Adirondack Fisher Meets Adirondack Dog

Adirondack Fisher 11-04-13The Lifestyle hound and I were headed home after a neighborhood trail run when the excitement started. At this stage of the outing  Ziggy is normally on the subdued side of exuberance, so I noticed when he dashed off trail and into the woods. I attributed his loud sniffing and snuffling to the possible fresh scent of a  grouse undetectable by my inferior olfactory abilities.

It wasn’t until I heard frantic claws scurrying up a dead tree that I noticed Ziggy’s new friend, the Fisher, (Martes pennanti). This cute little mammal, a relative of the weasel and just one step less vicious than a wolverine, wasn’t in the mood for family hugs with Ziggy.

The Fisher’s loud vocalizations: serious growls and hisses, reminded me it would not be a pretty sight should Ziggy persist with his friendly overtures. I recalled the resident biologists’ Fisher stories and called the hound to my side. As usual, Ziggy obeyed, just in time apparently, for we were treated to a whiff of the Fisher’s musky scent as it bid us good riddance.

Fisher are quite nasty creatures. As a matter of fact, Fishers are one of the few predators that seek out and kill porcupines.

“There are stories in popular literature that fishers can flip a porcupine onto its back and “scoop out its belly like a ripe melon.”
This was identified as an exaggerated misconception as early as 1966. Observational studies show that fishers will make repeated biting attacks on the face of a porcupine and kill it after about 25–30 minutes.”
And then it scoops out its belly like a ripe melon?

Pondering this question, my mind spun into gear as we hurried home. I know some nice doggies who have suffered a fair amount of hurt thanks to a resident porcupine. And now I know a Fisher. Nature’s solution? Does anyone know a reputable Fisher relocation service?

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