Something evil is lurking in the woods of Connecticut these days, something ancient and almost forgotten.
You can hide your children and lock up your pets, but even then all may be lost. For there is no stopping the fisher!
Okay, so maybe they aren’t all that bad, but it is true that the fisher is back in full force in Connecticut.
The fisher is neither a fish, a fisher, or a cat. It is a relative of the North American marten. From the Wiki.
Adults weigh between 2 to 7 kilograms (4–15 lb) and are between 65 to 125 centimeters (26–49 in) in length. Males are about twice the size of females, with the smallest females having been recorded being as small as 1.4 kilograms (3.1 lb), hardly larger than most other martens, and males at as much as 9 kilograms (20 lb), by far the largest size recorded for the genus. Their coats are darkish brown, with a black tail and legs; some individuals have a cream-colored patch on the chest. All four feet have five toes with retractable claws. Because they can rotate their hind paws 180 degrees, they can grasp limbs and climb down trees head first.
A circular patch of hair on the central pad of their hind paws marks plantar glands that give off a distinctive odor, which is believed to be used for communication during reproduction. Fishers are also known for one of their calls, which is often said to sound like a child screaming, and can be mistaken for someone in dire need of help.
Their numbers drastically declined about a hundred years ago in Connecticut as they were hunted for their brown to black furs.
The fisher gets a bad rap because they seem to just love the taste of cats, and when a domestic cat goes missing within a hundred miles of a fisher sighting, it seems the fisher is always to blame.
The really “damned” scary part of the fisher is the reports of their screams while making sweet fisher love. I was recently told it sounded “exactly like a women being murdered.” After taking a step back and wondering how this person knew exactly what a women being murdered sounded like, I went to YouTube to check it out for myself. If indeed this is a fisher then it does sounds a bit creepy. I could see how the fisher could be mistaken for an unearthly tormented specter wandering the woods late at night. However it should be noted the there is no proof that these screams are coming from a fisher. For all we know it could be a rabbit being eaten by a fox, or a chipmunk being savaged by a chupacabra.
I don’t understand that if people are afraid for the safety of their cats why don’t people keep their cats inside? Why do people let their cats outdoors anyway? I grew up in the Bronx, and respectable and considerate folks in my neighborhhood kepot their cats indoors. A Fisher is a wild animal that eats other animals. Keep your cats inside. I find more chipmunks, snakes and birds ripped up in my yard from cat attcks than from Fisher attacks. People are so dangerous and stupid letting their pets ruin the community.
it’s called nature.
it’s called nature.
I had one of these creatures wake me up a 2am the other night. Freaking creapy!! It was right outside my br window making the weirdest noises, and loud, too! Hand went right on the shotgun until I knew what was going on.
In the city, I can see why you keep your cats indoors – traffic, other cats, etc. To declaw them, the vet removes each toe up to the first joint. I prefer not to have my cat suffer that indignity. He is also helpful outside in keeping down the red squirrel population – they can chew their way into most houses and then live in the attic. I have had that experience – before cat. They chewed up the wiring and raised their young above my living room – wetting down the sheet rock and disrupting the insulation.
Today, a fisher walked across my back yard, under the deck, and when I went out onto the deck he trotted about 25′ away, turned and watched me. They have no fear. They will also attack small dogs and have completely decimated the rabbit population in our town – and probably the surrounding towns. Raptors – hawks, owls, eagles – depend on having a source of food which includes mice, rabbits, chipmunks, etc. To my knowledge, fishers have no natural enemies. I, among many, would like to see open season on them.
I believe the animal pictured above is actually a mink, a semi-aquatic relative of the fisher. A mink is smaller, usually about several pounds in weight. Since there is nothing in the photo for scale, it is hard to say mink for sure, but the suggestion of a whitish throat patch on the animal pictured is highly suggestive of mink.
Fisher “screaming” is most probably a product of urban legend. Biologists who have studied both wild and captive fishers for many years have never heard them scream. They are generally quiet, occasionally hissing or growling. The recordings you listen to on the internet are merely assumed to made by fisher. I don’t believe there has ever been a credible report of a person actually seeing a fisher scream. Check out the work of Roger Powell who studied fishers for years, and wrote a book entitiled “The Fisher: Life History, Ecology, and Behavior”.
Many other animals make loud vocalizations that could be described as screaming. Some owl species do, as well as mating bobcats and house cats. Foxes make a variety of loud vocalizations, some more like a bark, and others more like a scream. Rabbits scream when caught by a predator.
Fishers do scream and make
Fishers do scream and make noises like someone is being murdered. I have watched them many time as they are making these noises.
I’ve got news for you…its no urban legend that the fisher screams…..I myself have a pet fisher that was raised from a kit……if it gets scared or startled……it screams like a woman being attacked…..its scarey and ear piercing…..they DO in fact scream.
FYI There is zero evidence over decades that Fishers eat cats or scream. No cat ever shows up in fecal over again several decades of sampling. it is just another urban legend folks. Google it. some have raised them for many years but never have heard the “scream” They sound actually like a small gerbal but they can hiss.
I wish I could send your know it all ass a video of mine screaming because he doesn’t wanna take a bath….tell me where to send the video smart ass.
Why not post it here for all
Why not post it here for all or provide a link Paul.t9iF7
I Had a Fisher as well…
I had a fisher as well, he would make thoaty hiss’s but never ever heard him scream. every noise it made was kind of toned down to, like a guy who smoked too many cigarettes. i Wouldn’t think it could make a “screaming noise” i have heard foxes scream before though, and an owl, both of those sounded like something getting murdered in the woods.
Where we live in R.I. we are unfortunately inundated with fishers. We are only a few milt from Connecticut. There are over 200 acres of woods behind us. We have all sort of wildlife, many deer, turkeys and that we know of at least 2 Bobcats.We live in a townhouse complex. And most nights the fishers are near the dumpsters around 10-10:30 p.m.and yes, you can hear a scream. It sends chills down your spine. We have been parked there when it happens. And they are scary. The more they show up here the more the poor feral cats that some idiot has dropped off disappears or is found dead and ripped apart. We have seen so many that we have lost count of the fishers. It is a sound I will never forget. They are getting braver and more use to the people being around and coming closer to our homes. We ALL keep our dogs leashed and I carry mace, not that it would really do me any good but it is worth a shot if It ever came down to it.
Sorry, I meant we are only a few ‘miles’ from CT…Not ‘milt’. :/
its no big secret that fishers eats cats and they kill them with ease.in the wild a fisher will move into a area and kill everything and then move on.most people that spend any a mount of time in the woods know fishers can be very vocal.
I live in Massachusetts, and outside of my place is a very large dense tree farm. I have seen deer, skunks, and many I cant explain yet..But what I do know is, the Fisher, once he attacks it screams and so does its prey. Its a blood curdling sound that we will never forget. Apparently it attacked a wild turkey and we could hear that poor thing fighting for his life. Fishers are ferocious animals and always looking for something to eat. YES they do scream & once you hear it, you will never forget it
Hi: I live in Haverhill, Mass. in a condo next to the woods and see a fisher a few times a year. It comes to my bird feeder and digs around for food. I suspect he is looking for chipmunks, as there are plenty of them. Well he measures about 36″ from nose to tail, and goes up and down the trees like a monkey. The fur is dark brown and nice and shiny. In talking with a friend today, he mentioned he got a photo from a trapper friend in Palmer, Mass. who sent him a picture of a large fisher he caught in a box trap. He said the animal weighed in at 46 lbs. This size animal would have no problems taking down a deer. I will contact him and try to get a copy of the picture and more info on the trapper. I used to trap muscrats and caught an otter once. He weighed in at about 18 lbs., and I had a pet raccoon that weighed 28 lbs. so I know what a 46 lb. animal would look like. I will get back and report when I get more information. Thanks. Carl
Very interesting, Carl. A weight of 46 lbs is extremely hard to believe, but my motto is, “never say never”! I hope you post follow-up information even if that claim of 46 lbs is incorrect, because, unfortunately, even unsubstantiated statements can contribute to popular belief and public perception.
Aside from your report, the largest fisher on record weighed 20 lbs, 2 oz, trapped in Maine. I am a tracker and have tracked fishers many, many times, in various parts of central Massachusetts. If any of them were close to 46 lbs, their tracks should be at least double the size of those recorded for fishers of the typical weight range of 5-15 lbs. If anything, the track sizes I have been seeing have been on the smaller end of the spectrum.
Fishers are capable hunters, for sure. They have been seen feeding on deer carcasses, but they are most likely scavenging, because they have not been reported to actually take down healthy, adult deers.
I was looking out across my back yard 3 wks ago and saw this strange animal that looked seal like and when it walked it moved like a slinky. We have 5 acres but live in a fairly busy area only 10 min from NH my husband was a witness to this thank goodness or he would have thought I was having a Lucy moment. We have Maltise’s and we will be very careful about their potty routines.
Karen, I don’t mean to attack you but I want to turn around your opinion on this fisher issue.
– Fishers are tree hunters and one of the only things fast enough to catch red squirrels. In many places they specialize on red squirrels and porcupines. In contrast, I’m guessing your cat is way too slow and being a ground hunter can only catch about one red squirrel a year.
– Red squirrels are extremely territorial and there is generally only one or two per acre. Keeping the population of red squirrels down really isn’t an issue in a typical yard, where your cat roams, because there’s a population of one or two. On the other hand, fishers hunt red squirrels all through the forest, roaming far and wide.
– Fishers do fear humans and dogs. Sure, they can get a little cheeky when you are on the deck looking at them, but if you approach they usually run for it (unless rabid, of course). I tried hunting one down with my camera last Fall and he was having absolutely none of it — ran like the dickens.
– How do you know that fishers have decimated your rabbit population? If you have fishers you surely have coyotes, red and gray foxes, and probably even mink if there’s water nearby.
– The conventional wisdom that fishers attack small dogs and cats is often repeated, but there is not a lot of hard evidence supporting this. Try Googling it. People’s cats disappear and they blame fishers based on their reputation. Could just as easily be a coyote, which is absolutely documented to go after house pets when food is scarce.
– Very few raptors around here are big enough to go after rabbits. Even red tail hawks mostly end up getting songbirds and the occasional gray squirrel who wasn’t paying attention.
Do you really want to see “open season” on a member of our native wildlife who was almost hunted to extinction? I think this is just your emotional reaction to fearing for your cat’s safety, which is completely understandable. Unless you live in a very dense suburban or city environment, there are dangers to your cat beyond fishers — the scapegoats. Having an outdoor cat is a risk. My neighbors have a great compromise — they let their cats out in the afternoon, and the cats are back before dusk for their dinner.
sense the fisher have expanded its range out of the north country in n.y they have grown in size because theirs plenty for them to eat.up north they eat porkys but now they dont seem to bother them.because theirs more for them to eat.cats are on top of the list be it a young bobcat or a house cat.also fawns,raccoons,turkeys,and anything in between.its not uncommon for a male to be thirty pounds.
“Fisher “screaming” is most probably a product of urban legend” Not really. We just had one putting on a 20 minute “aria” one lot over from us, and it is just as advertised: almost human sounding distressed screeching or screaming. 10:30pm in the middle of mating season. Right on time from what I know about them.
if i was worried about the safety of my domestic pets, i would keep them indoors. rather than encourage the trapping/killing of wildlife that has been in the area long before humans.
you may not know this but a fisher is one of the only known predators to the porcupine. take them away and it will really mess up the ecosystem.
I want to know if it is
I want to know if it is dangous to let my little dogs out on the deck. It is closed in I live in a condo. They love lay in the sun
Anyone who thinks they don’t scream, they do. Twice a night a fisher cat screams in my cousins backyard. A rabbit isn’t being murdered everynight let alone twice every night. My cousins dog started barking then we heard the fisher scream. Doesn’t help that we were outside her house in tents.
I saw a fisher cat this morning hopping across the enterence to the Merritt. I wasn’t sure what it was since I had never seen one. It looks like a large black weasel, sleek and pretty. I also thought it odd since it was daylight, aren’t they nocturnal, I guess it was late getting home from a night of hunting.
I always knew we had fishers in the Scituate area but never encountered one until yesturday. I have a fenced in yard with two dogs (who were just let in for breakfast thank goodness) and a fisher walked up to my glass slider and looked in. When the dogs began to bark it slowly walked away and climbed out of the yard. I am now so scared to let the dogs out IN THEIR OWN YARD!!! It was 8am in the morning. Should I expect this thing to keep returning???
Biologists continued to be mystified by the reports of “screaming” attributed to fisher cats. There is no documented evidence of this (None other than recordings with no video). Most predatory animals do not scream when attacking (it scares off prey). Animals generally only scream when being attacked (or eaten), or to mark territory. Or mating.
Coyotes are MUCH more likely to go after cats and dogs, especially those above 10 lbs. An 10lb male fisher isn’t going to take down a 20lb dog.
They are related to weasels and otters (mustidelae), but generally fall in between, typically 10lbs for males and 5lbs for females. But their long bushy tails can make them appear larger. They are essentially big ferrets, and simply can’t get to the 20+lbs levels that are sometimes reported. Wild animals typically don’t have the variability in size that occurs in domestic animals. All robins and all deer are roughly the same size. It’s extremely rare to find an individual animal more than twice the size of another.
Well, I appear to have a Fisher cat in Orillia, Ontario (1+ hour north of Toronto). I live in a heritage downtown neighbourhood (close to city centre) and had no idea what it might be at first either; then I looked it up on the Internet. I am assuming that’s what it is as I’ve ruled out the other options. When I first saw it, it reminded me of a beaver but the tail was wrong as a beaver’s tail is flat and leathery and this mammal’s tail is bushy. I thought it might be a porcupine too but it doesn’t have the prickly bristles, although the fur is very thick and sticking up like a porcupine’s but it is brown like a beaver’s, not black. Having never seen badgers either, I thought it might be a badger but the look is all wrong in the neck and this is a solitary mammal – badgers are supposed to live in colonies. I just looked out my kitchen window and it’s just resurfaced from underneath my patio deck; I’ve seen it up and about many times during the day. I’m taking the wait and see attitude as it currently may be serving a useful purpose and is not posing a danger or a bother at present. Interesting. …
I had heard of pleanty of sightings of fisher cats in my area, but hadnt seen one until about an hour ago. i had just gotten my last of 4 children in to bed and sat down on the couch to read, when i heard a loud hissing sound. imedietly following it a creature flew out of no where and hit my window! Andrew, my husbend, heard it as well. We knew it had been a fisher cat trying to get our bird Brownie. i googled them amd heard they kill cats if they find them. Now that i know about them, and what just happend to us, im afraid it might get Brownie and Sunny, our birds, and dont want to let our cat out any more. what do I do!?
If you see and hear a fisher screaming and get a recording of audio with video, please contact wildlife officials, as they will be most interested. Again, scientists who have studied fishers for years, both in the wild and in captivity, have NEVER known them to scream. Until someone can provide proof that they do, we can only assume that claims of fisher screaming are nothing more than urban legend.
Many other creatures scream at night: mating bobcats, mating house cats, rabbits (when frightened or attacked by predators), foxes, and owls. Both coyotes and raccoons also make a variety of vocalizations; some people may interpret them as “screaming”.
For an excellent book authored by a man who studied fishers and other members of the weasel family for many years, see the following:
I live in Hillsborough NH and in the past two months I have heard 4 different Fisher Cat attacks around my house (within 100′). There are missing cats (my neighbor’s pets). One of the attacks I heard outside my window at 3:30am and woke me up. At 6:00am I went out to find a pile of fur and blood. That was Elaine’s cat (could tell by the color of the fur). Another morning I was out having my morning cigarette in the shop at 5:30am and I heard the attack on the other side of the yard. It lasted about 8 seconds (like they most do). I went over there after getting protection and found a pile of fur. Another attack was obviously on a Turkey, those are obvious. And the one I heard five minutes ago left a pile of orange fur and so I will tell Amy tomorrow her cat is gone. This thing loves my neighborhood and my yard even more. My cat sees it all the time at night… she chases it from window to window all night. My 100lb German Shepherd smells it all over the place. I might have to hunt this thing down. I want the squirrels back.
I recently moved to the waterbury/cheshire line in CT. In the 6 weeks that I have lived here I’ve heard this fisher cat “scream” twice in the woods behind our house, and let me tell you it IS a scream. Once it was so loud that I had to get up and shut all the windows, and it was still loud. I have not actually seen the fisher cat (and I don’t want to), but after lots of researching, the noise had to be a fisher cat. Unfortunately, my cat has gone missing and I’m pretty sure he’s not coming back. Before moving here I had no idea that such an animal even existed. A word of advise, keep your pets inside.
My 39 year old son was sitting outside his apt last week & a fisher cat came out of nowhere jumped on his arm bit him bad!! Went to emergency room the doctor scrubed the hole (good size) started rabbie shots & booster. This fisher cat was on the apt roof which my son did not see or hear.T his happened In Chester CT.Where my son & daughter In Law live there are all familys with children.Then the next day my son went out to check around In late morning there were two fisher cats In the tree.Now I heard from different people that the Fisher Cats are put In the wood to kill the wild Animals, the fisher cats can take down a deer,wild turkeys,ect,e t. I am looking Into this matter.
Regarding Comment 16 July 31, 2010 I also live in Orillia, Ontario and since moving back to this area In May, 2010 3 of my cats have disappeared without a trace. Just prior to the latest incident last week, I heard what I thought was a cat fight. Although I searched, I never saw hide nor hair of my cat again. My internet search revealed that fisher cats can sound very similar to domestic cats fighting. I feel a fisher cat attack is the only reasonable explanation for the disappearance of my three cats.
I lived in Thompson CT and Fisher Cats defitinely scream. The neighborhood cats went missing we found just a round ball of his fur in a circular outline?? It was weird. I loved that cat. another friend in Thompson, CT when outside and saw a baby fisher and thought it was cute and went to go near it and it hissed and showed its teeth, she then got in her car apparently just in time as the mother came out of now where and attacked the car and was hanging on the window, she backed up and then stepped on brakes to get it off of her car. The CT Audobon Society said they are extremely vicious to humans. Now I am afraid to take walks in the woods and I think if they are in the neighbor hood they should be hunted down and killed for the saftey of the children and adults in the area. What if it had been a child that went near the baby? That mother would have certainly killed a small child it was in such a frenzy. I think they are extremely dangerous.
Woke up last night to that sound everyone here knows all too well…the “scream” of the fisher. I could track the circular route it was taking around my neighborhood, and incidently did make sure my cats were all inside. I am in Chester, very near the village itself, and we have a large pack of coyotes here as well, which I would definitely blame for any missing cats rather than the fisher, especially during Chester Fair time, because I think the coyotes hang around the fairgrounds during the off-season. Fishers are just not built to run down a fast land animal, they run like weasels, or like I saw someone above mention, a seal…..in a tree, now that’s another story. Just found out that they “scream” during mating season, so there must be a couple in the vicinity.
To Donna regarding your son in Chester, I honestly don’t believe any wild animal would have attacked like you said without having been startled or sick…I hope your son is ok.
I was just woken up at 3:30am by that exact same scream everyone’s describing. Probably one of the scariest screams I’ve ever heard. I was sure some animal was being murdered in my yard and it is extremely disturbing. Several cats have also recently gone missing in my neighborhood. All of our stories sound the same and we all live in different parts of New England. There is definitely some type of animal on the rampage out there! Such a disturbing scream. I have never heard anything like it before.
