Fisher trapping season is short, but the trapping continues
The Dec. 16, 2022, Outdoor News Outdoor Insights reported that the fisher population has dropped by more than 50%.
While it’s accepted that fisher denning success is dependent on trees with large cavities, have large tree cavities undergone a similar rapid decline?
And, what about the 28-day after-season incidental harvest? When it comes to trapping fishers and bobcats, there are more similarities than differences.
and bobcat trappers use the same types of bait, with beavers and grouse
being the favored baits for many trappers. They use the same lures.
Skunk essence is favored for low temperatures. These trappers use the
same types of sets, the same types and sizes of traps, and set traps in
the same locations for both species.
fisher and bobcat trapping seasons open on the same day, but because of
the low fisher population, that season closes after only nine days,
with a season limit of only two and that is shared with marten. The
bobcat season closes 28 days after the fisher season closes. That means
that bobcat traps kill after-season fishers for another month.
Fishers are aggressive predators, and if we put a trap in front of them, sooner or later they will take the bait.
The low bag limit for fishers seems sensible, but what about the fishers that are caught after the fisher season in bobcat traps that use the same sets, locations, baits, lures?
John Reynolds Merrifield
WMAs and food plots: Should the policy change?
live a mile from the Sena Wildlife Management Area in western
Minnesota. Back in the 1970s and ’80s, it was common to see 40 to 60
deer wintering there, as well as many pheasants. A mile away is the Cuka
WMA, which had at least that many deer and pheasants.
that time, both WMAs had food plots and, in spite of the DNR
establishing plantings of evergreens for winter shelter, it is rare
these days to see a deer after the first snow in either WMA.
recently called the local DNR office to offer to plant food plots in
these WMAs. I was disappointed to learn that state officials no longer
want food plots in the WMAs. They have put restrictions on seed to be
used and farming practices on such plots. The remaining pheasants must
feed in surrounding fields to survive.
beets and edible beans provide no winter food, and since the advent of
BT (biotech) corn, there is precious little grain left in the fields.
When pheasants must leave cover for long periods to feed, they are easy
prey for hawks and eagles.
The hands of the local DNR
are tied regarding changing the situation. Directives handed down from
state bureaucrats set policy for outstate WMAs for which they have not
considered the consequences. Yet every person who eats farm-raised
products ingests the things they are banning on WMAs.
seems to me that the DNR should be an advocate for helping wildlife
rather than making their lives more difficult. I understand that the
state has an investment in establishing native prairie seedlings on
these WMAs, but I wonder if our money would be better used to improve
habitat for all wildlife.
is no cost to the state for returning food plots to these WMAs, and I
wonder if the policy could be changed to a more efficient way to
encourage winter survival.
Ron Molenaar Raymond
Consider what’s important
Don’t be distracted. Guns are not enough.
lead ammunition is not enough. Hunters and anglers need public lands
and waters – public lands for wildlife habitat and clean public waters
for drinking, swimming, and fish and wildlife.
Deregulation is the freedom to pollute.
Subsidizing polluters is the crime of the century.
Ray Norrgard Dalton