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Midnight Commotion

Fox/Marten confrontation
by Dan Hartman

April 26, 2018

     An interesting occurrence happened the other night here at the cabin.

     I was home alone as Cindy was spending a few days with our daughter in Bozeman.  Sometime after 11PM I was awakened by a commotion outside our bedroom.  At times something was actually bumping against the door.  Also there was a good amount of snarling, screaming and whimpering.

     I flipped on the outdoor light and glimpsed two foxes scampering off in to the night.  A marten was swinging in the bird feeder, another looking out of a snag cavity.  Since all was quiet again, I returned to bed.  Soon however the sounds began all over again.  This time I snuck to the window and looked out into the gloom.

     What I could make out was the two foxes were trying to get at the martens and the martens were keeping themselves just out of reach.  All participants were growling and screaming at each other.  The foxes seemed serious but to the martens the whole thing seemed to be a game.

     I went back to bed.

     I had just gotten to sleep when the war outside reached a new level and awakened me again.  I glanced at the clock.  12:30 AM.

     Well, I'd had it!!

     I stepped outside and yelled for them to cut it out!!

     The foxes vanished.  The bird feeder swung wildly as the marten took off.  The marten in the cavity cowered down inside.

     I went back to bed.

     Some time after 1:00 AM, it started up all over again.  I put on some music and dropped off to sleep.

     It was just after 6:00AM and beginning to get light, when screaming woke me up.  I got up for a look.  The female marten was in the cavity and two males were batting at her, trying to get her out.  A fox stood in the trees below the cabin watching.

     It's going to be a long day.


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