Saturday, January 07, 2006

An Inspection of a Fisher Pelt

A colleague brought a pelt – fully tanned hide with fur intact – of a fisher [martes pennanti] to work, which we proceeded to inspect and hover over during lunch break. He is a certified trapper in the Province of Quebec so he is permitted to trap fur-bearing animals. The pelt was that of a male fisher. It is not as nice and dark as that of a female I am told. What intrigued me about this pelt were the porcupine quil puncture marks that were clearly visible from the inside of the pelt. The head, shoulder and upper body area of the pelt were scared by several dozen quil punctures. Probably not a good skin for making waterproof clothing. I have heard that the fisher is able to resist injury caused by the quils and this pelt obviously proves the point. The fisher was caught because it had become a local nusance and was devouring neighbourhood cats where my colleague lives in Quebec. It was still quite healthy and thus not affected by the quils.

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