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Need help with fox invasion

Discussion in 'Air Guns' started by skippy1729, Sep 16, 2013.

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  1. skippy1729

    skippy1729 Member

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    Never owned an air rifle. I am being invaded by foxes. Trapped a few but they are getting smart. Can't legally use a 22 where I live inside city limits. Looking for recommendations on caliber and velocity for humane kills. Recommendations of specific models welcome. Prefer to have iron sights. Willing to spend up to $500.
     
  2. OH_Spartan

    OH_Spartan Member

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    An air rifle will struggle to take out a fox. They have pretty tough skins. If an air rifle is your only option, 25-cal is better than 22, and I wouldn't even try .177. Get one that is quieted, with the highest fps your budget allows. You will want pointed lead ammo.

    In terms of brand, I like about everything benjamin makes.

    Good luck. My chickens helped raise a litter of fox pups this spring :(. They have eluded so far. They are good for the local ecosystem, keeping rodents, coons, possum and groundhog in check. I just wish they would stick to red meat and leave my birds alone.

    Do you have a dog? My dog has done more good to deter mamma fox than any of my efforts.
     
  3. Robert

    Robert Moderator Staff Member

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    Also, check you local laws. You might be surprised to find that it may be illegal to shoot one inside the city limits too.
     
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    +1

    Then very very likely it is against the law to wound a fox with an air rifle too!!

    You will not get clean humane kills on fox with a typical air rifle.

    And they deserve much better then that!

    They are just there trying to make a living, like all the rest of us.

    Control the vermin, and the fox will leave and go find better hunting grounds.

    rc
     
  5. frankenstein406

    frankenstein406 Member

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    Many places you can't even shoot a bb gun anymore, please check your laws.
     
  6. allaroundhunter

    allaroundhunter Member

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    Even if it is legal to use an air rifle, you certainly won't get one capable of humanely downing a fox for $500. It would take a budget closer to $1,000 or more to get that.
     
  7. Bobson

    Bobson Member

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    OP didn't specify typical range, but when you said inside city limits, I'm not picturing a 5+ acre plot of land. Can you give more details on the typical range you see them at, OP?

    Certainly be sure you do check your local laws to verify the legality of firing an airgun within city limits. I'm not so sure that there are "many places you can't even shoot a bb gun anymore," or what that claim might be based on - I just know its illegal to discharge a firearm, yet perfectly legal to fire an airgun, within the city limits where I live.

    You might also want to call to the city's animal control dept. If you're inside the city limits, they may have some suggestions, or even offer some sort of pest control service.

    Regarding air rifles, if you do move ahead and buy one, I've had an outstanding experience with a Benjamin air rifle. This was about fifteen years ago - my last airgun gifted to me by my parents when I was preparing to enter my teens - but I've only heard great things about Benjamin since that time.

    This (link) is the Benjamin Marauder - a .22 cal, 1000 FPS, PCP air rifle. It's priced here at $470. It has fifteen 5-star reviews, and none with anything less. To be completely transparent, you'd need a pump so you can fill it home, unless you happen to be into SCUBA and have a tank around that can get you ~2500 PSI. A pump will run you another $170 or so (here's one offered at the same site), and you'd need an optic... Obviously this would put you over your budget, but if worst comes to worst and you've still got this problem, maybe this is an option you'd want to consider. And maybe, like others have said, it would be totally inadequate. At least now you have an good idea what you can get in the airgun world for $500.

    This rifle might also be an option. Cheaper than the Marauder, at $300, and it's a break-barrel design, so no extra investment to shoot, as with the PCP rifle. Comes with a cruddy scope and no irons, but you could buy a pretty decent optic for it and still come in right at your $500 budget. 1100 FPS from this .22 cal rifle.

