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Marten hunting with a dog, part 2.

Mårdjakt med hund, del 2


The ring is the starting point that much of the marten hunt revolves around, but it goes the hunt from complete knowledge to total chance.
 
If the marten hunts for snow, you go outside where the marten has gone up in a circle (marten ring) where the marten can not climb or jump out to a tree outside the ring. The very idea is that when you have walked around a lap, the ring should be tight, ie that you know for sure that the marten is inside the ring. Felling edges, very sparse forest and wide tractor roads without hanging branches are counted as reliable ring roads. The ring can be anything from a few trees to several hundred meters in diameter.


If the snow is loose and there is snow in the tree branches, you can sometimes follow the path the marten has taken by looking for fallen snow that has fallen when the marten has jumped between the trees.
When the ring is dense, you have to methodically start looking for daycare places which are primarily squirrel nests, a squirrel nest often looks like an opaque rice ball located in the branch on a spruce. The size of the rice ball is 3-6 dm in diameter. If no suspected squirrel nests are found within 20-30 m, you can start looking for suspected hollow trees, if no hollow trees are found either, the search radius is extended as far as necessary so that the marten is not outside the ring. Hollow trees can be anything from old dead trees with woodpecker holes to healthy trees with holes.


When you have possibly located some possible squirrel nests, start by tapping the tree with, for example, the back of an ax, if you are yourself, you have to tap first and then quickly run out and get a view upwards  if the marten moves or changes trees. If you are 2 participants, one knocks while the other is ready to shoot if the marten shows up, it is then of the utmost importance that the person with the rifle in hand observes each tree that is knocked and moves accordingly. It is in my experience when the marten infects that you really benefit from the dog when searching for trees, the dog's task is to lie after the marten and preferably mark where it has gone up in the tree or down into the ground again.
In the best of worlds, the marten trains the dog, who then barks his skull until I get there and shoot it before it runs on.
If the hunt drags on and it gets shady outside or dark, with the help of a strong lamp you can shine in the treetops and see the marten's yellow eyes twinkle back, which gives a good shooting chance.   

If the marten has gone down in the pot.

The very idea when standing at a pot is the same regardless of whether it is mink, marten or fox, the rifle should always be at arm's length distance regardless of whether there are other people on the hunt. You neither can nor should trust that the others do their part, a successful conclusion often depends on the fact that you do not trust that the pass shooters are attentive.



First of all, sight clearing is an incredibly important step before the marten is worried underground. All shrubs and spruces must be cleared away for the sake of visibility. Keep the dogs tethered during the clearing operation.
A marten is a small animal and is also sometimes taken by foxes, so it does not take a fight down in the ground but sticks out if it feels threatened. I who use both dusters and terriers definitely see an area of ​​use for the terrier that enters cavities where larger dogs do not go. Many times it is enough for the marten to hear that something is down in the ground for it to try to dodge.



I usually start by letting the dogs work around the pot without helping them, in the beginning I usually only fit to see if the marten comes out easily. If this is not the case, either a ski pole, pointed spruce or skewer can be used to make the marten leave the security. If there is a lot of snow, a snow shovel comes into its own, because if it does not help with skewers, the snow must be removed and the ground exposed so that the dogs know where it is and where it is moving. Expect that if the marten has not arrived in the beginning, it will feel safe under the ground, which you need to change for a successful result. Depending on how big the pot is, there can be considerable amounts of snow to be moved, but there are few shortcuts. If you are several people, remember to change before you are sweaty.



The next step is usually to dig into the ground with the help of a skewer, ax and shovel where the dogs mark that the marten is and as it moves, continue to dig and skewer until it chooses to escape.



If you are at the pot yourself and both dig and fit, you can use baby nets, which are sold in regular stores. Bear nets are normally stretched over berry bushes but can also be trampled into the ground and hung up in suitable tree branches around the pot, the marten does not normally get stuck in the net but you get a little more time to catch up with the shoot.

  

Hope I got you interested and prepared to try marten hunting / Rasmus

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