November 2, 2010 I had gotten home from working election. I had my cat out on my deck and stepped into my kitchen and was talking to him while I put a few things away and was going back out to get him and I heard a terrible scream from him and ran out onto the deck and he was gone. I could hear a terrible screaming noise coming from a wooded area behind my home and then silence. It was an awful sound that I can’t get out of my mind and my pet is gone. I am sorry but these Fisher Cats are out of control in our area and a something needs to be done. They are vicious killers.
Something needs to be done about cats disappearing, yes, Sandy – KEEP YOUR CATS INSIDE. If you didn’t let your cat out, you’d have your pet. Fishers are wild animals that are beneficial to the ecosystem; cats are invasive species that do horrible damage to the songbird population. Lol.
Yeah, those fishercats truly are Satan in disguise. My best friend’s cousin’s boyfriend’s barber’s plumber’s mother’s friend says that in his town those monsters have taken to eating animals as large as horses and cows. You can find their rotting limbs hanging from trees. The whole town has been devastated. No one leaves the house anymore without being fully armed, and you can’t let your kids out at all. The screaming never stops.
LOL. Learn to live with wildlife, people. Fisher “screaming” is nothing but urban legend. Yes, they can kill cats and small dogs, and if you cannot cope with losing a pet, THEN DO NOT LET IT OUT UNSUPERVISED. Do you really want to kill off any native predator that scares you? Keep at it, and there will be nothing left. Should that really be of concern to humans? Answer: you bet. No wildlife means ecosystem collapse. Ecosystem collapse means destruction of our own species.
Did you know that 21% of the world’s mammals are endangered? And, FYI, 30% of amphibians, 12% of birds, 28% of reptiles, 38% of freshwater fish, and 70% of the world’s plants….are all endangered. Please get a grip and learn to tolerate other species. It’s our only hope.
Tonight wd heard tbat “urban ledgend” screaming at tbe edge of our property!
I have a fisher cat lurking our backyard and I don’t n
know what to do.
My kids and Pets are very active (along with me) and always go outside…………..Should I keep them in???
A large male fisher will likely be terrified of a larger dog, but might take a very small dog or cat. That said, there are cases of even cats chasing off a fisher. Small pets should not be allowed out unsupervised if losing them will be devastating. If you allow them to wander, remember that they are probably killing small prey themselves, competing with wild predators like the fisher for food. Seeing it in that light might help you see that fishers are not cruel and vicious — rather, they are an important part of the food web, just trying to survive.
If your kids are toddlers, they could possibly be at risk to a large fisher or other wild animal, but then again it’s not a good idea to let toddlers play unattended anyway, since they could fall victim to the most dangerous of all predators: humans.
Older children should be fine playing in your yard. Use common sense and keep your eyes peeled. Please don’t panic. Perhaps you and your kids could take interest in this amazing creature and learn something from it. Learn its tracks in the snow. Photograph it. Read about it, and its relatives, the otter, mink, and weasel. Expand your circle of compassion to include all of nature, even predators.
Hope that helps.
Mary Beth, I’m in agreement with you RE: What an interesting and amazing animal the Fisher is, however I dont care what the Wild life boilogists say. I have personally seen and heard a Fisher Scream on quite a few occasions. I saw a very large Fisher chase a huge Raccoon off of my neighbors trash barrel at about 2:00 AM screaming like a banshee. Scary stuff. A 40 pound Raccoon took off like he was shot out of a cannon when confronted by a large tom Fisher. “And it was the FISHER doing the screaming/crying. A large Tom Fisher is in a class of it’s own as far as it’s tenacity. Second only to his big cousin the Wolverine. While Coon hunting a few years back My friend’s dog treed a Fisher after a long chase. The Dog, a 95 pound Blue Tick Coon Hound is among the most ferocious dogs alive. We did not know what We were chasing until We cought up to it after about an hour. By then the Fisher had had enough and was ready for a fight. Lost his sense of humor. While we were down below discussing our find He decided to make a fight of it and came down the tree so fast we thought He fell. He was 30 feet up and made that in about one second. He went for My friend Jerry who had no time to think. He fell backward half concerned about the status of his shotgun and that the muzzzle did not end up passing by any two legged companions or his dog who was fixated on the Fisher. The Dog intercepted the Fisher and IT WAS ON!!! All we could do was watch as Jerry’s Dog had his underside kicked open, His insides coming out, had half His nose bitten off, one ear bitten off, and His throat ripped open all the way to his jugular vein. Fortunatly the vein was not damaged. The Fisher got his hooks in the dogs neck from under so his impressive choppers were at the dogs throat while his huge rear claws ripped the dog’s gut open. After what seemed like a lifetime the Dog got his choppers on the Fishers head and ended it. The Vet wanted to put the Dog down when we finally got him proper care. Jerry said after a fight like that we’re going to give Him a chance and paid the $1500.00 vet bill. The Dog lived. Fortunatly. 300 stitches. Some of them to reattatch half his nose, many to sew his insides back in. A year later almost to the day He chased down another one. Only this time We didn’t hang around long enough to revisit just how unfriendly a pissed off Fisher can Be. Also, the animal that almost killed Jerry’s dog weighed in at 26 pounds. So that throws the 20 pound thing right out the window. I’ve seen a couple of others just as big if not bigger. And oh yeh, That animal was screaming like a hundred cats on fire, and making other ungodly noises. Made Me want to jump in bed and pull the covers over My head!! I’m of the opinion that a big tom will prey on cats, small dogs, ect… A Woman in Hamilton Ma. had her Jack Russel Terrier torn right off the leash and devoured in front of her by an audatious over grown tom Fisher. That occured along the hedgrow at the Myopia Hunt Club about ten years ago. A Woman in Boxford Ma. had her leg ripped open by a Fisher just passing by At eight in the morning. I personally had the crap scared out of Me on another occasion when one was raiding the squirrel nest in the attic of my delapitated garage. It came out on the roof and made a scream like a cat on fire and a baby crying and a turkey cackling all at the same time. He came right down to the edge of the roof and faced Me off. He made it clear He was not afraid of Me and would be more than happy to shred Me. I had a gun in My hand and I was still terrified. I ran in the house and didn’t come out after dark for a month. He was out ther every night for a couple of weeks making all sorts of frieghtning sounds. Fisher vocalisations run the gamut. They make sounds like a injured rabbit. They make bird sounds. They make turkey sounds. They do a near perfect angry grey squirral. They make cat sounds. It’s part of their hunting stragety. They lure in other animals who come to investigate the sounds. My cat fell for the old grey squirrel trick. I saw the Fisher make the squirrel sound, so there is no debate about their vocalisations as far as I’m concerned. Occasionally they loudly throw all the different sounds together and the result is that terrifying banshee from hell sound. Where I live there is at the very least a moderate concentration of Fishers, and Coyotes, also Foxes. When a cat goes missing and there is no evedence of Fisher attack it was more likely a Coyote. Studies have shown when examining contents of Fisher stomachs very seldom is there cat remains. And some of that can be attributed to eating road kill. A small or female Fisher is probably not going to go out of it’s way to try to kill a cat. However there is that certain percentage of larger specimines over 16-20 lbs. maybe 5-10% who will make it their business to at least try to make dinner of any cat they come accross. Two things I’ve learned is, when feeling set upon they will fight to the death. Also what I learned from the Squirrels in the garage incedent is dont interupt their dinner. They will defend their meal very agressivly. Occasionally a big one will make a meal of your dog weather your on the other end of the leash or not. Also some of the more mature animals are vantriloquists of sorts. I wittnessed this Myself. He made a sound of an angry or injured Grey Squirrel and lured My Coon Cat Scout right in. Upon realizing Scout was a huge very healthy cat at about 22 pounds the fisher which was not a particularly large specimine came about half way down the tree and assesed the situation. When it noticed our whole family advancing to him or her it beat a hasty retreat. Last summer a small Fisher was hanging around with my other cat. I was calling tha cats in At about elevin oclock. My other coon cat Harley came trotting home with what I thought was his brother Scout right on his tail. As it turned out the other animal was evedently his new friend. Before Harley got to the front stairs the Fisher took a swipe at his back legs and tripped him up. They rolled around play fighting for a minute when I yelled for the cat to get in the house. “Coon Cats are like dogs in that regard. They respond to commands”. When Harley got up and headed for the stairs the Fisher followed him right to the bottom stair, looked at me with no fear, but with some curiosity then took a hard left and went up the tree in My neighbors front yard. It probably weighed in at all of seven pounds. I was scratching My head over that one for a while. Usually these Cats are petrified of anything that looks like a Weasel. They both got their asses handed to them by a Mink that couldn’t have gone more than a pound and a half. He kicked the crap out of both of them at the same time. They tag teamed him and it wasn’t even a fair fight. They needed ten more cats. They came home looking back over their shoulders looking like they saw the devil himself. So just immagine the damage a large Fisher could do. It’s a Mink X 20. The one Jerrys dog killed had some of the most impressive teeth I’ve ever seen. And claws that were nothing like a cats. Like inch long fish hook Eagle talons. Huge hooked claws. Thats why the Dog couldn’t shake him. Once those hooks are in, there is no getting him off till he’s dead. Jerry’s dog got lucky. Mind you this was a very big tough tough mean mean dog. This Fisher at 26 lbs wasn’t even showing any grey at his tips yet so he was in his prime. By the way we were going to leave him once we saw what he was. We just didn’t realize how angry he was. It was a learning experience for sure. Not for the dumb ass dog!! Sorry for the protracted letter. I just had a lot to say about these animals. FYI, Fisher vocalisations are not an urban legend. Some day you will hear one. You’ll know exactly what it is when you hear it. My guess is they do not say much most of the time. But when they do they DO..TTYL, Regards, JIm…
what a load of BS!.
no B.S about it have had many encounters with fishers they are killing machines.i have trapped for over 40 years and have hunted with hounds just as long and have weighed dead fisher and some males will go thirty pounds.
no B.S about it have had many encounters with fishers they are killing machines.i have trapped for over 40 years and have hunted with hounds just as long and have weighed dead fisher and some males will go thirty pounds.
THIS GUY IS A MORON!!! I hope no body listens to this nonsense, i’ve had two living in my back yard for the 5 years that i’ve owned the house. One female, and a male that comes around sporadically the difference is obvious by size, and my outdoor cat (yes outdoors 24/7) is still alive and well, and he is not a big cat at all, 3 or 4 lbs at the most. Be cautious and aware of them, but dont run for the hills because some backwoods redneck says they are monsters.
If I used to be worried concerning the security of my domestic pets, I’d keep them indoors. Instead of encourage the trapping/killing of wildlife that has been within the space long before humans.
We’re all animals Dave. Humans are just smarter. I encourage hunting and trapping about as much as I promote veganism. My protracted post was Just articulating some stories from the past regarding these interesting animals. FYI, The hunters and fishermen contribute more to the health and upkeep of the wild lands, wet lands, forest, ect… and the organisms that live there than all other so called enviromentalists groups combined!!
January 23, 2011 outside my house, my motion lights went on, so I got up to see what caused it and there in my back yard was a fishercat. I ran in the other room to tell my friend to look out the window, because what I was describing he would not believe and there he was sitting. He was brown and furrie and had a long tail and a face like a cat, but a long body like a ferret. We were in awe. I had heard one 9 years ago when I moved here but didn’t realize the screech was a fishercat, but I will never forget that cry and I am sure it was a fishercat. I live on a fresh water pond, considered a lock. Iam sure he’s been here for awhile I just never got to see him before.
Hi Barbara, My two daughters saw one about a week ago while driving on our street. About four houses down from ours. crossing the road. They said it was about three feet long not counting the tail. Next day I went looking for tracks in fresh snow. I found two seperate sets. One smaller animal and one big one. Obviously the one they saw. I followed the larger set for about a half mile to a large old pine tree that had broken in half about fifteen feet up. I could see where it had hollowed out over the last few years. I do believe he lives in there, at least for now. I’ve been back a couple of times since. and he is still active in the area. I bring my camera hopeing to get some pics. The tracks are interesting in themselves. I can see where he stopped to investigate nooks and crannies around the upturned roots of wind fallen trees. I took pics of all the tracks he made. There was a spot where he sat down for a minute probably to scope the area for some unwitting squirrel. Two perfect front paw prints and two perfect rear prints pulled up close to eachother. Sitting like a cat sits. Last month there was a Turkey killed in my yard. I think I found the culprit. We have tons of turkeys up here. He ate everything but the feet and some feathers. I wish I could post these pics of tracks. They have pretty big feet for thier size. If you have some wildlife areas near you go check out tracks in the snow. It’s amazing how many animals are out there. Along with the fisher tracks I found lots of different Coyote tracks, Mink, Lots of Deer, Fox, Turkey of course, all in the same choke point where the woods narrow between two neighborhoods that abutt about a thousand acres of conservation land. It’s going to snow again this week and I will head out for more pics of tracks and hopefully an encounter. Thinking about getting a motion triggered game camera and setting it up where the highest concentration of tracks are. Oh Yeh, The first time I heard the Fisher banshee scream I was afraid to go out at night for a month. There is someone on this post that insists that they do not vocalize. My message is, You’ll know when you hear it. It’s that unique, and scary.
I don’t live in the area in question, so take my remarks with a grain of salt…but I can see both sides of this issue. I think humans should be more tolerant toward wildlife, and I’m in favor of keeping cats indoors in general, but it’s hard to hear about a cat who was only out on *its own backyard deck* being taken without having an immediate “that beast’s too dangerous to live” reaction. The vicious attack on the dog was horrible to read, too, especially with my own big, goofy lab mix lying beside me.
There must be a middle ground to tread here. I don’t have a problem (philosophically) with killing animals that intrude on my home – after all (as my roommate says) “Most animals will kill YOU if you come into THEIR home.” I think fisher cats (or any really aggressive animal) that ventures into an actual backyard (that is, the part of the yard the owner bothers to mow the grass in) should be “discouraged” in one way or another – if loud noise or a water hose fails to drive an animal off your territory, then more serious measures (from trapping to firearms) might be needed.
I’m a fairly bleeding-heart liberal and a nature-loving person, but I don’t think it does a native species any harm to have the boldest individuals (bold enough to hunt prey on backyard decks) culled from the gene pool. Respecting other species means refusing to commit genocide for our own convenience (like we used to); it doesn’t have to mean ignoring an active threat to those we love on our (literal) doorstep.
We ARE the biggest animal around – teaching wildlife to respect us, and OUR territory, is only fair. It’s behaving as though we are PART of Nature, not loftily hovering above it – and isn’t that the most respectful approach of all?
The pic is a mink, not a fisher.
You are right! The pic is a mink (usually less than 2lbs).
Mink, fisher … they’re all furry and have pointy teeth, right? Seriously, thanks guys! We fixed the picture …
I have a dog and cat at home. My mom and I have seen the fisher cat multiple times and we live in CT right near the woods too! Weird thing is, my cat ran toward it the other day and it was not explainable! But my cat is perfectly fine….
I think alot of the people commenting on this need to step back and think about the way nature works. I can’t imagine why anyone would want to see “open season” on these animals. I live in upstate ny, im and avid hiker and love to follow fisher tracks and look for dens and such. I have a few fishers in my area that i know of and have never had a problem with cats turning up missing and even if so its called the cycle of life. We all need to step back and enjoy the miracle of nature instead of trying to change it.
Here’s a correction to all the questions about a fishers scream, yes they do scream and a horrible chilling sound unless u know what it is.last night I was out about 10pm w my dogs when I hear what sounds like a child being tore apart,I got chills and took my dogs into the woods towards the noise,my mastiff stopped and let out a bark and growl like no other and this thing ran. It was killing a domestic cat.sadly it was gone by the time I got there.but that haunted me all night.
Thank god for big dogs I tell u.
Hey Guys, First, Let you’r cats out!! Where they belong. The Fishers probably wont eat them. Sometimes it may happen, but not too often. I’m sure Fishers would much rather eat prey animals. Cats a formidable themselves. Someone on this site said “cats are slow” indicating the most highly evolved preditors on the planet are not proficient hunters. Is there some new species of cat I’m not familiar with. Fishers large enough to make an easy meal of a cat or small dog are probably few and far between. Second, The Fisher population has probably peaked. There is a hunting season for them and they suffer atrition due to automobiles. I’ve seen four dead this spring on the road. Two were females with young, so the pups wont make it without the mother, also they are prayed upon by other animals and Raptors when they are young. They are not immune to the rigors of the wild like some on this site seem to think. Maybe one in three survive to adulthood give or take. Last, These are facinating and complex animals. Very illusive, smart, and unpredictable. I’ve studied them for years and still cannot figure them out. From the first time I saw and HEARD one back in 93 when I lived in Peabody Ma. I’ve been facinated with them. In that time I have figured a few things out. Like they mimic the sounds of other animals, like cats, squirrels, turkeys, rabbits, ect… It’s My belief that they do this to attract the curious. Whatever animal comes to see what the noise is may end up as dinner. They are very active in the spring, mating rearing young, and agressivly hunting to support those activities. They are formidable preditors but it’s My belief they do not go out of thier way kill outside of thier natural prey selection. There are documented exceptions, but it’s not too common, so you’r cat is most likely safe. Although the one in the new picture posted here would probably be just as happy eating little Kitty snacks as squirrels. That’s one tough looking animal. Fifteen pounds + for sure. If I saw that in My yard I would let the cats stay in for a couple of days just to be on the safe side.
ARE YOU CRAZY? Telling people to let their cats out? NEVER _ EVER _ EVER let your cats outside !! Between the coyotes cars and these evil creatures- they DON”T STAND A CHANCE ! Would you let your CHILDREN stay out all night long with these viscous killers? THEY KILL DOGS AND CATS WITH A VENGEANCE !!
IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR PETS AT ALL……… ALWAYS KEEP THEM INSIDE AT ALL TIMES !!
THEY ARE YOUR FAMILY MEMBERS !!!
KEEP THEM INSIDE !!! FISHER CATS ARE DEADLY AND VISCOUS ! They kill hundreds of pets and even attacked a 6 yr old BOY.
YOU ARE NOT TOO BRIGHT !! STOP TELLING PEOPLE TO LET THEIR CATS OUTSIDE !!
My friend told me about the killer fishers and i was really scare will in the woods when i was young
we have a gentle man in our condo complex that likes to tell fishercat stories.he says one lives in our back yard. i’ve never seen or heard it, but he said it was in the yard and its teeth were drippeng!! lol, with what i dont know. has any one else ever heard of this or seen it?
Last night we heard the exact scream that is recorded as a fishercat on YouTube. It was pitch dark and it was walking from yard to yard. We could see a shadowed image walking right down the middle of our street. It screamed over and over until it walked out of hearing range. This was 1:30 AM. At 3:30 am it came back up the street screaming again. Scariest sound I have ever heard from an animal.
Yup, they do kinda scream. I was hiking in Nehantic SF, following an old stone wall and must have been tromping on ones turf; it tracked along next to me a good distance away, hissing / screaming at intervals. Really freaky.
I live in very thick woods in ct last winter I would here them screech and them walk through the snow I saw one trying to cross the road in march and my buddy saw one today coming home from the farm on his dirtbike in a trail they have gotten alot of my chickens
Yup, Fishers like chickens. My friend Joe has free range chickens and usually loses a couple a month to Fishers. Strangly enough I saw a huge specimine dead on RT 107 in NH today. It was one of those unusually large animals. The tail alone had to be tree feet long. Also, it had a heavy wide body. Almost like a Wolverine. This animal was defenatly well over 20 pounds. I found myself wishing I had my camera. This Fisher was half again the size of the animal pictured on this site. Hide the women and children.
