Andrew Kuchel is back with another great article and a top tip:
Sometime ago I took a couple of “older” work colleges with me on a shooting trip. We set up camp and readied the vehicle for what the night would bring. We spent several hours knocking down the rabbit population without sighting a fox. I had explained to them that foxes tend to venture out much later round 1-2am due to the locals chasing them early in the night. True to my word we saw our first fox at around 1am after we had had our midnight snacks. He was a challenge to bring into shooting distance and I had to work him hard with the whistle. He was lost from sight when he dropped below a contour of the land only to resurface a mere 60m from the vehicle. Bang! He went down to my ever faithful Tikka T3 in 204.
I told my work mates that with mating season just around the corner I’d run out and grab the downed fox and keep working the whistle while I did. By the time I returned to the ute sure enough we had another fox in range. This time it was the vixen and she too would fall to the 204. Unreal the feeling is of bagging a mating pair.
My work mates were suitably impressed and they insisted on hanging the foxes from my bull bar for a photo opportunity later on. Well not exactly the sort of thing I really wanted, two stinking foxes dangling from my bull bar, but hey why not. My mates reminisced of yesteryear and that that was what they use to do so who was I to stop them from enjoying the moment.
So with foxes swinging away, off we went. We had only to make a half turn and we had eye shine already. This time I had no problem getting this hungry fox to close in on our position but damn, she’s coming in toward our down wind direction! I yell out to try stop her but she kept trotting in on a diagonal direction sure to pick up our scent and run for the hills. I yell again to no avail. Stuff it she’s not stopping so I’ll take a running shot. Bang, miss! Dammit she’s off like the clappers straight into our down wind scent and I was sure she’d be gone for ever. Any hunter worth half his salt is kicking himself by now for a stupid shot like that. But what does this fox do when she gets properly down wind of the ute? Stops dead in her tracks and sits looking back at us. Well I’m no fool and with a round chambered, crack! Down she goes.
Well I’ll be! 3 foxes in 10 minutes and picking up on a missed shot at a fox like that. We made plenty of noise, took photos and joked around. Then we hung the 3rd fox with the other two and started up the ute to head to the next paddock. We didn’t even make it 10 metres before we spotted yet another set of eyes. This time the fox was some 20 odd metres further from where we had just collected the third fox and totally down wind of us. He wasn’t fazed at all by our scent, sight and sound and was simply lying there looking at us like we were a bunch of friendly foxes. The 204 I assure you had other plans for him.
4 foxes shot in 20 minutes. 2 of them shot down wind.
Shooting 2 foxes down wind of the spotlighting vehicle had never happened like that for me before, and certainly not after firing off a miss plus all the commotion we made. On another shooting trip we made later in the year we did the same thing, hung the foxes from the bull bar and sure enough we had another dodgy shot equalling a miss. The fox ran like hell that was for sure and as soon as he had crossed that down wind mark of the ute he stops and looks back at us, waiting to meet his maker.
My theory now is, if you shoot a fox. Hang it from your bull bar. The radiator heats them up a bit to spread their glorious fox smell for all their fox friends to take a whiff and think your ok. Sure your vehicle might smell a bit later on but this has been one of the most successful tactics I’ve used while after the red coats and I recommend you try it.
From need gives birth to invention and may I present to you;
The “RANGA HANGA”