The Pine Marten is a member of the Weasel family. Relatives include the Otter, Fisher, Wolverine, Mink and the two species of the smaller Weasel that we have in MN.
The Pine Marten is a vicious predator that attacks prey that is much larger than itself. In the spring as Muskrats move around to new territories, they are easy prey for the Pine Marten. Pine Marten’s will also take Snowshoe Hares and Grouse along with smaller prey like mice.
The Russian equivalent to the Pine Marten is the Sable. The fur from these small animals is highly prized. In MN there is a very limited trapping season. The MN DNR monitors the population closely, and on an annual basis, adjusts the season accordingly.
This Marten has some pretty unique markings. Notice the eyebrows and the pattern on the ears. The fur on the throat is typical of an older Pine Marten. Some Martens are darker with a dark face and throat, that would indicate a younger animal.