Sunday, 4 April 2010

A Surprise

It was a gorgeous evening, so I decided to get togged up in my warm clothes and try my luck in the high seat again. I left two hours before dark, and saw nothing until it was nearly too dark to shoot. Then, as luck would have it, a young roe buck (a primo meat animal) came out of the woods and hung on the margin of the field. He was just out of my sight line for a good shot. When it got too dark to see, I gave up. We'll both be back for a rematch.

I came home, fed the lambs, stripped off to my long johns and sat down to dinner in front of the TV (if Easter candy and a cup of tea counts?). It's all about the glamour here.

Dulcie our self-appointed kennel guard started barking. Mike got up to see what stirred her up, and called me outside. We could hear a vixen fox yowling, which is usually a mating call though it's late in the season. And it sounded like it was coming from the back field.

Mike has a gift for calling foxes in by making a squealing noise meant to imitate an injured rabbit. A hungry fox can't resist the sound. My gun was still propped in the corner, so I grabbed it and Mike grabbed a flashlight, and we hung out the bedroom window trying to catch a reflection of the fox's eyes in the light. Mike started squeaking, and a fox appeared right on cue about 80 yards away. I hung the barrel of the gun out the bedroom window and dropped the fox in the field.

I probably should have put some trousers on before going to inspect the fox, but that's another plus side to living in a rural area: Pants are optional.

It wasn't the vixen, but a dog fox. And a small one at that. When I had a look underneath, I found it had underdeveloped testicles. I have no idea why this is, perhaps just another of nature's oddities like the hermaphrodite pheasants. He seemed healthy enough otherwise; no signs of mange (common in foxes) or external parasites.

So, two hours in a cold high seat produced less than two minutes kneeling on my bed in a warm house and taking a quick shot out the window. I grant you, the last option is less sporting but at least I know he won't be feasting on any of my chickens. Speaking of chickens, I think there might be some 'Peeps' left in the Easter basket...


Terry Scoville said...

I love the attire and nothing like shooting from a warm house. Good job to the both of you!
Happy Easter too.

Paula said...

I'm glad you got'im before he got your girls!

Jennifer Montero said...

Thanks Terry - I'm not an avid shooter of vermin (no meat payoff) but when they get too close to the chickens it has to be done. There are no large predators (coyotes, wolves) just foxes here, and nothing to prey on the foxes. They will be having their cubs soon.

Paula - Last year a fox dug under a chicken house where a hen was sat on her large brood. I heard the hen squawking, but in the minute it took me to get out of bed and outside the fox killed 3/4 of the chicks. It's so heart breaking to see their tiny little bodies laying all over the garden.

Tamar@StarvingofftheLand said...

You shot a fox. Out your window. In your underwear. I bow down before you.

Jennifer Montero said...

Tamar - As I included a photo, be glad I WAS wearing underwear this time.

Karen Thomason/Gordon Setter Crossing said...

Well, I have to say, after reading about all this Fox in the Chicken Coop tale, I have signed up for more laughs. Or valuable information. Which ever comes first! And I live in Montana, so I'm used to people running out in their long johns. Love your dogs. My blog is about Gordon Setters (bird dogs). Hope you'll visit at

Jennifer Montero said...

Karen - Thanks for joining us. I learn most of my valuable information from other peoples' comments and perspectives.

I've been to your site - couldn't resist the Gordon Setters! Such a handsome breed. Sadly there are very few field working GS here, even on the grouse moors.

I hope there will be a revival, but I'm not sure if we have the requisite working stock to breed from. Pointers are giving way to HPRs from the continent.

I liked you topic on dog food choices.