Sporting Rifle

The foxer’s arsenal

This time of year, fox control is a priority for a whole range of people in the countryside, from the shepherds to gamekeepers with wild birds like partridge and grouse to protect, to conservationists who are looking after rare ground-nesting birds. Of course, it’s complicated by the fact that many litters of cubs are still underground, and no one wants to kill a vixen and leave her cubs to suffer. But locally this year there have been several very early litters. There has always been the odd litter before Christmas, but this season has been a whole other level and completely out of kilter with the norm.

Blame climate change if you like, or a mild winter, but there were certainly signs of mating activity much earlier than normal. Several foxers reported vixens attended by several suitors two months early, resulting in cubs being seen above ground before the end of January. This will put a lot of pressure on vixens to find enough

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