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#1640384 - 12/07/09 09:42 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: mtbadger]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 445
Loc: Yukon
Very interesting reading thanks! Gulo I think you stated that the skull was not an accurate way to tell a martens age? I have always had my doubts about that method because of body size of the marten Ive seen that were supposed to be yoy. I have continued to use that method tho, as biologists here have told us it is the way to tell. One reason I think marten move a lot is that I have seen them eating on a bait pile in late winter, (one winter I had 5 marten on a bait that I could see from my cabin) they were there for 3 or 4 days then poof they were gone never to return?? trapped4ever are marten populations good in your area normally (like how many could you take on a good year?) There are quite a few lines in Southeast Yukon where 250 to 300 is possible
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#1640396 - 12/07/09 09:46 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: yukon254]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14856
Loc: McGrath, AK
According to the literature marten achieve their adult size, though not weight, within 3 months of birth.

My oldest was also 14yrs. A male of course and the next nearest was 7-8y/o.

What I find intereting, and I would like the answer, I have never caught a female older than 4 y/o.
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#1640450 - 12/07/09 10:28 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 445
Loc: Yukon
W17 what method were you using to get those ages? I do know if the skull method is wrong a lot of trapline journals here will be almost useless as far as catch cycles go, as we have used that method to gauge the yoy.
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#1640477 - 12/07/09 10:53 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: yukon254]
white17 Offline

"General (Mr.Sunshine) Washington"

Registered: 03/17/07
Posts: 14856
Loc: McGrath, AK
Tooth sectioning
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#1640555 - 12/07/09 11:34 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
piperniner Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/23/06
Posts: 1275
Loc: Alaska
Thanks you guys for taking the time to post this interesting info.

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#1640563 - 12/07/09 11:37 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: white17]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
Quick perusal of marten cementum ages from interior Alaska was a 10-yr-old and a 9-yr-old on the females. I'll do a little more sleuthing on the more recent cementum ages and let you all know what I have. On the other hand, I believe Midge Strickland in Ontario found a couple of 14-yr-old females as well.

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#1640606 - 12/07/09 11:54 AM Re: Marten thread [Re: Gulo]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 895
Loc: Alaska
Thanks for all the great info guys...Great Thread!!

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#1640650 - 12/07/09 12:04 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Pittu]
takotna Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/22/06
Posts: 1199
Loc: Takotna AK
Anyone ever notice when birds of prey are up marten are down in open marten country?

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#1640706 - 12/07/09 12:23 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: takotna]
alaska viking Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/25/07
Posts: 1848
Loc: juneau, alaska
I wonder, is starvation the #1 cause of marten mortality? I would think that with the hyper-active behavior of pretty much all the weasel family, securing enough food to keep metabolizing enough protein, etc. would be a real challenge, even in times of relative abundance.
I know there are certain small rodents that need to almost continuously eat or parish.
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#1640742 - 12/07/09 12:34 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: alaska viking]
trailblazersteve
Unregistered


Diffently! I think your onto something Takotna..

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#1640815 - 12/07/09 01:03 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: ]
3 Fingers Offline
trapper

Registered: 08/22/08
Posts: 525
Loc: alaska
Takotna, that seems to be true that I've seen. Never found a kill site though. Perhaps spring and early summer when young are vulnerable.

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#1640966 - 12/07/09 02:01 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: 3 Fingers]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
Dave Keleyhouse over in Tok, a former Area Biologist for ADFG, opined about 20 years ago that he thought raptors were a big factor in decline of marten numbers. I believe he also thought that high lynx numbers were responsible for declines in marten. I'm of the opinion that goshawks and horned owls probably whack a few marten, but I think they are probably not major contributors to large-scale declines. I've also seen areas with high populations of marten and lynx coinciding. At this point (and it's just an opinion), I think food availability is what makes populations fluctuate.

