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Live trapping Marten in Montana

Posted By: Nunyacreek

Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 02:43 AM

I thought Iíd start a thread to share some experiences Iíve had live trapping marten in Montana. Montana FWP is doing a project to relocate marten into a central Montana mountain range where they were extirpated a century ago. In conjunction with the Montana Trappers Association they asked for volunteers and my daughter and I signed up. We are very inexperienced marten trappers, I started trapping them as a way to trap with my daughter. Marten are nice because we could hang them in 120ís and check them once a week when we go to our cabin to ski on weekends. We had caught maybe 18 in the previous three years as we messed around with them.

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 02:46 AM

Last year we caught three in live traps in about 10 days around Christmas thereís a great story in Montana Oudoors about this effort

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 02:50 AM

After the first three we returned only on weekends, so live trapping wasnít an option. However, I had a bobcat carcass hung up in a pen with a camera on it. I had seen cat tracks so I was sort of just wondering what would come by. Ordinarily I could set a kill snare but there are lynx in the area so this is not an option. Lo and behold soon I had a marten living on the bait. At that point it was a simple matter to set a box trap and collect him the next morning. A lot easier than checking traps for days and days.

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:05 AM

Hereís a phot of that same parted in the trap. It was a one night effort once he was visiting the bait

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:11 AM

I was in some new nearby jointly I thought looked great this summer so I made a grand plan. I would prebait several sites with cameras in early December, then when I came for my planned week between Christmas and New Years it would be a simple matter to comment the marten on those baits. We began by truck because here was so little snow early on.

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:17 AM

EAch bait had a sign and a camera and I hung echo in a tree about 4í off the groundÖ. The next weekend. We were back to check and finish the job. This time we were able to take the snow machine and I had two helpers.

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Posted By: rick olson

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:22 AM

Are they relocating some to the Crazy Mountains?
Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:22 AM

3 weeks later, two days ago, we were back to check.. lots of snow by now. It was 13 below when we left the truck with high hopes.

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:32 AM

They are headed to the Little Belts
Posted By: Northof50

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:44 AM

Keep us updated.
The nest boxes look interesting in those live traps
Do you have trail cameras linked to cell phones for this capture ? or are you out of tower coverage area
Posted By: Willy Firewood

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 07:32 AM

Great work and very interesting!
Thanks for making trappers look like good citizens.
Please keep us posted with info and photos.
Posted By: the Blak Spot

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 01:04 PM

Cool thread!
Posted By: Monster Toms

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 01:24 PM

Originally Posted by Northof50
Keep us updated.
The nest boxes look interesting in those live traps
Do you have trail cameras linked to cell phones for this capture ? or are you out of tower coverage area


Marten don't do well when caught in cages. Giving them a place to "hide/sleep greatly increases their chance of survival. I did some capture/transplant work in the 80's here in Colorado, if I remember right, they sent those to Wyoming.
Posted By: Northof50

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 02:20 PM

Not to de-rail this thread but it is interesting that on relocation animals not much work is given to to exo parasites ie fleas on the animals.
So the transplant locations in Manitoba of marten and fisher you have these new flea species showing up outside of their range.

Monster I know well the hoops you have to go through- it's like jumping through a ring of fire from a standing position and the ring is 20 feet away
Posted By: Turtledale

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:02 PM

Thanks for sharing. I'm following
Posted By: rick olson

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 03:46 PM

MN did some live trapping back in the 90's for WI,keep us posted.Wish we could trans plant some of our wolves to some of the liberal cities across the country to see if they would wake up a little.
Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 06:08 PM

After letting the baits soak for 3 weeks.. not one marten track and nothing besides a few birds and one fox.. I had them spread out through the thickest stuff I could find using OnX over 9 miles ranging from 7200 to 8500 feet. I didnít see one track yesterday in that nine miles. So strange. This is approximately 5 miles by air from my usual line, and looked better to me.
The one thought I had is that this is much easier country to access and may have been overtrapped historically and not recovered. So I cut down all the quarters, loaded everything up and relocated back to my old line.

The boxes are designed with a slide door and are detachable. When we catch marten we just detach the box and transport it that way. The boxes are filled with poly fill or sawdust. The ones Iíve caught brought the beaver meat into the box and looked totally at home in the box.
Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 06:12 PM

So after lunch I took a quick trip up to where Iíd had the cameras last year.. Aha!,,
Went light because itís a lot tighter trail. Incidentally is there a way to edit and turn these photos? They look right on my computer until I post them..

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Posted By: powderfinger

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/29/21 10:05 PM

Conservation !!!! The wise and judicious use of our resources.
Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/30/21 03:42 AM

Itís pretty tight getting into some of my old line. I was cursing the tundra when I was on the groomed trail but it was nice to have the narrow sled today.
Lotís of blowdown

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/30/21 03:46 AM

When my daughter got done skiing we headed out and hung two more baits and set traps on 3 sets of new tracks. Cold and dark by the time we were done.

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Posted By: drasselt

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/30/21 03:59 AM

Originally Posted by Nunyacreek
So after lunch I took a quick trip up to where Iíd had the cameras last year.. Aha!,,

Those look like squirrel tracks.
Posted By: JBS

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/30/21 05:59 PM

Cool thread, what could be better than kids, conservation, and trapping.
Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/31/21 05:44 AM

When I look at the photo you are right they do look like squirrels but they are definitely marten. Big pads, offset. I checked today again and nothing new to report. Itís been very cold for here, ten below most nights. I definitely see more activity when itís in the twenties. Our marten season goes from DEC. 1 to Feb 15 and it seems slowest in the middle of that time period for sure.
Posted By: PineDoggin

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/31/21 12:05 PM

Haha I thought I'd seen those pics, Great thread and pics. I'll have to show Kodi.
Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 12/31/21 10:19 PM

Checked my first set this morning and Ö marten didnít commit. Messed with the quarter and moved on. Iíd bet it will be back. But man so close!

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 01/01/22 05:34 AM

Checked one last trap at the edge of a meadow. I had made some scent posts (no trap) for fox and a marten had visited and basically gridded the whole area. I never give much credence to scent but this marten seems to have been very attuned to scent.

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 01/01/22 05:39 AM

Marten got a ride back in the sled. We think itís a female or juvenile male, it will get worked up and released in the Lyle Belts tomorrow. It certainly wasnít as shy when got it the box attached to a trap in the garage where it will spend the night.

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Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 01/01/22 05:52 AM

Lots of trouble getting pictures right side up but Iím trying.

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Posted By: rick olson

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 01/01/22 07:35 AM

Cool Happy New Year when your picking pictures once it shows the little thumb nail picture down in the bottom right youll see left right rotation click on those then sce[roll back to the left to see if you rotated it the right way,hope this helps.
Posted By: Northof50

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 01/01/22 02:07 PM

Good capture, thanks for taking us along.
Posted By: PineDoggin

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 01/01/22 10:52 PM

I think the girls are showing you how it's done.
Posted By: Nunyacreek

Re: Live trapping Marten in Montana - 01/08/22 05:31 AM

Well I tripped traps for a few days and then reset them on Wednesday with another 12Ē of new snow. Checked tonight and nothing happening. Itís warmed up 40 degrees in the last 24 hours so Iíve got high hopes, and another 6Ē of snow. Makes me really appreciate a 120 hung in a vertical box on a tree.. nothing works harder in your absence than a kill trap in sub-freezing weather, just check at your leisure!
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