One of the downsides of being so committed to our shooting is that we have very few foxes left in our area. Consequently, we have to work like mad to find them – last night, for instance, my friend Joe and I went onto farms that must total about 2,000 acres, and only saw two foxes the entire time.
One of those was about 500 yards out and was hiding in the bottom of a hedge when the other one approached. It then spooked and ran away, so we didn’t get a chance of a shot at it. After spending a minute or so trying to track the runner, the fox gave up and continued on towards where it’d heard my caller.
Joe and I watched it walk out onto a public road, but it then went behind a hedge and was lost from sight. Try as we could, we were unable to see it anywhere. It then suddenly appeared in our field, immediately downwind of us. The moon was very bright in a clear sky, and as we were in the middle of an open area, we were completely exposed. Before I was even able to get the rifle onto the sticks, a car came up the little-used road – just when we could have done without it, and our adversary ran into the nearby hedge to hide from the headlights.
We tried a few vixen calls then waited and watched, but as there was no sign of it, I suggested that we climb the hill a bit and look from there. Sure enough, as soon as we’d got high enough to see over the hedge we found that the fox was sitting out at about 200 yards, watching to see what was going on. Luckily for me, it sat just long enough to take a .204 round in the chest. Getting to it was a bit of a challenge, however, as it was on one farm, and we were on another – with no gates or anything connecting the two.
In the end Joe walked down to the road and made his way through into the field, while I went back and got the truck then drove round to the bottom of the hill. From there I worked my way up the steep gradient. By the time we got to the carcass we were both thoroughly overheated, which caused our thermals/NV spotters to mist over in seconds.
The fox, when we reached it, was a very large and stinky dog – whether the other was simply a vixen that didn’t fancy him, or a smaller male that didn’t want to risk being beaten-up, I can’t say. Still – Joe enjoyed himself and I started the account for 2015, so it wasn’t a wasted trip!