fisher cats in CO

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fisher cats in CO

Postby d_baker » Mon Sep 10, 2012 6:53 pm

So...back in July a friend and I were hiking up Piney en route to Pk H (Gore Range), when I thought I saw a squirrel. Then, I realized it was too big for a squirrel. It kind of looked and acted like a cat, but was long and short to the ground. It was pouncing around in a dense part of the forest, with some vegetation around.
It then realized humans were close-by when it perched up on a log and looked at us, and it had a face similar to a cat. Brindle coat. Slinky like with a long bushy tail.
It was too quick for me to get a picture.
We weren't sure what it was.

Val had her suspicions, but couldn't think of the name.
Today she got back to me with her follow-up investigation, and she thinks it was probably a fisher cat. I agree.

Has anyone else seen them here?

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby shaunster_co » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:00 pm

Was it a ring tailed cat? They frequent the campsites along some of the rafting routes and have been seen in the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. They are thieves at night, and act a bit like you describe.

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby Waggs » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:01 pm

Fisher Cats don't seem to range this far south.

Maybe it was an American Marten?

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby ChrisRoberts » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:09 pm

I'd guess it was a pine marten.
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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby edhaman » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:23 pm

From Waggs' link, it looks like "pine marten" is a common name (but an incorrect one) for the "American marten. On Saturday on Mt. Evans I met some Nashville cats.

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby EVEREST DREAMS » Mon Sep 10, 2012 7:25 pm

I saw a ring tail cat last year near Conifer driving to work early morning. I thought I saw a monkey at first. It ran across the road and pounced on a tree then it spun around and looked at me. It took off and never saw it again.

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby d_baker » Mon Sep 10, 2012 8:01 pm

ChrisRoberts wrote:I'd guess it was a pine marten.

Probably, after seeing the first picture in the link Waggs provided. The ears were definitely like the one in the photo on wiki.

Whatever it was, it was a neat thing to see!

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby unclegar » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:02 pm

Saw this guy near Chasm Lake a couple of weeks ago. I think it is a Pine Marten.

dnsz marten 2.jpg
dnsz marten 2.jpg (191.09 KiB) Viewed 973 times

dnsz marten 1.JPG
dnsz marten 1.JPG (158.63 KiB) Viewed 973 times
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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby DeucesWild » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:05 pm

Pine Marten.

And a little badass at that.

Once, I was celebrating post climb with a frosty one, watching a bunch of ground squirrels scavenging around our camp in the summer sun and thinking, Wow, what a great life they have up here in the sunny hills I love so much.

Seconds later, Mr. Pine Marten, who had been slinking unseen in a nearby talus pile, bolted out and hammered the fattest squirrel and took it squeaking back into the rocks.

My assessment of the languor of the squirrel's daily existence was forever altered and I found myself thankful that the marten wasn't dog size or I might have been next.
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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby HikerGuy » Mon Sep 10, 2012 10:26 pm

unclegar wrote:Saw this guy near Chasm Lake a couple of weeks ago. I think it is a Pine Marten.

Great photos of an elusive animal. Thanks for sharing!

An American Marten (, as noted by waggs and edhaman, although I still call them Pine Martens too.

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby coloradokevin » Mon Sep 10, 2012 11:52 pm

Great photos of that marten! I love finding unusual animals in the mountains :)

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Re: fisher cats in CO

Postby djkest » Tue Sep 11, 2012 8:09 am

We saw something strange downclimbing off of S. Maroon on Sunday. It looked like a weasel but was really small. Long and skinny like a hot dog. Must have been a baby.. Marten? Didn't get a picture, it was pretty fast and took us by surprise. It definately was not a pika or a marmot.
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