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Mike Powell’s masterclass on how to make the most of the various foxing methods available in late summer and autumn
Once the glut of shooting foxes during the harvest has passed, it’s back to tactics and outwitting them.
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.
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.
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.