I have never seen or heard of a fisher cat until the other day. When I was in my teens, I would go hiking in the CT woods for hours and I never saw one of those. I saw deer, Coyote, turkeys, turtles, rabbits, raccoons, and fox but never heard of one or saw one. I camped up state NY and VT NH and ME deep in the woods no flush toilets, never saw one. It is almost like big foot to me. a mystery,
where in ct do you people live who have seen these? I live on the shoreline near new haven… we have a lot of woods around but I have never seen or hear (or even hear OF) this animal.
Stef, I’m in Chester, on the CT River. I’ve been hearing the fishers around my house only for the last couple of years. But “funny” thing is, I now no longer hear all the coyotes I used to hear. I’ve heard that fishers are very territorial when it comes to their hunting grounds, but I would never have thought that they could chase away coyotes, considering they are arboreal. But that’s the only explanation I have for the lack of coyote howls and increase in fisher cat screams I’ve heard. I saw one up-close a little while back…a mama fisher had been hit on the ramp for exit 7 in East Haddam. It was cool to see what they really look like.
In the last two and a half weeks, three of my cats have gone missing. Has anyone heard of or spotted any Fishers in the Preston/North Stonington area? I have not heard any noises or screams to lead me to think it was a Fisher but three cats in such a short amount of time is crazy.
I have seen a fisher cat while driving really slowly in Portland,CT. It looks like a large weasel. It was quite bold and took a step towards my car and stared at me. I had no clue what it was at the time. I do not doubt that they eat cats as an easy meal. I actually had someone, who feeds stray cats tell me he saw one grab a kitten for a meal. He lives in Manchester. I just saw a very large cat in my back yard staring at the feral cat I am trying to get to trust me ( so I can bring it inside). it looked like a baby mountain lion with a stubby tail. It did not have any spots or stripes. It’s tail did have a dark tip, but it was a tan color similar to a mountain lion, but clearly not that creature. Let’s just say it was very SCARY looking, but thankfully was more scared of me. I have had in my yard turkeys, rabbits, deer, raccoons, opossums, coyotes, black bears, black squirrels, and now that large cat. I too live near the Cheshire/Waterbury border.
D, (from August 11),,, the big cat you encountered, based on your description, was most likely a bobcat,, I live in Chester and had one hanging around my backyard (lots of woods close by) about a year ago,, he (I assume it was a he because it was BIG) kept making appearances usually in the early dawn hours or evening,, I figured he was hunting my little cat and actually did go after her a couple of times but she was too quick and hid in some spots he could not get to her. Very interesting looking animal but did run right off if we went outside or let my lab loose.
AND Wendy,, there are plenty of fishers out in the N Stonington area, but if three cats go missing in a short period of time I would be looking for a coyote,, much more likely the culprit.
My 7 years old big male cat was enough smart to kill mouses, moles, birds, squirrels + chipmunks…..very smart to sneak around but it now is gone for 2 weeks….Suspend to blame fisher cat since I lost 2 cats, too. Heartbroken, catlover.
hi Bianca,, please e-mail me @ firstname.lastname@example.org,, I think you have a coyote problem, not so much a fisher cat.
Word of warning to residents of Simcoe County, Ontario (Perkinsfield, LaFontaine). I waws informed by the Huronia Animal Shelter that fishers are a problem this year. I had to take in a 3 month old barn kitten to be put down due to severe injuries (ie. – lower jaw ripped off, puncture wounds to head etc). I found the opening to its den in a gully nearby. Not sure what to do. Anyone have any suggestions to get rid of this creature? Don’t tell me to keep the cats, I don’t own the farm and barn cats are are prolific in this area (most don’t live very long). There has also been a loss of 53 chickens, roosters and 15 ducks. Anybody else experiencing similar problems?
We live in Ontario on the bank of the Muskoka River, right in town below the falls. In the last weeks, ourselves and neighbours on the same side have lost five pet cats…two were ours, one ten-year-old and our especial love, Murray, age 15, who never went off the property. Ours disappeared not at night, but during the late afternoon – Murray always stayed on our sidewalk or front porch, warming his elderly bones. A lady down the street is missing her Siamese now, and she tells us there are the remains of a kitty matching Murray’s description over the riverbank at the back of their property. This all made me want to buy a big shotgun at first, but the comment ShinyAeon, #36, made back in February really nailed it – so does anyone in Ontario reading this know if the Ministry of Natural Resources here will come out and set a trap for relocating this animal? We have other cats…they are our pets, not takeout pizzas for fishers in town. Our other cats are staying inside, yell, holler and complain though they may.
So at least I know what this thing is, after hearing these horrific sounds since buying my home 10 yrs ago, I finally know that I have a fishercat. I have lost several cats over the years, but I am in the woods, keep cats as pets and mouse controllers, so I am not keeping them inside. I have seen this nasty thing, 5pm, barking pretty close to my house, responding to my dogs barking. It is not am ‘urban legend’ that they make this noise, they are evil, should be trapped and hunted just as we hunt anything that we feel gets overpopulated as we take more and more of their native enviornment away from them. I also have coons, bobcat, bear, coyote, all of which ‘belong’ in the wild, not urban backyards. To those of you who live in more heavily populated areas, the fishercat should be removed if not trapped and hunted. I don’t have a large population of porcupines, so I don’t need this fisher to ‘control’ them, I wish it ate coons….
I live in East Hartford, CT and my husband and I were out side the other night and we saw this black ferret like animal walking or hopping like in the road. My neighbor seems to think it was a minx but my friend seems to think it is a fisher cat. What is the difference between the two?? Also should i have a non sloid fence in my backyard should i be worried about my 7 pound dog??
Kim, You had better be worried about your 7 pound dog.! A friend just lost her cat to a fisher here in Conn. about 3 days ago.
Warning to Massachusetts pet lovers… My 60 lb dog was attacked by a fisher a few days ago and just came home today after spending the past nights in the ICU of our local emergency veterinary hospital. (Waltham, MA)
The picture is of a Fisher Cat, not a Mink. Minks have thinner tails and narrower skulls. The picture is of a taxidermy specimen. Fishers more resemble small bears while minks are almost indistinguishable from ferrets, except for coloring.
Wild animals have a place in nature. Domestic cats are more destructive to the local ecosystem. I love my cats, but cannot call for open season on a key niche predator.
I’m sure if people and children were being dragged off by Fisher Cats the CT State Police would be out lobbing flash bomb grenades in all your wild woods of CT. Lighten up, people. More house cats get killed by street traffic than wild animals, and kill more birds and squirrels than get killed by Fishers. Nobody enjoys losing a pet; if you value your Fluffy, keep her inside.
I’d suggest a trip to Squam Lakes Natural Science Center in NH where you can see live Fisher Cats (not screaming) and learn about them from a scientific source rather than an alarmist web forum.
Mike, the original photo was of a mink. After several people commented that it was a mink, they replaced the photo with the current one. I agree with everything else you say, however.
Mary Beth, I admire your effort to educate people but it doesn’t work, trust me. People in general are very ignorant when it comes to natural history and refuse to learn. They also evidently need drama in their lives so they give animals super powers. When somebody says fisher cat right there I know they know nothing, it’s kind of like coydog, a clue to what’s coming. I lived in Hadlyme, Ct. for thirty years but live in the Adirondacks now where people say they see wolverines, badgers and (my favorite) black panthers. I tell them they’re lucky to see the panthers cause ever since the gazelle herds have gone down they’re hard to come by. People are anti-predator and they also fear the unknown. 46 pound fisher, uh huh. Yeah, and Great-horned Owls fly away with 30 lb. dogs, coyotes reach 80 pounds and are a danger to the neighbor’s prized bull and are also wiping out the Ct. deer herd and now they have to worry about man-eating fisher cats. If they knew how to read and maybe spent a day away from the mall or making love to their computer they might learn something. It’s not gonna happen and I think the long term outlook for Ct. wildlife is bleak because of people’s ignorance and their cats. Good luck.
Sean, we must be soul mates! ;o) You are probably right, but if you are, the future is bleak for us, too. People seem to believe we can exist without wildlife, but, in fact, everything thing we use is ultimately derived from the natural world. Continued species extinctions means collapse of the ecosystem services on which we all depend: clean water, clean air, food production, flood control, drought mitigation, pharmaceuticals, disease prevention, etc. That is usually the angle I take when educating people about nature — I do realize that most people could care less about wild animals, but they do care about themselves. Incorporating ecology into the public school science curriculum is where it’s at. Most people who post here already have their minds made up, and it will not be possible to change them. I subscribe to blogs like this just so I can keep abreast of the sorts of nonsense people bandy about, regarding wildlife, and throw in a comment every now and again. Cheers.
Hello Mary Beth and Sean….
Food for thought —
Although I do not live in Connecticut I do have some information about — yes — fisher cats.
My 60 pound lab/husky/shepherd mix was attacked by one on October 13th of this year…. It was a Thursday evening… and while Enzo is a completely marshmallow and entirely harmless to almost everyone and everything.. this particular Fisher found he was a thread and ripped his body open, leaving us with thousands of dollars in vet bills and 4 surgery’s where at one point, Enzo was at risk of becoming septic and deceased.
I respect wild life and the like….. I do not, however, respect those those who have not encountered similar misfortunes and whom scoff at those who are less “educated” than you seem to be.
Risk losing your beloved pet and Thousands of dollars, and then come talk to me about your intellectual and wildlife awareness.
Dear Stacey, what makes you so sure I haven’t suffered any losses due to wildlife? Over the years I have 3 beloved pets to wild animals, but I accept that as the risk of giving them some outdoor time to improve the quality of their lives. I guess I feel that these occasional losses pale in comparison to the suffering we inflict on billions of animals in industrial “farms”, medical research facilities, etc. Not to mention the annihilation of entire species due to our own greed and pollution.
I also know that wildlife benefit us in ways that are difficult to see on an immediate level, and that, like us, they do whatever they think is necessary to protect their own territories, food sources, and young. Therefore, I accept the risk and feel no need for revenge. I apologize if I seem to “scoff”, but I’m sick and tired of people who choose selfish ignorance over education. I guess there’s no point in arguing — if people are intent on destroying what’s left of nature, then so be it. I’ve enjoyed my time on earth, and it won’t be me who suffers. It will be future generations.
Hi Stacey, I also lost a pet. A goat named Alfredo to coyotes and that was my fault. I learned from it. What was at first anger or thoughts of revenge I realized were maybe my own feelings of guilt for not doing enough to keep him safe. I like coyotes, in fact I find most predators far more interesting. It takes a little more of a brain to hunt something than say a deer creeping up on a leaf. If people took the time to learn about local predators (and not from Joe six-pack) not only would they not live in this manic fear their pets would be safer and their own lives would be enriched and more interesting. Why would the fisher consider your dog a threat? Just curious. One more question is a fisher cat anything like a marten cat or a weasel cat or an otter cat?
In no way am I saying that wildlife is to blame for Enzo’s misfortune and near death experience. In fact I truly cherish wildlife and the habitat in which they live.
Bear in mind that this personal occurrence is still quite fresh for me… so at the moment I’m battling personal feelings versus logic and life realities.
On the one hand you are entirely correct about humans invading the space of wild animals homes by building factories and complexes, tearing down forests for “our” own needs etc…
On the other hand I can’t help but be upset about this attack on my boy, in an area that is heavily populated and is not where fisher’s have been known to reside.
Unfortunately they have been spotted in my town more and more over the last couple of months…. cats have gone missing with only their tails being found etc… They seem to be getting more and more bold, and have attacked both pets and humans.
Enzo was romping through the woods at the Payne Estate in Waltham MA ( http://www.stonehurstwaltham.org/ ) when he was attacked…. an area that is kept well maintained and Always has a great deal of foot traffic by humans and dogs.
And to answer your question about the differences in these “cats” … Yes there are differences. Weasels are Significantly smaller than fishers… they are just bigger than rats with different coloring than fishers and martens . . . more yellowish on top with white-ish underbelly . . . an “otter cat” is not the technical name for an animal other than a jaguar type cat that is similar looking to a weasel or an otter.
The Marten is the closest to a Fisher, where Fisher’s are actually sometimes referred to as the north american marten.
Are you asking because of the potential for Enzo being attacked my something else and my mistaking it for a fisher??
To the guy who says fishers mimic, well, I hear they do a great Groucho Marx. Continue to feed each other these fairy tales of screaming killers, you obviously need something to spice up your mundane lives. What’s truly terrifying is how ignorance feeding ignorance becomes indisputable fact; What’s also scary is with all our mistakes as a species and with so much truth available how little we’ve learned. I’ve wasted too much of my valuable time already. Careful, it’s a jungle out there.
Stacey, I think Sean was pointing out that fishers are in the weasel family, not the cat family, as the popular name would suggest. I am glad to hear of your love for wildlife. You are correct that fishers have been moving into more densely populated areas. But it is not really a range expansion; rather, it is a re-occupation of their former range. We humans drove them out of all but the northern limits of their range, by clearing forest for agriculture in the 1600s -1800s, and by over-trapping (for their beautiful pelts). Future generations came to think of them as creatures of the far northern coniferous forests, but in fact they originally ranged much further south, into mixed deciduous forests.
Now that most of New England is not used for agriculture and forest has reclaimed much of the landscape, fishers and other previously extirpated species are returning. But the “forest” in their former range is now fragmented and dominated by suburban development, so they are forced to either adapt to suburbia, or die. Naturally there will be conflict with humans and their pets. I see the return of the fisher and many other species almost as a miracle — a second chance for us to co-exist with a species we almost drove to extinction. I personally think this second chance is probably our last chance, because development is advancing so rapidly, that if we push them out of “our” land again, they will have no place to go.
I’m all for wildlife conservation and I’m a hunter / hiker. I have spent the last 15 years or so on and off season in the woods around Tolland CT. Ive seen fishers more than once, both in the woods and running across the town green. I’ve known people who raise chickens to take losses and most every other month some poor missing kitty’s picture is placed on a telephone pole or in the town bulletin board. Bad enough we have coyotes. Since the recent addition of this predator to my area the wild turkey population has taken a nose dive.
If youre going to re-introduce a predator – pray, introduce a predator to the predator to maintain balance, or don’t do it. It would be a real sad day if after all the work that was done bringing the wild turkey back home – someone brought in a species who doesn’t hunt by seasons, follow laws, or buy licenses, to eradicate them once again.
I commented once before about an issue with this nasty creature, it seems to have been resolved. I had one of my cats go missing in Sept, when I was hearing and seeing the fisher, then I had the coyotes move in closer than they ever have for a few nights, alas, no more fisher, spooked off or dead I don’t know or care, but I have no more screaming fisher in my woods since. I love coyotes….
Regarding the comments on fishers and the recent decline of turkeys in CT: Turkeys are still considered “abundant” in CT despite the recent decline. The decline is thought to be most likely related to cool, wet spring weather of recent years, which leads to reduced survival of young. If we want to blame someone for that, we’d do best to point the finger at ourselves. Unusual and more severe storm and weather patterns are part of climate change (“global warming”), which is due to the human induced increase in greenhouse gases. The fisher is native to New England, and its return is, in and of itself, a return to more balanced conditions.
About a year ago, I did an extensive lit search on the fisher’s diet. As of that point in time, not one studied showed turkeys to be a significant prey item, and in some studies, no birds of any kind were taken. From southern New England down to MD and West Virginia, common menu items were gray squirrels and deer carrion, the latter probably road kill and/or remains left in the woods by human hunters.
Last year I was riding my HD Road King along Birch Mtn Rd In Glastonbury when it was attacked by a Fisher cat ( just like the stuffed one in Cabelas). Cat came out of the woods and attempted to swat the front tire. Bent the front fender trim out 90 degrees. The rear wheel ran over the extended paw. Luckly I didn’t swerve and didn’t fall. I estimate the animal to be 30-36″ long probably weighed 20-40lbs. I didn’t stop but returned in the afternoon and did not find a body.
All things in moderation. Have a BLT sandwich once a week no problem, eat a pound of bacon every morning and your family will buy your coffin suit at the super-size store.
I hunt, I fish, I live, I coexist with be beasties of the animal world that have yet to develop thumbs and walk on their hinds. It is a glorious place at the top of the food chain.
Sorry to those of you who have lost your animals and pets that you keep in captivity as I know it is difficult to lose a fury family member. Fishers are doing there job, they are surviving. While I have some loathing for them because they eat rabbits, and I love rabbit stew I respect them for their abilities, but only in Moderation. Here in RI we trap them. Usually in box traps, but we have used kill traps for certain areas. The season is regulated by the RI DEM.
The season for your house cat however is unregulated except by you. Coyotes and foxes harvest more domestic animals and barn yard poultry than Fishers ever will due to their higher population and expansive habitat. Fisher adapt well but prefer older growth forests with heavy cover. While they may live in an hollowed tree, they are fantastic ground hunters.
If you are going to let your cat out to do his business, I would tie a small bell around its neck. We can tell the difference between Coyote, Fox and Fisher dung, so we will be able to tell which one ate Fluffy. It will be the turd with the bell in it.
I caught a fisher in a live trap a few months ago. It was probably around 38 inches… Does anybody know if you can shoot a fisher in February? Thanks.
Jim, Not in RI they are a “fur bearer” and they are harvested in a regulated season normally december. CT is similar i’m sure. call your wildlife dept to be sure.
Hey There Damnedct,
I know what you mean, Writing articles related to your business is a great way to build your link popularity and also to provide more content for your site and other sites. Not too mention it’s always nice when someone finds your site and uses it within their newsletter.
Re #82 – Jim
If the Fisher’s on your property you can kill it any time you wish – you’re protecting your territory. Don’t know what you’re “live trapping” – don’t want to know.
The Fisher was reintroduced to Ct. by the DEP a number of years ago – to aid trappers. If the trappers want fur – they should raise the damned things in cages! To introduce an animal with no other natural enemy besides man and the auto is insanity at it’s best!
They Do kill anything they get their paws on climbing trees at night to do in turkeys and squirrels… and they love the domestic cat – as does the coyote…
2/9/12 Living in Somers,Ct. for many years I have seen abundant wildlife.Have had bear destroy birdfeeders because I didn’t bring them in like i should.I have pictures of one hoping to get to my feeder but i guess i scared him taking his picture. Had a fisher come thru the yard this morning.I am convinced that storm alfred has really screwed up the wildlife.Would enjoy any e-mail anyone would like to send.
Colleen, in your ignorance you forgot to mention the biggest threat to native wildlife. Domestic cats. If your cat is missing it’s automatically a fisher, if you see a couple less turkeys, it’s a fisher. How many fisher kills have you witnessed? Yeah, that’s what I thought. Are you really that stupid to think nature works that way. When was the last species to go extinct naturally? Do you think white man got here just in time to save all the animals. Coyotes were gonna wipe out the Ct. deer herd, how’s that going so far? Maybe if you learned how to read instead of listening to Red-neck Joe who’s anti-predator to start with you might learn something!!!!!!!!!!!!
well I live in 8beach lane cuddebackville and i’m in my living room and its 12:58 and I heard a cat it sounded like a kitten but I have 5 cats one is a kitten but i’m holding her and the other cats but then I heard a meow from a kitten and I heard it twice after PLEASE let me know if you know what that was
My brother and nephew have been seeing these little creatures for years…not really so new to the area….also, the “elusive” cougar…they’re here and always have been….these guys are beautiful,but only an idiot would approach them…give’em thier space that’s all they want….admire from afar!!!
