How to Trap a Fisher: Fast and Easily

Photoby usfsregion5 / CC BY / CC BY

The Fisher cat is a challenge to trap, even for fairly experienced trappers. And catching one fisher is no guarantee of catching another because they are notorious for learning rather quickly from failed attempts. Their omnivorous diets, their generally trap-wary natures, their aggressive predator instincts all contribute to their trapping difficulty.

In addition, they are arboreal creatures that can easily climb trees; while this allows for another avenue to trap them, it also means that they have more escape routes to avoid your trap. And they are not exactly afraid of the water either.

But with all that said, the fact remains that they are popular furbearers in the eyes of trappers and there are ways to get yourself a fisher pelt on your own. This article serves to highlight the ways in which one would go about trapping fisher cats. For more information on the various trap types, please visit our article on [Fisher Trapping Sets].

The Where – Choice of Location:
This is actually a fairly complicated issue when it comes to fisher cats. While several common furbearers such as the beaver and muskrat are semi-aquatic, the fisher cat is also semi-arboreal. What this means is that they spend a lot of their time climbing trees, thereby complicating their trails quite a bit.

So essentially you have 3 major choices as far as trap location goes. You could use a leaning pole set to take advantage of their tree-hugging ways.

Or perhaps you prefer getting them when they feel relatively safe; if so, you should set your trap just outside the hollow trees, crevices and bushes where they make their dens. The last avenue we would suggest would be to set your trap along their trails, because while they aren’t quite as predictable as the muskrat, they are still creatures of habit.

The What – Choice of Trap or Set:
The choice of trap type is a fairly straightforward process, at least for trapping fishers. During the summer they are more likely to stay on the ground and are reasonably susceptible to conibear, cage and foothold traps along their trails or just outside their dens, assuming that they are well camouflaged, of course.

But when winter hits, especially with heavy snowfall, they are loathe to plow their way through said snow and will be more likely to climb the nearby trees to get around (a notable exception is if it is able to feed on deer guts first; a fisher with a full stomach will not want to partake in tree-climbing). Thus, the leaning pole set is a good choice for a snowy winter.

The What Else – Choice of Bait and Lures:
This is even more straightforward; use a skinned but whole beaver carcass as your bait of choice. Other smaller creatures like hare, mice and squirrels will also do, but beaver meat works best. Live bait is also worth considering. As for lures, fishers react quite favorably to fishy odors like skunk oil and fish oil.

Don’t get be wrong, learning how to trap a fisher can and will take time. The real question this is if you’re willing to put in the time. More often than not, you can only take these tips with a grain of salt as it will vary from person to person and place to place with trapping. With this in mind, the more time you are willing to put into it, the higher chances you’ll actually trap that pesky fisher.