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  lots of talk about yotes these days.  But what about fishers?  whats your feeling on them? 

Even with quite a few yotes around we always had a pretty good population of rabbits on our lease.  While deer hunting we would see rabbits every night while walking out in the trails.  This past hunting season i saw only two or three rabbits all fall.  But I have seen fishers 4-5 times.  Am pretty sure they are taking out the rabbits.  Always a balance of nature i guess.  But we also have actually seen less yotes esp on the trail cams, which is a good thing.  And we dont really hunt them - just opportunistic while deer hunting.

I think its pretty neat to watch the fishers as years ago we never saw them at all.  Are they back due to DEC stocking?  or as an effect of the return of the wild turkey over the last few years?  On our lease by far the number one food source for predators is frogs.  Cant walk down the trails without kicking up frog after frog and I have seen coyotes hunting them in the grass.  Am sure the fishers eat lots of them too.  But the bunnies are noticeably absent these days from even last season.   

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I'm sure fishers take there tool on bunnies.  As do Hawks.  Get rid of one predator, or reduce it's numbers, another predator thrives.  

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I always thought the hawks were taking all the rabbits,never thought about fishers...Our rabbit population is very thin..

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Every year on here for the last few I’ve noticed members asking what’s this in trail  cam pics or I saw my first fisher.  They were found in northern N.Y. but infrequent most other places. Sort of like coyotes many years ago with none ever seen and now their everywhere.  They’ll rip a gobbler right of its roost tree in the dark. I’m curious to porcupine populations around too as heard that’s a fishers favorite food 

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I've been seeing them more and more ,DEC approached my family about doing a study on our property and we said sure.  Hoping to see results in another month or so.

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I've killed more porky's then I care to admit ,since the increase in fisher  I haven't seen a porky in probably 15 years . 

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2 minutes ago, turkeyfeathers said:

Every year on here for the last few I’ve noticed members asking what’s this in trail  cam pics or I saw my first fisher.  They were found in northern N.Y. but infrequent most other places. Sort of like coyotes many years ago with none ever seen and now their everywhere.  They’ll rip a gobbler right of its roost tree in the dark. I’m curious to porcupine populations around too as heard that’s a fishers favorite food 

last year was the first time i have seen porcupines on our lease as well.  So maybe one is related to the other.  Would make some sense as cause and effect or at least a help to boost their numbers some.   

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We had a Fisher in Cuba a few years ago ,I saw it walk under my stand in the morning less then 5 minutes after getting settled in. No spottings the last few years ,my buddy was having some guys do some trapping ,I'm wondering if they ended up getting it.

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I wonder if they will come in to distress calls while I’m coyote hunting, I get them on cam from
Time to time


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Open Trapping areas for them seem to be expanding in NY. Still a free permitted activity though that requires pelt sealing. I just got done watching some trapping DVD's about them and martens. I've got a few on our hunting lease and was going to try for one this past season while up there hunting but I got the permit too late. I will say that it was an odd year for the number of grey squirrels. I should say lack of grey squirrels. There were entire day sits where i didn't see a single grey and they are normally like rats around there. 

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

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was just reading on DEC site from  2015 info that CNY fisher increase has some to do with the reintroduction and stocking in PA.  And they also site global warming.  Hmmm dunno bout these theories but they def know they have increased.  

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Back in the early 90s some no hunting or trapping fisher signs  popped up on stateland  near me . I'm guessing they released them . Every year more of the signs popped  up on different state land. 

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There has always been a population of fishers in the Adirondacks..I have a NYS  Fishing and hunting syllabus   from 1959-1960 that lists a trapping season in the northern zone from Oct.25 to Dec. 31...I think the fishers, like the coyotes, expanded southward and westward  as the forests matured and the habitat became more suitable for them..

Pennsylvania did stock a bunch of them in the north central counties  and it is believed that this population has expanded northward into adjacent NY counties...I am not aware of any NYDEC stocking of them..

Although fishers have the ability to kill and eat porcupines ( more so than most predators) I don't think they are a favored food source for them...In the first place, porkies have a very low reproduction rate,  and even in places where they are relatively plentiful, there aren't that many of them...Besides that, killing a porcupine without ending up as a pin cushion is quite a challenge, even for a fisher..They would much prefer to take easier prey, such as squirrels.. I think squirrels and other rodents make up the bulk of a fisher's diet, although they are voracious, opportunistic predators and will take rabbits, birds and most anything small enough for them to kill if they get a chance..

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15 minutes ago, Pygmy said:

 

Pennsylvania did stock a bunch of them in the north central counties  and it is believed that this population has expanded northward into adjacent NY counties...I am not aware of any NYDEC stocking of them..

 

Reintroduction of Fishers into the Catskills was a DEC Region 3 project undertaken by several of their staff . From that population they spread west and even east across the Hudson River (I have fisher in N Dutchess as result of that initial program)

 

Edited by Dinsdale
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Give it a name, apply human sentiment, and its no longer a wild animal its a Disney character.

 

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I had never really heard of a Fisher before moving to New York. The main predators we had in Illinois were coyotes, a few bobcats, non-existent (according to DNR) cougars, foxes and mink. However, the hardest thing on rabbits in my opinion were hawks. We had hawks follow us while beagling, and even had one roll a rabbit right in front of the dogs. 

I haven't seen a fisher since being in NY other than a mounted one. However, if they are as smart/sneaky as a mink, I'm sure they are a terror on whatever they are hunting.

