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Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Time for a foxhunt

I got a call this morning from the Boy.  The fox was trying to figure out how to get into the Little Lolly.  The timing is interesting.  Caryl left the house at 9:15.  The Boy called me at 9:19.  I've read before that foxes will watch humans' patterns of behavior to know when it's safe to try to get a snack, and clearly this one thought it had us figured out.
Look at that white-tipped tail.  Definitely a red fox.
I told him:  Be sure of what's downrange.  Aim for the center of mass.  If you drop it, then go in closer for a headshot.  Don't touch it since it's covered with skin parasites.

The Boy positioned himself on the driveway so neither coop was in his line of fire (and the cows in the adjacent pasture are all on the other side of the field this week), and he took the shot.  The fox ran away with a limp, so it sounds like the Boy hit its leg.  He then followed the fox back to its den.  Now knowing where its den is, we're setting up a snare tonight.

UPDATE/CORRECTION:  The Boy says that he hit the fox's hip.

UPDATE/CORRECTION #2:  The Boy didn't see its den; he saw where it left our property.  After some searching, we didn't find a good place for a snare, but we did set a live trap.  (The fox will enter the trap alive, but it won't leave the trap in that condition.)

A trap shouldn't smell like humans, but like the prey the predator is after.
The girls are doing a good job.

UPDATE #3:  The fox is sly.  It's also not as injured as we thought.  As you can see in the video, it's moving around just fine.  We know the Boy hit him--he says the fox's rear right leg faltered after he shot it--so perhaps it was just a flesh wound.  Why doesn't he trip the trap?  We think he was more interested in the "live bait" than in the catfood, but with an extra day to ferment we're hoping the catfood smells extra yummy today.  But about that slyness.  The timestamp is off by an hour and change -- the hour is for daylight savings time, and the other few minutes are due to clock drift.  The nighttime shots are about when we shut down the house, and it got spooked by us shining the flashlight out the window.  The morning shots are shortly after it saw a car leaving the driveway.  It's watching for the cars to leave.

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