark]
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
Originally Posted By: Clark
Originally Posted By: ebsurveyor
Maine "collared" some lynx ten years or so ago. A high percentage of them were killed by fisher.


We are going to need a reference on that.

I think I recall an instance of a radio-collared lynx being killed by a fisher in MN but the circumstances were unusual and it was one out of ~40 cats collared.

Clark


Some people don't know what they don't know.

The geographic range of Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis) extends south from Canada into the United States where they are federally protected as a threatened species. Although inadequate protection of habitat on federal lands was the primary reason for listing, the status of lynx in the lower 48 states is not well understood. Thus, we initiated a telemetry study to assess the status of a lynx population in northern Maine, USA. In this manuscript, we present findings on a source of mortality not previously documented. Between 1999 and 2011, we captured 187 lynx, equipped 85 with radio&#8208;collars, and investigated mortalities when they occurred. Predation was the leading source of mortality and accounted for &#8805;18 of 65 mortalities, 14 of which were attributed to fishers (Martes pennanti). Although fisher predation did not appear to restrict population growth during this study, we recommend that lynx and fishers be monitored where the species coexist to better inform management decisions. © 2018 The Wildlife Society.

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#6325122 - 09/14/18 04:27 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 16829
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
Must have been kittens.

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#6325128 - 09/14/18 04:34 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: joepennanti]
cyaukeyy Offline
trapper

Registered: 05/20/10
Posts: 44
Loc: pa
Originally Posted By: joepennanti
cyaukeyy you caught a marten in PA?


No for PA. In Maine

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#6325195 - 09/14/18 06:31 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
bctomcat Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/20/09
Posts: 1025
Loc: 100 Mile House, BC Can
I agree with "Boco" and am very skeptical that even a large fisher would tackle an adult lynx.
_________________________
The only constant in trapping is change so keep learning.







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#6325213 - 09/14/18 06:55 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: bctomcat]
proratman Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/04/12
Posts: 1350
Loc: New York
Originally Posted By: bctomcat
I agree with "Boco" and am very skeptical that even a large fisher would tackle an adult lynx.

To what advantage would it be to Fish & Wildlife to fabricate a story of lynx mortality as a result of a fisher attack?

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#6325215 - 09/14/18 06:58 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
alaska viking Offline
"Made it two years not being censored"

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 3952
Loc: juneau, alaska
I agree with boco, too. Just doesn't stand up to common sense.


Edited by alaska viking (09/14/18 06:59 PM)
_________________________
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#6325217 - 09/14/18 07:00 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 16829
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
A big lynx would shred a fisher.A kitten on the other hand would be easy pickins for a fisher.Lynx meat is the next best bait in the bush after beaver.Everything likes it including other lynx.I doubt the bio's were fabricating anything,likely they got mixed up between scavenging and actual predating,like was pointed out earlier in this thread.There is not many animal that could kill a full grown lynx.Wolf,if they could catch one and maybe wolverine.The biggest killer of lynx in the bush is starvation after the rabbit population crashes.


Edited by Boco (09/14/18 07:07 PM)

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#6325242 - 09/14/18 07:46 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: Boco]
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
Originally Posted By: Boco
A big lynx would shred a fisher.A kitten on the other hand would be easy pickins for a fisher.Lynx meat is the next best bait in the bush after beaver.Everything likes it including other lynx.I doubt the bio's were fabricating anything,likely they got mixed up between scavenging and actual predating,like was pointed out earlier in this thread.There is not many animal that could kill a full grown lynx.Wolf,if they could catch one and maybe wolverine.The biggest killer of lynx in the bush is starvation after the rabbit population crashes.


How big are you lynx? Ours seem to peak out at about 30 pounds. How mean are your lynx? A friend released one from a coyote trap by just reaching in with two hands and compressing the trap springs. I would never mess with a 15 pounds fisher but lynx are pu**y cats.



Why don't you Canadians keep your Canadian Lynx in Canada? If they come over here our fisher might eat them.


