Out Foxing Charlie 25
The Tale Of The Horse Fox
On the August Bank Holiday and More
I got back from the show and called the lady to arrange a site visit and to see what I could do as well as agree my fee etc, alas one thing and another got in the way, so it took a week or three to be able to get to this lady, mostly the adverse weather, mostly the heat but then rain then heat again.
I got there on the first afternoon and surveyed the area, I like to see everything in daylight so I know what's safe to shoot etc, build up a picture of what's going on here, track the area and work out attack routs etc, plus give advice on animal husbandry, the first thing I saw was the electric fencing was in poor repair and not switched on, also it was easy for any fox to walk along a post and rail fence and jump straight into the pens, the lady informed me her dogs kept getting zapped on the electric fence so she does not use them now,. I did explain the dogs will soon learn to stay away from them, but she would not listen, I did say well you may as well leave the pen gates open, this way the fowl have an escape route instead of being stuck in a pen for the foxes to attack, an old saying my dad often says, you cant educate pork and you cant put brains in to a billiard ball.
The first night as the light I heard the calling of the night animals and birds coming alive, the old Barn Owl screeching its call, then a lonesome vixen in the distance, that sound still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end with goose pimples, I started scanning with Night Pearl Thermal Spotter the Scops Max III, I love this unit its my favourite go to spotter, it literally turns night into day.
Entrance stage left the first Charlie fox right where I had tracked them earlier that afternoon, then another right behind it, by the look of them they looked like litter mates and were very large cubs, they stayed in the no shot zones due to live stock, a road and other unsafe shot areas, I watched them in complete silence in the darkness, I love foxes truly remarkable animals, I never take any pleasure in the killing of anything, but I do love the hunt and the field craft involved.
These two young foxes played near the road all evening, then another fox appeared a much larger fox I would say was a large dog fox, again he did not present a shot as he stayed with the horses, he looked like he was digging worms or something out of the horse manure, then another two foxes appeared over by the cattle drove, again no safe shot due to distance, lack of a good back stop and cattle in the vicinity, so again all I could do was watch, I did not squeal them as every man and his dog have had a go at these foxes, so if I had tried to call them they would have been off, experience tells me this.
All of a sudden another fox appeared at forty yards heading straight to a cattle drinker, right were on that's the perfect area, a great back stop and no live stock, I had him in my cross hairs on my Gen three Primos Trigger Sticks, the Night Pear Seer 50 turning my day scope into a Thermal Scope, this was when disaster struck, the owners husband came out walking their dogs, a massive head torch blazing away, I thought a police helicopter was landing it was that bright, well that's that then the foxes would be gone.
The husband comes over lighting me up, with a loud voice saying have you got any yet, I explained no I was about to when you came out, he shined his head torch over saying there's one there, two there, one there and two over there where they always are, I was like blimey they are still there, all I can think of is they are used to him the dogs and the headlights, turns out he told me they are town released foxes used to people, a local fox group keep letting them go here and folks feed them, I shook my head thinking why the hell am I here, especially with the bad husbandry.
Persuaded him to turn the light off and look through the thermal, he was amazed with it, the foxes are still there he said, I took a breath and composed myself whilst having three dogs running around my feet, got the fox by the drinker in the cross hairs, slipped the safety off and squeezed off the shot at sixty yards, this was when disaster struck, I missed? The shot went right over him striking the bank behind him, just one reason to always have a good back stop, I recycled the bolt and stayed on him as he ran along the embankment, I squealed a hare distress and he stopped for that one last look, big mistake I was on him, one hundred and fifty yard I missed over him again, that's it down tools something is wrong, it cant be me twice, I explained I am downing tools until I sort out what's wrong, I will arrange to come back, but in the meantime I expect the list of repairs etc to be done and the electric fence reinstated, he agreed and would book me to come again when all I had asked for was done.
I was called back to a client I had picked up the month previously, you can read how that started in Out Foxing Charlie 24, I had to go back and collect all my mink traps as we had sorted that particular problem, there were two clients here about half a mile apart, the first one I had installed my best fox trap, its a huge heavy steel unit, the Antis had stolen it once, tried to smash it but its too heavy so they didn't get far with it, the local vicar found it and gave me a call saying he had my trap in the church yard, this trap takes four of us to pick it up, I installed it at this clients knowing it will work for me 24/7, left instructions how to set it etc, all we caught in six weeks was the farm dogs and cats? I went down to see what was wrong, the daft blighters left the trigger lock on so it would not shut, no wonder they had trail cam footage all around the humane cage trap of the fox but never catching, I did giggle at that one, I hung around into the night but alas nothing showed so at 1am so I called it a night and went home to my bed, I am booked to go back there again soon, fingers crossed a fox is in the humane cage trap too.