Regarding #88, Travis’s question about a meow sound he heard: There is absolutely no way that it could have been anything other than a fisher. Go outside and look up in the trees. If fishers are around, there will be body parts of large animals – horses, cows, perhaps even a child – stashed on the branches. But even if you see nothing like that, I’d say the meow sound is absolute proof of a vicious animal which puts you, your family, and cats in imminent danger, and you should evacuate the premises immediately. Good luck.
I have been searching the web to find out what exactly we saw in our stairwell. We had just come home from the movies and were headed in the basement door when my boyfriend stopped and told me to back away slowly. He told me once we got inside the house that he seen a medium sized doglike animal right in the bottom of the stairwell and didnt want to corner it and have it attack. Later on my boyfriend and I were in the kitchen making a bite to eat when we could feel a rumble on the deck and high pitched screaming. We ran to the window and opened it to hear the sound more clearly and it sounded as if a small child or dog was being murdered. I quickly ran down stairs and luckily both of my teacup chihuahua’s were safe and sound in their beds. We were pacing around the ouse trying to look out the windows and find out what was going on and if we could possibly save it. Unfortunately we couldnt spot where exactly it was coming from. My boyfriend went out the door and he said he could hear and see a shadow run away. It was a terrifieing experience, Im still shaking. Ive never heard anything that sounded like that before. It was veeerrry creepy. I had heard of the fisher before so I started looking up its characteristics on google. Ive now come to the conclusion that, that is exactly what was in our back yard. Trust me you dont want to ever find one like we did it was not a pleasant experience.
sean from question 75, and 87…. I just want to know if youve actually heard one yourself?
Im am an animal lover and I dont think that their the mass murderers that should be obvliviated but they most deffinately are murderous sounding screamers. I will be keeping my dogs in doors for now and taking them out the front on a leash till I know for sure its gone.
Chel: Wild predators that could appear dog like in the dark are: fox, coyote, raccoon, bobcat and fisher. All of them vocalize to some extent. But so do many of their prey animals. If something was killed in your yard, it was the prey animal screaming, not the predator. Cottontail rabbits in particular often let out loud, high pitched screams when caught. We humans are predators, too, we make horrifying screams, and kill billions of animals every year for food. And by all accounts, they don’t like it very much, either. Pretty creepy.
I find my own behavior as troubling as anything I’ve read here. Call it cognitive dissonance: I do not hunt yet I keep three cats, one of which “must” go out for an hour or two and I often cave to its insistence (but only mid-day, when its crepuscular instincts are at an ebb). And yes, this cat kills indiscriminately. By proxy, then, I am a threat to wildlife. Many moles, voles and chipmunks meet their demise each year due to my wish to give this cat partial freedom. Of course, the cat does not eat its hapless victims since it is so well nourished in the house. And sometimes it only engages in a catch and (bored) release game. But if it ever brings in an endangered songbird, I will be crushed.
I reside in a heavily forested, semi-rural farming and fishing town in southern New England. My home is surrounded by hundreds of acres of no-man’s-land-ish swampy woods, farms and former farms. Coyotes and fishers are common here now. One night a few year’s ago, one of my next door neighbor’s cats became coyote chow and others have gone missing since. In the last ten years, I’ve seen a steady decline in squirrels and, especially, rabbits. Yet during that time, the only harm to any of my five cats has been inflicted by other peoples’ pets. Before the three I keep now, I had two cats that were not particularly interested in hunting. One of them never caught anything it’s whole life. I always semi-monitored their outdoor time, trying to keep them on my lot. One morning, I let one out into the backyard where I could keep an eye on it while washing dishes. Because I had the water running and the storm windows were still on, I didn’t hear the barking right away; something moving up and down just behind a stone wall caught my eye. Two dogs were taking turns tearing into the cat’s belly. The cat was in shock and I rushed it to the vet only stopping to take pictures of the dogs which just happened to be high-fiveing each other down the road ahead of me.
I later homed in on the two dog owners, one of whom was very responsible, but that particular day the dog had escaped its enclosure presumably when the other, free-roaming one, egged it on. Both owners coughed up enough to pay for the two surgeries and the responsible one installed an electronic fence shortly thereafter. The free ranging dog was known in the neighborhood to sometimes exhibit its inner predator, even taking a few chickens at nearby farms.
Another time, while monitoring that cat’s brother on my back deck, I saw it streak by in one then the other direction, high tailing in advance of a large dog. This cat was very heavy, and to see it rocket up a tree to some twenty feet was alarming. Sure enough, with no horizontal branches within its reach, gravity prevailed and the cat landed on frozen ground so hard it limped for a year afterward. That dog had simply decided to accompany its owner’s neighbors who went out for a walk. These folks did not have any interest in how the dog behaved since it was not theirs. Later, trying to recoup the vet bills from this incident, the owner refused to pay, declaring she had lived for nineteen years in the neighborhood and no dog of hers had ever done such a thing. Besides, she said, her neighbor friends reported that the cat was “fine” after it fell from the tree. The cat was never right again after that, and I suspect internal organ damage contributed to it’s early death less than a couple years later.
These tales are in no way meant to downplay the threat of certain wild predators to our suburban lifestyles. I just wanted to add a different perspective to the multilog. It’s still a dog-eat-cat world no matter how benign we have lulled ourselves into thinking it is. And as culpable as I want to believe those dog owners were, it is solely MY irresponsibility that injured my pets as well as the wildlife whose niches I occupy.
We had a Fishercat on our front deck on monday morning. He or she was quite happy trying to get our garbage from the bins. When challenged, he or she wasn’t bothered and continued to delve inside the bin.
I did get a photograph of the cat but it wasn’t very clear because of the lack of morning light. We live in Alberta Canada , away from the town so I suppose the cat was at ease wandering around our acreage and not having to worry to much.
Although I wouldn’t attempt to challenge the animal, I wouldn’t like to see them hurt either. Live and let live I say, as long as they keep their distance.
There are a lot of really wacky stories on here, tails of fishercats attacking a car or a grown adult male…wacky and just about as unbelieveable as you can get. Yes, there are animals that break the size rules (google giant red Elk in England, those are for sure an anomaly)but 40 lbs for a fishercat??
I really dislike all of the, yes I’m going to say it, proaganda on this site especially, about how all “scary” wild animals should all be killed off, while house cats should be left to dessimate the local wild mouse, woodpecker and red-legged frog population in my back yard!! (LOL) The “local-yokel” methodology of story-telling, fear-mongering and flat out LYING needs to stop here.
If you think you have a problem with Fishercats or ANY large animal in your area, PLEASE call your local widlife specalist and don’t go looking online for stories and nightmares. The only people you can trust to understand the animals are the people that study and work with those animals, not those of us who troll the internet.
A Fisher cat was hit down the street from my house today. I knew when driving by it that it was a Fisher cat. I pulled over curious to see what one looked like up close. As sad as it is to see an animal dead on the side of the road, I was surprised by how well kept and shiny dark brown it was. Also no long nails., they were short and even just like a dogs. I felt bad he was in the road so I found 2 large sticks to lift him and move him. Both broke. I had to get larger ones thicker then broomsticks to try and lift him. He easily weighed about 30-35lbs. Easily! I have a Maine coons cat who weighs 23 lbs and this Fisher cat was much bigger than him.
Nicole, did you take it to a wildlife official to have the weight confirmed? If not, you are just contributing to the fear and hysteria. I’m not surprised you thought the fisher was “bigger” than your 23 lb maine coon cat. Fishers are much longer than cats, and DEAD weight feels heavier than a living animal.
If all of you people are seeing giant fishers, then why aren’t trappers getting any of them (largest one on record was trapped in Maine and weighed 20 lbs, 2 oz.) ? If anything, the fishers that trappers get should be skewed towards the heavier end of the spectrum, because males are notoriously easier to trap than females. And why do wildlife trackers, like myself, continue to see only normal size fisher footprints? Hmm…something’s fishy.
I came by a dead animal in the road yesterday-face missing and mangled. I thought it was a mink but, after reading this forum I’m fairly sure it was a Fisher due to its size and characteristics. This carcass was just south of Albany, NY and has me wondering this animal’s range(?)
Thanks, for all the comments! Fishers are fascinating animals. Wildlife is amazing!
…Oh another interesting note (that I didn’t see anyone mention). The smell of the dead animal was like that of a skunk’s musk. I’ve read that all Mustelids have this characteristic-kind of makes the lore even more frightening ha.
I live in west springfield ma and we were awoken at 5 am to extremely loud animal screaming /screeching. Upon investigation we found a fisher had chased my neighbors cut up the tree right outside our bedroom window. The noise as well as the rigorous shaking of the branches went on for about 25 mins before the fisher either got startled or gave up and took off cuz it couldn’t get to the cat. Never have I heard such a terrifying noise.
Cats make terrifying noises when they are terrified.
No I didn’t bring it to have it weighed becauce I didn’t want to put a dead animal in the car that unfortunetly had guts coming out of its mouth. Sorry to contribute to the hysteria but I saw what I saw and felt its weight when I moved it off the road. I’m a personal trainer and massage therapist so I have a pretty good idea what something weighs. Besides, dead weight is actual weight. It was big, not as ugly or scary as I had been told. Beautiful coat, cute ears, and fat cute feet. They get a bad rap because they have know where else to go with overdevelopment everywhere! Food is food to them. Not as bad as the hunters I see when I ride my horse hunting when they could just go to stop and shop. Half the animals end up suffering and diening in the woods and not being used. Unless you don’t have the money to buy it then its fine to kill it and provide it. Nevertheless, if my small dog or cat were killed by one I’d be devestated but its nature. Are we gonna kill all the hawks and eagles too? Anyway he was big, real big. Kind of cute. 🙂
These things are simply vermin and no good to nature not to mention civilization. They must be made extinct one bullet at a time or trapped and shot or starved. This attitude to leave them alone to nature is the thinking of nit wits.
I live in Harwinton CT and I heard this blood awful scream. I thought it was a woman. I looked outside and it looked like a dog because it was so big. My neighbor says it’s a Fisher Cat and it ate his Cat and her Kittens. :*(
Skyguy, that’s quite an attitude you have re wildlife – or anything you happen to think of as “vermin”. I have observed over the years that a very small segment of the human population, for some reason, seems to have a personal, intense hatred for predators. Yet you – all of us – are the apex predator, so where does that leave you and us? “Leaving them alone to nature” is not “the thinking of nit wits” as you so innacurately describe, but rather those with a greater sensitivity and recognition of the term “biodiversity”. Exterminating a species, as you propose is an unacceptable solution, not that there needs to be a solution at all. Thankfully the vast majority of humans would reject your perspective.
mary beth, you have done a magnificent job with your accuracy and efforts to educate those who are needlessly fearful and for those who just don’t get it. Yes, fishers are wild animals and in the right combination of circumstances could potentially be dangerous, but keeping pets contained and monitored and by using a little common sense, they are an incredible addition to our wildlife population.
Bethel, CT – On March 19th in the Turkey Plain neighbohood, I heard a scream that I though might be just crows. I went out on the deck and looked in the trees to locate the screamer. I glanced down into the valley, about 200 feet below, and saw a red fox making the scream, yes, of a woman being attacked. The fox trotted away but then, scanning the area with 10X binoculars, I saw in that same area a brown animal balled up in a sapling that was bent over from the weight. We watched for quite a while wondering if it was dead, and also wondering what it was. Clearly it was not a raccoon, but it was treed by the fox. From its round ears, it looked like a monkey, but that wasn’t likely in Connecticut.
A few minutes later, the brown animal jumped to the ground. I know immediately from its form that it was a Fisher. A large one, 4 feet long; certainly a male, given that size.
The Fisher started its way out of the valley in the opposite direction that the fox had departed. A couple minutes later, the fox returned to pursue the fisher. While the fox was healthy, it was no match for the fisher. Nevertheless, the fox stayed right behind the fisher, nipping at its tail all the way. I can only imagine that the fisher got too close to the fox den, and the mom was going to fend off the fisher regardless of the mismatch.
We watched the fox and fisher for about 45 minutes. The fox screamed often, but the fisher made no noise at all, and did not even rear up at the fox.
I had seen a family of fishers once in the Adirondacks, but we felt very lucky to see this one in CT. We have white tail deer, fox, fisher, coyote, turkey, owls, hawks, skunks, raccoons, and pileated woodpeckers on our 19 acres. All are welcome; hunters are not. We have a domestic cat, who used to be a outdoor cat in a high traffic neighborhood until we moved to the woods. It was not a problem at all to convert him to an indoor cat.
We look forward to seeing the fisher again.
George, thanks for the compliment!
Time – I love your story. It is believable and your interpretation is reasonable. Foxes do “scream”, and I am convinced that many people who assume that a scream they heard was made by a fisher, actually heard a red fox. The vast majority who report these screams admit to never actually seeing the animal while it was vocalizing, and those that say they did see a fisher scream are usually not credible because their stories are embellished with other unbelievable details.
I think you’re right — the fisher could have killed the fox if it wanted to. But not without a fight. Better for the fisher to lurk and try to get the young when parents are away on a hunt.
Nicole – you indicated that the nails on the road kill fisher were short, like a dog’s. However, unlike a dog, the fisher’s claws are retractable. In the relaxed dead state, the claws would appear short. You would have had to press on the paw pads, like you would to a house cat, to reveal the claws.
Tim – The fisher’s claws are not retractable. Not fully retractable, anyway. In the relaxed state, the claws are visible, and a dead fisher’s claws do appear to be about the length of a dog’s claws, as Nicole describes.
I believe Nicole saw what she saw but dramatically over estimated the animal’s weight, despite her experience as a personal trainer and her familiarity with a 23 lb cat. Dead weight is true weight, as she says, but it feels heavier because a dead animal cannot adjust its position and distribute its weight when picked up, like a live cat does. If there were 30 lb fishers, as she estimates, we trackers would be seeing much larger tracks, and trappers would be capturing some of these giants. I’ve been tracking fishers for almost 10 years now, and none of the tracks I’ve seen have been larger than what I would expect for a fisher in the typical weight range of 5-15 lbs.
I thought a lot about what George said aboiut biodiversity and such and how wrong to for me to call folks “nit wits.” Well he is correct. I should not have made such an accusation,. I did get educated about these critters (George can I call them “critters” instead of “vermin”?).
We trapped, killed and skinned one that had set up shop where all ours and our neighbor’s pets play. There is a lot I didn’t know about them that I know now, but I still don’t like them. Whatever we call it, it is dead and we haven’t lost any more pets since, Nasty little critter!
Mary Beth: My comment on retractable claws was based upon information in the species description at the top of this web page. If the Fisher does not have retractable claws, maybe Damned CT needs to correct the description.
Tim – yes, I see it, they do say it at the top of the page. But it is incorrect. They probably got the idea of retractable claws from the misnomer “fisher cat”, also at the top of the page. (BTW, the 1st photo they had at the top of the page was of a mink. They did eventually correct that!)
Damned Wikipedia! Beware “facts.”
Thanks, Tim. I checked the paper by Powell that wikipedia referenced. It says “claws are retractable but less so than those of felids…” So they are partially retractable – good to learn that – I was not aware of that. But in a relaxed state, fisher claws do stick out, and look about dog length. At least that was the case for a dead one I saw, and for other dead ones I’ve seen photos of. Also, in good tracking substrate, you can virtually always see claw mark in fisher tracks, indicating that they do stick out. The claws of felids, in contrast, are fully retractable and don’t stick out as much in a relaxed state. Likewise, claw marks are rarely visible in felid tracks, even in good tracking substrate.
The CT-DEP site is mentioning Semi-Retractable…
I did have a mink photo up when I posted this, it was most embarrassing. I actually posted this article to get people talking about the sounds they make and if they do indeed sound so horrible. But instead I have ended up learning a lot more about the fisher which is great!
So are they retractable/semi or neither?
Keep posting and I will correct the post where it needs it.
Wikipedia referenced an article by Powell, who is probably the world expert on fishers, as he studied them and other mustelids for many years. In the article, he says the claws are “retractable but less so than those of felids”. “Semi-retractable” would therefore be more accurate.
Steve, I am glad you posted this article and have allowed comments to continue. It’s great for people to share ideas, however, I do wish you would change this sentence:
“Fishers are also known for one of their calls, which is often said to sound like a child screaming”.
Fisher “screaming” may or may not be factual. In all his work with the species, Powell never reported anything like screaming. Nor have virtually all other biologists, trappers, and trackers who study them. I’ve managed to find only one reputable source that says male fishers may screech during territorial disputes.
Thanks Ill make a change tonight.
Steve, you still make it sound like it is a fact that fishers scream. I have not been able to find any reliable source documenting it. Have you? If so, please enlighten. The youtube video you link to sounds like a fox to me, but you cannot see the animal, so we’ll never know for sure. Therefore your statement is misleading.
Sorry forgot to publish changes.
I let my cat roam during the day. I know she hunts, mostly mice and the occasional squirrel. I brought her home mostly for that purpose. I live very rural and mice are a severe problem. We also understand that letting her out for this has made her part of the food chain. We discuss with our son quite often that one day she just may not come home, and that we could have her live much longer if we kept her inside. On that note we all agree, its the quality of her years not the quantity. She is loved by us, and she loves us likewise and we take precautions (call her in before twilight and not let her out till the sun is high). But please all, keep in mind as we do, if you let your pet into nature, they will become part of nature. With all its benefits and risks.
Get a bigger cat! so he can be closer to the top of the “food chain” Please guys enough with the waxing philosophical on Mother nature and the food chain! This site is dedicated to Fishers not house cats and their daily diet, and the possibility of them becoming an item anothers diet. M.
Last summer we heard the screaming sound outside our window night after night. We thought for sure it was a fisher. Then one night it walked right down our dark street screaming away. Very haunting eerie sound. To our surprise it was not a fisher. It was a red fox. We had no idea they made that kind of sound. I think something was wrong with him though because he would lay on the rocks down the hill in the evening during daylight and one day he was on our porch. He even tried to approach my husband on the yard. A neighbor said she heard noise in her yard one night and he was playing with her cat. Never saw it again after several weeks of it being around. So a fox can certainly be mistaken for a fisher scream.
Living in Oxford, ct on the edge of about 100 wooded acres, we see / hear our fair share of wildlife and never have we seen or had any contact with a fisher. We hear the “Screams” that everyone here keeps mentioning but the only ones we hear are those of coyotes or the prey they or something else has caught. I don’t know how everyone is so certain the screaming is coming from a Fisher, esp. it (the fisher) has never been documented screaming….. ever! Ever hear a Rabbit’s screams when it is getting attacked by another animal? sounds like a woman being brutally killed… and a Coyote makes one heck of a racket when it gets a kill. And while a fisher MAY take a house cat now and then, most likely its a coyote thats killing everyones cats, or an extremely huge owl or Hawk. Something had got one of my cats 3 times in one summer… he’d come in with a huge hole in his hind quarters just above the left rear leg, our vet thought it was a BB or Pellet would but never found one and did notice the puncture was sorts curved like it was made by a hook shaped object…like a beak. She said it could have even been a crow!
