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Fisher Trapping Basics

by Tom Sabo from British Columbia

HABITAT: In my area fisher habitat generally consist of heavily treed coniferous and mixed forest areas with lots of dead fall ( heavy woody debris) along or near riparian areas. They prefer to travel and hunt under a well closed forest canopy. They are not well adapted for travel in deep, soft snow conditions, thus they are seldom found in mountainous areas.

SET LOCATIONS: There is no specific criteria for set location other than locating their travel routes. Fisher consistently travel, and hunt, a certain circuit. Once you have found a good location it will usually produce year after year if you have a stable population. It does not matter what type set you put in, if its baited and/or lured they will find it.

BAIT & LURE: I prefer beaver but deer, moose and fish also work well. They will respond to many lures. I use a marten lure made by a local trapper that is sweet smelling and contains raspberry jam, anise and other ingredients. In extreme cold weather a skunky lure is helpful. Beaver castor also works well.

CAGE TRAPS: Nothing special about setting them other than placing in known travel routes. I like to cover them to keep snow out and block the sides to form a enclosed cubby to make the animal feel more comfortable. Chicken feathers scattered in and about the set seem to make it more attractive but is probably not necessary. As I stated earlier: if there is bait there and they want it, they will enter the trap.

As far as setting boxes with conibear traps, I simply use a marten box on a leaning tree with a 120 mag trap with a pan trigger placed close to the bait. In this situation the fisher triggers the trap with its chin while working the bait and is caugth by the neck at the base of the skull.

In summary, fisher are generally found in relatively low numbers over large areas and their circuit may be 2 or 3 weeks, so patience is necessary when a set is established.. If you are on location you will eventually connect.

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