The Marten is generally an easy animal to trap. While not quite as trusting as the muskrat, it is nowhere near as trap-wary as the fisher. The real challenge when it comes to trapping marten is to travel to their isolated habitats and to locate their specific territories. Their curious natures will pretty much ensure that they’ll be drawn to your trap, especially if you use the right bait and lure.
This article serves to provide you with the basic knowledge on how to trap marten. For more detailed articles on the various aspects of marten trapping, please visit our pages on [Marten Facts], [Marten Trapping Tips] and [Best Bait for Trapping Marten].
- The Where – Choice of Location:
- The What – Choice of Trap or Set:
- The What Else – Choice of Bait and Lures:
While I mentioned earlier that locating the marten’s territory is a challenge, in truth it is more tedious than difficult. Since they prefer isolated and elevated coniferous forests, you’ll have to do some legwork to find what you’re looking for. The marten trails can easily be confused for those of other animals, so we have to take a different approach; we’ll track the marten’s prey instead.
Martens really enjoy squirrel meat, more specifically the Pine Squirrel. So all you have to do is walk around the woods looking for pine trees with disfigured and shredded pine cones littering the ground around them. That area is clearly populated by pine squirrels and therefore is the ideal place to set your trap for the marten as well.
When trapping marten you essentially have two choices; do you trap them on the ground or above the ground? Each of the options has its own pros and cons. Trapping them above the ground requires a Leaning Pole set with a stout branch, log or pole. Nabbing a marten on the ground, however, requires either a Cubby set or a combo Box-conibear set. For all of those sets, you could use a foothold trap but the smaller body gripping traps like the conibear (model 110 or 120) tend to produce the best results.
If you’d rather capture the animal alive, you can easily use a live cage trap instead, since the marten is not very trap-shy. Just remember to check all your traps as often as you can, preferably once a day, in order to prevent your trapped marten from turning into free meal for any nearby predators. For more information on how to construct and set up these sets, please visit our article on [Marten Trapping Sets].
While the marten has a fairly extensive and varied diet, the one bait that seems to be more effective than most is beaver meat. Perhaps it has to do with the fact that the musky smell of beaver meat travels further in the cold than other scents but whatever the case, it works well. Try to leave the beaver carcass whole and also cover it up to keep the birds away.
The use of live bait is usually not worth the hassle because marten are not the most aggressive predators. Now as for lures, any skunky or fishy smell is ideal. A few drops of skunk essence in fish oil works best overall from our experience.