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1 hour ago, Chef said:

I wonder if they will come in to distress calls while I’m coyote hunting, I get them on cam from
Time to time


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If you have a fisher season you’re not allowed to shoot them   . Only trap   Wouldn’t be surprised one would come into distress calls though 

Edited by turkeyfeathers

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1 hour ago, Robhuntandfish said:

  And they also site global warming.  Hmmm dunno bout these theories but they def know they have increased.  

Actually global warming will effect the population especially compared to marten. Marten is a deep powdery snow animal. That takes continued cold temps. They primarily  burrow for food as well as hunt above ground. Small rodents make up a large portion of their diets. Fisher becasue of their larger size do not do as well in deep snow. They are top side hunters. With warming of temps, what happens to the snow we do get? sun and temps and nights below freeing = crusted snow. good for Fisher and not good for Marten. that always kept their ranges somewhat separate. There was and is always overlap but as we get warmer the marten get pushed further north and the fisher have better climate to thrive. (or at least that's what I've read...lol)


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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29 minutes ago, Dinsdale said:

Reintroduction of Fishers into the Catskills was a DEC Region 3 project undertaken by several of their staff . From that population they spread west and even east across the Hudson River (I have fisher in N Dutchess as result of that initial program)

 

Thanks, Dan...I wasn't aware of that...

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In my lifetime I have never seen the Fisher population very high in areas I have been afield, their relatively low numbers make their actual impact on prey species minimal. From what I know about them they will eat just about anything they can find or catch which in turn makes them fairly easy to trap by a good trapper. There have been times I have seen their pelts bring in really big money, these days their value is low so their populations will be on the higher end with less trapping. If someone feels they have too many in their hunting grounds the problem is easily solved with some trapping.

The area I live in is ideal Porcupine habitat and there are many of them in the woods, anyone that hunts with dogs in porcupine country knows what that means, any Fishers on my place get a pass from me.

Al

2020-02-04_100447.png

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I have a spot full of squirrels. It is covered in hickory nuts. A few years ago we started seeing fisher. To tell the truth I have seen no change in the squirrel population except there is more reds then greys. It used to be more greys than reds.

 

I really think that the amount of birds of prey have affected the rabbit population more than anything. I can't drive 5 minutes without seeing a hawk.

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3 hours ago, Fletch said:

I have a spot full of squirrels. It is covered in hickory nuts. A few years ago we started seeing fisher. To tell the truth I have seen no change in the squirrel population except there is more reds then greys. It used to be more greys than reds.

 

I really think that the amount of birds of prey have affected the rabbit population more than anything. I can't drive 5 minutes without seeing a hawk.

Redheads..... yuck

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8 hours ago, Pygmy said:

Thanks, Dan...I wasn't aware of that...

Found the link to the 2015 management plan that has a brief history. 

Cool story that after 43 transplants less than 10 years later had a trappable population in place. The 'Henry' cited in the text is former Region 3 biologist I have had occasion to talk with, has some terrific stories of the "good old days".

 

 

Fishers were extirpated from large portions of New York, with the exception of the Adirondacks in the northern part of the state (Wallace and Henry 1985). The Adirondacks remained the core of the species range in New York until a restoration program was undertaken by NYSDEC in the mid-1970s. Between 1976 and 1979, 43 fishers were live-trapped in the Adirondacks and Vermont and relocated to suitable habitats in the Catskill Mountains (Wallace and Henry 1985, Lewis et al. 2012). Department staff monitored this newly restored population through track surveys, observation reports by trappers and other members of the public, and reports of road kills and other mortalities of tagged animals (Wallace and Henry 1985, Brown and Parsons 1983). By the mid-1980s, the population was secure enough to sustain limited trapping opportunities and the first season in the Catskills opened in fall 1985 (Wallace and Henry 1985). As populations continued to expand, additional seasons were opened in fall of 1988 in the lower Hudson Valley in an effort to gather biological information such as age and sex composition and harvest densities. By fall of 1989 fisher seasons encompassed much of eastern New York, including all of the Northern Zone, the Taconics, Catkills, and Hudson Valley (except Rockland and Westchester counties). A trapping season in the Mohawk Valley was opened in 1990, and the season has remained consistent across northern and southeastern New York since that time.

From, https://www.dec.ny.gov/docs/wildlife_pdf/nyfishermgmtplan.pdf

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Give it a name, apply human sentiment, and its no longer a wild animal its a Disney character.

 

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Anyone seen any data about impacts of fisher and nesting birds? My theory is they are hammering the turkey hens on the nests in my area of R7


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13 hours ago, b3h said:

Anyone seen any data about impacts of fisher and nesting birds? My theory is they are hammering the turkey hens on the nests in my area of R7


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When I was doing all the reading on Fishers I remember seeing an article about a stomach survey done in PA. it was like 100 fishers and very few had bird remains and I don't think there was any turkey. The survey was in summer and it did say the results could vary if done at the time of the year that poults could not fly yet. I found it interesting that the #1 stomach content was deer. probably scavenged but they did say that a full grown male could take a newborn fawn. The other contents were mostly rodents and the porcupines.  I found it interesting that they also found remains of other fishers

I guess since the deer is such a large part of the diet I can understand why some of the fisher trappers I have seen comment on using deer roadkill parts for bait. 

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"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote." -- Benjamin Franklin

"The trouble with Socialism is, sooner or later you run out of other people's money." - Margaret Thatcher

"When you subsidize poverty and failure, you get more of both.." - James Dale Davidson, National Taxpayers Union

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The fisher's reproductive cycle is pretty interesting. I caught this one about 8 years ago in Ulster county.

1971256447_IMG_1902(1).thumb.JPG.5de2ccd5d7d4257fc54ae1b1291ee647.JPG

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