Foxes aren’t the cute little creatures that Disney and others have made them out to be. While some own them as pets, it takes a large degree of patience and persistence to deal with them. They also scream very loud in the middle of the night. You read that right—yes, foxes scream.
If you own chickens, a fox will wreak absolute havoc on them, killing and eating as many as it can. They burrow, destroy your garden, and your garbage will never be foolproof enough. One of the quickest ways to stop them is with a trap, but how to trap a fox?
How to catch a fox
There is a reason that the terms “sneaky” and “smart” are often associated with foxes. They are very keen animals, have an extreme sense of smell, and will quickly retreat when spooked. These inherent traits make them difficult to trap.
A fox trap is a combination of things—the trap itself, glands, something to lure the fox in, and something to keep it there long enough to trap (bait).
Track the fox
The best way to lay out your trap is to understand the foxes’ movements. That means tracking it. Determine its ingress and egress routes on your property. These are the primary routes a fox will use to hunt or infiltrate your garbage cans or chicken coop.
Lay out your lure
The purpose of the lure is to get the foxes’ attention and draw it into the trap. The bait itself often lacks the potency to completely grab a foxes’ attention. The lure serves that purpose. One of the best lures to use is a bottle of fox glands—a liquid sprinkled along the trail you want the fox to follow
Types of traps
There are a few effective traps that will catch a fox but the best traps are spring coil traps. There are also cage traps, but it’s much more difficult to entice a fox enough that it will walk into a cage.
Remember, foxes have an incredible sense of smell, so the spring coil trap you choose has to be 100% free of any human or artificial smells.
Locate your trap as close to the foxes’ hunting trail as you can get it. Foxes like to move to high ground, even when they’re investigating, so if there is a hill or a mound very close by, consider placing your trap there. Other animals don’t like moving up high, so you’ll be more likely to trap a fox rather than something you didn’t intend to trap. Be sure to camouflage it.
Best bait to use
Anything with a powerful smell. Cans of tuna fish, something fishy, pork, or other meats with a strong smell. The lure entices the fox to travel in the desired direction, and the bait should be suitably smelly, overpowering the foxes’ sense of caution. Camouflage the bait and trap well.
What to do once you catch the fox
You need to check your traps often. You don’t want to get your smell anywhere near the trap, so only approach close enough to check it and then leave. You want to check them often because you don’t want the fox sitting in the trap any longer than necessary.
You should contact your local wildlife control departments and let them determine where to relocate the fox. Killing the fox may be an option, depending on the laws where you live. However, if you kill an animal, you should do so only as a protective position for your chickens, garden, or other property protections.
Outside of that, you shouldn’t let the fox go to waste either. The coat is certainly useful and can be tanned. Fox meat is not a delicacy. While some people eat it, it’s very tough and has a pretty extensive prep time.
If you live in rural areas or are off the grid, a single fox has the potential to spoil your day in a big way. They’re pretty to look at, sure, but they’re also highly destructive animals. Owners can attest to the fact that a fox will happily convert your couch into its personal sleeping den, by taking it completely apart.
They also tend to go into a killing frenzy if they gain access to a chicken coop. While all the fox wants is a single chicken, all the other chickens squawking and bouncing around will trigger its instincts to kill them all. They can be quite the nuisance, and trapping them is ultimately for the best.
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