This section is from the book "The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation", by George Abbey. Also available from Amazon: The Balance Of Nature And Modern Conditions Of Cultivation.
This member of the weasel family can only be said to be useful in keeping down squirrels, and when descended to the ground preying upon mice, rats, and voles, all enemies of the forester's and gardener's cultures, also favouring those of the farmer in respect of vegetable crops. But the marten's depredations on winged and ground game, also in the poultry-yard, are so pronounced that neither the game-preserver nor poultry-farmer loses opportunity of effecting its destruction.
The ravages this animal commits in game-preserves, winged and ground game alike falling victims to its rapacity, and in the farmyard by killing far more victims than it can eat, sparing neither fowls and ducks, nor geese and turkeys, or pigeons and tame rabbits, provokes such repression that it is a rare creature. The game-preserver, poultry-farmer, rabbit-warrener, and pigeon-breeder has no use for the polecat, save that it destroys rats and mice; but its ravages on domesticated and animal food-supplying wild denizens of the woods and fields altogether outweigh any advantage in those respects. Only in districts not highly stocked with game, and where there are no poultry-yards, has the polecat tolerance as a destroyer of mice, rats, moles and voles; but from the forest and hilly districts and moorlands, where the foulmart or fitch is a blessing to the forester and grazier, incursions are made to preserves and poultry-yards.