After a successful night out on his own, Prostaffer Craig headed out into the hills with Ben and Nigel to mop up a few more Charlies
As the sub-zero temperatures have stayed with us I decided to head out again to cover the same ground as I had done the night before. I was joined by my normal buddy Ben and also a good friend of ours Nigel who has recently got himself his first centre fire rifle and had only shot a couple of foxes with it.
Both Ben and Nigel arrived at mine at around 8pm and following a quick brew and a chat, the hatch was off the landy and we were on route to the first location. On arrival Ben jumped in the driver’s seat and myself on the lamp looking for Nigel’s fox.
It wasn’t long before the first set of eyes shone back at me but I knew it wasn’t safe and asked Ben to drive a little further down the track to a better vantage point. Nigel quickly loaded his .223 and was ready on the roof as I turned the lamp back on. The set of eyes had moved about 100 yards out to the right and wasn’t sitting still and with the moon directly in front of us, the fox could see every little movement we made.
We moved on to another location that was only around 500 yards away and Bingo – another set of eyes down the bank under a tree but it quickly retreated so I quickly turned the light off. Situated deep in the shadows of the woodland behind us I knew the fox wouldn’t be able to see us. As Nigel got ready on the roof once again I turned the lamp on and gave a couple of quick pips with the Scotch Shaker and the fox had moved back in towards us. Nigel was very quick to tell me no shot was possible due to an overhanging branch just out in front of us so I asked Ben to roll back as we had parked on a hill. Typical… we’d parked in a pot hole so I had to quickly get out and push the landy back to where we knew we had a safe shot.
Once back on board, I turned on the lamp and scanned where he’d been… nothing. Another quick pip on the caller and up pooped the fox – about 15 yards in front of us. No shot was possible due to the long grass and to be honest I don’t think there was enough time to get the shot off anyway as Charlie took off like the clappers.
As I knew the ground pretty well I was pretty confident where the fox would appear again on a big open field – so told Nigel it would be roughly 150-200 yards away and sure enough, he appeared, on cue – still running. I whispered to Nigel to get the cross on the fox and follow him and to tell me when he was ready as I’d stop the fox with a quick bark. The fox was quickly making his way across the field by this time as I heard the “I’m ready!” A sharp Oiii soon stopped him in his tracks and Nigel’s bullet went hurtling across the field returning that lovely “Whoomp” – you should have seen the smile on his face!
With Nigel now driving the Landy, it was Bens turn to drive the bullets. Within seconds of the Scotch Shaker calling out into the hills another Charlie was on route across the same field and Nigel had just shot his. This fox wasn’t running straight in though – it was running an ark around us in the direction of the fox that had just been shot. Ben was ready and told me to stop it just as the fox went down a ridge, we knew it would soon show its self again so Ben readjusted himself pointing in the direction we knew it’d turn up and sure enough right on cue up he popped. The fox then changed direction and had his nose to the ground and as I turned the brightness up on the lamp it stopped and the second round of the night switched his lights off instantly.
With the foxes on the bonnet and Nigel still at the wheel I was now batting with Benjamin on the lamp. We carried on down the track and all of a sudden “tap tap” on the roof from Ben indicating he’d spotted another fox. This was turning into a fantastic night. It wasn’t even 10pm yet. I soon set myself up on the roof, using the BFC Bonnet Bag as a butt rest and told Ben to light the fox up. As he started to wind the dimmer up I could see the fox curled up in a ball up against the fence and under a tree. The fox obviously wasn’t happy in the lamp as it soon stood up and turned to head away from us, I knew it was now or never to take the shot so I placed the cross on the back of its head as it was pointing up hill and squeezed the trigger to which a very loud crack returned. That was the third fox on the bonnet all before 10.00pm.
With Ben back at the wheel and Nige on the gun we moved on and several more foxes were spotted throughout the night but no shots taken. So back to mine for an early finish as it was a school night after all. It’s fantastic to have nailed a fox each and a big thanks again boys for a cracking night out.