By The Ole Hedge Creeper.
When I wrote the very first out foxing Charlie, I did because we had literally hundreds of letters and emails asking for my advice why I was so successful with problem foxes when others were not, I don’t consider myself to be any better than anyone else so what could I possibly have to offer to help my fellow sportsmen be more successful, it appears I had more knowledge in the old noggin (head) than I had ever imagined.
There are very few times a fox has out witted me for very long, eventually either with skill or the fox making a rookie mistake I get them, of course a touch of the luck of the Irish comes into play when edging my bets against a worthy foe too. Something I have always said right the way through all my article’s is the need for proper reconnaissance, both by day and by night, daytime for me is the tracking and building up a picture of where I have to deal with said problem fox or foxes and build up a picture of how they attack and retreat etc, its also were I work out all the dangers of the shoot safe shots were and when a good shot can be taken as well as distances etc,
I have even been known to put out signal flags either as safe stops or windage flags etc. Anyone who has read my advanced decoying article’s will know of said flags as I use them as stop shot markers etc, you see for me it’s all about building up that picture of the problem foxes, I have said many times they are creatures of habit just like us, even the most erratic of fox attacks has a set sequence sometimes so subtle you miss it, I have just written big cats part 2 and a fox job with just such an attack that had me scratching my head. You see you must think outside the box and become the fox itself if you are ever going to be successful instead of being just plain lucky as some are, now I still deal with foxes the traditional way with lamp and calling on my hand, of course I use traps/terriers and other legal methods too.
Many folk I see bumble along with half learn’t skills relying more on technology than the skills of the countryman, I say mater the traditional skills then learn to use that with the modern technology and boy oh boy does the job become exciting, I teach my young sports fox calling by hand and I telle them boys have called me many fox in and I have shot them as a joint effort. Now for me lamps I like the new lamps from Deben the new cordless 150 led tracer, what a bit of kit light weight no heavy battery comes with filters and lasts for an absolute age, I have not actually ran it out on a shoot yet from a full charge, those that know this lamp swear by it and those that don’t have it ahhhh boys you don’t know what you are missing.
As you will see in the pic above I do use some of the finest gadgets on the market, for me the best non hand calls I have used to date are the Ico Tec calls, simple to operate light weight takes what the weather throws at them and really does what it says on the tin, in fact they are so good many of my customers now ask if I am using them when they call me into deal with fox problems, they really are massively effective if used right with reconnaissance field craft and the skills of the countryman. It’s no good just going out in a field trying a few calls and getting lucky that proves nothing, know your quarry hone your skills and get the best from your gear that’s the way forward to be successful hunter, take a look at the Ico Tec range on their website www.icotec.com, and if you want one then go over to Best Fox call and see Rob Crampton at any of the game fairs or on line at www.bestfoxcall.co.uk, these calls are like magnets to a predator they come running from all directions.
I have used their entire range to date and I truly can’t recommend these calls high enough, they have The Ole Hedge Creepers thumbs up Seal of approval, these really do what it says on the tin I telle boys and girls. I have used the 101 right up to the 500 and never failed yet so for me they are worth their weight in gold. Next binoculars get a decent set spend a few quid more and it will make all the difference, especially in low light situations, James Trenchard from Trigger Happy joined me recently on a problem fox job at a piggery and sheep station, foxes were coming in day and night attacking piglets and lambs alike as well as some of the farms prize winning hens.
James brought along what he considered a good set of binoculars that was until the light dimmed and well they were not so good, he looked through mine I got from Armex a good German set, he could not believe the clarity as the dim light turned back into daylight through them, as it turns out mine were only about £15 more than his cost, so you see buy once cry once get the best you can afford if not save up a bit longer it will stand you in good stead. Now as for the night vision as sometimes the lamp is not an option, often these foxes have been lamped and chased from pillar to post by all and sundry, so when the slightest flicker of a light goes on the foxes show their brush say goodbye and that’s the last you will see of them. I absolutely swear by Nite Site both from the spotter unit right up to the Wolf on my trusty Browning 243, this gear from a brilliant English manufacturer really does what it says on the tin and again has my thumbs up seal of approval, I have lost count now how many problem foxes the Nite Site system has put in the bag and again is requested by my customers time and time again.
