This Saturday was the big day for three of my little guests. Weeks of readily available food, protection and training are over and the little marten are off and running…and jumping…and climbing…and wrassling… And, well, you get the idea.
Finding a spot where there is no active trapper was a challenge. Marten are an extremely easy furbearer to trap, and ones used to human scent are so much more so. But I think we picked an ideal place.
The two males and little female had opportunity to catch and kill their prey while in captivity, and discovered the wonders of boreal fruits, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, etc all of which are plentiful this year. So, food shouldn’t be an issue.
Predators are another issue, though, and there was lots of wolf sign in the area. I hope that the thick underbrush will keep them safe from canine and winged attacks. Their ‘in your face’ weasel personality makes them bold, an attribute wild young marten have too.
When I opened their crates, their exodus was slow and methodical. Run into the brush aways and run back to safety, run through the tall grass on hindlegs like meercats, back to safety, climb a tree and leap onto me, back to crates, over and over for nearly an hour. Then the little female started hauling off food and caching it, while the males wrassled. Finally, their journeys into the woods were further and further, and during one such sojourn, I ran for the truck and we left them on their own. A rearview window check showed no little brown forms bouncing down the road after us. A bitter sweet farewell to these intriguing little souls. Good luck, little ones, live free.