Observing Nature: Fisher Cat In NH Yard

During a visit to Amherst, New Hampshire, we were amazed to see a fisher cat come out of the woods! It was searching for dinner scrapes that were tossed there. We were all surprised. My family and I had never seen one before that. Fisher cats are known for being secretive and they are very rarely seen. Incredible: we got to get such a good look at the fisher cat while safely on a raised deck! It didn’t even seem to know or care that we were there.

When I was a kid we would throw out kitchen scraps and watch what came around after dark to get it: mostly raccoons and skunks. We would turn on the light to view them at a distance.

I’ve since read that fisher cats are omnivorous; they eat a bunch of stuff including small animals, carrion, insects, fruit and even mushrooms. They rarely eat fish despite their name and apparently they are good at hunting porcupines. Furthermore, they were hunted to near extinction back when wearing furs was the thing to do.

The night before I took these pictures, my Aunt’s toy dog was carried away while she was standing nearby. It was dark and the dog went outside of the ring of light. She was shocked and devastated when this beloved pet was carried away in the night: a fox was blamed. After seeing this fisher cat we are all convinced it was the fisher cat. Fisher cats are blamed for the disappearance of many house pets but biologists believe that other predators are usually to blame. Unfortunately, I think this fisher cat saw an opportunity and took it. How was she to know?

This fisher cat showed up around 6 p.m.

3 thoughts on “Observing Nature: Fisher Cat In NH Yard

  1. Tina

    Normally I don’t comment but read and enjoy your blog quite a bit but today I have a question:
    Why would an animal that has been adequately fed come back the next night? Generally predators kill for food and if this little FC had a dog in its den, I don’t think it would be browsing for scraps the following night, if you know what I mean?
    We’ve dealt with our animals disappearing for years, I’m not speaking from inexperience or idealism here, though we do not have Fisher Cats.
    Great pics. It must have been really exciting to see something so rarely sighted.

  2. Hester Jane

    Thank you for your comments. We will never know for sure that it was the fisher cat or not. As for the fact that the FC would not be hungry the following day, again we will never know but the dog was very small. Sorry to hear about your missing pets -whatever the reason.

  3. Ian Nicholson

    After having this cabin at Lac Gavreau near Wakefield Quebec for five years, I finally saw the Fisher today. I was walking my regular secluded path alongside the thawing lake. The fisher were both shocked to see each other. It bolted to the ice and across into.the water. At first I thought it was a wolverine as it was so big and then quickly realized was a Fisher. You are so right that it is rare to see one, especially out of the water. And I have suspected for a long time that lives just below the cabin as There is an animal that makes a regular evening splash. I have stopped floating on my back without moving in front of the cabin as an animal touched me and then slashed away. I now know what it- very big, sleek and beautiful.

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