Although the average fisher is not very wary when it comes to traps, they are far from stupid. There is however no need to worry about human scent at fisher sets, and some fisher may be caught in uncovered traps.
Another common misconception about fisher is that they are fierce. Fisher found live in traps are usually anything but aggressive.
However a fisher is a powerfully built predator. But even their smaller cousin, the pine martin, is more aggressive when caught in a trap. Perhaps because they are predatory and have a formidable appearance, they share the reputation their larger cousin the wolverine does deserve.
One of the keys to catching any animal in numbers is to learn its habits well. Common knowledge says if you want to catch a fisher, find a dark evergreen swamp in a mountainous area, and set traps there. Of course, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Fisher go where the food can be found. Early in the season, before the heavy snow, fisher may patrol the hard wood slopes feeding on beechnuts and small rodents, which, of course, are up in the hardwoods after the same nuts.
Fisher also feed on the gut piles left behind by deer hunters. As the season wears on and the snow piles up, fisher move down into the swamps. There, they feed on snowshoe rabbits, grouse, small birds and carrion.
Most early season fisher sets should be set up in the hardwood. One exception is when you find a fisher crossing. It may be a natural funnel, like a beaver dam or a strip of land between two ponds or lakes. A set made there can be very productive.
Crossing areas are not always feeding areas. When fisher are moving from one spot to another, they make a beeline. When fisher are feeding, they wander and poke their nose under every stump. In crossing areas, sets need to be right on location.
Fisher may not be vicious, but they are powerful, and bodygrip traps don’t always dispatch them instantly. Single spring 220 conibears, trap chains without swivels, and single strands of wire can allow lots of avoidable problems.
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