    You might also consider archery. A bit of practice and an inexpensive recurve bow could eliminate your fox problem with perfectly humane kills and the acquisition of an inexpensive new hobby. You could easily come in under your $500 budget. Heck, you could cut it in half and make do if you had to.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  8. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    Bullet placement and range are everything with an air rifle. I have killed several Coons raiding the garden or fruit trees with a RWS 34 in 177 all where 50 foot or closer and I take head shot only . A fox isn't any tougher than a raccoon , I have killed hundreds of fox and thousands of raccoons. The RWS 34 is around $300 in .177 or .22 don't fall for the alloy pellets they get more speed buy weighing around half what a normal pellet weighs. They don't hit as hard and if anywhere near the speed of sound (1200F.P.S. ) the accuracy goes away
    Roy
     
  9. plateshooter

    plateshooter Member

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    I agree 100%. I have killed a bunch of ground hogs and coons that invade my home area with a .177 cal Crosman or Gamo break barreled rifles that are tuned and scoped. I shoot them through the lungs with a cone shaped pellet, either Crosman or Gamo brands. They usually spin around and look around like "what was that!" then go back to doing what ever they were doing. A couple minutes later, they slump over dead. I avoid trying for head shots. I found that they are rather ineffective for my purposes. Can't depend on skull penetration from my experience as some of my shots are out to 60 yards. Lung shots have always worked for me, and the animal dosen't seem to suffer much, just kind of expires while doing it's thing.

    I have several air rifles in .22 cal, but i prefer the speed and penetration of the .177.
     
  10. zdc1775

    zdc1775 Member

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    For fox and in your price range your best bet is to go with a PCP. I would recommend one of these two.

    Hatsan AT44S its 399.95 but you would need to get one of the pumps. I would get the .25 caliber, nothing wrong with the .22 but the .25 leaves a little more room for error.

    Benjamin Discovery same price but comes with the pump. Is slightly lower powered and is only a single shot rather than a repeater so follow up will be slower. Get the .22

    If you order one order you at least 2,000 pellets to go with it and shoot it as often as you possibly can until you can reliably hit an approximately quarter sized target and that will be your max range for a fox as a very selective head shot is the only way to reliably kill one with a small caliber air rifle. Oh and go for the heavy for caliber lead pellets. Avoid the lightweight pellets at all cost. They have all been horribly inaccurate and lack any kind of penetration in my rifles.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  11. Zeke/PA

    Zeke/PA Member

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    Don't even THINK about using an air rifle on a fox.
    All you'll do is cripple the animal.
    Call your animal control experts in your area for good advice.
     
  12. splattergun

    splattergun Member

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    This!
    A PCP (pre-charged pneumatic) air rifle would be the way to go. These are NOT your average Crosman air guns. The State of Arizona GFC voted in January to allow PCP guns in cal. 25 or higher may be used in hunting of varmints and fur bearers (including Foxes). PCP guns may also be used in cal .35 or higher for big game. This is after a long study comparing velocities, energies, etc and found PCPs to be sufficient for close range hunting, similar to archery.

    Be advised, hunting with a PCP air gun is all about close range and shot placement.

    If you can kill a fox with a .22 firearm (I have one on my wall I shot at 20 yards with my Marlin 60)with a 29 gr bullet, 960 fps, 59 fpe, , you can do it with a .25 PCP with a 27.8 gr pellet, 950 fps, 56 fpe muzzle energy.

    Check your local laws for legality.
     
  13. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    What is your experiance for this advice?
    A single piece of #2 shot will kill a fox at 50 yards in the head or spine neary instantly through the lungs he will run 50 yards or so I have killed foxes at 50 yards with CCI cb shorts
    the #2 shot is about 11-12 ft.lbs, at 50 yards cb shorts are carring 24 ft.lbs
    I killed trapped foxes with a sheriden 5 mm air rifle most of the time on the other hand I have seen a coon take 5-6 shots from a shotgun walk down the tree and it take 4 60 lb hounds 5 minutes to finish the job. coons are a lot harder to kill than a fox
    My RWS 34 .177 generates an honest 16 ft.lbs of energy my Benjamin 392 an honest 12.5 ft lbs either air rifle will kill a fox with a head shot at 20 yards stone cold dead!!! probably farther but that is where I stop because I know I can make clean kills out to there .
    I have made these shots on coons with these air rifles multiple times and know that a coon is harder to kill than a fox.

