Fisher & bloody tracks …

Posted by: Raleigh Robertson.

On Tuesday (2 Feb 2010) morning, from our back porch at our farm on Opinicon, I saw a fisher cross the path under the hydro

The blood covered red cedar, one week later, after lots of the blood had been rubbed off by subsequent antler rubbing. Click on picture for larger version.

corridor, about 40 m W of the house.  It was headed toward the lake, then went up the ridge to the south.  When I went out to look at its tracks in the fresh snow, I saw lots of blood, and at first thought the fisher had just killed a grouse or rabbit.  However, after more tracking I realized the blood, which was very fresh, and with sprays, as from a small artery, was from a deer – I could see three different spots where the deer had lain down, and a pool of blood formed.  When I backtracked, I discovered a small red cedar where a deer had presumably rubbed its antlers, and the 10 cm trunk was completely blood covered up to about 50 cm from the ground.  In the past, I’ve seen lots of cedars that deer had used to rub antlers, but never had I seen evidence of blood.  I’d be interested to hear of other observations of blood covered antler-rubbing trees.  In any case,  I think the deer had done its thing, and then the fisher had smelled the blood and had come to check it out.  Lois and I later searched for dropped antlers, but found none.

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