Countrymans Diary

Day by Day

So, preliminary report in tonight’s foxing.

Monday.

Night started off setup an hour early as is my norm, but by now the misty drizzle had turned to a full on rain storm with the rain lashing in horizontally. So I wasn’t holding out much hope of the fox appearing.  But, decided I would wait and see, as it was due at 20:04 but that came and went, and no sign of the fox.

In the meantime I had decided to try a T20 instead of my usual T50, but when I switched it on, found it was only a single power, full on or nothing GRRRRRRR,  didn’t matter if if flooded it or spotted it, it lit up the whole field like daylight, so that was going to be a bugger too.

Finally I saw a shadow in the rain at about 140 metres, and swivelled over,  then hit the IR. Wham, off the fox went like like a rocket, so I immediately shouted and it stopped and turned at max range before it was too near the brow, about 160 meets,  I took and aim,  but the IR reflecting back off the rain was preventing me seeing the body of the fox now, all I could see was its eyes, so took aim at where I THOUGHT it’s body would be, and squeezed. Bang, the fox came running back down the field to where I had first seen it then dropped and didn’t move.

FOX DOWN thought I, 20:25, so put the rifle down, fitted the headlamp, made sure I knew where on the field it was, and went off to collect it.
Got to within 35-40 metres of it, and the bugger suddenly jumps up,  and runs off, and there’s me with no rifle, it’s still at the stand GRRRR
It disappeared into the swamp, so that was that, but appeared not to have any major injuries, so I think I just grazed it’s spine probably, and it went down more from shock and fright than anything else, so will get it another night.

Another was due at around 21:57, so went inside for a quick cuppa tea, and then a quick walk of the dogs before setting up again.
While I was in, swapped back to my T50-940, and back in low power

20:57 came and went, no fox, but with the rain, thought this will be late too, and at 22:14 a fox appeared, slid the IR over onto it, and as I had spread lots of chicken scraps all around,  the fox was too busy trying to pick up all the small bits to notice the IR.
Laid my trusty X-Sight 2 HD 3-14x onto it’s neck and shoulder, and squeezed gently on the trigger BANG, and it dropped as into pole axed, not even a twitch.
Went and collected it, a very nice vixen, well into it’s prime, probably 4 maybe getting on 5 years old, so definitely would have been into its very last season, as a lot of grey hair on the it

Came back in, and as was down to my last round, decided to make some ammo, but first walked the dogs. Then made made a quick 40 rounds, and had a mug of tea, almost time to set up for the next line now though

Update
At 02:24 a fox appeared crossing at the top so I let it go, then it angled down,  but out of my FOV. I thought it might come around to the bait from the bottom,  but no luck so packed up at 03:45, even though another was due 04:30 – 04:45
By then I was frozen,  my hands and feet had become painful to move,  so took the dogs for a walk to warm up then hit the sack, and here’s the vixen.

 

So, tonight’s foxing report.

Tuesday.

Last night was expecting one at 20:04, and another just gone 21:57, plus another at 23 59 another around 01:50 and another at 04:35

The ones at 20:04 appeared at 20:25,  but with the rain and the fact I had a single power (full power only) T20-850 mounted,  blinded me with the lashing rain I thought I had got it, as it it dropped, but when I went to collect it, it suddenly got up and ran off.
Got one at 22:16, and collected that, but with the lashing rain nothing else appeared at the bait, so had packed up for the night.
So tonight set up again at 20:30 but again nothing came , as it was one minute dry, the next lashing it down with a driving g wind, then back to nothing,.
As these foxes appeared once appeared gain to be extremely IR shy, so d3cieed to try and spot using just what available moonlight was seeping through the cloud, so all I could see was shadows. 23:59 came and went again,  the wind was up and it was driving the rain in horizontally,  when at 00:14 I saw a darker shadow,  stood with its back to me.

So quickly switched on the video,  and slipped the safety, took the rifle off the doc,  switched the or on, and lowered back onto the fox, damn, another blinder, couldn’t see anything except it’s eyes through the rain,  as the IR was reflecting badly. So took aim under the eyes aimed squeezed off.
Whack, and the fox spun around, did a few pirouettes , and finally lay down, about 3 metres from where it had been hit.
Fox down 00:16

Yes, more are due tonight, but I’m off to bed as have a bad back Today.
And here it is, a dog fox in good condition.

So, was setup and waiting at 03:00, and NOTHING came for ages,  then spotted a cat, but the trail cam didn’t fire despite it switching on earlier, which means batteries are too low to fire the IR, then it does nothing in the dark but works during the day, so order new batteries again.
Then about 04:40 spotted a very large Brock,(Badger) wandering around the top and middle section of the field, but not coming down to the fox bait those evening. He’s a regular visitor, and NOT on the general licence, so left him to go on his way (he’s been visiting about the last 4-5 months now, so times down at the bait, but mostly he just stays out in the middle and top of the field. I often watch him as he wanders about, snouting up the ground, looking for worms mostly.

