Physical characteristics and distribution

Body length: females: 30 – 35 cm, males: 35 – 45 cm
Weight: females: 650 – 850 g, males: 500 – 1500 g
Life expectancy: 5 – 10 years
Distribution: Western, Central and Eastern Europe
Habitat: edge of the forest, field, meadow, hedge
Species: not endangered


Polecats belong to the marten family. Her coat is dark brown to black, only at the side her light undercoat shimmers through. Like the raccoons, they have a white face and a dark mask around the eye area. The body of this mouse hunter is slim and the head is very narrow. With a shoulder height of barely more than five centimeters her posture looks a bit crouched. While running, they raise their backs. It looks like they’re humping. Your cock can be up to 15 inches long. Female polecats are also called “sewing”.

Reproduction and development

The mating season of the polecats is between May and June. The males strive for the females. If these bite on the neck, it can lead to “foreplay”: Through the bite, the cuttings fall into the so-called “Tragschlaffe” – a state of relaxation in which they are completely motionless. The conquerors drag them around for up to an hour before mating. Six weeks later, between four and eight boys are born. At the beginning, they still have closed eyes and white fur, which darkens only after a few weeks. At one year, the offspring is then sexually mature.

Lifestyle and behavior

The polecat is a classic loner. He is post-active and sleeps most of the day in his cave, which he has either dug himself or taken from another animal. Sometimes the martens also find shelter in crevices or other natural hiding places. In winter, they often move into the proximity of human settlements and spend the cold time in barns or other shelters, which they set up comfortably like their other caves with grass and mosses. Pronounced climbing talent, the animals rather not. Therefore, they hunt almost exclusively on the ground. Their swimming skills, on the other hand, are remarkable. As natural enemies, they have larger predators such as fox, wolf, birds of prey and wildcat.


Like many other predators, the polecat kills or paralyzes its prey with cervical bites, which it then drags into the burrow, but often does not immediately consume. Mainly are the rats and mice, which makes the martens in humans as “natural pest controllers” very popular. The menu also includes frogs, snakes and eggs. When it comes to the food supply is not so good, they are sometimes content with insects and fruits, although they can not process them so well because of the nature of their digestive system. That is only designed for meat.

Hunting style, equipment and countries

The polecat is common in almost all of Europe with the exception of the southern regions and Scandinavia. In general, the polecat hunts with the trap or as a random result in the Ansitzjagd. For the polecat, small bellow-friendly calibers are recommended.
There are no targeted hunting trips on Iltis

Hunting trip Countries


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