Yellowstone Reports

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Marten Confrontation

Let's all just get along
by Dan Hartman

Jan. 31, 2017

     As we've now entered the last third of winter it's interesting how we seem to be gaining a new marten every week or so.
     Our latest is a large male who sometime is the past broke his jaw.  It obviously has healed and since he's our largest marten, he seems to have coped with the injury well.  However, the poor fella is destined to go through life with a crooked jaw.  Because one tooth juts out from the side of his mouth, we call him, "Snaggle-tooth".
     It was onlay a matter of time before this new male collided here with our regular male (who's been around for over a year).  Well, that meeting happened the other morning.  The result was a screaming, snarling cat fight that only ended when I ventured out to break it up.  Of course, the next meeting might occur deep in the forest where no one will witness the outcome.
     Years ago we had an epic fight here between two dominate males.  The battle went on for over an hour, carrying over into the forest above the cabin.  In the days following we spotted both martens, each with big patches of fur missing from their backs.
     Our lone adult female has possibly fueled the feud as she appears here with both males at different times.
    We have two other martens who appear every now and then, but are non players in the dispute.  One is an immature female who came in originally with the adult female, probably her mom.  The other a young male who times his visits when no other martens are around.
     Note:  Our regular male hasn't been seen for two days.  It is coincidence or has snaggle-tooth effectively run him off?

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View slide show

Snaggle Tooth

Snaggle Tooth & Our Regular Male

Hiding In A Snag

Snaggle Tooth

Our Female

Our Female Marten

Juvenile Female

Our Male Marten