Fox Drive.


June 3, 2009, 06:48 AM
In this country, foxes are introduced, an environmental menace, and a pest to agriculture. One rather old-fashioned but fairly effective method of reducing numbers is the Fox Drive.
The downside is that it requires significant numbers of hunters.

Usually, it involves a line of shooters deployed downwind of the area to be driven, which is generally an area such as a timbered creek, or dry swamp in the midst of cleared agricultural land. The beaters work through the area from upwind, making noise, firing shots, and accompanied by dogs. Firearms used are customarily shotguns, with shot size limited to BBs for safety reasons. Care is required, but I've never seen an injury.

I had the good luck to be involved in one such drive last Saturday. Unfortunately, I took few good pictures, but we did bag over 50 foxes.

They tend to be social events, and suitably controlled children are welcome. There were also some good-looking dogs.

.... a grab-bag of assorted terriers.

.... Including my two ratbags.

..... and the reason why the dogs are needed.

Results of a previous drive.

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June 3, 2009, 10:30 AM
that's gonna make one big jacket :D

June 3, 2009, 10:52 AM
That's amazing. What's mind boggling to me is the amount of rabbits, etc that must around to feed that many foxes. I remember seeing old newsreels of attempts to kill off herds of rabbits in Australia. They used nets and waded in with clubs. Evidently there is still a good supply.
Good looking little pups. Do they take to it naturally and seem to know what they are doing or just generally go about chasing anything that moves? Either way would work I suppose.
We see a fox or two very rarely around East Texas. Usually moving back to their den in the early morning.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
June 3, 2009, 02:42 PM
look like more fun than any of us deserve! :)

June 4, 2009, 12:43 AM
that's gonna make one big jacket

....Or a lot of hats.

June 4, 2009, 04:18 AM
Glad you all approve.... :D

Being omnivorous, foxes eat anything from small furry critters, through lizards, frog, and insects, to fruit and carrion. They're considered one of the reason why so many of our small marsupials are either extinct or rather rare.

The terriers tend to take to mit pretty naturally. It pays to get them from working bloodlines, and get a confident pup with an inclination to explore, but both of mine just thought that holes needed investigating and furry critters need beating up!

Unfortunatley, foxes are hardly worth skinning at the moment. Not enough $$ in the pelts. The anti-fur campaigners did the Australian environment no favours.

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