Edited by ebsurveyor (09/14/18 07:47 PM)

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#6325250 - 09/14/18 07:57 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
jwood Offline
trapper

Registered: 01/16/07
Posts: 277
Loc: Northern Maine
Here's text from the study. (Link here: https://www.maine.gov/ifw/docs/species_p...02012_Final.pdf )

In Maine, 14 of 18 lynx that died from predation were killed by fisher (Martes
pennanti) based on presence and location of pre-mortem puncture wounds found during
necropsy and observations of fisher tracks, scat, caching behavior at the kill site. We
weren’t able to identify the predator for the other 4 predation losses, but we suspect one
may have been killed by a coyote. We also suspect 9 other lynx were killed by fisher
based on observations of fisher tracks and/or scat, caching behavior, and/or obvious kill
site when we investigated the mortality, but were unable to confirm premortem puncture
wounds because the carcass had been partially or completely consumed


I can ask Scott more about it next time I see him, but I believe they were pretty thorough in their work.

Not sure why we're arguing about it, though, or about the idea of fisher killing marten. The point is that it happens here, and higher fisher abundances can make things different on our traplines.

It will be interesting to see how things play out this season. Last year a trapper and his partner had to stop short of filling marten tags because they limited out on fisher - 38 marten and 20 fisher. I don't know anyone this far north who's ever come close to that ratio before.
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#6325311 - 09/14/18 09:03 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 16829
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
A friend of mine near Minden has a 40 fisher and 40 marten quota on the same line,not far from Algonquin park.
Another trapper I know was the largest fisher producer in Ontario for several years taking more than 90 each year,not far from Ottawa.No Marten there at all.Where I trap in the north the usual ratio of fisher to marten is about 30 marten for each fisher from my records over the past 30 years or so.
I have seen one trapper and one conservation officer in bad shape after releasing lynx.No wounds but their outer clothes were shredded.
25 pounds would be an average weight lynx but some big toms are heavier than that.
I have dispatched the odd incidental fisher in lynx snares-no different than dispatching a fox.Lynx on the other hand are a whole different ballgame.Catch pole or snare on a pole is the way to go.They will swat you with the two front mitts and if they hook you they will follow up ripping with their back legs,not to mention the sabrelike teeth.I never seen so many feathers flying as when that lynx hooked the down filled overcoat and shredded it with his back feet,lol.


Edited by Boco (09/14/18 09:15 PM)

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#6325374 - 09/14/18 10:28 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
cohunt Offline


Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1559
Loc: revillo, sd
An observation that I made in Northern Wisconsin that is a bit off the topic of this thread but I have not reported it previously and it is worth recording. I was disposing of large numbers of skinned carcasses on a farm that abutted the Chequamegon National Forest. The tract could be accessed with a pickup until the snow got too deep. I had been dropping loads of carcasses for several weeks into a tongue of grassland that extended a hundred yards or so into a stand of tall red pine. The day of record as I entered the tongue, I saw a dead fisher on the ground. I got out and the story was clearly marked in about two inches of fresh snow. The large male fisher had been on the carcasses when two coyotes approached from the side and cut him off from the pines from which he had made his approach to the carcass pile. The fisher ran about 60 yards out my road before the coyotes caught and killed him. They did not tear up or eat his body. The sign was totally clear so no guesswork was required to determine what had happened.

In numerous other observations in the same general area, I saw where fisher had killed and partially eaten trapped racoon and actually witnessed a fisher kill a striped skunk incidentally taken in a coyote trap.


Edited by cohunt (09/14/18 10:40 PM)

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#6325438 - 09/15/18 06:04 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Hutchy Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/07/14
Posts: 5297
Loc: On Georgian Bay, Ontario Canad...
I grabbbed a fisher and untangled it from a snare for release last winter. It didn't do much, tried to bite and scratch me a bit, but settled down. Just ran away after. I'd rather handle a fisher than a lynx thanks.
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#6325441 - 09/15/18 06:09 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Hutchy Offline
trapper

Registered: 02/07/14
Posts: 5297
Loc: On Georgian Bay, Ontario Canad...
Anything can happen. Opportunity is the biggest factor. Hence the coys killing a fisher. Had coys chew up a fisher two years ago. All punched full of holes, but not eater at all. Jerks.

I find that study hard to believe. With such a number of lynx being killed, it would appear that that would represent something fisher in general actively hunt. Animals survive by not taking risks. Easy meals are key. The claws and fangs of a predator that far outweighs a fisher would be too much risk. Stranger things have happened, but at those numbers?
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#6325471 - 09/15/18 07:22 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Osky Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/09/13
Posts: 5723
Loc: Northern MN
Those study numbers surprise me as well. As I posted the closest I see cats and Fisher to being together is at bear baits where they seem to co exist fine tho timed apart. This being said its bobcats that are at my baits not Lynx. As for the marten they are pretty much always nocturnal visitors on camera, the fisher and cats daylight visitors.