I was called back into a VIP clients place that I signed on my books coming up for two years ago now, this is a huge Agricultural Education Centre almost in Devon on the Dorset/Devon Border, I was called in because they had been descended upon by a huge flock of mixed Corvid's, feral pigeons etc, this happened almost over night, it started with the odd couple, by the time they call called me in the flocks were a couple of hundred strong, they also had a small rabbit problem in some of their display paddocks, eating all the grass and digging deep holes, a broken ankle on one of the students or indeed the live stock was imminent, the farm manager kept filling the holes but they dug them out as quick as he filled them, this was going to be a busy time on this bank holiday Sunday, the first rifle of choice was the Air Arms S510T (Tactical) as I have said before this rifle is deadly accurate with a humane punch on target, but she does bark a fair bit with that moderator on, for me this is a great advantage as I scare away as much as I shoot, exactly what's needed for a job like this, I did bag up well on the mixed Corvid's and feral pigeons, that were literally covering the whole place in bird poo causing a major public health issue to both the humans and the live stock, the bark of the air rifle kept the birds flying as their mates fell, they soon got the idea this was not a good place to be and by late afternoon almost every bird had vacated the area, it quietened down so much I had time to practice some of my Masonic Ritual (HRA) for I have been promoted within the Lodge and Chapter and have new roles to practice.
The night fell and I went into rabbit mode, the rifle of choice here was the ole 22LR my favourite calibre of all my rifles, loaded with the whisper quiet Eley Subsonic Hunting Ammunition, this ammo is whisper quiet, pin point accurate with a deadly humane strike on target, what more could a Countryman ask for in their ammunition, especially as I am The Eley Out Doors International Ambassador, the scope of choice it the NEW Night Pearl Marten dedicated thermal scope, wow what a bit of kit, its got more gadgets in it than Inspector Gadgets Coat far too many to list, pop over to The Out Post Shop at Really Wild Adventures www.reallywildadventures.co.uk the full spec is on there, pairing this up with my Night Pearl Thermal Spotter Scops Max III made for the perfect rabbit clearance tools for the job.
Alas because it had been so hot for so long the ground was as hard as concrete, the one thing that lets the 22LR ammunition down is that Irish Bloke, Ricochet (Rick O Shay) sorry my little joke, no offence to any Rick with that name, there's no getting away with it those awesome little rounds love to bounce, so I had to be so careful with every shot taken, 101% on it for safety as always, I could of shot a whole bag full of rabbits but managed six nice fresh rabbits, the farm manager a shooting man himself agreed with me the ground is too hard to do a proper job, the air rifle was no good as the rabbits were right out there, so another night it was then.
I didn't call it a night there I went onto another new client on my way back nr Frome Somersetshire with chickens and a rat problem, as soon as I pulled in I could see she had a real rat problem, a couple of hours there with the Air Arms S510t (Tactical) and the Night Pearl Seer 35 front add on scope and the Scops Max III had these rats in toe, I shot a bucket load, the client is so happy she said she will book me again, she has only seen one rat since my visit and that was in her garden not nr the chickens, but that's not a surprise as bother neighbours have chickens so where there are pigs or fowl you will get rats, I await the call to go back with winter approaching and the scaly tailed Ratticuss looking for their usual hotels.
I am called back to the other fox job from Bank Holiday Friday night, they had been hit again, this did not surprise me one little bit, this was good in one way they got on to top of their animal husbandry, I headed to my private range to test the rifle and the equipment thoroughly something was wrong and the only thing I knew was bang on the money was me, I put the target out at 100 yards as normal, set up and tried the Norma 55grn Ammo, I was thinking could it be the ammo, the day sight or the moderator? No everything was spot on, in fact it was almost bullet on bullet, exactly what I expect from my equipment, now I know most are happy with golf ball grouping, but not me, the target shooter in me wont allow it, plus I want 101% confidence in my equipment for when I pull that trigger, I have to know I am dispatching each target quickly, humanly and neutralise each target efficiently, its always been my ethos, one reason I get paid the top money for the job I do and don't do it for free.
Next I put the thermal sticker on the target plate out on the 100 Yard target in the deep valley, I took a rest had a mug of tea and a sandwich, got the heart rate and breathing right again, added on the Seer 50 front add on scope to the now cooled down rifle, this often makes a huge difference to the shots a hot or cold rifle or indeed ammo, I loaded the rifle magazine, recycled the bolt, slipped the safety off exhaled and took the shot, MISS? What? Right lets take another shot, MISS? Something was going wrong here, I took the scope off in case I had banged the scope or if anything had happened since the earlier test, three shots bang on the money, I added the Seer 50 to the front of the scope, three more shots none on target? My spotter said everything went high about six inches and shot like a shot gun, I got in touch with Night Pearl and said I think I broke the unit, as it turns out it has to go back as it need re calibrating or something, see I knew it was not me or my rifle or bullets, with technology these things happen, I seen it on all brands gear in my time, the one thing Night Pearl are great at is their after care and customer service.
Out Foxing Charlie 25
By The Ole Hedge Creeper