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#1642544 - 12/07/09 10:14 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 1825
Loc: juneau, alaska
That would seem logical, but here in S.E. that would lead to eagles. Not good for marten.
I guess the point I'm getting to is if marten can utilize other animals endeavors to increase their food availability, would they need to have a large territory, out of habit, if you will, or decrease energy expenditure, and rely on "outside sources" for required food intake?
More to the point, can a trapper take advantage of this behavior?
I can think of several set modifications or set-ups that would take advantage of this type of behavior.
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#1642648 - 12/07/09 11:00 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: alaska viking]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
Well if that's the case then let me ask this. Why, under those circumstances, would a male's home range be larger than a female's home range? For that matter, why is it anyway? If we make a wild assumption that a male needs 1/3 more food than a female, why is his territory 5 times larger? That leads to the question are females more effective hunters ? I suspect the male's territory is larger because of territoriality and looking for additional wives.

I don't think the opportunity for extra calories is that common in say a 1 square mile area. So the marten that live in that area must be required to subsist on what normally occurs there. i.e red backed voles being the most generally abundant.

Marten in a marine environment would/could be a different story.

Good point on the eagles. Pretty girls just seem to find out early ....
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#1642655 - 12/07/09 11:06 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 445
Loc: Yukon
Lots of good info on here that will benefit all. Last year most trappers in southeast were reporting extremely fat marten, the numbers were low where I was but their condition was the best Ive ever seen, I examined over 50% of the stomach contents and found lots of highbush cranberries and rabbit. The myth that marten dislike open areas is a myth. Ive seen to many times where they spend to much time in open areas, even frozen lakes. Up on the demptster there are a couple of trappers that take incredible numbers of marten (over 500 more than once) and anyone who has been there must admit its pretty open!
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#1642918 - 12/08/09 06:24 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: yukon254]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
Quick little story...

Big buck mink (but I assume marten would act similarly); SE Alaska, Baranof Isl.; March; low tide.

Sitting about 15 yards offshore in boat, watching said mink make multiple trips down through the rocks where he'd grab a spawning herring, then return up through the rocks, cache the fish, and return for another. Watched him catch and cache 40 herring in just over 30 minutes. Bald eagle would fly over low. No reaction. Raven flying over, even if treetop level, the mink would dive into the boulder patch and disappear. Come out very cautiously and very vigilant before returning to waterline to get another fish.

Point is, that mink was apparently very worried about the ravens, and couldn't have cared less about the noble eagles. I think mustelids in general are very cognizant of what's happening around them, both as predators and as prey.

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#1643018 - 12/08/09 07:55 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: Gulo]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
Do you think he was afraid for himself or afraid of losing his herring to the raven?
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#1643136 - 12/08/09 09:10 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
Can't speculate on that one, White. All I know is he was obviously very tuned in to the difference between the eagles and the ravens. (I know a lot of bipeds that can barely tell the difference.)

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#1643138 - 12/08/09 09:12 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: Gulo]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
LOL!! They're so spiritual.....................
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#1643443 - 12/08/09 11:51 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 895
Loc: Alaska
I watched a raven swoop down and grab a rabbit one time and take off with it...my jaw dropped, I've never seen a raven go after large live prey...but apparently they do when the opportunity arises..

I've also seen caches of currents and high bush berries stuffed behind bark in trees..etc.Matter of fact one of my marten sets had a dozen berries cached in the climbing pole since last check..nothing like some live grouse bait at a marten set!!

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#1644816 - 12/08/09 07:46 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Pittu]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 31
Loc: alaska
I lost 7 marten today, to ravens eating dead marten out of traps. They are also very efficient bait thieves. Concealing bait inside a soup can doesn't even slow them down. 20 miles of my line are dead end, so I have to return the same way. Once the ravens get onto you, you can bait in the morning, and on the return a couple hours later, they will have eaten every bait. They can literally drive you off a line. They will follow tracks to sets, and also actually fly along behind and watch where you make sets, and they remember these locations from year to year. I'm also convinced they have a good sense of smell.

Pittu, how large of prey are you talking. I've seen them kill and eat young crows, and gulp down Red-breasted sapsuckers whole. They'll kill and eat black-tail fawns at birth.

That being said, I doubt if ravens prey on live marten in any significant numbers. Raptors either. Maybe a few here and there, but no significant number. I'm actually surprised at what all will eat marten out of a trap. Aside from cannibalism, ravens, eagles, bears, shrews, I also have a problem with otters eating them out of traps along my beach line. I' ve actually walked up on them doing this, at 2 different occaisions. Eventually, I learned if I wanted to keep otter and mink away from marten sets, all I had to do was use a strong skunk scent lure. Our otter and mink shy away from this odour. Also works to keep $10 mink out of $100 marten sets.

