Image: Pine marten in a live trap.
Round XX goes to us in the pine marten battle. May the war be over …
We’d kind of hoped that the pine marten had decided to leave on its own, but we baited the live trap and set it up under the house. Three days with canned sardines as a bait (one of the suggested baits) – no luck. The mice liked it, and licked the sardine can clean, but the marten wasn’t interested in either the sardines or the mice.
Ken cut a pepperoni sausage in half, tied it into the back of the trap, and in the middle of the night – clang! Trap was triggered and one live, albeit pissed off, marten was waiting for us in the morning.
The marten’s kind of a cute fellow, not very big, despite its rather large presence around our house. However, it definitely had the weasel attitude. It never made a sound, until you got close to the trap, then it growled ferociously. Sort of like the mouse challenging the elephant. Ken offered it the other half of the pepperoni stick, which it happily accepted, growling all the while, and then chewed and munched contentedly for a time. This seemed to relax the little fellow, because he rolled up into a ball and fell asleep while Ken and I discussed the logistics of marten relocation.
Ultimately, we decided to take the marten on a wee trip about four miles down the inlet in the Awen, across the inlet from us and several river crossings away. We are hoping that this is far enough to deter the homing instinct and give us some piece until we get our soffits installed. Apparently, once the weather gets nice, martens lose their interest in cohabiting with people, so with any luck, this will be the last of the marten wars until next winter, and by then we will be martenized.