This animal is classed among the martens, and is principally to
be found in Canada and the Northern United States, where it is
known as the black cat, or woodshock. In our natural histories it
is described under the name of the pekan.
In general habits, this species resembles the other martens, but its
body inclines more to the weasel shape. The fur is quite valuable,
and much resembles the sable. Its col
r is generally of a greyish
brown, the grey tint being found chiefly on the back, neck, head
and shoulders, the legs, tail, and back of the neck being marked
with dark brown. Like the marten, the fisher prowls by night,
frequenting swampy places in quest of food.
It builds its habitation in hollow trees, and in burrows, which it
excavates in the banks of rivers or streams, and its young (generally
twins) are produced in early spring. The trapping season for the
fisher commences at about the middle of October, and extends to
the middle of May, after which time the fur decreases in value.
In trapping the fisher, the same plans may be used as for the marten
and mink, as these animals much resemble each other in general
habits. The steel trap arranged in an artificial or
natural enclosure, or otherwise so set as that the animal will be
obliged to step on it in order to reach the bait, will be successful
and the use of composition scent bait, described on page 153 will
be found to enhance success. In every case where the steel trap
is used the spring pole, page 144, should always be employed, for
the reasons already described.
Dead-falls, garrotes, box-traps, twitch-ups, or pit-falls, may
all be employed to good advantage. Bait with a fish or bird, or
fresh meat of any kind, and connect the various traps by a trail,
as described for the mink and marten.
Remove the skin as directed for the fox, and stretch as described
on page 273.