Are you looking for a new hunting challenge? Fox hunting might be the answer. Many modern predator hunters have added foxes to the list of species they love to chase. Plus, you can hunt foxes without any specialized equipment.
But you will need knowledge, and that is where we come in. Let us provide the basics of how to hunt foxes – where, how, and what you need to bag your first fox.
Guide to Hunting Foxes
Fox hunting has a long history in America and the United Kingdom. However, traditional fox hunting was more chase than hunt. Hounds chased the fox, hunters on horseback followed the dogs, and a successful hunt meant cornering the fox.
Modern fox hunting is more closely related to predator hunting for a coyote. Hunters set up in a likely location and attempt to ambush or lure a fox into range. Here the object is to harvest the fox, usually to hide or prevent predation of farm species.
As stated earlier, one of the significant aspects of fox hunting is the beginner does not need specialized equipment to get started. A firearm, a lamp, and a fox call are all you need to harvest your first fox. Although there is additional equipment you may want later, nothing else is necessary.
Best Firearm to Use
The two main options are a 12-gauge shotgun or a small-caliber rifle. If using a shotgun, a BB round will do the trick. Some popular rifles are .22 LR, .17 HMR, and .223 Rem. All three offer increased range in a lightweight, easy-to-shoot platform. Other options include .243 Winchester, .22-250, .204, and 6.5 Creedmore.
Best Time of Day to Hunt
You can hunt foxes either during the day or at night. Whether one is more productive depends more on the local fox population than anything else. A light is only necessary if hunting at night. If this is the case, it’s recommended to use a headlamp. Using a headlamp verse a handheld lamp or flashlight allows the solo hunter to spot and shoot more effectively as both hands are free. Plus, many headlamps can switch from white light to red, which is a great option when attending to other tasks without giving away your position.
Finally, you will need a call. For many beginners, this is the only piece of equipment you will need to purchase to get started.
There are dozens of options for fox call, including mouth call, reed call, electronic call, and even apps for your smartphone. Several sounds will attract foxes, including woodpeckers, rabbits, rodents, groundhogs, and several species of songbirds. In areas where agriculture is a possible food source, calls that imitate chickens and even kittens are popular.
Once your equipment is ready, it is time to locate the perfect spot.
How to Outsmart a Fox
A successful fox hunt requires a strategy. Foxes are intelligent, cunning, and not easily fooled. After all, predators rely on their hunting ability to survive. But they can also be creatures of habit, which makes them predictable. Plus, they are curious by nature. By taking advantage of these traits, a hunter can outsmart the fox and have the upper hand.
Select a location that gives you the advantage. Ideally, you want to be downwind of where you expect the fox will approach from. You can use the topography to help steer the fox in the right direction or to keep the fox from coming in from behind.
Although it is possible to hunt foxes without a call, it is more luck than skill. Think about how often you have sat in the woods and watched a fox randomly wander by. Drawing it to your area is much more successful.
Luckily, foxes are naturally curious, so they readily search for the source of the call. In most cases, they will try to approach from downwind. By selecting a location where this is hard for the fox to do, you can force it to close from the front or side. Use the call sparingly so the fox must look for it.
Once the fox is on the approach, keep movement to a minimum. They have excellent eyesight and can easily detect movement. Once the fox is within range, take your shot. Congratulations! You have tagged your first fox.
Does a Whistle Acutally Work?
Yes, whistles work very well when calling foxes. The sound imitates a distressed rabbit, a favorite meal for any fox.
Again, use the call sparingly. An actual rabbit would not call continuously, so neither should you. A good rule of thumb is to call for a few seconds, pause for a couple of minutes, and try again. It is not uncommon for an uneducated fox to run right toward the call, so be prepared.
Fox hunting can be a very satisfying way to spend time outdoors. You get to enjoy the thrill of the hunt, and you will also know that a successful hunt means you outsmarted a very worthy predator. Plus, depending on the fur market, you can make a little money. Probably not enough to brag about, but enough to offset your costs.
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