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#1641031 - 12/07/09 02:33 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Gulo]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 445
Loc: Yukon
I agree gulo, I know my first trapline was very open country lots of raptors yet they didnt seem to effect marten numbers. What Im really curious about is the diet of marten, I know both of my lines that i trap now have one thing in common, if I have lots of rabbits I have lots of marten and many times I have seen marten chasing rabbits, but our last big rabbit peak was 97/98 since that time the rabbits peak has never been that high. there is a lady that is studying the rabbit cycle but she has not released any info yet to my knowledge. I did correspond with her some last year and think she will have some good information for trappers when she is done. The crazy part is I know other trappers who have very few rabbits and tons of marten?? Personally I think the red squirrel is responsible in a big way for rabbit numbers staying lower.
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#1641063 - 12/07/09 02:49 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: yukon254]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 895
Loc: Alaska
Yukon...can you explain the squirrel vs rabbit comment...I cant follow the logic there...seems like they peacefully coexist everywhere I've seen them(??)

I was relatively suprised this year to see how much the marten are eating high bush cranberries... I knew they were omnivores, but was suprised how they really go out of their way to find those winter berries...i think in my area they're main food is rodents and grouse..just based on what I've seen and what food is available to them...and stanky spawned out salmon on occasion..


Edited by Pittu (12/07/09 02:51 PM)

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#1641119 - 12/07/09 03:14 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Pittu]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
Again, only opinion, as I don't really have lots of science to back it up...

In Interior Alaska, northern red-backed voles are the meat-and-potatoes of the marten populations. Certainly, lots of other things in the diet (bunnies, grouse, berries, songbirds, other small mammals, scavenging large ungulates, etc, ad nauseum), but day-in, day-out, the red-backed voles run the system in the interior. On the islands in SE where there were no red-backs, it appeared that deer mice were important, but other sources of protein (other voles, winter-killed deer, marine sources, berries, etc.) were also important. Craig Gardner over in Fairbanks F&G, is trying to get at that with a little more science involved, and I really look forward to his findings. Unfortunately, however, his funding is limited to just about $0.00, but he's got meat, bone, etc. samples from years of carcass collections that he wants to do the stable isotope work on. I'll try to get ahold of him, and see what the status is of the project and let you all know.

On the other hand, perhaps Big Macs?

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#1641131 - 12/07/09 03:17 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Gulo]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 895
Loc: Alaska
Maybe in the urban marten habitats..yes, but the fries more so...and lots of competition from "soul chickens"

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#1641186 - 12/07/09 03:43 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Pittu]
Hupurest
Unregistered


Originally Posted By: Pittu

I was relatively suprised this year to see how much the marten are eating high bush cranberries... I knew they were omnivores, but was suprised how they really go out of their way to find those winter berries...i think in my area they're main food is rodents and grouse..

well, would those berry areas also attract grouse, ptarmigan and mice, all eating the berries????? and the marten gets a place to hunt AND get some fruit?

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#1641197 - 12/07/09 03:54 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: ]
Pittu Offline
trapper

Registered: 11/09/07
Posts: 895
Loc: Alaska
Yea, I shouldnt have said "suprised"....sometimes you find the evidence that proves what you already know and it hammers the concept home...especially for a dumb Finlander...

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#1641199 - 12/07/09 03:54 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: ]
Gulo Offline
"On The Other Hand"

Registered: 01/03/09
Posts: 116
Loc: Idaho
Hupurest, you're beginning to sound a lot like W17...

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#1641357 - 12/07/09 04:52 PM Re: Marten thread [Re: Gulo]
yukon254 Offline
trapper

Registered: 12/31/08
Posts: 445
Loc: Yukon
Pittu The red squirrel kills and eats baby rabbits. I have cut open many stomachs of marten over the years and I think it depends on where you are, I agree with the berries, I have seen lots of highbush as well as rosehips. And both of those berries will stay on the vine all winter to some degree. Im not as sold on the red backed vole as some, but have no proof either!
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