I’m a wildlife biology student and the last year of my life has been spent researching fisher populations in NY. Im glad to say that Fisher are now repopulating their historical range. Fishers we all but extirpated from many areas of the Northeast in the last century. So, you moved into your neighborhood 20 years ago, when fishers were just starting their rebound and now your married with three kids, a cat, and a white picket fence. Suddenly a wild animal who for thousand upon thousands of years before you, has inhabited the area where you decided to buy your home, and you want them out of the picture? Does anyone realize how ridiculous that is? That’s completely ignorant, unfair, and down right disgusting. I mean really, complaining about wildlife near your home? I suppose that’s the fault of the wildlife, not the parasitic species known as the human race, populating every corner of the globe, destroying every habitat they encounter, and in doing so ruin the natural order of the world. Look, we have to find a way to co-exist with fishers and all other carnivores with a bad reputation. You can’t take away/build a home in their habitat and then complain about them trying to survive. If they had somewhere else to go believe me they would, fishers are known as one of the most secretive and elusive animals in north america, traditionally living in the deep woods. If you want to be proactive in maintaining a health fisher population go take a trappers safety course and get out there and start trapping them legally. You might learn something about what life is really about if you spent some time in the forest taking in nature.
How is trapping them going to maintain a “healthy population”, Dan?
Who exactly determines a healthy number of animals? Does it mean if we don’t CONTROL them, they will sicken and die? Or does it mean something else?
If we’re only seeing their rebound recently, why are you encouraging trapping….and how do you determine the population level acceptable enough so that trapping would be acceptable (by some)?
I think damnedct has found its official mascot! Long Live the Fisher!
buying land and moving into the Fishers (or other wildlife) areas and then trying to get rid of them so WE can live comfortable is kinda almost a little like what we did to the American Indians back in the 1800’s, no? a li’l bit?
Maybe we cand give the Fishers blankets laoded with small pox…
One night I heard a noise like this too, Fahgeddaboudit, it sounded like some dame was getting her ticket punched or something, the next morning when I woke up, my old lady was missing. Oh well, at least I know there aren’t any of these fisher things in my yard. Mannaggia, It would be a terrible tragedy if they was to wack one (or all) of my wifes beloved pet cats!
I have to say, that if I had NOT seen it i would have not believed it. Not Only do we have one that lives out back we have seen it kill and have had to endure the “screaming” yes when we get to close to it in the bush area we can hear the growl or hissing noise it makes. My friend saved a baby deer from one, and yes wildlife rescue came out to thier house to investigate what happened and took the baby deer to a rescue place until it could be helped and placed back into the wild. I dont care what scientist do and dont do, when your being watched all the time your not in your eliment! But as most can read on here we all have seen them we all know they are real, and they do “scream” ours is just a bit bigger than my cat in hight. My cat is about 16 pounds and so this Fisher is aprox in weight but definatly taller. it is a deep choco/clk like a mink with LONG Claws. I saw it up the tree the other day scared me! But, like all animals these Fishers are good at keeping Porcupines off the hwy and out of other people and dog area’s .
Ooooooooohhhhhhh!!! Thank god your friend saved the adorable, little baby deer cause god knows there’s not enough deer in Ct. What have you seen it kill? A mouse, a squirrel? What? They don’t scream
One more thing. Why were you scared of an animal that eats squirrels? Do you believe all this crap these liars are saying?
Because, it was up the tree above me and startled me! I do not know what it was chewing up but I can assure you it was making a wrethced sound! a Screaming noise at first I thought it was hurt. I could see it plain as day out the kitchen window it was on the grass by the tree line it wasnt even 20 feet so I could see it just fine. And yes The poor Baby Doe, it wasnt but a few days old! also to complain about Deer, Sean there arent a 1/3 of the deer here then where I am from. I dont mind the deer as long as they stay out of my horse feed. Fisher’s have a job and a place in New England and that is to eat Porcupines and other little creatures to keep them off the hwy’s and road ways.
I love deer too, and it’s hard to see a baby animal die, but don’t forget that we humans kill billions of animals each year to feed ourselves, and the vast majority of them are held captive by people in miserable conditions for most of their lives. I’ve never known fishers to do any such thing. And even the most outrageous and embellished accounts of screaming giant fishers have said nothing of fisher-run filthy factory farms where their prey animals are imprisoned in crowded squalor, until death. No, by all accounts, the fisher, whatever it sounds like and however it spends its time, is far more humane than people. Its food animals live in freedom up until death.
Ever see a male deer taken by a pack of coyotes? I swear they all went for the testicles first. They ate it alive. Nature is not humane in the least. And humans are part of nature, we are acting as we were designed, evolution doesn’t make mistakes that last, and if we end up killing ourselves on the world then we too will become extinct.
Tobey, read about commercial animal farms, and you will learn that we do is far worse than what that pack of wolves did. And yet our brains give us the capacity to empathize and make choices. Indeed, we might well end up destroying ourselves, but is that a reason to accept self destruction as a given? I, for one, am willing to adapt and make changes that tip the balance towards long term survival, but if you’re saying you can’t change, then go ahead and let your own gene pool die out, that’s your choice. May the fittest survive.
“Well if you can change, and I can change then…..everybody can change” ROCKY 4.
The number of tree-hugging, sophomoric, Birkenstock-wearing, Outback-driving “global warmers” on this site is a little overwhelming. Two in particular, Sean and Mary Beth, are somewhat vociferous in their pitiful attempts to justify why man is the disease that afflicts this planet.
My suggestion is that if you truly feel that way, reduce your carbon footprint by removing your genes from the global pool before you spawn.
I’m sure that I’ll bear the full wrath of the uberlibs for this, but frankly, I don’t give a rat’s patootie. Those of us that believe in hunting, trapping or fishing do the lion’s share of the actual, useful work in managing the actual wildlife in this country. And best of all, we usually manage to to it without ridiculous or frivolous lawsuits or any of the vicious vituperative that comes from those largely represented here.
I mistakenly came to this site to look into the life cycle and habits of the fisher cat. Now, before you self-righteous, narrow-minded hypocritical animal rights-types wet yourself in indignation, yes, I am aware that it is neither a fisher nor a cat. That is, however, the common parlance for the animal. Get over it. Yes, they do scream. I have seen it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears. No, they do not target domestic animals, but are certainly opportunistic predators that will kill a cat or a dog if they can. My original question was whether or not they could be live-trapped and released somewhere else.
I have changed my feelings on that. I believe that I will live trap it and then convert it into a hat.
Yes, they have a place in our world, just not in close proximity to heavily populated areas. Just so you don’t waste your time in wasted rebuttal, I will not be visiting this site again. There are too many far-left sites already.
Dusty, Well said! I like you! and Yes the wildlife agent that came over to the neighbors had told us that if the Fisher cat, continues to be a bother we could re contact thier dept and they would come trap and remove it to a better location.
This past weekend I was in the Lake George area. In Boltan Landing, NY, at the Black Bass Antique Shop, which specializes in vintage fishing equipment and restored outboard motors, they have a Fisher taxidermy which I had a chance to closely examine. The claws are similar to cat’s claws rather than dog claws. That is, they are thin and sharp rather than thick and blunt.
I feel the same as Dusty but only in a totally opposite direction. Its the over populating humans who are making things crowded here on this planet. When will everyone realize that getting married does no automatically mean you have to start bringing all these kids into this already over populated world. What happens in 50 or 100 years from now? there wont be anything left to hunt or eat, no more clean water to drink, no more room for expansion. And its all because everyone feels like they need to make babies. Hey Dusty, why not live trap the neighbors and make hats out of them? youd actually be doing more good for the planet than killing the animals. And to those of you who are upset about your cat getting eaten, dont declaw it first off, its mean and takes away its only defense and its painful and akin to having your fingertips pulled off from the first knuckle. Secondly: Dont let your animals roam and stop it withthe rediculas underground fences, that possibly the dumbest thing ever invented! your dog cant leave but other animals (kids) can come in and get bit or bite your pet. Stupid!
Dusty, this is just one forum on the site. I do like your fire and forget approach to posting 🙂 Best way to get the last word.
Damnedct.com is run by four people, all with different political/religious/social beliefs. We manage to be civil and even friends. So I’m sure the forums can do the same.
(Ron Paul 2016!)
No forums can remain civil if politics become part of the discussion; I offer as People’s Exhibit #1 Dusty’s post, which turned an issue-based discussion into yet another “those damn libbrals” rants with no real point.
Ban overt political discussion here. There are millions of forums overrun by pointless political bickering. Not here!
I agree and I’m happy to ignore our little visit from Elmer Fudd. He fwashed his gun big and stwong, but wan away vewy, vewy fast.
LOL! Good mary beth! Dusty is long gone by now…and he certainly showed us….he’s not coming back for rebuttal! Bet he takes a little peek, though 😉
When he wrote >>”Those of us that believe in hunting, trapping or fishing do the lion’s share of the actual, useful work in managing the actual wildlife in this country”<< I knew what we were dealing with and I'll respond the way I usually do to this rhetoric: Exactly what "work" do you do, Dusty? Oh, I see, you "manage" wildlife. Is that for wildlife's benefit – or yours??
Well its good that Dusty doesnt wanna come back…this way now, we can talk s**t about him behind his back. lol,lol,lol….
i think considering the topic, we can safely say we are talking scat?
Whatever you want to call it, scat, or s**t for “common parlance”, Crusty plopped a big one on us, then skittered back into his burrow for safety. So I don’t think it’s out of line to talk “behind his back”. He is free to pop his head back out and engage in rational discussion.
I have a Fisher Cat screaming outside my door right now, and I don’t want him here. I claim my small little piece of this earth, just like many other animals claim theirs. He will be trapped and relocated. The rest of “my” acres are for whatever wants to live there.
It is really interesting how much misinformation there is out there about Fishers. Fishers do scream, and when they’re mating it’s like a really loud cat fight, very different from Fox, and Coyotes mating. They do eat cats, yeah, I’m sure. If they find an easy food source, they are going to hang around until it is gone.
I grew up in a big city, and moved to the country, (very rural, on a beaver pond-which is awesome!). I had certain opinions coming from the city, and learned the reality of nature by living in it, and by talking to other folks who live in it. Among a million other things, I now understand the value of hunting, look it up, if you are actually interested. I value the information given by the folks here who have learned from experience the behaviors of Fisher Cats they have encountered, and took the time to share.
never ever seen one of these until Sunday x3 ..scary
I’ve heard all the scary stories of the Fishercat and have always been terrified. I have lived in Lyme for 5 years and we have a pair that live behind our garage. I thought of trapping them, November 1 through 30, but then again, they take care of the mouse, squirrel and chipmunk problem. We also have no racoons, skunks or oppossums. They do scream. They enjoy having their conversations in my driveway about 10 every night during the spring to early summer. Sometimes it is playful and other times it is down right obnoxious, loud and frightening. I’ve seen them during the day just taking a casual stroll down the driveway and then going into the woods. I’m careful to close my dog door at night, do not leave trash outside and make sure my cat is safe. I have yet to loose a pet to a Fisher. They are a beautiful creature, from afar. I just wish they were polite neighbors!
I live in Washington, CT. Last week I heard this sound that I took for a baby crying out for help. it sounded like a eerie please help I am dying kind of sound. At first I thought what the heck was that. I had the (not so happy) pleasure of hearing him make his sound for 2 hours that night. I have been trying to figure out what it was. after a lot of searching and reading and just talking to other locals. I will say with out a doubt it was a Fisher Cat. (albeit not a cat at all, but good to know what it was). It had me so scared I did not even want to go to work the next day for fear it would be in yard again at 1am when I got home. Have not heard him since. But I know he’s around. I keep telling all my neighbors that live here to keep there animals in at night. most don’t listen and think i am blowing smoke). Having lived across from a swamp that is infested with Coyote’s and other predatory animals you would think one would learn. HMM. Any way thank you for this site and all the knowledge you are sharing about the fisher cats.
We recently lost 7 turtles out of our little turtle pool to a fisher cat. Apparently it was smart enough to pry the night time cover off, and basically had a nice midnight snack. It chewed the head off one turtle, left an empty shell of another, and the rest were entirely gone. I am reasonably sure it was a fisher because our neighbor saw it crossing the street. We’ve had our turtles out in our back yard in spring and summer for over 10 years and never a problem until now. Horrifying. Our last survivor is only out now in broad daylight and comes into the house in the evening. I know this is just nature doing what it does, but losing our pets was heartbreaking and we have learned a painful lesson.
Aw, so sorry, Lisa. We, too lost a box turtle that was a pet…we’d made it a little summer outdoor habitat…I believe a raccoon took him. Yes, a painful lesson indeed.
It’s their nature and we can’t hold it against them, yet it’s sometimes difficult to “forgive” wildlife for doing what comes naturally to them, especially when we’re directily affected.
Minks live in Coastal Connecticut. Female Fisher Cats are the same size and color as minks. I have seen dead minks. Confirmed.
In my town, people are buzzing about Fisher Cats. But the fact is, they do not live in water a. Minks like watery areas.
So I am skeptical of reports of Fishers on the shoreline.
Will a fisher cat enter a small horse barn? I have a small pony in there, along with two horses. I hear the fisher screams at night and am concerned about the pony. I just heard the screams a short time ago and they woke me up. It is 1 a.m. She has a half door that I wonder if a fisher would actually hop over and go in after her? Everyone tells me not to worry but if she needs more protection I need to know. Can anyone tell me whether or not my pony is safe in the barn? She is right at the entrance of the barn also. If needed, I can put up bars on her stall to protect her more. Would like to know what people think. Thanks.
You betcha! These vermin will attack a grown man if it could get away with it…way I see it ain’t no creature created by Our Lord would be safe with these devils. Please protect your pony! I wish I had been warned before I lost some of my dearest pets to a very violent death. You have the opportunity to protect yours… Best of Luck and God Bless
Sue: Yes indeed!:
But seriously, I think a fisher will go for an injured, minature pony if the latter is alone. I would think the horses would give a fisher a good swift kick if it dared approach, but I am no horse expert, and have no idea if they typically protect one another. If I had a minature pony housed alone, I would worry more about a pack of coyotes, and would make sure the housing is coyote proof. Don’t know if that is necessary with the 2 horses in there.
My wife and I live in Lebanon Connecticut… Just experienced the screaming of a fisher cat. We were in the yard with the kids and it sounded like a woman getting murdered coming from the woods… My friend dave was visiting and witnessed the screaming as well… So we ventured into the woods to see what the heck was going on… At first I thought someone had lost their pet monkey, because this thing moved fast and it was very dark and surprisingly large. We got closer and Dave pointed out its arched back …. It was clear that it was a Fisher cat…. A YouTube video of a screaming fisher was identical to what we heard… I’m a 31 year old grown man. I walked towards that thing with fear as if I was in a horror movie. I just can’t believe that it is some sort of urban myth about the screaming. Fisher cats definitely scream…
Oh no – I’ve heard Fisher Cats invade homes and carry off small children in the night – there was another reported case where a grown 250 pound man had is leg ripped off and bled to death before help could arrive – and – I have a friend that has a friend who’s second cousin twice removed – had the wheel torn off his car while driving down the road by another fisher cat. These are dangerous beasts and they make scary noises in the night. Beware…
Quick – let’s kill them all before they have a chance to truly recover.
Get real people – small pets might be at risk – a Fisher Cat is not the boogie man. Ecosystems around the world are being destroyed at an unprecedented rate – by us. This should be a positive footnote of a species back from near extinction. Really – how narcissistic – we destroy or consume just about everything in our path. Now there are folks who want to exterminate a native species because it might attack fluffy the house cat. I guess some people just like feel they are entitled to choose which species live and which species die.
Really – what gives you the right ?
Ha ha ha! you all are so gullible. Yes, it is I, the great Fisher Cat from CT!!! Yes, i scream in the night, its what i do…I have night terrors, so screw you all! I will eat your kitties of i can catch them..most times, I am too slow, they can out run me 90% of the time. I can be identified by my arched back (like a coon) and my lumbersom gait (like a skunk) in fact, alot of people will often see a coon in the night and mistake it for me. im here to ask you, DO I LOOK LIKE A COON? I am brown, not grey, I dont have a mask and Im not as big!!! sa for my supposed screaming heard all over the place, every night… Did you know, there are 100’s more Coyotes in the state than Fishers? (Oh yeah, i am NOT a Fisher Cat, I am a Fisher damn it, get it right!) Did you know, when a coyote makes a kill, or during a kill, or even in a fight or during sex, it will make a “Scream like a women being killed” ? Another screamer is the cute little bunny rabbet (yum!!!) when a rabbit is being mauled to death, it will scream like a crazy human posting on a fisher cat forum! So, before you go and put the blame on me for every missing pet, pony, human, car, bank robbery… fraud….what ever you humans like to blame on me… remember, if you dont know, dont preach! Also, to the woman with the sick pony, i wont go near something that big but a couple hungy coyotes might…MIGHT! Id say stop posting here and call a vet. Also, Like I said, I dont chase my prey, I sit and wait for it to come to me.. so you wont see me running after fluffy the kitty, you wont see me “Dart” away, you will see me, wobble off like some stew bum on a bender.
– The Fisher.
…. and one more thing.. do not fear me, I am one of gods creatures and I am capable of showing love and affection to all life, but just like humans, i am a meat eater (actual humans were actually made to be vegitarian… you all started eating meat because of your urge to kill things!) I need meat to survive, it is the only thing to eat in the long cold winters and in the hot summers. But Do not fear me, because to fear me is to fear yourself and to fear god also. I am furry and soft and downright cute (look at my photo up there on the top of this page1) I would love to cuddle on your lap and be carresed and talked to in a soft voice, I like belly rubs and a gentle scratch under my chin. So, when you (if you) see me, do not run or shoot or throw stuff at me, tell me im a cuty and ask me to please not eat your kitty… if your nice, I just might leave fluffy alone.
Good one Fisher…
I’ve heard strange unrecognizable screams in the night for years – the first time we heard it we thought it was an animal snagged in a trap or something – my fiancé sent me out in the middle of the night to look for an animal in distress. Just this past weekend – I actually saw one running along the side of the road. I’ve been stomping the woods since I was a kid and didn’t have a clue as to what it was. My first thought was a Wolverine – after checking my facts – I discovered we didn’t have Wolverines in NY. I did some more searching and discovered it was a Fisher. I found some You-Tube videos and immediately recognized the sound as that which I have been hearing around my home for years. I’m over in Sullivan County NY.
The encounter made my day…
And – LOL – all my body parts are still attached…
Why anyone would want to kill them all is beyond me. They belong here just as much as we do. (actually more than we do if you consider the fact they we took the land from the natives. Generally they will be as afraid of us as we are them. hello people we are far to big for them. wanting to kill them off is an immature attitude to possess. simply co-exist. You don;t want you pets to become dinner than damn it keep them inside. (it’s where they belong any how. House cat implies I live in the house. Not outside it. Think about that. use your common sense and stop wanting to mean to these animals. YES the screams at night did scare me the first I heard them. but.. I am not afraid of them.
Cant we all just get along?
If you dont want me in your yard, get a fence. Dont expect me to know if I am or am not welcome, Sheesh! I am an animal, I cant read!! Now I gotta go, I have some screaming to do.
Folks come to this site to share experiences, and look for more information on Fishers. Noble goal, concidering the lack of Fisher info out there. The rest of you need to stay on your meds, and go to a different site with those of your kind.
