The Day we Saved a Fisher Cat
Updated: Dec 13, 2017
People used to trap animals around here, and I don't understand it. It's either for their fur, which isn't that valuable, or to simply eradicate as many as quickly as possible (as in the case of coyotes) As a "sport", how much fun can it be to shoot a terrified animal in the head, point blank, and cut its skin from its body? In the old days, trappers lived way back in the woods and this was their vocation; they came out at the end of the season and sold the pelts; they lived off the fur proceeds. That's one thing. But lazy "hobby" trappers drive home after work to check the traps they set conveniently along roads (used by others) are just a whole different thing. Dogs get caught; I read a story where a man had to shoot his own dog that got caught in one of these; it attacked him when he tried to free it. I prefer to see animals running free in the woods, as opposed to laying dead in a bloody heap with their tongues hanging out. But that's just me.
One day we were riding an ATV along a dirt road (one that I often walk with our dog) and spotted an animal on the side. As we neared, we could see he was stuck in a leg trap, out in the hot sun. He had worn a deep trench around the trap running in circles and was panting from the heat and sun. We had a water bottle, and decided to use our floor mat to give him a drink, which he gladly accepted. He even posed for this photo, he was so happy.
Anyway, I had an idea of whose trap it was and called him, waiting an hour or so before he came to (I thought) dispatch the suffering animal. Turns out, he wasn't allowed to keep a fisher that day, as the season for fishers had not yet begun. So he and friend proceeded to release the fisher by pinning him to the ground with a buffer board and opening the trap jaws (quickly) with their hands. The animal bound into the woods and my heart leapt with joy. A happy ending.