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Marten die offs #7099182
12/21/20 10:08 AM
12/21/20 10:08 AM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,439
Northern Mn
rick olson Offline OP
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rick olson  Offline OP
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Northern Mn
This summer we had a bumper crop of martens now with snow covering the ground 4-6Ē they are almost nonexistent,do they get distemper or something like that ?

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7099242
12/21/20 11:00 AM
12/21/20 11:00 AM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 705
Labrador, Canada
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crosspatch Offline
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crosspatch  Offline
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Labrador, Canada
Sometime between the 1910's and 1930's, depending on where you were in Labrador marten died off over at least half the territory. Excluding the barren areas we are talking over 50,000 sq. miles and probably into some areas of neighbouring Quebec. There were a couple of generations of trappers here who only heard of marten from the old timers. When the marten came back, starting in the 70's, most people around saw their first marten then. Back in the day there were too few trappers and the Innu Indian families trapping to make a difference to the marten. Something went thru them and it took about 50 years for them to come back. By the mid 80's they had completely repopulated their former range here. Since then, depending mostly on pricing, we have taken up to 6,600 marten a year here. Our marten were in every top lot, at either NAFA or FHA, either auction had for decades. We have a lot of big dark marten with better quality fur besides colour and size.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7099290
12/21/20 11:54 AM
12/21/20 11:54 AM
Joined: May 2010
Posts: 2,675
Alaska
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drasselt Offline
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Alaska
Up here marten can be prone to move. Here today, gone tomorrow. When I see that I assume there are just small pockets of them, not a good high overall population. When the overall numbers are high they don't just disappear like that. A crash in the food base drives them down. Here the food base is voles.


you can vote your way into socialism, but you will have to shoot your way out.
Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7099615
12/21/20 05:57 PM
12/21/20 05:57 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,439
Northern Mn
rick olson Offline OP
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rick olson  Offline OP
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Northern Mn
Thank you for answering checked 11 proven spots yesterday 1 female marten track squirrel,rabbits tracks in all locations void of marten ???? I know they move but it looked like they had plenty of food to hunt for.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7099663
12/21/20 06:55 PM
12/21/20 06:55 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 440
Baudette MN
FriarTuck Offline
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FriarTuck  Offline
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Posts: 440
Baudette MN
Rick,
I would say that the marten are down a bit from last year where we are trapping also, not that far from you. I find it interesting that of the 6 that we caught, every one was a male.
Jim


[Linked Image]
Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7099673
12/21/20 07:10 PM
12/21/20 07:10 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
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Northof50 Offline
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Northof50  Offline
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Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
Stomach contents Friar Tuck were ?

Crosspatch you got that right, know of several Labador people that tell of their grandparents leaving the traps in the trees to return when the marten returned. Just to think of all those #1 newhouses just blowing in the breeze and the others wrapped in oil cloth and by the third rock cairn past the big rock.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7099678
12/21/20 07:15 PM
12/21/20 07:15 PM
Joined: Dec 2011
Posts: 440
Baudette MN
FriarTuck Offline
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FriarTuck  Offline
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Baudette MN
Good question Northof50, but I did not check.
Jim


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Re: Marten die offs [Re: Northof50] #7099917
12/21/20 09:56 PM
12/21/20 09:56 PM
Joined: Apr 2016
Posts: 705
Labrador, Canada
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crosspatch Offline
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Labrador, Canada
Originally Posted by Northof50
Stomach contents Friar Tuck were ?

Crosspatch you got that right, know of several Labador people that tell of their grandparents leaving the traps in the trees to return when the marten returned. Just to think of all those #1 newhouses just blowing in the breeze and the others wrapped in oil cloth and by the third rock cairn past the big rock.