Then 05:14, and despite NOT using the IR to scan, as it was a little foggy and the IR reflected badly, despite changing it to a spot beam from a flood beam, and having it on low power, I saw a very slight reflection of something moving that looked like like a set of eyes.
So I waited a minute or two until the reflection got nearer, and then switched the IR on and slid over to the reflection,and a fox coming down to the bait, zigzag zagging left to right as it came. Soon as it saw the IR it shot off out of my FOV,  so switched the IR off again, and waited a  couple of minutes, then switched back on, and slid it back over, and there’s the fox at the same spot I first caught him in the IR, so he had doubled back again, but was now coming in again.
Once again he broke Into a run, but this time I shouted, and he stopped 05:16, so I quickly laid onto him, squeezed the trigger and bang…….

And the bugger RAN OFF.

That’s the second runner I’ve had in a week. I’m using my standard load, same make,  type of primers, same make, type,  and weight of bullets, and the same weight and make of powder.  The ONLY thing that’s changed, is its it’s a different batch of powder from the last, and  and completely new Container of it.

So will have to check the zero on it later, fortunately I’ve only made a small batch so far, so we will see later.

In the meantime,  I have to chop some galvanised 3″ diameter steel tubing at at 25 degree angle,  as I have a silage run feeder fence to repair, one bar is missing totally, another three are cracked badly or already have one side pulled out, and are ready to break off.

Went back to bed at 07:00 after walking the dogs, but  couldn’t sleep, so got back up at 08:0 and walked the dogs again

So, final report on last night’s foxing, this mornings pottering
Thursday.
Went to bed at 23:30, and dropped off to sleep almost immediately,  having elected NOT to go foxing,  as wanted 5o be wide awake this morning as I have a dentists appointment later
BUT, at 01:50 I was instantly wide awake, no idea why, but no matter how I tried, I couldn’t get back to sleep, so at 02:30 got up and elected to go foxing after all LOL.

Took the dogs for a quick walk, then came back, made a mug of tea, and dropped a couple of pain killers.then put the batteries in the x-sight II HD 3-14x, and fired it up, then set date and time.
Next put the batteries in the IR, and checked that was working.
Then checked my crib sheet for the times the foxes were due.

Had already missed two, as they were there and gone by the time I was up, but another was due between 05:05 and 05:41.
So at 04:10 I was set up and waiting,  as it’s my normal pattern to set up around an hour early.
Every 1-2 -minutes I scanned, not using IR, but relying on the very faint moonlight that was glowing through the loud cover.
With that, I could make out shadows, so any movement I would be able to see, and as I have a good eye for detail, any new shadow I would be able to watch.

Suddenly at 04:31, I noticed a new shadow, looked like a tree stump or a small pyramid, which wasn’t there previously.
I watched it several minutes,  but it didn’t move, but it was damn sure it was a treat fox, a treat very very careful fox.
I aimed the sight and rifle further up the field and switched the IR on, so it wouldn’t startle anything there (have to make sure it’s a fox, and not a dog or badger, both are a tremendous no, no, to shoot, one might be someone’s pet, the other is a protected species)

Slowly brought the IR down onto the shadow,  on low and flooded to fill FOV as is my normal pattern, and there was a fox, staring right back at me, but it still didn’t move.
I watched it at minute or two then put the video on, took aim, and squeezed. BANG,  the rifle kicked back but I followed the shot on the scope, and the fox crumpled. 
DOWN AT 04:35.

Went out had collected it, a nice vixen, not heavy, but in cub, and about 2 years old.
Went in, washed my hands thoroughly (foxes carry an awful lot of diseases), took the dogs for another quick walk, and then settled down again for the next fox.

Nothing came, so decided that come 06:00 I would pack up.
05:58, unloaded, and put the magazine in my pocket,  took took a quick look through the scope again prior to shutting it down, and bugger me, there’s a fox just coming into my FOV on the left side, but NOT going for the bait.

Quickly get the magazine out and into the rifle,  and slam another cartridge into the chamber as I racked the bolt
Then fumbled for the video on, and took aim, but stupidly, decided on on neck shot, hoping to sever the spinal cord and jugular vein for an instant drop (I didn’t want to go for for a chest shot at that angle, as the exit wound would have been massive, and not make for a good photo).
Damn, it ran, despite being hit, so I obviously missed the jugular and spinal cord 🙁
So that one doesn’t count.

Then finally packed up, and took the dogs for yet another walk. Then another mug of tea, and off out and go do some pottering.
First farm (the horse farm), a bunch of jackdaws got up and flew away, but managed to drop one.

Then at the next farm, nothing flying, except for a couple that flew away before my 4×4 had even come to a halt.
The next farm is an old deserted one, always lots of corvids, bit no way to sneak up on them, soon as the vehicle rolls into the lane, they are gone, their sentries warning them.
BUT, sometimes a few remain in the storehouse,  too busy feeding and chattering to notice the alarm calls, and then you have a chance to drop one or two.
So, rolled in, and off they went, but loaded the shotgun, and walked the lane very slowly and carefully,  making as little noise as possible.
Once in the yard, got into the “ready position”, and then called “HEY, get OUT” and the jackdaws suddenly appeared out of the slits in the door and roof ….
BANG, one down, then another couple appear before I had time to reload, so BANG, second barrel, and another hit ,  this one hit hard but not down, it’s legs dangling and having trouble staying aloft. As I reloaded, so it went into a steep dive, and into the field where the other had fallen.

Went to collect them, then seeing the field, decided against it, the fields have been slurry sprayed yesterday evening from the look and smell of it.
At the next three farms nothing about, so packed it up for the morning, home for breakfast, walk the dogs again.

And here’s the vixen

 
 
 
 
 
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