If you would like to see them go over to www.nitesite.com and if you want to buy a unit drop over to www.reallywildadventures.co.uk and click on the shop The Out Post. Just recently I got called in by a farmer (who I don’t normally shoot for) who was losing his finest geese flock to a fox or foxes, the chap who was supposed to deal with foxes there is a bull headed sort of fellow, he really does not listen to what he is told goes bowling out lamp going off like Darth Vader having a good old light sabre fight with Luke Sky Walker, charging about in his 4L 4×4 engine roaring and if he is lucky enough to actually get a shot he misses thus educating said foxes to what a shot over their head feels like.
Like I say I got Called out as this fox or foxes were munching their way right through the entire geese flock, I had my young sports with me for the experience too, now this one was a real tricky one, I had done my reconnaissance during the day as I always do, I had tracked them right back to the earth in the big wood, I could of called the terriers in and bolted them to the shot gun but as it was it needed sorting now not a few days later as more geese would have been taken, so tonight’s the night I decided exactly where I would set up and where I wanted to shoot the fox or foxes.
Now I was pretty convinced it was a big dog fox doing the killing and bringing the geese back to the earth for the vixen and cubs, but I could not be 100% certain, I got one of my young sports to put the Ico Tec GC500 call next to a telephone pole in the middle of the paddock next to the big wood, some 200 yards from the set right on the track the foxes took with the kills. I remarked see that clump of grass I will shoot the fox right there, my young sports took the mickey out of me saying your good but not that good we had a bit of a giggle about it, I positioned my shooting position some 300 yards from the wood and caller so I could see the entire field and paddock clearly in front of me, it was a lovely rising hill with what I consider a perfect back stop, I could not write a text book safe shooting position better.
We waited for the light to dim as we kept an eye out for fox movement, we saw rabbits and hares go about their business, a roe buck following a doe feeding out on the fresh cut field but no fox, the light slowly went and the darkness came all around us well sort of, when I said tricky I forgot all about the ambient light from a very busy main road some 300 yards to our rear, so our silhouettes stood out like daylight. Nothing else for it tuck my young sports down behind my shooting position and give strict orders to stay dead still, Them with the Nite Site spotter so they could see the hunt unfold and me with the Nite Site Wolf mounted on the my Browning 243 on the sand bags I got from Jack Pyke.
Time to start up the Ico Tec GC500 I used the distressed baby rabbit call as being late spring early summer lots of young rabbits about, I got a text say farm dog just chased a fox out of the yard so here we go he is heading our way, I first caught a glimpse of the big dog fox coming along the edge of the wood head down trotting on until he heard the Ico Tec calling. He froze on the spot and then like an arrow took off straight at the caller, as he closed in I followed him till he got to a spot where I wanted to take him, Damn he saw something and bolted off he saw the young sports moving they got excited and were like a hawk ready to stoop, I told them shhhhh stay quiet, I will get him back with the baby rabbit squeal. 2 minuet’s later he was back from a completely different direction he could not resist the Ico Tec calling him like a mermaid, he stopped sat down and looked at the call and that was his last as I put the 58grn Norma ballistic tip bullet right in the engine room,
The Nite Site Ico Tec Browning Norma combo with The Ole Hedge Creeper behind the butt does it again, and guess what he was right next to that clump of grass too, Ohhhhh yes I am that good I said, the young sports got to join in on the entire hunt thanks to Nite site. A few days later James Trenchard was with me and I took care of the big cubs, the vixen was not a safe shot but also made us out on the full moon, so The Ole Hedge Creeper will be back a few days later when there is no moon to mop up and deal with the rest of these livestock attacking Charlie foxes. I hope you have enjoyed out foxing Charlie 7 and like I always say reconnaissance safe shooting and knowing your quarry makes you a better shooter, and when you have mastered this all the best gear we have talked about right here will make the job all the more sweeter.
Until out Foxing Charlie 8 may I wish you all dry powder and straight barrels and keep those emails and letters coming in, we try to get back to each and every one of you but some do slip through the lamp beam just like a sly ole Charlie fox from time to time.
OUT FOXING CHARLIE 7
By The Ole Hedge Creeper