After having that Fisher (#150), hang around for a few nights, screaming in the woods, and one night actually pacing back and forth in my driveway!! screaming, he moved on. No food here. I got a very good look at him, while he was screaming. I yelled at him, the way you would chase away a bear, to no effect. I was very, careful about getting the cat in every night, (not feeding him during the day, and giving him the good stuff, to get him in at night), and not letting the dog out when she smelled Fisher, and wanted to protect our home area, (didn’t want a vet bill). Having a dog usually keeps most critters away from your doorstep, it’s a territory thing, but not the Fisher. He is a ballsy and aggressive animal.
These are small animals- Pony is very safe from fishers Susan.
Depends on the Dog Anne, mine is a yellow lab. He will chase animals but maybe because of the mouth thing with labs he doesn’t actually bite them hard enough. The worst hes faced was a skunk, and ummm the skunk won. If you have a more aggressive dog I’m thinking it would be a quick fight. Im pretty sure the fisher would run if it saw a dog coming at it. Most animals in nature tend to run from dogs. They fight when they know they will win or not get hurt or for dominance within their society.
My dog is a Rottie/Shepard mix, she’s a sweetie, but has that protector, gladiator, thing going on. She did not like that Fisher hanging around. I’ve seen her encounter skunk, porcupine, squirrels bore her, the bear was a curiousity, frogs are fun. The growl coming out of her was serious, and threatening. She spent those days when the Fisher was around, patrolling the house, and guarding the cat, high alert. One of the ways I knew the Fisher had moved on, was that her behavior changed. I was so impressed with the Fishers aggressiveness that I didn’t want to chance letting her out, she’s never been in a fight before. Better safe, than sorry, ya know?
Anne, if they are coming here for info then its no wonder they are all getting it wrong.
So far we have:
People who have seen me run quickly
people who have actually seen me screaming in the yard or driveway or someplace yet, have never got it on video to PROVE I scream!
People have been attacked by me
People have been stalked by me, According to this site, I have even stalked a smoker from up a tree!!!
I’ll eat a horse
I’ll kill a large dog
I will eat all your live stock..
Yeah, this is not the place to come for info on me and my kind… Thanks
– The Fisher.
I will be honest and only read the first 40 or so posts, but I can tell you that last night I saw with my own eyes and heard with my own ears a fisher cat screaming. I watched it for about 5 minutes while it came out from behind a neighbors house, walked across another neighbors property and then around the back of that house back into the woods. (About 20 seconds before it made it’s appearance the neighborhood black cat came running out of the same area). We just moved into a rather rural area that is bordered by a few hundred acres of woods. I have seen coyote tracks and deer tracks, seen turkeys and fox back there. I had never heard a fisher cat before and both my fiance and I were wondering what the noise was. And then we saw it and heard it. If I had known there was no video of it, I would have taken some as it was clear as day and very close. All I can say is the sound is exactly what I heard on the youtube soundclip I googled for fisher cat noises, just much louder and closer than the one in the soundclip.
Glad to hear you think my pony will be okay. Making me feel a LOT better. 🙂 When I was driving along the main road 5 minutes from my house we saw a fisher cat along the woods on the side of the road moving along. FYI, they look really, really wierd when they move. But I can tell you I did see one and they do exist. My neighbor says there used to be a lot of them around here, but I think there still are unfortunately
Rob from RI: Which sound clip was it like? Can you post the link? I ask because there are many different sound clips posted and assumed to be coming from a fisher. Some are clearly other species, such as barred owls or red foxes, so I would love to know which clip matches what you heard.
Also, are you sure it was not the cat making the noise? You could see the animal while it was vocalizing and were sure it was not the cat?
Any body know what the range is for a Fisher? How big is their territory?
Mary Beth, Have you never heard a Fisher? Just like a baby barred owl and a red fox, sound similar, they are not the same sound. A cat can’t make the sound of a Fisher screaming, even if it’s being killed by a Fisher, yes, I know what that sounds like too. That Fisher that was pacing back and forth in my driveway and screaming, #150, even had different vocalizations when they were mating years ago in the woods near my house. Very, very different than foxes, or coyoties mating.
Anne, barred owls and foxes do not sound at all alike. The so called fisher sounds posted on the web that I have heard are identifiable as either owl or fox. I really think in most cases people are assuming that what they have heard is a fisher, because they saw a fisher in the area at one time or another, when in reality the sounds are made by something else. Most of these people seem to have little experience with, and knowledge of, wildlife. Sometimes the stories are embellished with unbelievable details, so I am skeptical.
I spend a lot of time in the woods, have been tracking fishers for years, and have never heard one “scream”. I am not the world’s expert on fishers, but as far as I know, the world’s experts on fishers agree that they do not scream. I see in some of the comments that people poo-poo the words of scientists, but frankly, the latter are the ones who have been studying them for years both in the wild and in captivity, and publish their findings in peer reviewed journals, not just on the web, so I put more trust in their words.
I did find passing mention by one scientist that male fishers “scream” during territorial disputes, but I would expect that to occur too rarely to account for the many reports we see on the internet (most of which are easily identifiable as another species anyway).
All of that said, most studies on fishers were done in the far north, where they exist at lower density than what we now have here in New England. It is certainly possible that some fisher behaviors and vocalizations are more or less common here, where conditions are different.
I don’t mean to be dismissive of your, or anyone else’s, word, but I do not automatically take them at face value, because there have been too many dramatic reports about wildlife from the public that turn out to be something much less exciting. For example: reports from people who are absolutely certain they saw an enormous feline that must be a cougar, where the tracks left by the animal indicate something no larger than a house cat.
Anne, the home range size of a fisher varies tremendously depending on habitat “quality” which is defined in terms of food availability. For the northeastern US, home range size is up to 20 sqaure miles where prey is scarce, and as little as 3 square miles where prey is abundant. In lightly developed suburbs of MA and CT, fisher home range size is probably at the smaller end of the spectrum, given the abundance of small prey like squirrels and mice in “edge habitat”.
Home range size also varies by sex: males need about twice as much area as females. A male’s territory might overlap somewhat with those of a few females, but males generally don’t overlap with other males, and females usually don’t overlap with other females.
Prior to European settlement, the geographic range of the fisher probably ranged as far south as North Carolina and Tennessee in the Appalachian Mtns in the east, into Southern California and Idaho in the west, and into Illinois in the mid-west. During the 1800s and early 1900s, they were extirpated from much of their former range due to over-trapping and deforestation, but hung on in the boreal forests of the far north.
With recovery of forests in the eastern US, fishers are gradually reclaiming their former range, and, as of 2005, had re-established themselves as far south as West Virginia and Maryland.
Mary Beth… Frankly, you are just completely wrong. I think you and other “professionals” need to spend a little more time in the woods. I work with professional people all day long who are proven wrong on many occasions…. Fisher cats scream. That’s all there is to it. I’ve seen it with my own eyes and so have many others. Maybe it will be a lesson learned for you…. Professionals are just people like the rest of us. They are wrong sometimes. As are you.
Scott, thank you for sharing your opinion. While it’s true that neither scientists nor the scientific method are perfect, I have a little more faith in them than in rumor. Call me crazy, but I would rather have my doctor, for example, base her diagnostic and treatment decisions on actual studies than on public hearsay. To each his own, I guess.
Had a doctor diagnose me with herpes of the eye once…. Confused and depressed I went home with a prescription for valtrex…Come to find out, it was just a piece of metal irritating and making my eye swell up…
…And despite the fact that they are not perfect, I still trust them more than rumor. It’s a-okay with me, though, if you put more stock in rumor.
Mary Beth, Thanks for the territory info. Sorry, I totally agree with Scott. You will change your tune when you hear one scream………….won’t you? Maybe not. The “professionals” Scott talks about denied there were moose and wolves in western Ma for years, and years. What would people mistake a moose for…..a cow? I don’t think so. I followed a younger moose down a dirt road, there is no mistaking a mooses gait, very entertaining, lol. Just like fishers, fox, and owls, sound different from each other, “coydogs”or coyotes and wolves look different. I lived in the woods for 20yrs, I’ve seen a wolf 1 time. I had a family of Fishers hanging out for 2yrs, I lost 9 cats, other neighbors lost cats, bunnys, and chickens. This was very different than our experience before the fishers came, so yes, we blamed the fishers. This was when I heard the fishers mating, and then heard the vocalizations after the babies were born. 7 years went by, and I had my most recent experience, where he was pacing in my driveway, and screaming. My point is even people who live in the woods may not see or hear some of these animals regularly. I have to ask…………do you live in the woods? Where are you getting your information? Books, web, experience? You come off as an authority, just think what it would do for your reputation to be the one who records/videos a fisher cat screaming!
Anne, why are you so hostile? It sounds like you have had some interesting encounters with fishers. Get some good video and audio footage, get it published in a respectable journal, and I am sure you will have no trouble convincing me and others. I’m just saying I don’t believe every unsubstantiated claim I read on the internet. Do you?
Anne, how do you know they were mating?
You’d figure after losing 8 cats one might keep the ninth cat inside. How many birds and small mammals did your cats kill? Anne, how do you know the fishers were mating?
mary beth-hostile? what would you call that diatribe after Dusty asked a question, and much to his dismay, found you & co. You are very condescending, and you turn people off. If you think you know everything, you will never learn.
OK you two. Please let’s start acting like adults here. right about now Anne and Marybeth you are both turning people off bantering back and forth on a public website.
And to answer a question that you two are arguing about. YES a fisher cat does like a women or baby crying for help. ( i saw one personally and watched him as he made this sound). This Is NOT A FABRICATION this is fact from personal experience.
Now you two need to shake hands and agree to disagree and stop bantering back and forth on a public forum. it is rude unnecessary and makes you looks like kids.
Anne: What? The only “Dusty” I saw is the guy who left an obnoxious, insulting post a while back, and then disappeared. Did I miss a comment by some other Dusty?
Thank you for the feedback on how you experience my comments. I am not trying to give the impression that I know everything, but I do have some experience and knowledge of fishers. I was just trying to share information when you asked about territory, etc. If you took it as me saying I know everything, that is useful feedback, and I will be more careful in the future when wording comments.
I think I’ve tried to say numerous times, that I am perfectly willing to consider that fishers scream, but I just want proof. This is an animal I’ve been interested in for years, and think myself that the New England population might really be different in some ways than other populations. It would be fascinating to get proof of screeching.
Does that sound condescending? I apologize if it does. I have appreciated all of your comments and hope you continue to take an interest in wildlife. Best wishes.
mary beth: Your estimated facts are completely wrong. I have seen and heard the fisher cat myself.
Hey all, there’s no such thing as a fisher cat. It’s kind of like saying there’s a blue whale cat. It’s for ignorant, anti-predator, small-penis men that feel they have to protect their women. A weasel being a threat to a horse, please! That’s right – a weasel!! A fisher is a weasel. A bullhead has just as much cat in it. Wolves in Ct.? That’s a good one. A vocal animal that lives in packs in a populated state that’s only seen by people that know less than nothing about natural history. People also see water moccasins in Ct. even though they don’t live anywhere near there. Milk snakes are commonly killed because they’re mistaken for Copperheads which are in Ct. but not common. What should be killed are feral cats. READ A FUCKING BOOK!!! I know george bush might not approve but you can learn a lot about natural history. It’s easy to spread fear through the right-wing religious assholes.
Thanks for your input Dave. With all of this screaming witnessed by so many people, it should be easy to get some excellent footage, and I am looking forward to it. So far, none of the remote cameras managed by our tracking team have not captured it, but I am sure it is only a matter of time.
We have 6 cats all rescue pets, and about 10 years ago the M.N.R. (ministry of natural resources) introduced the fisher into Ontario to keep the porcupine population under control, without asking any of our permission!! The very wealthy summer resident’s in the Muskoka cottage country area were complaining that their decks and porches were being eaten and destroyed by the porcupines, and well you know in every country MONEY TALKS!!! So now the
Fishers have run out of porcupines,and raccoon’s, they are indeed eating whatever they can catch. It’s not their fault, man brought them into this new environment and they just follow their instincts. anything they can catch is fair game, and now we will never safely be able to control them. I found this website because we heard spine chilling screams on our mountain across the road last night, and we had to try and find out what it was. Our cats were all wanting to stay in the house last night and we will keep them in until this fisher moves on.
We were on a back road in Southington near a large wooded area when we had to stop the car to avoid hitting animal in our lane. We came to a complete stop because the animal was not moving out of the way. Instead he was moving slowly toward the car and just staring at us. As it started to walk around to the drivers side we turned a bit and drove away baffled by what we just saw. We had no clue what it was and the only thing that came to mind was a weasel or mongoose but I had never heard of them being in the wild around here. It looked like a tough little thing that would do major damage to whatever it encountered. Long, low to the ground, wide spread legs with sharp claws. Ten minutes later we were coming back home on the same road and see the animal dead about 500 yards up from where we first saw it so I took a pic shown here > http://goo.gl/uTOkp Wish I had a pic when it was alive right in front of the car but didnt think about it. After searching the web for “black weasel ct” I found this forum and realized it must have been a fisher cat.
I too, wish you took a pic of it alive…this dead thing looks like a cat maybe. Not calling you a liar, just that to me, it looks like a cat. Seems alot less fury (esp. the tail) than the pic at the top of this article. But anyhow, like I said, it looks like a cat TO ME, could be a fisher, I wasnt there. Thanks for the post though, at least SOMEONE was thinking!!!
I think Pete is right – the photo he took is of a fisher. Short legs, and the especially clear view of the left front foot pads say it is in the weasel family. The white road line at about 4 inches wide provides scale, so we can see that the size is right for a fisher. How bushy the tail is can vary by age, sex, and time of year. Plus the photo at the top of this article is, I think, of a mounted preserved specimen, not a live animal.
Umm – err – ahh – Fishers roamed this country long before “man” ever thought about coming here. Fishers=Indigenous/Native/Belong Here – – – Cats=Feral/Non-Native/Brought by “man”.
Here is the clip of the noises I heard coming from the fisher at in the neighbors yard.
The only differnce between the sounds heard here and what we heard was the proximity of the noise. Much further away in this clip.
To answer your question about the possibility of the cat making the noise, I am positive it was not the cat. The cat came across the street towards our house and into our backyard. The Fisher cat made an appearance shortly (20 seconds or so) after that and continued to scream from across the street. The direction of the sound was coming from the Fisher cat not from the backyard where the housecat ran.
Rob – thank you! The recording you linked to sounds like a red fox barking. Check out this video, where, starting at about 57 seconds, you can actually see the fox barking:
I think fox calls are commonly mistaken for Fishers. Though its debated a lot. What would be really cool proof is if someone got some video with a night vision camera of a Fisher making this noise during the night. Until theres proof I would consider those noises to be coming from a fox.
Spoodoo, I agree with you 100%. Because there is already abundant proof that foxes commonly make these noises, I would assume fox, unless proven otherwise with a video.
Listening to the calls on the link that was sent, I can see the similarity in the noises of the red fox to what we encountered that night. They are indeed very similar sounding. The other aspect of this to consider is the way the animal moved which did not appear to move at all like the fox does. Now I know we have foxes in the area as my son has seen them around. But the animal I saw did not move like that. It had a kind of slinky motion to it (for lack of a better term) with the back arching between strides, not to mention it was long and low to the ground. Not to say that it is impossible that there were two animals in the area that night, a fox and a fisher which is entirely possible. At this point I am completely confused…
Rob, you might be right, both fisher and fox might have been present, and you saw the one but heard the other. That would be my guess too. There are so many recordings of these barks where you cannot see the animal, and people just assume fisher. Yet in all of the recordings where you can see the animal making the noise, it is a fox. It is possible that fishers make similar sounds, and if that is the case, someone will eventually get it on video….
mary beth, You need to get into your head you most are wrong! Every time someone hears a fisher cat you jump all over them. I have spent most of my life outdoors and in the woods and have seen fisher cats. Recently have seen one twice in the last couple weeks screaming. Say what you want but if you are only here to annoy people and put them down, telling them that it is something else just go away cause you are real annoying.(just like most politicians)
Lollll kind kute 🙂
hey ppl umm I was chilling with a friend and we were at the park and a fisher jumped out of no where and it tryed actacking me and my friend so we called my other friend to help us it was a very scary thing I witnessed but thank god we lefted the park befor it came back 🙂 it was so scary and everything I ran home and didnt go to the park at night Can anyone relat to that ?
Hey weasel Man Dan,
This lady found a way to deal with her fisher problem.
Fischers are no urban legend n the screaming i. Their scream is like a child being strangled on your front steps. I saw the 20-25 lb. beast doing it. After talking to a hunter that lives in a rural Ct. town fischers do eat cats. He trapped a fischer close to his home but didn’t want to shoot it because his children were home so he decided to let it go ’til another day. That beast took off toward his house 20 ft, away hit the screen door and broke thru it. Grabbed the cat took off and neither was seen again, Fischers are more like wolverines than weasels. And don’t forget Ct. also has plenty of Bobcats and cougars. Keep pets in a safe place especially at night. I have personally seen a cougar in Willington and a huge bobcat in Ellington.
Second hand stories are always so colorful..
We heard a Fischer scream before dawn 2 nights ago……oakdale CT.
are you sure it wasa fisher? Fox and coyotes can make horible screaming sounds too
Hi Rob, That is deff not a Fisher in the recording. Fox, Coyote maybe, Not Fisher. Fisher makes an array of sounds/noises. Mostly screachy, cat like, little kid, woman like, with a little tukey and pissed grey squirrle thrown in for good measure. You will defenatly know it when you hear it. M.
PS, Pardon the spelling mistakes in my post 9/29/12. M.
I’ve heard of sightings in northern Fairfield County recently, but can definitely say that the bobcat is a common sighting around where I live. The in-laws saw one nab a wild rabbit just a few weeks ago near Trumbull. Best keep an eye on small pets, regardless of what may be out there.
1000 fisher stomachs were examined in nh in the mid 70’s, 1 had cat hair. They eat small mammals and carrion so fishers may be eating cats but the vast majority of the cats are road kill or was previously attacked by a fox or coyote.
The youtube link posted in the original story is NOT a fisher cat scream at all. It is a red fox. We have a family in our yard every spring. They call their babies or their mate with this screeching.
Wow, you guys are pretty entertaining. First of all, why is it that all of you are entitled to your points of view, but Mary Beth is not? All she is saying is that she is very interested in these animals and would love to hear it for herself as proof that it exists. Just because you few say it is so, it MUST be so, correct?!?! Now, before you all gang up on me too, I have never heard it, but I tend to believe it is true. I personally, don’t have to hear it for myself to believe it’s a possibility. That’s what makes us all different.
As for those of you with kitties that you let run around outside. They DECIMATE the wildlife populations and mostly for fun, not food. They are your well fed ‘pets’. You may think they need to hunt and to roam because it is instinctual, but it is not a need for them. They are perfectly content to become lap kitties as well. Don’t go all ‘let’s gang up on her’ mentality on me too, I see the effects of cats on the wildlife population every, single day as a wildlife rehabber. I’m not a tree hugging, anti-hunting, let’s save all the butterflies type of person, but I’d have a whole lot more time on my hands and get more sleep at night if it wasn’t for people allowing their cats to roam free. My very favorite thing is when a cat owner brings me a degloved bunny and shoves it into my hand in front of their child demanding that I ‘fix’ it. Guess what?!?! There is NO fixing it. I get the lovely task of euthanizing it to put it out of it’s misery while you go on with your merry little life thinking you’ve done some great deed by ‘saving’ the bunny that YOUR cat killed. Oh, and don’t even think about leaving a donation to help me care for it if by some miracle I CAN save it, noooo don’t do that!! Also, just having a puncture wound from a cat means anti-biotics because of the many bacteria that a cats mouth harbors.