Exactly the old people used to talk about their marten paths they called them. Lots of traps left on them never be seen again nor the paths ever walked again.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7100078
12/21/20 11:04 PM
12/21/20 11:04 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
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Northof50 Offline
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Northof50  Offline
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Manitoba
And those that were lost when sealing in the spring only to have their traps only happened on for those that ventured onto the relatives land come fall time.
Sometimes considered a BAD OMEN to touch them or use them when found.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7100170
12/22/20 12:03 AM
12/22/20 12:03 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
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Northof50 Offline
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Northof50  Offline
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Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
Rick ever consider that the marten are dying of old age considering the management that your state has had on them in the past. Especial with the season length and quota system in place.
Make it a commercial operation and not a sport. For example look at southern Manitoba marten take 1/4 the size of Minnesota's range but they take 2-3,000 each year there, unregulated trapping.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7100601
12/22/20 11:31 AM
12/22/20 11:31 AM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
When they started going downhill around here........maybe 2009 ??............the most obvious thing I noticed was that there were fewer juveniles each year. Finally, there were no juvies. Mostly all adult males.

It all started with a hard rain in November of 2008. There was no snow and I think it drowned a lot of voles in their holes. The decline seemed to spread north and east....eventually extending clear to the Canadian border.

I'll bet Dave, Yukon254, remembers better than I do


Mean As Nails
Re: Marten die offs [Re: Northof50] #7100891
12/22/20 04:05 PM
12/22/20 04:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2012
Posts: 6,439
Northern Mn
rick olson Offline OP
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rick olson  Offline OP
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Northern Mn
I have no control how our state figure out what they think the season and limits should be,I donít believe that most are dying of old age mostly a 50/50 on adults and juveniles.I have friends that work out in the big woods all summer and they saw many,many martens,now they have seemed to disappear,most of the local trappers are saying and seeing the same thing?????

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7100904
12/22/20 04:24 PM
12/22/20 04:24 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
Originally Posted by rick olson
I have no control how our state figure out what they think the season and limits should be,I donít believe that most are dying of old age mostly a 50/50 on adults and juveniles.I have friends that work out in the big woods all summer and they saw many,many martens,now they have seemed to disappear,most of the local trappers are saying and seeing the same thing?????


The tough thing about what you describe is that several people may have seen the same marten or have seen the same marten several times. Pretty hard to get an accurate idea of what the population is when using that standard.

When things are "normal" on my line I can take around 10 marten per mile of trapline between November and February.

When things seemed to be at their worst for population numbers I timed the interval between sets of tracks from a Cub. This was probably 2011-12.
I was seeing a different set of tracks about every six minutes. So if you're traveling 60 mph, that means about 6 miles between sets of tracks. This was a straight line and by no means scientific. The habitat changed also of course.

Nevertheless, I am convinced that that was a very low marten density at that time.

By the way, if your population structure is 50/50 adult to juvenile I would suspect you have problems already.


Mean As Nails
Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7100946
12/22/20 05:24 PM
12/22/20 05:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 178
Maine
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AndrewM Offline
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Maine
Originally Posted by rick olson
This summer we had a bumper crop of martens now with snow covering the ground 4-6Ē they are almost nonexistent,do they get distemper or something like that ?


Fisher get canine distemper virus. I would guess that marten can too. I know of one state that had a fisher die-off at least partially attributed to rodenticides. I don't know the details, but post mortem testing showed lethal levels. I would guess that those animals probably ate mice or rats that were killed by poison, and then died themselves. Just a guess though.

We had a bumper crop of marten this year too but they seemed to hold up well through the fall. We had a very dry spring.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7101012
12/22/20 06:39 PM
12/22/20 06:39 PM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
N
Northof50 Offline
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Northof50  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
White17 we had a snow melt in mid January and then rain to seal the ground. Every trap set had a marten in it next check. same happened for other trappers at the time)Several were sent as specimens to the museum because of ,mouse chew clippings. Some of those stomach contents were very large amounts of Sorex and Microsorex in their gut system. so for 3 grams of food is not enough for a marten to live on.

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7101368
12/22/20 10:10 PM
12/22/20 10:10 PM
Joined: Mar 2007
Posts: 34,667
McGrath, AK
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white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"
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McGrath, AK
Not sure I understand your point North.

But I do agree that 3 grams isn't going to suffice to keep a marten going very long.
BUT, there are so many variables that I think it would be difficult to come up with one size fits all.

