Foxes - a few more tips on calling them in...

It's been a few years since "Fox Whistling Techniques" was published and if I had my time over again what would I add? Maybe I'd add more on calling in feral cats - fox hunting at it's best is when the big feral cat come running in after all. I think the only thing I'd have added was a discussion on why a fox comes in so hard to the call. Now, if you're thinking "Simple - there's a free and easy rabbit dinner on offer. That's why they come to the call". Well, that's true, but there's a bit more going on than that...


From my observations, the behaviour of foxes and big feral cats I've witnessed suggest to me they are not just looking for the upset rabbit, they are looking hard for what is making that rabbit upset too. My theory is that when the rabbit call continues on for a little while, the more convinced a uneducated fox there is more than just an easy rabbit on offer. What-ever is giving that rabbit a hard time, it can barely handle that rabbit and that's now up for grabs too. I've seen foxes catch rabbits quite a few times. When the rabbit is squealing they just bite down and give them a quick shake. Easy, no more complaints. Snakes, racehorse goannas, young feral cats and small birds of prey are not that quick or slick. And it's these guys that the fox is now looking for as part of the deal. I think it's an interesting notion. Foxes rarely spot me, even when they're a handful of metres away. Yes, I've got all the fox calling tricks down pat, but a human is pretty big as animals go. All of us have been guilty of not seeing what's right in front of us at one time or another. Anyway, I have no definitive proof, it's just a theory.

I also touch on in the book the idea of being rushed when a fox comes bolting in. I could have emphasised more that things will slow down for you and you'll get plenty of time to sort the fox out with practice. I did say that foxes are the best teachers and you'll join up all the techniques the more you get out there and have a go. When the techniques become second nature you'll be miles head of the fox and then you'll be able to deal with multiple foxes coming in too. Until then you'll feel rushed, you'll kind of be in a red mist and it's often in that state, fox callers starting out just blaze away and the fox gets away educated. The reality is you have more time than you think. But it's hard to learn that trick when you've called in handful of foxes and each one got you crazy on adrenaline and you blew it.