Stare down with a fox! I need to learn to shoot!

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by dkosh, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen a lot of predators on our farm but they usually run when they hear or see you. Well I got site of a big healthy red foxat 8am. He was making a bee line to my chickens and new baby lambs. I ran out of the house and yelled scat. I ran a few feet then turned and stared me down. Now I'm thinking this isn't smart. I didn't even have a stick. So I charged it, probably not my smartest move but all I could think was to try and scare it again. It did run but only about 100 feet. Before it turned again. This time I started looking for a rock. He turned and crawled under the fence on the side of the farm. Man I wish I had my husbands shot gun. I think I want to learn to shoot.
     
  2. Amy S

    Amy S Chillin' With My Peeps

    Foxes can be very determined animals. Be sure that he'll be back soon. Good luck!
     
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Start the shooting lessons immediately. The fox will return. Be ready for it.
     
  4. BirdyMe

    BirdyMe Chillin' With My Peeps

    Coyotes and fox will always come back...darn critters.

    And don't feel stupid about charging a fox without so much as a stick- I've lost count of how many times I've gone after skunks in my coops. :p
     
  5. Aschenfire

    Aschenfire Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A fox is not going to take a lamb...They might go for baby chicks and perhaps chickens but just like the "coyote who killed my full grown cow", a fox that eats lamb is pretty non-existent.

    They are resourceful though and if they think a free baby-chick dinner is in the works, they might hang out. I just hate that some of my favorite wild critters are ones which love chicken as much as I do. Shame they can't eat a nice tofu burger and hang out at the hookah bar.
     
  6. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

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    Red Fox are brazen, this is why I've shot far more than I've snared (kits will enter standard havaharts). If they actually get a taste of the prey (and are chased off) one should just sit tight with the projectile weapon of one's choice and wait (within the hour they just have to come back).

    Years ago, until the practice was suppressed by `opinion'. Folks in the part of the County, who raised sheep, would make a social event of burining out dens. Now, those of us with poultry just take care of the excess population ourselves.

    Just got a call from someone down the road who lost 6 guineas to a pair of Reds. A seven pound Royal Palm jenny was taken WHOLE (only a couple of feathers where she was grabbed off her nest - pics on a game cam of the attack directly to neck - makes sense). Bones and a few feathers were found behind a mule pen (on treeline) a little short of 12 acres away (and that is an unusual distance to cache site). Have patched up a Black Spanish Tom that was nearly killed by a single Red (really messed up his neck as well - couldn't turn his head right side up at first - he did recover). Our closest neighbor had 13 Silver Laced Wyandotte Pullets removed from her yard in the space of 15 minutes by a pair of Reds (saw the tail of one of the Reds disappearing with the last one (hardly any feathers in yard). They cached and ate the pullets about 100 yards away in our tree line. I found the den the following day and that was that.

    If one knows they have these guys around DO NOT free range unless supervised (armed supervision is pref). They are very active and will hunt in pairs through the Spring (24/7 - but worst just after dawn/just before sunset).

    Genetically speaking, most of the Reds in the lower/Eastern 48 descended from those brought to Eastern North America for the amusement of of the `hunting' class `tally-ho' and all of that. I consider them to be invasive, imported `ornamentals' , not unlike Amur Honeysuckle, Multifloral Rose and Snakeheads. http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3784493?uid=3739744&uid=2&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=47698811741107 (just read the abstract - no need to buy the paper).
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2012
  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    I'm not convinced that fox will never take lambs. Several years ago two separate reliable individuals told me of seeing a pair of fox taking fawns. The fox would work on does with twins. Each fox would drive a fawn further and further away from the doe until the doe picked one to protect. That year no does around here raised multiple fawns. An exception? Yes, but not impossible that this behavior could not be worked on a ewe with multiple lambs.
     
  8. WaldensRidge

    WaldensRidge Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow! I cant believe it just stared at you. Sounds like you need to teach that fox a lesson. But I don't know if I would grab a shotgun for the application. I think a good old .22 rifle or for more range you could use a .223 or 22-250. The good thing about a .22 is you wont have to worry about recoil and its somewhat safer due to its lower velocity. Either way if you connect with the vital area of the fox or coyote with a .22 it's doubtful your see that predator again. Good luck and be careful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  9. dkosh

    dkosh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an electric fence around my chicken yard. I made sure it isn't shorting out anywhere. Since I can't be out there all the time it is the best I can do at the moment. We do have a .22 but I thought I would be less likely to miss if I used a shot gun. Seeing how I haven't shot either I will try them both out for sure. We have a lot of coyotes also but I have seen them stop half way through the orchard going towards the animals then turn and run. We have guard llamas so I'm guessing they get sent of the llamas and think twice and leave. I don't think the fox is the least bit intimidated by the llamas though.
     
  10. wvtim

    wvtim Out Of The Brooder

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    Red Fox is not in season right now, you'd be breaking Massachusetts state law.
     

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