More importantly, cats are not only predators, but they are also predated. For those of you who may be particularly slow, that means, everything bigger than they are wants to eat them too. If you truly loved your pet, you would keep them safe and sound inside with you because while you think you’re doing them a service by allowing them to roam and hunt, chances are, they spend most of that time fending for their own lives and not just by wildlife, but domestic dogs as well.
This morning, around 0800hrs, my neighbor was walking his dg down by the river behind our apartment complex, and he said he heard more of a chuckling sound when he saw a small Fisher walking around. The dog got a little wound up and the Fisher stood and looked at them for a moment then went along its way. We have quite a few outdoor cats in my area and not a single one has come up missing, not that I would mind- I’m tired of the cats getting into the trash and stinking up the place, poor pet ownership abounds. I have seen them around a few times and looked them up on wikipedia today- according to wikipedia most of what has been written here is a firm load of hogwash- we are talking about an animal that is closely related to a marten,a weasel or a ferret we arent talking about Wolverines- which are also relatives…. only steroidal ….in all senses. In all the time that people have trapping these animals ( since the 1700’s ) the biggest one on record was a hair over 20 lbs. Now some of you are coming out with ludicrous weights in excess of 30lbs? And now they are jumping off of roofs and attacking full grown humans? They also are attacking dogs 4 and 5 times or more their own size? what next, will they steal your car? will you need silver bullets fired from belt fed weapons to defeat their zombie hordes? Get a grip folks. If ignorrance is bliss some of you live in an LSD fueled eutopia! You have more to fear from eastern coyotes and ……..the Easter Bunny. Tisk, tisk. Education is your best defense against sounding like an ignorant, yarn spinning bonehead that passes on information they “heard from a friend who heard from a friend”. Uh oh, I gotta go! my hampster just killed a Kodiac Brown on my front porch!
post #208-Tim, absolutely agreed!
Clint, you’re a hoot! I’m a wildlife rehabber if that Kodiak bear your hamster attacked needs assistance….LOL
LOL, I figured since we are telling galactic class tall tales I would spin some galactic class puckey as well! I am also the number 1 rated realtor in the world for Arizona Atlantic coast beach front property and bridge sales, as well as- until recently- the foremost lumber cutter in all of the Sahara Forest; of course I worked myself out of business for most of you now only know it as the Sahara Desert. But my heart belongs mostly to breeding pink spotted albino, sterile,mute, Brazillian Fishers in under 2 weeks- about which I am currently publishing a book along with a comprehensive 512 chapter thesis on confirmed cases of Fisher vocalization.They will be available 100% gratis with 50% off, Look for it in the FICTION section of your local DunkinBucks coffee stores.
I’ll take two!
Raccoon Mom, The Kodiak thanks you for your kind offer and I have shamed the hampster into a most heartfelt apology for its wanton lack of manners and anger management skills. the two of them are currently discussing, in a civil manner, where they can improve their friendship skills over tea and scones with plans to form a support group for grossly misrepresented animals. They wish t make it known that all North American Fishers are welcome and encouraged to attend.
well lets just say i have alot of posters of these animals so i love yhem
i luv fishers they are sooo adorable
Clint, sounds like you’d be Management material at the company I work for…..lol It’s funny that most people can tell you all you want or ever needed to know about Zebras, Monkeys, Elephants and that sort of thing, but don’t have a clue about the wildlife in their own backyards.
Please tell the Kodiak and the Hamster that if they find said support group to please let me know when and where they will be meeting. I have some raccoon friends who are grossly misunderstood as well and could use the support of fellow wildlings….lol
what i dont ubder stand there has been a few attacks here in RI just the orther day two little boys were attack by a fisher cat it is pretty bad when poeple are afraid to let there kids out side to play the towns should do some thing about this its just not safe for kids to be out side playing our kids cant even be at a school bus stop i say all the towns should get together and do some thing to get rid of these fisher cats
how would you feel if your little kids were attack by a fisher cat both of them in the hospital in icu thats pretty sad that our towns are not even safe for our kids these fisher cats are climing up phone poles just waitting to attack any thing even humens
Where are these alleged attacks happening? I looked it up and a woman in RI was attacked in her yard when a Fisher went after her DOG. SHE chose to kick at a wild animal with bare feet. I understand the desire to protect your dog, but you can’t go on a witch hunt for a wild animal because one woman didn’t have an ounce of common sense. The attack at the bus stop was ONE boy in 2009, unless there was a more recent incident that hasn’t made it to local news media? ROFLMAO Fishers are not ‘waiting to attack anything even humans. That’s ridiculous. It’s not like it’s a daily occurrence. You have a better change of dying because of a lightening strike. Get a grip people.
Donna, your fears are understandable, but please put them in perspective: “Nearly a million children worldwide die every year as a result of unintentional injuries, and the biggest killer is traffic accidents, according to a report from the World Health Organization.”
How many children are injured by fishers each year? If you are saying we should eliminate any potential threat to children, we should start with cars. Fishers are way, way, WAY down on the list of threats….
idk but more and more are being attacked by fishers in Ri just the orther day another little boy got attacked by a fisher out where i live poeple are affraid to let there kids in there back yards to play we never had this in the city of Ri
I would not go out side to help my dog from a fisher cat but what if any one here seen there being attacked by this fisher cat would any of you try to help save your child from a fisher or would you run the orther way this is happing right here in north prov we have never had this happen here
None of these ‘alleged’ Fisher Cat attacks in Rhode Island have made the news. I highly doubt the validity of these statements. There have been TWO confirmed attacks as listed above. TWO. If they were happening on a regular basis in Providence or anywhere else in the USA, it would be making at the very least, local news stations. Of course if someone saw ‘there _____ being attacked by a fisher” I’m assuming you meant child, of course any parent would try to protect their child. But hey, if Obama gets his way we’ll be unarmed with no way to protect our child from such horrific dangers such as frenzied wildlife attacks!!! I think we have WAY bigger things to worry about in the world than rampaging Fisher Cats!
i’ve seen these in meriden, walking in the city area.
My neighbor across the street pulled one off of his dog last night. He was in his front yard and his dog ran over to the neighbors yard next door. He then heard the screaming of the fisher cat and ran over there. The fisher cat had the dog’s whole face and throat covered. The dog couldn’t bark. He tried kicking it off the dog and when that didn’t work, he had to pry it’s jaws apart. It’s a medium sized dog, but only about 6 mo. old. After he got the fisher off the dog, he covered the dog with his body and the fisher cat ran away. Both man and dog had to go to hospitals for rabies shots and their cuts cleaned up.
That’s so cool!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHA!!
I would probably help my dog (if I had one) if it was struggling with a fisher, and would probably suffer scratches and bites, but I would not feel we therefore need to annihilate the remaining fisher population, nor even kill just the attacking animal. It is instinctive to protect your own – I once pulled a hawk off one of my chickens with bare hands – it was like a reflex, I did not think about it, I just did it. In that case, I did not get even a scratch, as the hawk appeared totally shocked to have a human pull it from its prey! And no, I did not attempt to kill the hawk, had no wish for its death, and no anger over what it did. Nor did I feel any need for revenge when a fox successfully snatched one of my chickens. There are risks to whatever you do in life, but the benefits of wildlife far outweigh those risks, IMO.
I live in Vermont just outside a small village. I had never seen a fisher before one chilly fall morning about 10 years ago. I happened to look out the front window only to see what I thought was the biggest weasel I had ever seen, chasing one of my 3 cats that was in the front yard. I ran to the front door and got there as the cat it had chosen as its prey ran around the corner of the house, about 20′ from the door. I had left the foyer door open so the cats could let me know when they were ready to come in, and so when I got to the door it was open. The fisher, seeing me at the door, turned and ran towards me. I shut that door FAST. It was early enough in the fall that I still had the screen in (full height of the door). That fisher sat on the top step and stared at me.
One of my other cats was in the driveway and I was trying to send her mental signals to get the hell out of sight. She was just blowing up her fur and putting her back up. After a few minutes, the fisher turned and looked in the cat’s direction as if reading my mind. I decided I had better try and scare it off or my cat was history. I screamed at it to get the heck out of my yard and it was startled, moved off to the left of the door about 6 feet and stopped. I yelled again, it moved another 20′ towards the left and the woods. At that point, it was far enough away that I felt I could open the door and go out and yell more. It took off into the woods.
I gathered up my cats and called the wildlife warden to ask what I had seen. Yup, a fisher. He told me that they aren’t a population that gets rabies, which was what I was worried about. Also that they are such good trackers that any animal they decide is their meal, doesn’t have much of a chance of getting away…especially since the fishers can climb trees, tunnel, etc. Versatile and relentless trackers.
I have to say it was a beautiful animal. The coat was such a rich color brown with tips of black. Its ears were wonderfully fuzzy. Very intelligent eyes. All that said, it was brazen the way it had no fear coming to the door and standing there in close proximity to me.
I have seen one only a couple of times since then. I don’t let my cats out anymore.
So while they might not find much evidence that fishers eat house cats, I don’t believe that for a minute! I also had an owl try and pick an outdoor cat I had a long time ago, off of the front step of the house. He lived because he pressed himself against the house and the owl couldn’t get an angle on him to pick him up.
Saw one in my backyard at 6am the other day was going to put the dog out. Freeked me out
Yikes! Putting our small dog out and spotted/watched one running across neighbor’s front yard. Long, brown, large! Spotted 2/25/13 at 7:30am! Wethersfield, CT!
If these animals are regularly showing up in suburban neighborhoods, something is attracting them and it’s probably not just the neighborhood kitties. People must be leaving out cat or dog food, etc. Wild animals are opportunists. They’re not going to expend precious energy hunting or foraging when they have a free supply of food. Remove the food, and they will move onto other places in search of it. If you have an issue in your neighborhood, talk to your neighbors to make sure everyone is doing their part to stop attracting them. If you are putting your dog or cat food away at night and they are not; they are making the issue worse. People think they must leave food out day and night for their dogs and cats. No you don’t. They’ll eat during the day if you feed them then. Bring the food in at night. Secure garbage cans, etc. These wild animals are mostly nocturnal and if you’re not feeding them, they’ll move on.
Cassie – I have no doubt that they’d eat a house cat if presented with the opportunity. I also have no doubt that a small dog would be tasty as well. I’d be kind of freaky to see one, but I’d love to nonetheless. It’s not very common really.
Raccoon Mom, your advice is excellent, but I don’t think it’s just pets and pet food that attract fishers to the suburbs. Keeping pets and pet food indoors will minimize conflict between humans and fishers, but it will not make fishers move on. They are adapting extremely well to the suburban landscape, using small forest patches and edge habitat. Small mammals such as squirrels, cottontails, mice, and voles abound in and near suburban backyards, providing plenty of food for fishers and other opportunists. Pets and pet food are just icing on the cake.
Hey Im getting sick of being blamed for all your missing cats and dogs and livestock! There are other, more abunndant preditors around here you know… Coyote, Bob cat, Hawks, Eagle, Fox, even those PITA Raccoons! Stop blaming it all on me!! Besides, my main diet is small creatures, not cats and dogs… or humans. Leave me alone dangit!
Raccoon Mom, the potential for infiltration of other species as well. They are attracted to the things you mention and will avail themselves of the opportunity. The unfairly maligned coyote is taking a big hit. God forbid, “I saw one!” and they want to call in the big guns to kill them. They want to kill everything without taking responsibility for personal pets and are reluctant to educate themselves on the dynamics of these wildlife species. An unfortunate sign of the times?
Oh Gail, believe me I know. Around these parts, we have coyote hunts, ‘just because’. They don’t even have to be bothering livestock or anything, they can just be killed on site for fun. They get the blame for the lower deer populations here, but most people don’t realize that VT doesn’t allow fawn rehabilitation because of an unreasonable fear of chronic wasting disease. Their arguments are unrealistic, but they refuse to allow them to be rehabbed. When Fish and Wildlife tells callers to leave fawns on the side of the road to starve to death it’s all blamed on the coyotes when it’s the agencies fault, not the poor coyote.
I am inundated by the problems left behind by irresponsible pet owners and those that advocate TNR programs. I love cats and have two of my own, but those programs do nothing except make a few humans feel better about themselves by allowing them to think they’re making a difference. The problem is they trap, neuter and release, but those animals are still going hungry, they are still preying upon wildlife and they are being preyed UPON. They are still the carriers of all sorts of diseases because even in the best circumstances vaccinations only last up to three years. Then what? They start the cycle all over again?
I’mthefishercat – PITA Raccoons? Really? They’d have to be pretty quick or hungry to take down neighborhood cats and dogs….lol Not too mention, they’d rather share the food bowl with them than eat them.
Me and my friend were digging in a bush today and we heard what sounded like a little girls scream. I freaked out and ran inside but my friend stayed out there and came and got me and told me it was gone. A few seconds after we heard the scream, I heard weird sounding footsteps. Still wondering what it was and I’m afraid to go out in the woods.
We had one living under our barn , was not aware of it being there but knew something was killing off the Red Squirrels and other critters that had the misfortune of coming into the area.. we could hear the awful screams..
One day I looked out and the Fisher was dragging it self up our driveway.. it had been hit by a car and was trying to get to the barn.. I had my husband get out the 22 and put the thing out of it’s misery .. Since then I’ve seen Fisher tracks in the snow around our place and it’s screams.. but we are over run with Gray squirrels.. so it’s not doing it’s job!
Sandy kent, I thank your husband for putting it out of its misery. There are few things I find more distressing than watching an animal suffer after being maimed by a car….
Monday 8:05 AM March 18, 2013 – we live in Lyme and have EVERYTHING going through our backyard. Coytes, red and grey foxes, bob cat, a few years back a bear, sometimes turkeys, deer, bunnies (almost all gone now due to predators), and YES Fisher Cats.
Last year there was a quick female Fisher Cat after a squirrel up a tree – squirrel got away.
JUST NOW A HUGE MALE! Walking and looking at our bird feeder were the squirrels and birds chow down. He was looking at the house and in no hurry. I ran outside and hollered because I have just ONE feral cat show lived on the back deck in her heated house. All the other ferals are GONE!
I know my animals having grown up on a large CT farm when all we had were woodchucks and sometimes a red fox. However, I have always read many books of animals from around the world, so I KNOW what I saw and had a good estimate of his weight. He was the size (bearing in mind he was still in prime pelt) of a Sheltie – tall, broad, burly, dark with lighter color tan on chest. Looked like a long legged Wolverine, but with a big tail! Looked very well fed. All our bunnies have disappeared these last several years. Deer and turkey are fewer than a few years ago. Predators making inroads on the fawns, hence fewer adult deer. Same with turkeys. We have a huge state forest in the back yard, so everything lives there.
PS – My sister saw two red tail hawks mating in a high tree in the yard.
I live in Northeast PA and grew up listening to bobcats screaming in the woods sounding like a baby crying or a scream of sorts and now I am told we have the fisher cat repopulating here. I have not heard one as yet but I know they have been seen within 10 miles of where I live so I will be listening for,their scream. it makes sense to me though ,that if the bobcat makes a crying or screaming sound that the fisher can too
April 3, 2013-There is a fisher cat in our neighborhood. my friend saw it in a tree twice in the past 3 weeks. The squirrels (used to be at least a dozen or so at any one time) are all gone. I saw the fisher under my car last week while I had my 2 dogs out on leash. They were going crazy trying to get at him. He just stayed under the car then took off behind the garage. Now this afternoon I spotted a dead cat in my neighbor’s back yard. This is getting scary and creepy. I wish he would move on to somewhere else. I have small dogs and i’m afraid to take them out at night. Is there something I could put in the yard that would deter him from coming around without hurting any other animals? What can I do????
To Mary Beth’s post in 2009. I believe this is a Fisher cat. And that they do scream(I have heard it) And that in the wild they could reach 46lbs. The older they get, the wiser & BIGGER. Especially if food is plentiful. Humans have gradually grown larger in the past few centuries. It is also still possible for a throwback to a larger size from thousands of years ago. Other species such as wild pigs get to a tremendous size when left to grow for years & not hunted. This screaming is not urban legend. As for the Fishers not screaming in captivity. there is much animal behavior that has been modified & never done in captivity. Had a heck of a time getting Pandas to breed in captivity. Some animals just do not act normally when caged. It kills their souls or life force or whatever you want to call it. Depression, fear, knowing this is not right, however you want to phrase it. I rarely scream but I darn sure would if I was in captivity. I’m sure I would stop laughing. I am sure my behavior would change drastically. Just like us dumb humans to expect these wild things to act normal under abnormal conditions cause we are saving them from all kinds of dangerous things in the wild.
THAT is a FISHER IN THE PICK….NOT A MINK….THE FEET ARE TO LARGE and the fur is grizzly in the pick..trust me I see them and have caught them…and yes the female fisher have a whit patch of fur under their chin like a wild mink does…..they eat all types of squirrls and are fast in the trees when chasing squirrels…they also are the only north American critter that can kill and eat a porky…..they will eat smaller cats in a surbubia area….and yes they do scream …very creepy sounding……..
Don: yes, it is a fisher in the photo, now, not a mink. That’s because they changed the photo. The original photo was of a mink, but it was changed after people commented on the fact that it was a mink.
Barbara, fisher biologists do not study captive animals only. The data on fisher size come from trappers who trap real, live fishers, and scientists who capture and radio collar them. It’s reasonable to hypothesize that suburban fishers might be larger given the abundance of small prey in the suburbs, but relatively recent data on fisher size have not supported that idea.
It’s also a good point that animals behave differently in captivity. However, even scientists who study them in the wild haven’t observed the kind of frequent, fox-like screaming that people believe in.
I live across from a field/farm. We woke up at about 2 am last fall. We thought a girl/teenager was screaming in distress outside the window. We were getting ready to call the police, but I realized the scream was pretty much the same and continued for about a half an hour. No words just the same scream every 5 minutes or so.
Does anyone have link to the sound that a fox makes?
I live in a shoreline town in Ct. A couple of nights ago I heard this eerie screaming in the backyard. The next afternoon I was sitting in the screened in porch and an animal jumped into the trees in my yard over the fence that separates me from my neighbor . The following day I was weeding with my dog next to me he wandered off and a few minutes later I looked up to see him pick up something from the ground – it was the head of a rabbit ! After all this I started doing research which led me to the conclusion that we had a fisher cat in the area again. About 6 years ago something jumped on my dog’s back while we were on our terrace fortunately my dog was young and he leaped up and ran and I screamed and the animal ran away , I thought at the time (again researching) that it might be a Fisher and was very careful for a few years. Then as time passes I relaxed somewhat , but now another one is
back. I do believe that animals in the wild should be allowed their space but this is my not big fenced in backyard where my 13 pound dog should be allowed his space also. Am I supposed to hover over him with a bat every time he goes out to pee? That Fisher jumped him when I was no more than 5 feet away. I do not think he has rights which would allow him to attack my pet and that I should never let my dog out again without living in fear .So I am going to do what I can to eliminate this threat . Whatever it takes.
I live in Ellington Ct and last night, my Siamese cat gave a Fisher cat a run for it’s money. She took apretty good beating but she lived to tell. These fisher’s are awful…. It paced up and down the street screaming as it looked for her. She had hid under the table on the back porch, it had taken a pretty good bite out of her side. Is there a way to trap these things?? I plan on keeping her in from now on….but I’m worried about my dogs.
how do you avoid an attack from a fisher?? *from a human*
It pretty unavoidable shyla, they drop from trees, hide in swimming pools and mimic the appearance of you pets in order to get close to you.