    From when I graduated high school in 79 till I got married in 83 I lived off of fur money I had 4 dogs a 3 legged fox hound that run slow enough that foxes would circle like a rabbit a 1/2 plott 1/2 otterhound that was the best coon dog I ever followed a cur dog that treed squirrels and helped on coon and a rabbit dog . a S&W 12 gauge pump an ithaca 22 singleshot and the sheriden air rifle, 8 dozen 110 conibears and 2 dozen #2 coil spring jump traps
    I averaged 60 to 100 fox a year, 200-300 coons 50-75 mink and 400-800 muskrats plus enough squirrels , rabbits, pheasant and quail that I rarely bought meat. I rarely ever used anything but cb shots to shoot coon out of a tree and killed most trapped coon and fox with pellets .
    Of coarse this was before the internet where people told me it wasn't possible
    Roy
     
  14. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    My experience is with 50+ years of hunting, and 30+ years of shooting very good air rifles.

    If an OP has to come to the internet to ask what air-rifle to kill a fox?
    He probably is not going to shoot a fox's brain pan out in the back yard in the dark.

    If he doesn't, and it runs off to die in a neighbors yard?
    There could be an investigation over who is shooting wild animals inside the city limits, and letting them suffer & die.

    It could get ugly, as the OP already said shooting a firearm where he lives is against the law.
    If that's the case, shooting air-rifles & wounding Fox is probably against the law too.


    The advice I gave stands.
    For the average new air-rifle owner?
    Killing fox's humanly is just not in the cards.

    rc
     
  15. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    Well a quality air gun can certainly take a fox no problem,and much larger game.Your $500 budget may be a limiting factor. I would save a few more pennies and get set up correctly.Here is what some folks can do with the correct gear. Shot placement is a must,kinda like elephant hunting,short and put it in the correct spot.

    I'm more a spring piston guy. My RWS 52 .22 easily takes raccoons and I have no doubt I could humanely take a fox. My Beeman Kodiak .25 is a highly efficient small game rifle,just short of a death-ray.

    I just watched a S&W hunting show where they took feral hogs with a .177 Gamo rifle. Ranges were short 10 yards or less.The pigs were easily taken with a proper head shot.

    Pigs:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OUEwxg32s6Y

    Coyote:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Db8-oTE761o

    Jacobs Four Horn Ram:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z04hiDiEaKA
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  16. plumberroy

    plumberroy Member

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    we will have to agree to disagree . I would not hesitate to do it and think any competent shooter should be able to do it. It is the O.P. responsibility to find out the legality of it . The bigger question is what damage the foxes are doing to need removed? It is little early for fox season. Here they can be removed if they are doing damage to crops livestock or property. just being in the area does not justify killing them out of season or without a fur takers permit
    Roy
     
  17. OptimusPrime

    OptimusPrime Member

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    Frankly, I think fox are a good thing in the neighborhood. OP, I didn't see in your post what exactly the fox are doing to you, if you have chickens or something like that. If not, I think I would prefer the fox because they will keep eating the varmints and rodents that are the real problems.
     
  18. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Please explain what that means.

    You say you live in the city so you can't discharge a firearm.
    That implies that you're not raising chickens, ducks, rabbits or other small livestock that might draw their attention. Foxes like some of what we grow in gardens, so, do you have a garden they're getting into?

    You'll want to look for an air rifle that is rated for hunting. Look at http://www.pyramydair.com/a/Air_guns/Air_gun_guide/Air_rifles/Hunt_or_eliminate_pests/921. Nothing is $500 or less that is usable.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2013
  19. TimboKhan

    TimboKhan Moderator

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    True enough, but I think that he is going to find it is decidedly not legal inside of city limits. Thats not just in terms of firing the air gun within city limits either. I happen to know from experience that doing so in Loveland, CO is against the law. I got lucky and the cop was willing to let it slide once, but it was made clear to me not to do it again.

    It is also important to consider game and hunting laws. Are foxes in season for this guy? If so, are air rifles an allowed method of take? If so, can you hunt inside of city limits? My point here is that it isn't as simple an issue as just having the right rifle/skillset for the job. You also have to worry about community reaction. That fox you dislike enough to kill might be the delight of the rest of your community, and you can bet they are going to raise holy hell if they find out you killed it, particularly if it was done improperly or illegally.

    I tend to agree with RC about leaving the fox alone, but if you have some legitimate reason to kill it you better do your research first or you are taking an unwise risk that could potentially cost you far more than the cost of the rifle.

    Honestly, if it is a problem animal, you're probably better off calling animal control and having them take care of the issue for you. I will also say that in some municipalities, no-kill traps are allowed for problem animal removal. Check your local laws for both legalities and allowed species, but it may be an option.

