A fisher seems to pose for a trail camera photo. Credit: Courtesy of Christian Swasey

I’ve been lucky to have crossed paths with many of our state’s wild animals over the years, but one that has eluded me thus far is the fisher.

I’m not sure that’s a bad thing.

Fishers are often regarded as the most vicious animals in the woods, pound for pound. They’re carnivores, and are among the few animals that prey on porcupines.

That fact alone is enough to put the animal on my “don’t mess with this critter” list.

The fisher shown in today’s trail cam photo doesn’t look too vicious. In fact, it looks like it has stopped to pose for the picture.

Christian Swasey said his family is experimenting with a new trail cam near their home in Hampton Falls, New Hampshire, and captured this cool image.

“I got my 11-year-old son a trail cam for Christmas. He was very excited to put it out. We didn’t know what we’d find when we checked the first time. We had a lot of activity,” Swasey said. “I have attached one cool pic of a fisher cat.”

Many people call the animals “fisher cats,” but fishers aren’t cats at all. In fact, they’re members of the weasel family. And despite their name, fish is not a key component of the fisher’s diet. According to a Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife fact sheet, the name refers to a similar-looking animal that was called a “fitch,” or a “fiche.”

The same fact sheet points out that fishers have a wide variety of other animals on their menu, including rodents, snowshoe hares and upland birds. A surprise to me: They also eat Canada lynx.

“Between 1999 [to] 2011, the department captured and equipped 85 lynx with radio collars and investigated mortalities when they occurred,” the DIF&W sheet said. “Predation was the leading cause of mortality, with at least 14 of the 65 lynx mortalities attributed to fisher.”

Do you have a trail camera photo or video to share? Send it to jholyoke@bangordailynews.com and tell us “I consent to the BDN using my photo.” In order to prevent neighbors from stopping by to try to tag particularly large bucks, moose or bears, some identities and towns of origin may be omitted.

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John Holyoke

John Holyoke has been enjoying himself in Maine's great outdoors since he was a kid. He spent 28 years working for the BDN, including 19 years as the paper's outdoors columnist or outdoors editor. While...