Ask the experts: What rifles are good for shooting foxes at long range?

Q I shoot a few foxes, usually around the 100-yard mark, and am thinking of trying my hand at much longer ranges. Do you have any pointers as to choice of rifle, techniques etc?

A There are few people that I know that have the ability to humanely shoot foxes at what I would call ‘long range’. I keep records of the various distances I shoot my foxes at – almost without exception it averages out around the 100-yard mark. I would describe anything over 200 yards as long range for what is a relatively small target during daylight, and even more so after dark.

My friend and colleague Mark Ripley is the best long-range fox shooter that I know, and I have tremendous respect for his long-range shooting abilities – but this is a specialised form of shooting that many aspire to but few succeed at. Mark has spent many years perfecting his expertise and has ideal areas to practise over. My advice would be to stick to sub-200-yard foxes – after all that’s a fair distance to guarantee humane kills, which is what we should all strive for.

Modern equipment gives shooters tremendous advantages over the gear I started out with. Using this correctly should enable you to deal with most of the foxes you come across. As far as calibre is concerned, if you’re shooting at sub-200, yards any centrefire rifle will do the job. My preference has always been for the .223 but the choice is yours.

Mike Powell Professional gamekeeper and foxing expert

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