There are always Lynx around here in greater numbers than reported especially now because bunnies are up however I can never recall seeing where fisher and Lynx/bobcats have tussled but I am not everywhere. Kitten mortality seems plausible especially when you see bobcat kittens any month of the year and they struggle in snow. I'm not sure if Lynx have kittens fall and winter like bobcats can?


Osky
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"A womans heart is the hardest rock the Almighty has put on this earth, and I can find no sign on it"

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#6325536 - 09/15/18 08:56 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
backroadsarcher Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/22/12
Posts: 1147
Loc: Frazee, MN
I don't have marten in this area to speak of. But like ebsurveyors pictures show the fishers like bear baits. I have seen and pictured a lot of fisher on my baits but no martens. Very good area for fisher sets.

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#6325571 - 09/15/18 09:41 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Boco Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/08/11
Posts: 16829
Loc: james bay frontierOnt.
From what I understand from the wildlife conservation bible,and the studies cited there,Bobcats are more aggressive than lynx and will displace lynx where their ranges overlap in certain areas and under certain conditions.It does not say they kill them,just more able to outcompete them for the food resource.What turns the table for lynx is snowcover.In areas with heavier snow in winter,the lynx displace the bobcats,since bobcats cannot compete with lynx for feed under those conditions.

Habitat has a lot to do with what animals can be supported on the landscape,and the habitat changes over time shifting the carrying capacity for many animals as it changes.Only older trappers that have been on the land for 30 to 40 years see these changes firsthand.Where the natural progression is disrupted by man,like in farming areas,you wont see any change.

There are of course cyclical changes that affect the ups and downs of the animals that are on the land at any time.I find these cyclical,shorter term fluctuations on each species more difficult to predict with any certainty than the long term changes associated with successional progression of the maturing forest.


Edited by Boco (09/15/18 09:50 AM)

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#6325595 - 09/15/18 10:25 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: cohunt]
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
Originally Posted By: cohunt
An observation that I made in Northern Wisconsin that is a bit off the topic of this thread but I have not reported it previously and it is worth recording. I was disposing of large numbers of skinned carcasses on a farm that abutted the Chequamegon National Forest. The tract could be accessed with a pickup until the snow got too deep. I had been dropping loads of carcasses for several weeks into a tongue of grassland that extended a hundred yards or so into a stand of tall red pine. The day of record as I entered the tongue, I saw a dead fisher on the ground. I got out and the story was clearly marked in about two inches of fresh snow. The large male fisher had been on the carcasses when two coyotes approached from the side and cut him off from the pines from which he had made his approach to the carcass pile. The fisher ran about 60 yards out my road before the coyotes caught and killed him. They did not tear up or eat his body. The sign was totally clear so no guesswork was required to determine what had happened.

In numerous other observations in the same general area, I saw where fisher had killed and partially eaten trapped racoon and actually witnessed a fisher kill a striped skunk incidentally taken in a coyote trap.


I few years ago two coyotes followed my line and killed & ate a marten. They also came across two male fishers front foot caught in a 1.5 coil. These two coyotes made lots of tracks circling the fishers, but never put a tooth on them. BTW, I caught marten at both of these fisher locations.







Edited by ebsurveyor (09/15/18 10:42 AM)

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#6325600 - 09/15/18 10:29 AM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: Boco]
Mac Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 2064
Loc: Maine
Jwood writes: "Marten liked it, but, trappers stopped seeing fisher in many areas, and cried for the state to do something about it. The season was shortened and a 10-fisher limit put into place. There was not much scientific rigor involved in that decision (that is a polite way of putting it, and I apologize if that offends anyone who was involved). Then a few favorable winters came and went, fisher numbers recovered, and now we have what seems to be too many fishers and too few marten. And yes, we know fisher kill lynx, which are an endangered species here, so there's that too."

In deed there was not one scientific reason to have our fisher season shortened. The political baloney that goes on in the name of management is crazy. Reminds me of one well known trapper belly aching about spring beaver trappers catching "his otter" so he wanted some law changes.
What he should have been doing was getting off his A$$ and trapping instead of crying like a school girl.

