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Mink in winter


North Dakota Game Species
Fact Sheet
Scientific Name Mustela vison
Description Mink have a typical weasel-like body with a slender form and a short, bushy tail. They are brown to nearly black and often have a white patch on their chin, throat or chest. Their fur is shorter than that of an American marten or fisher.
Tracks Track Front/Rear– 1-1/4" L, 1-1/2" W Walking stride: 3-1/2" - 7-3/4"
Total Length 11-27 inches
Weight 1-4 pounds
Habitat Mink are found throughout North Dakota, but are more prevalent in the eastern half of the state. Mink are semi-aquatic and are associated with streams, rivers, wetlands, ponds and lakes. However, they are known to forage in uplands and are capable of climbing trees.
Breeding Season February-April. Fertilized eggs then may or may not delay implantation for up to 45 days.
Gestation Period 30-32 days
Litter Size 2-8 (average 4)
Social Aspects Mink are solitary, except when breeding or rearing young.
Status North Dakota's mink population is stable and there is a limited harvest season.
Food Habits Mink are strictly carnivorous and prey includes muskrats, fish, frogs, crayfish, birds (especially waterfowl), eggs and small rodents.
Fun Facts Mink were the most valuable furbearer in North Dakota during the 1950s and 1960s, and sales of their fur by North Dakota trappers averaged more than $220,000 per year during this time. Since then, increasing numbers of farm-raised mink have lessened the demand for wild animals.