    As a side note, as far as I know, all the points above would also apply to archery.
     
  20. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    My mother lives by herself, with her dog. This summer, we've been inundated with cottontail rabbits, everywhere! A red fox started coming around getting a snack every morning and evening. One morning, her dog chased the fox into an old dog house, she grabbed the dog to keep it from going inside and possibly getting torn up. As she held the dog at bay, she sprayed a new can of Lysol into the dog house, the fox commenced to coughing and hacking, came running out, stopped and rubbed his face in the grass, then ran off. Mom said that fox hasn't been back.........
     
  21. RyanM

    RyanM Member

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    Can you get close enough to spray them with pepper spray, maybe bear spray, without affecting any other animals? Maybe a paintball gun with pepper balls? Don't aim for the face, obviously. Just hitting a hard surface near the fox would probably be enough to get the point across. And it's less toxic than Lysol. :p

    You don't need to wound or kill an animal to make it leave you alone. Just make it unpleasant enough that it goes somewhere that food is easier to get.

    If the foxes are killing your chickens, you could try placing a chicken bait laced with syrup of ipecac (about 2 teaspons/10mL). Research has shown that wolves and coyotes that eat baits laced with emetics will often avoid eating that kind of animal for about 5-10 years after that. Pretty sure it works on foxes. (It also works on humans. I couldn't stomach mayo for almost a decade after getting sick from eating some bad pasta salad at a family reunion.)

    I agree with everyone who said that an airgun will not cleanly kill a fox.
     
  22. spottedpony

    spottedpony Member

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    Legal or not, I would never consider an air rifle for such a chore, at least not the common .177, .22, .25 varieties. Granted you may be looking at a nominal 1000 fps muzzle velocity, but those tiny pellets only weigh about 10 to 15 or 16 grains and will shed velocity and energy way to fast to make a reliable kill.
     
  23. rodinal220

    rodinal220 Member

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    spottedpony:
    "Legal or not, I would never consider an air rifle for such a chore, at least not the common .177, .22, .25 varieties. Granted you may be looking at a nominal 1000 fps muzzle velocity, but those tiny pellets only weigh about 10 to 15 or 16 grains and will shed velocity and energy way to fast to make a reliable kill. "


    Not going to comment on the legalities or ethics of the fox hunt but I'm glad this air gun portion of the board has been added. Sorry,much ignorance about quality adult air powered weapons. .177,.20,.22 and .25 can get the job done,very humane kills. Shot placement,correct pellet,and reasonable power plant.
    I have never taken a fox but have shot a few coyotes and many more big raccoons with my RWS 52 .22( Beeman 21gr Kodiak pellet) and Beeman Kodiak .25(Beeman Kodiak 31 gr pellet) and dropped them like a hot rock. Ranges were kept reasonable for "these" platforms, under 25 yards.

    I have no doubt that I could humanely take a fox with the right .177 rifle and pellet,with a good pellet and a head shot and keeping distances short.Wouldnt be my first choice,but "doable".

    There are way more powerful air guns capable of taking deer and larger sized game.Most folks feel that when they hear the word air gun it means toy. I can assure everyone that air guns should be treated with the utmost respect like a firearm. Air guns can,will and have killed people.

    Too many treat air guns with disdain and are extremely ignorant of what high quality air guns are all about.

    Pellets can weigh A LOT more than 10-16 grains:

    http://www.pyramydair.com/pellets

    http://www.quackenbushairguns.com/

    http://www.pyramydair.com/article/_50_Caliber_Dragon_Slayer_Air_Rifle_December_2007/45
     
  24. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    make sure you have a hunting license,make sure fox is huntable in your state via state/federal rules in case they are federally protected.make sure it's small game season. check animal control to see if nuisance permits are needed/available to trap/hunt fox.
     
  25. Jaymo

    Jaymo Member

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    My stock, unadjusted Benjamin Marauder .22 puts Crosman domed pellets through both sides of a 55 gallon steel drum at 35 yards, with no sign of stopping.
    Tell me again how this is not suitable for hunting?

    To the OP, go to www.gatewaytoairguns.org and register there.
    Ask your question in the hunting gate. You will get much better answers from experience airgun hunters.
    Be sure to give as much detail as you can muster.
    It helps if we know the range at which you'll be shooting, how good a shot you are, etc.
     
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