Obviously a marten's caloric needs will depend on where he is (latitude), how big he is, and what season it is.

If the marten you mention were stuffed with sorex but mine are stuffed with microtus that's a difference in mass of maybe 4-5 times.

If Mr Marten weighs 1000 grams he is going to need between 150-250 grams of biomass a day depending on the season and the metabolizable energy in his prey. This probably has a bearing on why they live under the snow when it is super cold. I think it must reduce their cost of foraging because they may actually have prey come within close proximity rather than spending energy hunting on the surface.

A marten in my area could probably get by on 5-6 red backed voles or three yellow cheek voles in a 24 hour period. If your guys are eating sorex it's going to require 9-10 to get the same calories.

I know that in some areas marten apparently eat a lot of red squirrels and hares. Personally, I have never seen any indication in the snow or in stomach contents of a marten taking a hare.... or even trying to. I have seen them chase red squirrels but have never seen them catch one. I'm sure they must occasionally.

In my area bunnies are not common so I suspect that's part of why I've never seen it and also why the marten generally use an alternative prey as their primary


Gulo is the one who has a good handle on this subject.


Mean As Nails
Re: Marten die offs [Re: Rusty Newhouse] #7101425
12/22/20 10:47 PM
12/22/20 10:47 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 1,107
AK
bfisch Offline
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bfisch  Offline
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AK
Originally Posted by Rusty Newhouse
Years ago I asked an older more experienced trapper why the Marten at times seem to disappear, he answered with a chuckle "The wind blows them away".


It all makes sense now!

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7101526
12/23/20 12:06 AM
12/23/20 12:06 AM
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
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Northof50 Offline
trapper
Northof50  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 7,463
Manitoba
When a marten chases a red squirrel, all you see coming down out of the tree is a tail slowly descending down much like a feather floating down.
Seen that a couple of times.
The red backs are probably 20gm and deer mice 25gm
The shrews were because the labador tea moss area was flooded and the shrews had to come up and with their insect life frozen in water, they probably froze on the snow top @-30c

Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7101547
12/23/20 12:33 AM
12/23/20 12:33 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 42,820
james bay frontierOnt.
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Boco Offline
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james bay frontierOnt.
I always see marten chasing rabbits in march when the crust is on.When the snow crusts marten cannot get below the snow to hunt voles,so they chase rabbits.
The Cree word for marten is Wabushstan which translates to Rabbit chaser,from their habit of being seen in march chasing down rabbits.Large male marten have no problem chasing down a rabbit.I have watched them a bunch of times.They are relentless,the rabbit will dodge and weave,the marten with his little short legs going full speed goes directly in a straight line always keeping his eyes on the running rabbit.The marten runs down the rabbit on the crust,and grabs it right behind the neck with its teeth,and wraps itself around the rabbit.The rabbit goes stiff in about 30 seconds,Paralysed I suspect from a bite to the spinal column.Then the marten will drag the rabbit to cover.
Out of all the times I have seen marten chasing rabbits it has almost always been larger male marten.I dont believe the smaller female marten are as successful at rabbit hunting.
In years when the crust is hard I would suspect any female marten would have a hard time sustaining body fat at that important time of year and likely results in a lot of reproductive failure due to low body fat and the blastocyst being re absorbed.

In the past a lot of late winter beaver trappers in northern Ontario would stockpile beaver carcasses in old growth parts of their line where female marten den to help increase the carrying capacity of their lines at this important time of the year.


Forget that fear of gravity-get a little savagery in your life.
Re: Marten die offs [Re: rick olson] #7101602
12/23/20 02:02 AM
12/23/20 02:02 AM
Joined: Sep 2016
Posts: 6,268
MB
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Jurassic Park Offline
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MB
I picked through the stomach on a Fisher ONCE and told myself not to do that again. That smell was bad! Had deer hair inside.
Iíve never picked through a Marten stomach but watched them catch mice or voles while deer hunting and also video taped one eating a rabbit.
I seen one chasing a rabbit one winter too. Not sure if he caught it though. Itís rabbit city here though.


Cold as ice!
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