My son called this morning to let me know that he had a Fisher in his yard last night. Immediately I warned him to be careful and not let the dog out by itself. Everything that I have heard about this elusive animal is that they are nasty, mean and willing to eat your pooch for dinner. He debated these facts so I thought I'd do some research.

Is a fisher considered friend or a foe? If you encounter one in New York State, what should you do?

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According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), the fisher is a member of the weasel family with semi-retractable claws on each foot. This makes it easy for the fisher to killing prey but what do they eat? Humans? Dogs? Cats? What?

The diet of the fisher cat include rabbits, squirrels, mice, and the meat of a dead white-tailed deer. They have even been known to be the only North American mammal that can kill and consume porcupines, leaving only the quills behind.


These 'cats' have a bad reputation but the fisher is NOT harmful to humans. That doesn't mean you should try to pet one. Keep an eye out for your pets as fisher have been known to hunt smaller mammals in the late evening and early dawn hours of fall.

New York State DEC conducted a study in the Adirondacks. Fisher were fitted with VHF or GPS transmitters. Wildlife staff were then able to track them throughout the spring and summer to determine survival rates and den tree selection, along with reproductive success of the females. Not 1 human was harmed in the study.

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