I recall an occasion when I was clearing up a litter of fox cubs around a nine-acre field on the farm.
Some experts will tell you there’s no point calling foxes in the spring. The adults have heard it all before, and anyway they’re busy looking after the cubs, which are generally born around mid-March.
Robert Bucknell is putting in the time out on his ground to make sure that any resident foxes won’t be causing too much trouble for the wildlife come spring
When is a badger sett not a badger sett? It’s not a joke; it’s a serious problem for people like me who need to control foxes.
Foxes have become more wary. It’s something that I realised when I had a year where I noticed far fewer foxes over my land than usual. I remember speaking to Mike Powell, and he agreed – foxes were becoming harder to shoot using traditional lamp and calling techniques.
It can be hard to tell one fox from another at distance, but I felt confident I would recognise one my neighbouring keeper described to me a few years ago.
Your first chance to get after the foxes during the harvest is when the combine starts into the oilseed rape or any winter barley. As the combine works across the field in ever narrowing strips, a fox can find itself marooned in a shrinking island of cover. Eventually it will have to make a run for it.
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.
Like a lot of shooters, I spend many hours up a high seat or sitting on the ground over a commanding view, watching and waiting. I was doing that one evening when I spotted a fallow buck. To be exact, I didn’t actually spot the buck. I spotted part of his hind leg.
The way some shooters talk, you’d think they’ve never made a mistake in their lives. In fact the only way to become an expert at anything is to learn from mistakes – both your own and other people’s.