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Fox Caught On Game Camera

12 September 2012 6 Comments

Not long ago I got a new game camera, and I’ve been playing around with it a bit since.

Mostly I’ve just ended up with daytime photos of birds and night-time photos of rats. At least it showed me where to put the rat traps. I also got hundreds of photos of waving branches during the strong winds last week :-).

Then I came across this video on the memory card:

I had put a dead Indian Myna (the best kind!) in front of the camera, hoping to lure something interesting into a photo. A couple of rats dragged it around behind the compost bay, and the next night a fox came by and took it.

Yeah, it looks a little like those “proof of the Kangaroo Valley panther” videos, but I’m pretty sure that’s just a fox sniffing around the compost bay.

I suspected a fox might have been sniffing around – I’d seen tracks in the grass, a little digging near an empty chicken tractor – but I wasn’t sure. Maybe it was just rats and stuff. It’s good to now know for sure, but the next question is “what am I supposed to do about it”?!

I’m thinking it might be worth investing in a fox trap. I’d love to hear from anyone with experience with trapping foxes. What type of trap is best? Any tips for baits, placement, etc?

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  • Debra said:

    At the small farm I work on we’ve tried a box like trap with limited success. http://www.amrshire.wa.gov.au/library/file/4Environment/Landcare/FoxTrappingFlyer.pdf We have caught 2 foxes, 1 very young and 1 very old but that is over a couple of years. The bloke from the LHPA said he didn’t think we would catch any because foxes are so smart. We used a chicken wing tied hanging from the top part of it. We found if we didn’t tie it down the chicken would be gone and the cage not set off. I have heard that if you make a circular ring of strong wire 120cm high and round, stand it on it’s end and pin it down, then hang baby chicks in a cage above it you will catch them but I’ve never had the heart to do that to the chicks. My dad swears by the traps that grab hold of the leg but you have to use at least 2 a couple of feet apart because they will chew through a leg to get free.

  • Darren (author) said:

    Thanks for the tips, guys. I put a dead rat out a few nights later, and got another shot of the fox. The timestamps on the photos/videos seem to correspond to times I remember our dog barking, so I think she’s pretty good at sensing them.

    After talking with some other dads at a school fundraiser over the weekend, I think I’ll go for a rubber-jawed leg-hold trap. The general consensus was that they’re pretty effective, without causing pain to the animal. There are tricks to using them, which I’ll need to learn.

    @Liesel: I think I’ve read that story, although I’ve not read the book. I’m not sure where I can (legally!) get hold of an old shopping trolley, though.

  • John said:

    Interesting video ! Maybe you should keep feeding it for a while to lull it into a false sense of security, since they are so smart. Then think about traps. You might even see some pups. Since now is the peak breeding time in SE Australia.

    Q. When do foxes breed and how many young do they have?

    A. Vixens only breed once during the annual breeding season, which runs from July to October in south eastern Australia. Peak breeding is in August. The average litter is four with a maximum of 10.

  • Liesel said:

    In one of Jackie French’s books she refers to a trap her partner made, from an old shopping trolley. I think it might have been the A Year in the Valley book?

  • Gail said:

    Is your dog not chasing the fox away?

  • Darren (author) said:

    @Gail: At the moment we have to keep the dog in a separate part of the yard at night, as she can get out through that fence and likes chasing cows, sheep and cars. I have a radio collar coming this week, though, so after some training I’m hoping she can stand guard at night!