A guy we shoot for told me last week he was "being plagued" by foxes and asked if we could go and take a look. We all know when people say that, they normally mean they've seen one, but last night really was an eye-opener to just how many foxes are around in certain areas.
We went for a look at this "plague" last night, not expecting much. We arrived around 10 and it wasn't really dark yet, so we plotted up in the trees and waited. My mate Jack had brought a rabbit lure like a plastic bouncy rabbit that squeals for a minute, stops for a minute and so on, so we set that up at the base of a hill about 100 yards from where were were waiting.
Within a few minutes the thermal showed at least half a dozen foxes in the undergrowth eyeing it up. Wasn't long before 3 fairly big cubs ventured out to have a look. I shot the first one but the others scarpered back into cover. More foxes were still watching, but wouldn't come out, so we moved on.
Over the next hour and a half I shot 3 more. 2 vixens and a cub. The strangest thing happened when I shot the cub. The bullet hit home, it went down with a thud and checking through the thermal it was dead. As we walked over to it, a bigger fox ran out of the bushes, picked the cub up and ran back into the bushes with it. Never seen that before. The undergrowth was too thick for us to follow, so the landowner will just have to take our word for that one.
Midnight was upon us and nothing was stirring. An hour passed and there was no sign of a fox, not even a glimpse of one. I gave Jack the gun, smugly thinking there was no way he could match what I had shot. The next hour and 20 minutes, he accounted for 4 more. A dog, 2 vixens and a cub. This also included chasing what we called the "ghost fox", which was visible on the lamp, but not on the thermal. It was limping a bit, so should have been easy to nab, but will live to fight another day.
We finished up at 2.20 with a total of 7 (8 if you count the one that got dragged off by another fox.) A dog, 4 vixens, and 2/3 cubs. Without any word of exaggeration in the 4 hours or so we were there, was must have seen more than 30 foxes. I'd reckon nearer 40. I don;t know why there are so many, but we'll definitely be going back!!