I had a phone call from Rob yesterday morning saying another 2 foxes had been spotted during the day at the farm we visited last week. We’d taken 6 off there on our previous visit. I confirmed that I would finish my work and drive down to him.
I loaded up the Land Rover with all my shooting gear and took the two hour drive down to Herefordshire. I had a pretty good run down the dreaded A49 and pulled onto Rob’s drive at about 17:30. After a well-earned coffee and a yarn we set off to another farm we also visited the week before which had produced two that night.
The sun had just started to set when we arrived so we drove straight to the field where we shot one last week and had spotted another. As we drove onto the field the woods ran down in a straight line on our left hand side – maybe about 150 yards long. Out to our right a huge bank ran straight up to about 270 yards. We discussed that we would put the caller (ICOtec GC500) about 80 yards away from the woods up the bank. We positioned the Landy up on top of the bank looking straight at the woods. The hatch roof had been taken off and Rob climbed in the back. Out behind us the view was amazing – the ground dropping away and rising back up to a woodland about 350-400 yards away. I was so confident I would see a “Unicorn”. By Unicorn I mean Muntjac. I call them Unicorns because I’ve never been fortunate enough to see one whilst having a rifle on me!
Anyway… back to the foxing…
The GC500 was calling nice and quietly down by the woods whilst out to our left the sun was going down behind the Herefordshire Hills. God it set fast. Unfortunately no foxes showed in the daylight, so I pulled out the Red Night Master 800 and started to scan the fields. Rob was keeping an eye out behind with his Green Night Master. TAP TAP TAP on my shoulder and Rob whispered that he had just seen a flash in the hedge about 70 yards out at about 4 o’clock. Rob got steady with his .223. I lowered the white light down on to the set of eyes that were locked onto us which turned out to be a bloody cat. Well that got the excitement going.
As I turn around to scan back down towards the caller and caught a very bright flash back in the woods. TAP TAP TAP on Rob’s shoulder. I whispered possible fox back in the woods. I stopped the GC playing and fired up on our SS caller. Couple of minutes later nothing had showed itself so I thought I’d check behind us and as I scanned right I got this almighty flash on top of a ridge about 40 yards away.
BUGGER! GONE! I hit it flat out in the face with the Night Master. Poor fox!
We managed to catch sight of it down by the woods and Rob was very quick to get the cross on it and followed it back to the woods. I had barked yipped and whistled to try and stop it but no chance. This fox wouldn’t stop. Straight back to the woods where it did the old famous one last look. I heard Rob say (in a polite version) “darn it, it’s not safe” This certainly wasn’t a stupid fox. It had winded us perfect. It’s there to live another day – so we decided to pack up and go to another farm…
We picked up one of Rob’s friends who’s also called Rob. (So it doesn’t get confusing ill call him Robbie) We decided to head back to Robs for another coffee and have a bit of a catch up with Robbie. Half hour later we’re back on the road heading towards the farm where we had previously shot the 6 the week before.
As we pulled in through the farm, the farmer greeted us and told us where he had seen the two foxes. He also told us that he’d shot one himself prior to seeing these two. Seven foxes off this small farm within a week and knowing there’s another two about – that’s some population!
We pulled through the gate with the woods running straight up the field on our left whilst out to the right was a maize and sunflower cover crop that runs parallel to the woods with a gap of 70 yards.
Directly in front was the first flash. Rob and Robbie were already in the back and with rifle ready – but no joy. Charlie had buggered off into the cover crop.
I didn’t really want to call as I was parked about 10 yards off the wood. I fired the Landy up and said to Rob I’d drive forwards to the far end of the field and around the cover crop and try and attack from the other side. Now on the other side of the cover crop was a fairly big stubble field. I drove around the other side and parked up.
One of the Robs started calling and surprise surprise a fox pops out in the one place that wasn’t safe.
Grrrr this wasn’t going well – It just sat there looking at us and finally turned around and walked back into the cover crop. A couple of minutes later Robbie spotted it again in the gap between the cover crop and woods – he called and called and it just wasn’t interested.
I fired the Landy up once again and carried on driving around the cover crop. We did a complete lap of the crop and “Bingo” – Charlie was sat roughly in the same spot as he was when we first entered the field. I got the range finder out and “pinged” him.
Little bit further than I thought – I’d have guessed it was around the 220-230 yard mark but it was actually 290 yards. Rob put the cross on it put couldn’t get a 100% ID. He said it looks right but I’m not pulling the trigger – yet. I asked the Robs to pass me my rifle so I could look at it through my scope. Rob’s scope only goes up to 9x magnification whereas mine goes up to 24x.
I got set up on my bonnet put the scope on 12x mag and got a 100% ID – Rob telling me to take it as my rifle was out and I knew exactly where my .243 was hitting at 290 yards. I put my hand in my pocket to grab my magazine and then realised id left it on the dash in the Landy – so quickly (and quietly) leant in and grabbed it. I chambered a round and put the cross to where the fox was sat – in fact now laying down looking straight at us. Just in front of him was a great big tuft of grass which meant that I could only see the snout, eyes and ears.
We tried calling once again – just to try and get the bugger to stand up but no… He must have lay there for a good 10 minutes when all of a sudden he jumped up and ran back towards the hedge. I said to the “Robs” – STOP IT – and one of them shouted something to which the fox stopped sideways. I checked the back stop put the first mill dot in the middle of the shoulders and squeezed!
BOOOOOM…… WHOMP!!! Finally we had ourselves a Charlie.
I jumped back in the Landy with a huge smile on my face knowing that I’d just dropped another fox in the 300 yard bracket. We drove up to where I shot it and inspected the fox. A perfect shot. Cracking condition. It also seemed to have its winter coat coming through.
We tried calling in another couple of spots with no joy so we decided to call it a night. I dropped the two Rob’s off and tackled the A49 back up to Shropshire getting in at 03.30. Had a fantastic night – and cant wait to get out again.