Mostly Trapping

Trapper catches marten with unusual fur
Feb 1, 2019 08:34 ET

(Reprinted from above link)

FAIRBANKS — Allakaket trapper PJ Simon last week caught a marten that had streaked tan, red, brown and white fur that looks almost like the fur of a cross fox.

Usually marten have solid, chocolatey-brown fur. Simon said he’s never seen one like this in almost 40 years of trapping.

“I don’t know if it’s part albino or just a color phase, but it’s super rare to catch one like that. The only one I heard about last year was over by Kotzebue,” he said.

In the darkness in which he does most of his trapline work, Simon said he didn’t immediately see that this one was different. He noticed the coloring when he got home.

Marten, small members of the weasel family, are the mostly widely trapped animals in Alaska. Usually marten furs are sold internationally or made into fur hats. Simon skinned and salted this marten and hopes to eventually have it processed into a full taxidermy mount.

“When I skinned it out, I took a couple of extra hours. I was like, ‘Wow, I’m never going to catch this type of marten again,’” he said. “Some of our Athabascan elders said it’s a lucky sign.”

Contact Outdoors Editor Sam Friedman at 459-7545. Follow him on Twitter: @FDNMoutdoors