Mike Powell’s masterclass on how to make the most of the various foxing methods available in late summer and autumn
Owing to the wet weather one August, the harvest had been delayed. This had put my fox control operations seriously behind. I control foxes over a mixture of arable, pasture and woodland. Around 80 per cent is arable, and any cubs that get away from the earth are tricky to mop up until the harvest is completed.
During the harvest, I usually get one chance of bagging more than 10 cubs and adult foxes in a night’s lamping. But I recall one year that produced three such double-figure bags, two of which were on consecutive six-hour sessions with the lamp and rifle.
As I have said, once you’re tuned in to the countryside, you don’t need to see a fox to know it’s there. You can read the signs and know what’s going on behind the screen of foliage.
As the year moves on, the opportunities for keeping the fox population under control alter. August is the time when vegetation of all types is at its densest. Harvest is almost here, but not quite.