I live in Florida and the latest is coyotes. Same stuff about how they kill cats and dogs etc. People move to the country as we have done and want some of it to be the urban. Leave the animals alone. Keep your cats and dogs in side, especially at dusk. The hawks, coyotes and owls need to eat. Let nature take it normal course, but watch your pets. It is not up to us to worry about the squirrels, “bunnies” etc. If one doesn’t like the wildlife, then I suggest you move to the cities. I AM ONLY POINTING OUT THE THE ANIMALS WERE THERE FIRST. HUMANS ARE THE INTERLOPERS. ENJOY WHERE YOU LIVE AND LEAVE THE WILDLIFE ALONE
Just saw a fisher cat carrying off an adult rabbit. I guess everybody has to eat, but I wish they would pick on something a little less cute and fuzzy 🙁
How quickly we forget, when we try to paly GOD. The fisher cat was extinct here in Conn for decades, until the brain children in the DEP dicided to reintroduce them. They claimed the squirrels in conn were out of hand. The truth be know the squirrels follow the acorn crops. the acorn on the trees grow in cycles. Five years give or take, they drop heavy yields, five years very low yields. the squirrels migrate through the tree tops following the acorns. A few squirrels stay year round in our cities, parks, and back yards due to us feeding them. When the state reintroducted the fisher cats it was on the tail end of a five year heavy mass crop of acorns cycle. The fishers quickly ate all the squirrels they could find, then baby birds, rabbits, mice, etc. The squirrels and baby rabbits in Connecticut have never recovered because of the fisher cats. I use to have tons of baby squirrels and baby rabbits running all over my property in the spring for over 27 years. Now only one or two. The fisher Cat is a very good killer. My yard sits up against one of our largest state parks here in Conn. So I know what I’m talking about for I see the woods All day. So now that the Fisher cats have done their dirty deed that the STATE OF CONN put them there to do. The only thing left for them to feed on are your small cats a toy size dogs. And that’s the truth and the whole truth. P.S. forgot about the turkeys. We use to see 50 to 75 turkeys at our feeders every day for years till the fishers showed up. Now I have not seen more than one or two. People have been blaming the hunters, but the hunters have been hunting them for years in this area and it never put a dent in the turkey flock. the truth is The fishers climb up the trees at night while the turkey sleeps and eats them. Thank you DEP
The DEP isn’t your problem, the natural world is. Fishers range throughout New England and reintroduction or no, they would have found their way back to your area in any case. As for any real impact on other species in your area, even of your assertion is true, they will rebalance. Coyotes have moved back in force all on their own, and are a hell of a lot harder on pets than the fishers.
It’s too bad so many in New England are so far detached from the natural world that they can’t simply appreciate the opportunity to share the landscape with as many native species as possible. I say let the fishers, coyotes, and black bears roam. Oh, and yes, even large owls will take small pets left out at night. So just don’t leave them out.
LOL – yeah – we are all such narcissistic hypocrites – we feel it’s our god given right to be totally irresponsible with our own reproductive rates and to consume, destroy, or kill anything in our path… One of our favorite pastimes is deciding how many of every other species is the appropriate number to live on this planet… There are 4500 bison in Yellowstone – well – recently “we” decided that there are too many and there is no way bison can walk across the state line and eat “Cattle” grass in Montana – so they will kill 1000… So 3500 is the “right” and “appropriate” number for an animal estimates had put in the tens of millions… Same deal with wolves… People complaining about an animal like the fisher making a comeback from the brink of extinction… Wow – get over yourselves…
You may want to research the Yellowstone buffalo issue and learn about the sustainability of buffalo and cattle per acre. The reintroduction of Bison into YS has caused sustainability problems for the Bison. Their survival in YS would not be possible at the current population level without a supplement food source being provided. And by the way the narcissistic hypocrites are providing the hay bales. As far as F-Cats. Most of us with opposable thumbs have evolved to the top of the food chain. Sorry if that position offends you. As far as being “totally irresponsible with our own reproductive rates” I agree, let’s start with free Vasectomies and tie the tube of all welfare recipients. Minimally put them on birth control
@Scott… lol yes!
You mean We are like the CEO’s of the huge oil companies and Huge companies who littler, destroy and, poison everything in their paths for the all mighty dollar? Like, Who cares if the earth is nothing but an uninhabitable wasteland when our children and grand children grow up? lol … What we do now doesn’t really affect us, it affects our kids and their kids so screw them, who cares if they cant breathe or grow non poisonous food or have clean water, I need a damn Mansion and a cool sports car now damnit!!! lol
@Dan 4:41 pm
I get about the coyotes, and other predators. The hunting seasons or trapping season for FC’s is designed to keep the population in check or in balance with what is sustainable. The coyote population in our area is on the rebound for sure. A decline in hunting and available land to hunt on has in part lead to the rebound. In RI the FC season is controlled as a “Fur Bearer” and only 22 days long, usually Dec1-22nd. Coyote on the other hand is 365 days a year with no bag limit and we are not keeping up at all. I Have hunted all over the country, and Coyote are a detriment to livestock out west no so much here. I have seen firsthand on a farm in South Dakota 11 dead lamb from coyote in one night. They kill and eat 1 or 2, then they kill to teach their pups how to hunt. Its natures natural selection and survival. I fall into the same selection except I’m the top of the food chain and my kids can shoot a coyote at 110yrds with a 22Mag all day long. I teach then natural selector as in from “Safe” to “Fire”
I hunt and fish, but only what I can eat. I have no problems with managing species either, I have a degree in Wildlife Management. Managing the economic impact of coyotes out west is not the mindless killing of New England coyotes just because we can. There’s a difference to me, between active management and killing for fun. Only one disgusts me and it happens too often. That is not to imply at all that that is what you personally are doing, but I do know a few that kill coyotes just because they’re coyotes. No more thought than that.
Fishers have not reached the point that they are causing any serious problems anyway, outside of suburbanite paranoia. If you let your pets roam free, that’s your call, but you own the outcome, not the local predators, or drivers. And yes, I’ve lost cats to both before I started keeping them inside. Were I on a farm, he calculus might be different.
Dan I hunt for food as well. It is fun spending days and hours in the woods, that part for me is like therapy. I am part American Indian, so please don’t confuse me anyway with a person who kills for sport. I am a meat hunter and I eat what I hunt. I kill coyote on my property as it helps me manage the other wild life including upland game, whitetail. I trap the FC’s during the season as a management tool for upland game and Turkey. Most would be shocked at what a rebound the turkey and Ring neck have had since I’ve been trapping FC’s We trap beaver on the farm too but that’s for resource management. They built a pond where I don’t need on or ever was one.
7pm, Westfield, MA. Huge Fisher Cat sighted in my back yard. Very gracefully making his way through the snow covered woods. Hoping he helps himself and family to the plentiful voles and moles!
There were an abundance of squirrels, both black and grey, and they’ve thinned out quite a bit.
Wild rabbits, numerous skunks, turkeys, geese, occasional deer, and red foxes come and go, and this area is quite populated with more people than woods- the fisher seems like a recent addition. (Past 2 years)
The traffic gets most of these critters…can they be trapped and relocated to a safer location?
I saw a sopping wet weasel like mammal exiting the snowy banks of my Koi pond this morning in New Canaan, CT. After a quick visit to Google I found that this cagy character may be none other than the infamous “Jack the Fisher Cat” Is it possible that this little critter is enjoying a smorgasbord of hibernating goldies and colorful carp from beneath the ice mass of my scenic water feature or could it be the Loch Ness Monster?
The last unexpected predator, a gigantic Blue Heron, who quite frankly, was more fun to watch than the boring old fish left his foot prints next to the hole in the ice where he bobbed for his breakfast back in November but was scared off by the click of my iphone 4 camera. I haven’t seen him since.
I am about to put on my boots to go out to do a fin count. Hopefully that little weasel didn’t clean me out.
All in all I think it’s pretty cool as long as they leave me some fish to talk to this spring!
Mac, it was more than likely a mink that you saw. If it was very large, much larger than a house cat, then perhaps and otter.
Susanne, no there is no safe place to which these various critters can be relocated. Most of the landscape is already heavily populated with humans and their stuff, and those places that are still wild are already populated with these critters. Basically, humans are quickly squeezing out other species.
Probably 2 feet long with the tail, short legs, soaking wet so it looked pretty sleek
That would be a mink. Much too small for an otter.
I’m also guessing you’ve had the pleasure of meeting a mink. The bad news is if he’s discovered easy fishing in your koi pond… Well, you may have a pal until they’re gone.
Agree with Dan, but I would look into ways to deter predators in general. If you kill this mink, it’s only a matter of time before another mink, or perhaps an otter or raccoon, discover your pond.
Popular opinion agrees that it was likely a mink. Some of the Koi in the pond are as big as he is. What’s the likeliness of him gobbling down one of the big ones? I’m certainly not in the frame of mind of killing anything as tomorrow morning I’m having a double bypass and aortic valve replacement! Thank god for modern medicine and the balance of nature. Let them eat!!!!
Mustelids, such as the mink, are superb hunters and sometimes take prey larger than themselves. He won’t be able to eat a fish bigger than himself in one sitting, but will eat some and cache the rest for later. Sometimes they continue to kill after after they are satiated, and store their prey for a future meal. Some people call that vicious, but it’s really no different from a human storing food for later. Most of us load up our freezers literally with dead animal parts, after all. The mink does the same.
Best of luck with your surgery tomorrow! You’re right – the mink is the least of your problems. I hope you do well!!
MY FATHER SAW A FISHER LAST WEEK WALKING ACROSS THE ROAD IN CLINTON CT. I TRAVEL ALL OVER THE WOLD TO PHOTOGRAGH WILDLIFE AND HAVE NEVER SEEN A FISHERCAT. I THINK ITS GREAT THAT THEY ARE COMING BACK TO CT.
I WENT TO THE PANTANAL IN BRAZIL FOR A MONTH TO PHOTOGRAGH JAGUAR SAW ABOUT 20 JAGUARS IT WAS FANTASTIC AND LIKE I SAID I WANT TO PHOTOGRAGH CT. ANIMALS LIKE FISHERCATS, BEAVERS, MINK, BOBCATS WHICH I HAVER NEVER SEEN ANYONE HAVE ANY PLACES I COUD GO TO MAYBE GET A PHOTO.
Connecticut reinstituted the fisher cat back into the state. Not sure why but probably to keep rabbit and squirrel populations down. Fisher cats can run down a squirrel in a tree. Fisher cats decimate turkey population and yes eat pets. One report of a fisher cat released from a cage 20 ft. from a home says it ran to the house hit the screen broke it grabbed the cat. The cat was never seen again. I say trap and shot the fisher cats. Remember also that cats are not a natural wild species here. They were introduced by man and should be kept indoors.
The fisher reintroduced itself to the northeastern part of the state all on its own. In 1988 the DEEP reintroduced it to its native habitat in northwestern Connecticut, because that area was cut off from natural lanes of travel. The species has been on its own since then as far as I can tell, minus licensed fur trapping. They are not rare in all your neighboring states.
Trapping and shooting them would be illegal without a license, not to mention sad. Enjoy them.
And it would be awesome if we stopped calling them by their colloquial misnomer, as they’re not cats, but members of the weasel family. Simply “fisher.”
Monday I lost a drake in my duck pen. No signs of any attack etc except the remaining 6 ducks were very disturbed. Yesterday another hen duck came up missing. This morning my husband and I went snowshoeing and followed tracks in snow. We found just blood stained snow and a feathers and knew we found our duck. There was no other remains but the same tracks around where she was killed, 100 yards into the woods. The tracks had 5 claws on both front and rear. The print in the snow measure 2″ from front of claw to base of print. Distance between the front foot print to back of rear print was 14″. We do have fisher cats in our area. We live in very dense woods. I don’t know what to do to protect my remaining 5 ducks. We do house them in at night and do not let them out until daylight. These attacks have occurred during the day. We really suspect fisher cat. Do they hunt alone? We saw 2 tracks leaving the area. Do they kill 1 at a time? Our duck area is fenced in but because of the snow it is easy to walk over the fence. Thanks for any help I can get. I am not a hunter and haven’t the heart to kill anything. However I wish to protect my goats, ducks, chickens and dogs.
Teresa, did you photograph the tracks? If so, I would be happy to take a look at them. If you want, click on my name to get to my blog, then “like” my Facebook webpage and you can post the photos there, at the top of the left column.
i live in connecticut.i may self almost got bitten by a fisher cat trying to save my beloved cat.i had to run in front of the fisher cat to stop it and even then it atempted to kill me cat.it even tryed get though my dog door.the screams sound like someone being murdered.the fisher cat has also climbed up a tree to my bed room window (which was closed)to atempt to kill my cat.a fisher cat look reminds me of a weasle.Even the plastic cat door stopper will not stop a fisher cat.they will claw at ur door and will eat dogs and cats.a large dog has a chance ageist a fisher cat but fisher cats are known to kill house hold animals.even large dog can get atacked but have a higher chance of being killed.
Teresa, I got your photos on by FB page, where I responded, but since I am not sure you will get my response there, I am also replying here. Those are raccoon tracks in your photos, definitely not fisher. And raccoons definitely do predate on poultry.
Saw one yesterday in brAnford along the shore. Surprised to see it. But it was really neat to have it in the area!
Hi Alyssa – and – you actually lived to tell about the experience – you weren’t mauled – you didn’t lose any limbs – it didn’t suck your very soul out of your body ??? Say it isn’t so… Actually – I enjoyed my first encounter as well. Some people put a Fisher experience right up there with running into Kaiser Soze on a very dark night… We’ve really grown oh so soft…
Saw a dead Fisher cat on 148 on the route 79 side I think that’s north Madison.
I heard one of these…
I heard one of these last year. I actually ran outside thinking it was a lost child – but we realized it was a fisher cat!
One of these little bastards
One of these little bastards raped and killed the neighbours the other night; took them while they were asleep, all six of them, there wasn’t much of a struggle but a whole lot of blood and gore!
I saw one last night in
I saw one last night in Manchester, CT. I was running on a trail and a large dark brown animal crossed the path maybe 20 feet in front of me. It was bigger than a cat and longer, with a long bushy tail. I thought it looked like a large weasel, but I had never seen anything like it before. When I got to where it had run across it smelled “skunky”. I went home and googled it and it was definitely a fisher! so cool!
Fisher cats do scream.
The first time I heard one years ago…it was raining and late at night. I will never forget…being panic strike and telling my boyfriend…”WAKE UP! IT SOUNDS LIKE A WOMAN IS BEING RAPED IN THE WOODS!!!” Then all went silent. Another time…one was heading my way…..and the feeling is of complete doom…hell in the woods leaving you to feel paralyzed….if you were it’s prey. Even the horses acted nervius. I took a powerful head lamp and crisscrossed the area….spotting the cat…who when I called out to him…hurriedly skunked low to the house…..and a sent the beam back into the Fishers path…which headed up hill and away. Suddenly it called out again…and had moved pretty fast away from us. It lived close by and I have seen it’s tracks often.
I was 5 feet away from a tree that had animals run up it and it shook violently
then i heard the most BLOOD CURDLING HORRIFIC SCREAMS that i have
never even heard in a horror flick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
all this while i was sitting in my car with the windows open talking on the phone
i IMMEDIATELY buzzed my windows up and drove away never to be near that
location again out of fear for my life.
your article is downright wrong and not based in fact with the sarcastic speculation
and your ridiculous closing statements need to be corrected.
“sound a bit creepy.” HA! try being 5 feet away from that sound WITNESSING THE EXPERIENCE!!!!!!!
“the fisher could be MISTAKEN for an unearthly tormented specter wandering the woods late at night.
However it should be noted the there is no proof that these screams are coming from a fisher….
chupacabra” this comment is idiotic. there IS PROOF. you just didn’t bother to do ACTUAL research.
why don’t you try going out into the woods and wait til one attacks you like 2 of them HAVE attacked friends
of mine on their land. then your sarcasm will be replaced by photos of the wounds IF you survive the attack
and either way, it IS PROVEN that what Fisher Cats DO is mimic the sounds of bloody murder that the
animal they are KILLING is screaming. Also, the United States Navy has warnings because it IS IN FACT
DOCUMENTED that these animals HAVE attacked humans on the US Sub base in Groton, CT too. When
I worked there, they gave us warnings about walking on base at night time.
Before you write articles to “educate” people, do your due diligence to make sure that you have something
to ACTUALLY teach anyone.
Cougars have a very
Cougars have a very frightening scream as well.
Cougars are very interesting
Cougars are very interesting animals. They may not be very pleasant to be around though.
Fisher cats do not however
Fisher cats do not however eat fish at all. They mostly eat small mammals. Sometimes even berries
Tonight my husband and I heard a horrible screaming in the woods on our property in Uncasville, Ct. It sounded like something was being killed and I feared for the life of a ferel cat that comes here every morning. We went out on the deck with a flashlight where we could here something moving through the woods, screaming as it moved along the edge of our property.. It seemed to move quickly. When we came into the house, I googled fischer screams and we now know that we have a fischer wandering our property. The sound was unmistakably the same. Very creepy!
May 3, 2015
Tonight my husband and I heard a horrible screaming in the woods on our property in Uncasville, Ct. It sounded like something was being killed and I feared for the life of a ferel cat that comes here every morning. We went out on the deck with a flashlight where we could here something moving through the woods, screaming as it moved along the edge of our property.. It seemed to move quickly. When we came into the house, I googled fischer screams and we now know that we have a fischer wandering our property. The sound was unmistakably the same. Very creepy!
May 3, 2015
The article is wrong in
The article is wrong in saying that the fisher cat is not a fisher…. they are the same thing, just different names… though nasty if cornered or trapped, they aren’t really much to worry about any more than a mink, weasel, etc….
I’m sending this to my sister who always comments on “The Screamer” her family has heard from the deep woods just outside their home. I’m sure they’ll be glad to know what this sound might be coming from. Thanks for your post.
Is it a fisher?
I have a strange wild animal in my area that I have been told by a neighbor that it is a fisher cat. I looked up pictures on line and it does not look like the fisher cats in the photos. It is about the size of a large cat, had a somewhat small head, short haired coat that is a pretty shiny black and brown mix. Animal was quick moving and sleek looking. Tail is very long, short haired-not furry and coarse like the Fisher’s and it was bentand curved upwards. Does anyone know what this could be if not a Fisher? I just saw him tonight in a tree. I live in Branford close to shore and directly on a pond.
I am happy for those
I am happy for those commenters who have lived in peace with fisher cats for years, and resent any aspersions on their character. From encounters both on their turf (northern wilderness) and mine (Burrville, CT) I know them as the Jeffrey Dahmers of the animal kingdom. First time I lost a pet to one, the sight was so horrific that my first thought was some sick and evil person did the act. (Carcass on its back, pelt flayed and laid out like a tablecloth, with head removed.) If the kill is cached near-by, the animal will stand its ground and even advance towards you, making full malevolent eye-contact and hissing at you venomously, rather than relinquish your dear tabby or whatever. Sure they belong in Nature. Not in my back yard.
Anthony it is nature. Cats are predators. They hunt. Thats what they do and always have done.
Comments are closed.