How to bait a marten?

Small problem down at the farm. A marten has taken up residence on our farm as is being quite the nuisance. I have two barn cats and we have had to lock them in a secure shed to keep this creature away from the pregnant female cat.

To that end, we want to trap this little critter and relocate it to an abandoned farm 5 miles up the road. I have live traps that I found in the barn and intend to try use one to trap the marten.

The question is, what to use for bait? Will raw hamburger draw it into the trap? And what are the odds that this pest will turn on me when I release it?

Just because I asked this in the hunting section does not mean that I willingly kill small animals. This is Saskatchewan (wheat country) and martens also kill rats. Contain yourself, put the safety back on and save your shells for the all the deer we have here. That’s what the ‘big boys’ hunt around these parts.

6 Answers

  • Hi I am an Alaskan trapper and trap marten. Believe it or nor they just love strawberry preserves. My wife actually puts out a plate of strawberry preserves on our back porch to feed the ones around the house. Like you said they will keep down the rodent population down, she thinks their cute.

    I also use cut up pine squirrel or birds for bait. So when I clean some grouse I use the head and neck as bait. Marten doesn’t go for fish as much as Mink do, why I have no idea, just know what works. So you could use turkey or chicken necks or even red meat scraps. But it has to be fairly fresh they don’t go after rotten meat that much unless its winter ( they do eat dead animals though if there isnt another food easy to be had). If you use bird meat leave some feathers around they are attracted by feathers blowing in the wind. Make sure you de-scent the trap and wear rubber gloves to handle everything. Baking soda in hot water helps remove scent oils. You could then boil some spruce tips or pine boughs and spray that over the trap as a cover scent.

    Word of warning a live trapped marten may kill itself trying to get out of a live trap. I have seen ermine, weasels repeatedly slam into the wire mesh of the live trap until they were a bloody mess. So keep a cover over the trap like thick canvas this will reduce them from panicking so much. And watch out for those sharp teeth. When you release it you had best do so with a long rope or they just might light into you with a vengeance! Oh some will just run off but not always!

  • Pine Marten Trapping

  • A marten is like a weasel or wolverine.

    Use any kind of meat, especially old and smelly. I hear seafood works well too, the smellier the better. Hey, you have cat food, I’m sure that will work as well.

    As to the release….who can predict what a terrified and aggressive wild animal will do. I expect he will run to the nearest cover, but it may be wise to be prepared in any case with heavy gloves and a friend with a large stick or bat. If you can, use a pickup truck for the release and let him go off the end of the opened tailgate onto the ground.

    Also, be advised these animals can be rabid, so if you do get bit seek medical care.

  • pinemartens love people and they don’t hurt you directly. they hurt minks they like eating them If you tried to pick one up, it would certainly bite or scratch you. Martens are mustelids, which include weasels, minks, wolverines, ferrets, skunks, badgers, fishers. All mustelids are aggressive animals, very high strung.And, pine martens feed mainly on rodents and birds, they do not eat minks.

  • If you are talking about an animal that would eat your cats I would use a trap that can kill the animal.

  • Sounds like a cat might be good bait.

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