Fisher have been watched like a hawk for years, even though some say no.

We do not have too many or too few fisher. They have always been cyclical. I have spent literally hundreds if not thousands of hours following them around on snow shoes, since the 70s. Sometimes there are more, sometimes there are less. You should have been around back when a female brought $150.00 plus or minus. Got tough to find a track! Every jack was was out and about and they are easy to catch if you are not limited to freaking exclusion boxes!

Probably do not need the marten limit either now that fur prices are low. I know some guys personally used to take a LOT of marten back when the limit was not there, and they kept on doing it by understanding the game until the limit.

The clear or nearly clear cutting practices of the North woods has a lot of effect on both species.

I never have understood the mystic of the wild fisher being released. Like take out a domestic cat if you know what you are about and understand the game. Have released many during early canine season and a couple during the last few years of the stupid season ending before cat season does.
Not an issue.


Edited by Mac (09/15/18 10:33 AM)
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#6325801 - 09/15/18 04:04 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: backroadsarcher]
Osky Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/09/13
Posts: 5723
Loc: Northern MN
Originally Posted By: backroadsarcher
I don't have marten in this area to speak of. But like ebsurveyors pictures show the fishers like bear baits. I have seen and pictured a lot of fisher on my baits but no martens. Very good area for fisher sets.



In my area the marten are in swampy low spruce stands, black spruce they seem to really like.

Years ago when cameras were first popular I had tons of night flash pics with nothing in the picture at my bear baits. I figured correctly that some were owls zipping by hunting mice around the bait. After cameras improved I started seeing furry buggars a glimpse here and a glimpse there and finally some still shots of marten on trees surrounding the bait. Like the owls they hunt the mice there at night. I also think the marten prey on flying squirrels which are common night visitors at my bear baits. Black flash type cameras I should think would have a tougher time displaying them, I know they do not show up very well on my ReCon cameras. If you have those low spruce belts you may have marten, check your night pictures very carefully.



Osky
_________________________
"A womans heart is the hardest rock the Almighty has put on this earth, and I can find no sign on it"

www.SureDockusa.com

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#6325896 - 09/15/18 07:49 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
Fisherman Offline
trapper

Registered: 07/26/08
Posts: 769
Loc: northern New York
I agree with Mac and believe that fisher are cyclical. Am quite impressed with the observations of average trappers on this post. The political baloney that goes on in the name of game management is absolutely correct. Here in New York that goes all the way up to the Governor. I myself had to go through a political party just to get hired by the state.
We have an ongoing fisher study at the present time and these arm chair jockeys have up with the most stupid seasons.Primeness of the fur is no longer considered, "Recreational Opportunity" is their excuse for the seasons they set. In the Adirondacks we have had a decline in fisher numbers so they shortened the season, ON THE WRONG END. Because of one particular biologist with all of his college theories and in general arrogance we have a season in November that opens and closes too early. The December season, when fisher are at their best is gone.
Our department is running around patting themselves on the back for fisher expanding their range in western New York in the farms no longer operating and reverting back to forest.The department had very little to do with this expamsion. So what do these brilliants do? They openned a 5 or 6 day season on OCTOBER 25! Do you know the quality of an October fisher?With condescending looks we are told that they are "still saleable", just like an August beaver.
A number of years ago we had a professor and his grad student purchase a number of Yukon Lynx which they released in our Adirondack high peaks.Any fool could tell you there was nothing to eat up there, so they all took off, project a complete failure. Thank God they never got established or we would be facing the same problems that Maine trappers have had. I have looked at those traps suggested for Maine trappers and wonder what genius dreamed them up. Here in New York I have gained the reputation of being an old grouch. I have complained for years about our fisher management, or better, lack of.
One more thing, I was asked to participate in the fisher BMP trapping program. Only trouble was that they would not listen to me. I was told what traps to use, not what I suggested.Saddly I did teach that biologist how to catch fisher, wish now that I had not.

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#6325936 - 09/15/18 08:38 PM Re: Fisher v Marten [Re: ebsurveyor]
ebsurveyor Offline
trapper

Registered: 09/10/11
Posts: 1233
Loc: sometimes PA sometimes ME
First photo marten on top of barrel.









The last photo shows a marten at my set. I did finally get two there.


Edited by ebsurveyor (09/15/18 08:40 PM)

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