We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
You have probably never seen one, but this cat-sized member of the weasel tribe is not rare in New England woodlands. While famous for living on porcupines and squirrels, Fishers will eat anything they can catch (but they do not eat fish).
"Due to its alert, secretive nature and solitary habits, most people have never seen this interesting predator. It disappeared from the state by the 19th Century due to agricultural land clearing. Fishers have since made an amazing comeback, and now live in populated areas that offer mature forest habitat and the squirrels it preys on."
We had one come through the yard once and I have seen them while driving at night. Weird gait, unlike anything else. Ugly.
Assistant Village Idiot
I’ve seen one a couple of times, pretty good size though about half the length is the tail. A friend lost a cat to one; let his cat out first thing in the morning only to see it farted off by a fisher. Judging from tracks in the snow they lope.
We lost a cat to one five years ago. Since then, I've seen a few in the neighborhood. They also scream like banshees.
Thirty odd years ago, I rarely saw any wildlife at all on the midwestern farm where I grew up, except for fat woodchucks in the alfalfa fields and slippery muskrats in the drainage ditches. Today, living in a tame suburb northeast of New Haven, I see herds of deer every damn night. Hawks, turkey vultures, barred owls, woodpeckers, and wild turkeys too numerous to count. Beavers and river otters. Lots of snappers but few box turtles. Raccoons, possums and skunks, of course. Fox, coyotes, and what I swear are coywolf hybrids. A black bear even ambled down our street. Remarkable.
Fishers are known as "fisher cats" in the vernacular where I live in the far NE US. This is not so much an "erroneous" label as just what people call them. No one I know would suggest that they are really a cat. It's just a name. In fact, they are known to feed on cats as noted elsewhere. They are awesome predators who are sometimes mistaken for otters from a distance. However, they can move much faster with their odd gait, and are fierce. Don't make the mistake of thinking that one caught n a trap is not dangerous...
Exactly! We see them - not often - in our Seacoast woodsy area. They are fast and secretive and have nasty predator dispositions. Just being fishers I guess but definitely to be avoided. They and the coyotes prey on small critters all types our area. We hear the coyotes, not the fishers. Just see them almost flying through the woods in the back. Hard to see them except when moving. They seem to levitate they are so fast.
We have fishers in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. I have a timbered acreage there and have seen a fisher a half-dozen or so times.
I discussed this with a Dept of Wildlife (or whatever they're calling it now), and he said they imported some from Ontario back in the 80s and he believed there is a breeding population of 50 or so.
They tend to have a very large territory, frequently 5 miles square, which they guard from other fishers ferociously, except during mating.
We also have pine martens and they are kind of a smaller version of the fisher.
The biologist I talked to said he had been trying to live trap a fisher for over 20 years and had never caught one.
I see them (him? Bigger than a house cat) either at dawn or dusk, which seem to be their prime hunting times.
I got close enough once to see a mouthful of really vicious looking teeth.