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#1644856 - 12/08/09 07:58 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: trapped4ever]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
WOW That is really surprising to me. I have never had a raven mess with a marten set that I was aware of. Are you using body grips ? I'd switch if you are.
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#1644879 - 12/08/09 08:05 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 895
Loc: Alaska
Yea, that is crazy, Ive never had a raven mess with anything, including non exposed baits.

I was referring to the rabbit as "large prey" since I'd never seen them go after live critters that large..

It would be something to see them kill a deer fawn, you'd think the mother would have something to say about that!!

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#1644982 - 12/08/09 08:32 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Pittu]
takotna Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 1198
Loc: Takotna AK
I had a raven eat 4 marten in a row as he watched me cuss him out each time I took the marten out and reset, was quite some time ago and the only time.

I've been opening some marten stomachs checking out what their eating and took this out of one so took a pic for the experts. It's about 17mm long.



Edited by takotna (12/08/09 10:03 PM)
Edit Reason: length

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#1645320 - 12/08/09 10:19 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Pittu]
Broadie Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/18/08
Posts: 77
Loc: SE ALASKA
Not to diverge from marten, but last winter I was visiting an uncle in suburban Chicago and I noticed there were rabbits freakin' everywhere. Apparently there are no crows or ravens around anymore because the west Nile virus has virtually wiped them out. Without these avian predators the rabbits have gone gangbusters.

Ravens are smart and bold and I can see them preying on marten. And they and all other corvids have a well developed sense of smell, as far as birds go.

Takotna, could that be a parasite, like a hook worm or something?


Edited by Broadie (12/08/09 10:20 PM)

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#1645335 - 12/08/09 10:26 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Broadie]
Ol' Blister Offline


Registered: 03/18/07
Posts: 875
Loc: McGrath, Alaska
Oh boy, Clint, wait til Gulo gets a load of this!

We spent a winter on the line counting those parasites in marten stomachs for him. One of the stomachs we opened looked like it had spaghetti in it there were so many!

At least it looks like it could be the same critter. On the other hand.....

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#1645358 - 12/08/09 10:38 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Ol' Blister]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
Soboli phyme baturini.

A real interesting critter. Caused me a lot of sleepless nights thanks to an assignment from Gulo. We have counted and sexed lots of these things. Some marten have them and some do not. Some have lots and some have few. I came to the conclusion that they can change their gender as need be.

You'll note the first name 'soboli' as in soble or sable.

They don't appear to do any harm to the animal.

Gulo can give us all the interesting story on these guys.


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#1645427 - 12/08/09 11:07 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
takotna Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 1198
Loc: Takotna AK
Was wondering what it was and if it was normal.

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#1645432 - 12/08/09 11:09 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
trapped4ever Offline
trapper

Registered: 04/17/09
Posts: 31
Loc: alaska
W17, no, I'm not a big bodygrip fan. I own some, OK, I admit a bunch, but rarely set one for marten. I usually use #1 B&L longsprings on the poles, and #1 jumps in the cubbies. #0's are also great, but won't handle deep or drifting snow so well.
I've been battling the ravens for years. Lost a pile of fur and bait to them. I guess they must be our equivalent of foxes and gulo for raiding a marten line. They are smart. I've watched them work cubbies and poles. At a cubby, they pull the drag stick, trap and all, out of the way. If the trap is wired solid, they just flip it over, or grab the chain, and pull it aside. At a pole set, they land on the limb your bait hangs from, and pull it up. Once they figure it out, there is no stopping them. The line I ran, (and pulled), today, is particularily bad. I can sneak out 2 picks, before they really get onto me, then it's time to pull and move on.
So, tomorrow will be spent, starting to open a new line. The same one a yearling brownie worked me over on last year. 4 picks in a row, 80 miles of line, 300+ sets, he never missed a trap, or a marten. He even killed and ate live marten a couple times. First time I've ever seen that. But thats another subject......

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#1645498 - 12/09/09 12:16 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: trapped4ever]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
That's really something. They are crafty birds for sure. A lot of people like them and I envy their flying abilities but it's one bird I wish would go somewhere else to live. They're just black flying maggots IMHO to say nothing about their obnoxious noise.
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#1645769 - 12/09/09 08:28 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 445
Loc: Yukon
cant you shoot them in AK.?? We cant here, they are our territory bird! but I cant stand them and we have thousands of them, Whitehorse is a mess because of them. Ive never had trouble on the trapline though.
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#1645886 - 12/09/09 09:51 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: yukon254]
white17 Online   content

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14669
Loc: McGrath, AK
They are federally protected in the US and I'll bet they are included in an intergovenmental agreement like waterfowl.
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