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Fishers Leaving Sign

If you see five-toed tracks, and they don’t belong to a bear, opossum, skunk or beaver, chances are they belong to a member of the weasel family.  Size and habitat help to narrow down which mustelid they belong to.  Although our recent snow produced just a dusting, it was enough to confirm the presence of at least one fisher in nearby woods. Logs appear to be irresistible to these large weasels and are one of the first places to check for their tracks once snow falls.  Even when a log isn’t providing them with a way of keeping their feet dry, fishers often choose it over traversing the forest floor.

Fishers have been actively trapped since the 1700’s and because trapping was largely unregulated, fishers were extirpated in much of the Northeast in the 1930’s.  Restrictions on trapping, the regrowth of forests and the re-introduction of fishers in locations where porcupines were thriving all contributed to the comeback of the fisher. Today they populate most of New England.

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7 responses

  1. Clyde

    Do they leave an arriving sign also?

    November 15, 2019 at 7:59 am

  2. Bill On The Hill

    Fascinating Mary… I’ve had a barn cat scouting around my property of late & it’s tracks were just outside the back door this morning in fact. The pattern of the walk is what I concentrated on, but I’ve been wrong before!
    Bill… :~)

    November 15, 2019 at 8:30 am

  3. Pat Nelson

    I’ve found it thrilling the few times I’ve seen a fisher. The first time was when a very large specimen was trying to get to the birdfeeder hanging over my deck. Even when I turned the light on, he was undeterred, so I got to watch him for awhile. I love their round ears and dense coat. Magnificent! The second sighting was in midday when I was out for a hike. This was some years ago and I had always read how secretive they can be. Back then I used to find tracks fairly often, but not so in recent years.

    November 15, 2019 at 10:27 am

    • I can count the number of times I’ve seen one on one hand, Pat! I do see lots of signs, though not as many in recent years! Glad you got a good look at one — mine have all been loping through the woods!

      November 15, 2019 at 11:40 am

  4. Alice

    You got your wish, Mary….snow for track-photos!

    November 15, 2019 at 10:37 am

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