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We have a mixed pit bull/husky/whatever dog who is a pet and also functions as the "guard dog" in that he roams around the property at night to intimidate small woodland critters who may have plans to come raid our poultry. He's not mean in any way, actually being somewhat of a wimp, but a dog is a dog and generally pretty intimidating to things like raccoons. He's probably 75 pounds, all muscle.

He has run off deer, porcupines, raccoons, shadows and who knows what else but has finally met his match. Sunday night he was barking off in the woods, very agitated, and instead of going out to investiagte I just let him handle it. When he came in, he went to his corner and laid down like nothing was unusual.

The next morning, we noticed a blood trail around the house and assumed one of the cats brought in a chipmunk to torment, so we went looking for the body. It turns out that the blood was the dog's, and that he had a slash on his nose and a big chunk of the side of his tail bitten off!

I envision the encounter like this:

Buster the dog sees a funny looking critter and goes over to sniff it.

The critter turns, yowls, and gives him a slash aross the nose.

Buster decides not to attempt to befriend the funny looking new cat, and turns to run home.

The critter, really wanting to get his point across, lunges forward to bite off a chunk of tail to give the dog a permanent reminder to not sniff at a fisher cat.

I took him to the vet, who gave us some painkillers and an antibiotic. There is not enough skin in the area of the wound to try and suture it up, so it will have to just heal over on it's own.

For those who don't know, a fisher is a giant weasel sort of thing that is a super-predator. It has retractable claws and can run up and down trees like a squirrel. They get as big as 20lbs, and have no natural predators to fear. It is one of the only animals that can attack and kill a porcupine! Here in New England, we call them "fisher cats", but it is actually just a "fisher". It looks like a big, ugly cat, and screams with a blood-curdling sound that sounds like a woman being tortured. They have been known to rip open window screens to come into a house to get a cat or small dog.

What Buster learned the hard way is that they are not friendly or intimidated by pit bulls.
 

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I just googled images for fishers and they sure do look like weasels. I have never heard of them and am sure glad we don't have them here where I live. Poor Buster. I'm glad he's going to be ok.
 

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Never seen a fisher, but I have a friend that had two large pits. He said one day he heard them in the woods fighting something. He ran to where the dogs were,and they were fighting an otter. When he got there the otter jumped in the water. The dogs were cut up pretty bad and he said the otter won the fight. :shrug:
 

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Fishers are a nasty breed of a dog/cat/weasel type of thing. I have caught two of them in 1 1/2 CS leg hold traps on a fax/coon line. I sucessfully let both of them out of said traps, and boy - what a workout that was.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Why did you let them go/ Aren't the pelts pretty valuable?

Tell us more about trapping them, you say it was a leghold trap, what was your bait? I read somewhere that to trap one, you should bait it with cat food and set the trap in a tree by wiring it to the trunk of a larger sized sapling where it would have to go over the trap to get the cat food.
 

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buspete said:
Why did you let them go/ Aren't the pelts pretty valuable?
Only allowed 1 per season here, and at that time, the season wasn't even open yet. They are a nasty breed to cross. They like to use fallen trees to cross streams, etc. Chop out a spot on such a log and set it with a coilspring trap covered with moss or grass. When the trap goes off, they will fall off the log and hang around until you show up. I've caught them using the same fish based baits/lures used for coon.

Funny you mentioned cat food. Fishers are notorious for eating domestic cats and probably hang around the cat food waiting for that cat to come to dinner.
 

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This is while ago but we had a fisher get 2 adult cats and 6 kittens in 1 night! It looked like a horror movie under that shed :( It stopped coming around after it ate every cat on our place. Not a good into to country life after 10 yrs of city and never even heard of anything that would eat cats!
 

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Coyotes eat cats here in California. We don't have Fishers here.

I have compassion for your canine companion. But part of me also enjoys hearing there's some critter out there that can kick a pit-bull's rear (or at least bite it).
 

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suburbanite said:
But part of me also enjoys hearing there's some critter out there that can kick a pit-bull's rear (or at least bite it).
Notice he did say it was only PART pit bull.

I'd never be able to find the info now, but I do know of at least one pit bull many years ago that killed a wolverine.
 
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