For example, about a year ago a marten chewed through the brake fluid line of my neighbor's BMW. My neighbor only became aware of the damage after he was forced to bring the car to a screeching halt via the handbrake. At around the same time, I began to notice muddy paw prints on my own vehicle every morning. A little later, I discovered marten droppings in my attic. My father and I immediately went out and purchased a trap and placed it in the attic.
After that, I waited. And waited. The marten continued to visit my attic and perform moonlit tap dances on the hood of my car, but it showed absolutely no interest in the trap. I tried different baits; nothing worked. I even lay trail of bait in the attic in an attempt to lure the marten into the trap. Nada. After about four months, I accepted defeat and stop baiting the trap.
Then, about a week ago, I heard strange noises emanating from the attic. It took me a few seconds to remember the unbaited trap I had left up there; once I did, I went upstairs not knowing what I would find. Well, it turns out the best bait is no bait at all. It took a year, but the sly marten finally found its way into the little metal prison I had set for it.
"Submerge the cage in the river," he said gruffly without a trace of compassion in his voice, "wait ten minutes, and then empty the trap."
Having once been an avid hunter, I have no qualm with killing animals, especially pests, but as I stared at the marten in the trap, I couldn't find it my heart to exterminate it. Instead, I loaded it into my car (martens may look cute, but boy do they smell), drove four or five kilometers to an open field, and released the marten into some thickets of brush. It took off like a bullet and scampered out of sight in the tall grass a few meters from where I stood.
A few days later, I noticed paw prints on my car again. I sighed. Probably a different marten, which means I have won a battle, but not the war.