Fox shooting on a golf course


[Music] It’s going to be tough to keep the golfing
references to a minimum but we’ll try: well-known falconer Roy has left his birdies at home,
well the eagle anyway, so we can knock some holes in the local fox population. They’re making a right mess of the greens,
fairways and the benches, and it’s Roy’s job to clean it up. Many people would think that if you have a
golf course you would want as many foxes as you could possibly get to keep the rabbit
population down. But in actual fact the foxes can still cause a lot of damage by digging
up the greens defecating all over the place and they are actually jumping up on the benches
and pooing all over the benches as well. Not ideal for a day out with your clubs. Personally
that wouldn’t really bother me because golf is certainly not my game and I really don’t
quite understand it. We will kick off and end up on the 19th hole old chap. We start with the front nine holes – We have
to be careful not to make more mess than the foxes so we drag along Darren and his gator.
We had wanted to have some fun in the golf buggies but they charge up over night and
the club doesn’t want members cutting up rough in the morning about flat batteries. Cutting up rough – see what we did there. The foxes shouldn’t be lamp shy so we’ve got
a couple of Nightmaster 800s with the red and green LEDs. The beam travels as far as
we can see, but unfortunately we don’t see much. A couple of likely spots deliver nothing.
The champion bogeys holes 1, 2 and 3. The Western Rivers call is taking the strain
again tonight and finally a fox takes the bait, but only as we start to move off. There
are actually two of them around and with the call already back in the gator Roy uses the
Silva Fox call. It’s hard work but a shot presents itself and our evening suddenly starts
waking up. We have just come over the top of the rise
and we have just see a fox disappear into the wood here. He came out of the bottom but
as soon as the lamp was on him he tucked back in and then he was starting to work his way
back across. Luckily he stopped just long enough for us to get the shot. We know there
is another fox which came into our right hand side just above us. I am hoping he has just
worked his way over to the other side of the course and hopefully we will catch up with
him in a second. For our next stand – Roy mixes it up a bit
and starts with the mouth call. Low and behold a fox pops out for a look and Roy has his
chance. Change of tactics we reverted straight onto
the mouth call and straight away we got a fantastic response. Just came straight out
of that wood there. Number two in the bag. I think that is what we might do just have
a bit of a trawl around and a few more mouth squeaks and see how we get on. I will just
carry on a second just in case. Here we go another one is coming in. Have you got it. Yes. Sometimes one call works, other times another
call works. You never know so it is always worth having a run through. Because we actually
called previously on this spot and gone through a hole plethora of different calls on the
electronic caller with no avail, but I really thought this area was quite foxy. So I just
wanted to give it another go so we gave it another go with one of the mouth callers and
all of a sudden everything started to happen within a few seconds. So you have always got
to change your tactics and just be prepared to change off the course of what you have
decided to do and experiment a little bit. Another night it could have been one of the
calls off the electronic caller that worked. So you never know. That is what is fun about
it because all of a sudden the action kicks off and within seconds we have got two more
foxes.in the bag. Darren retrieves the foxes. Once again they
are adults. So where we are on this site here we actually
surrounded quite heavily by housing and by the looks of it the foxes are normal customers
that we would find in the fields and what have you. But they definitely look a bit more
urban. Their condition is nowhere near as nice and the fur condition is not so good,
but the most interesting thing so far is we haven’t even seen a cub. It will be interesting
to see what goes on once we have had the harvest. Whereas normally when we are doing that sort
of squeaking at this time of year we would be getting an awful lot of interest from cubs
coming about. Are you wearing guy liner? Guy liner? Does it look like I am wearing
guy liner. Thank you darling. Does it mean I am looking incredibly handsome tonight? A bit further down the fairway we spot a fox
in the scrub. Roy sticks with what he knows and lets loose with the mouth call – from
hundreds of meters away the tell tale eyes come bobbing towards us. This one needs a
bit more careful management – finally Roy is happy with the shot. A little bit puckered. It is certainly turning
on now. That wasn’t the original fox that we saw. It just came over the rise and there
was a fox sitting right out in the middle of the green there but he disappeared off
and I just tried to call that one out and we are probably not more than about 100 to
200 yards from where we were first calling a minute ago where we had the other two and
carried on calling for a little while and another one started coming in from probably
a good 500 yards away. The last little bit he wasn’t quite sure because I think we are
sitting on top of the bug at the moment we are a bit skyline. When he got really close
he panicked a bit and went back a touch, but just managed to pick him out in the trees.
I think the way we are going now we could start to pick up a reasonable bag. What are
the teeth like, worn out? No, she is not an overly old child, but certainly not a youngster
though. In the words of John Paul Sartre, as anyone
who has seen Caddyshack known, “Au revoir foxy”. We’re now on a charge. The next hole
delivers a youngster- soon followed by another –
Roy has to work this second fox harder by
using a more delicate touch. We knew we had a questionable back stop calling
with that wood to our right. We were hoping that the foxes would come from the wood to
our left. So we actually carried on squeaking. I actually changed the squeak. I really toned
it down. We went to a little mouth squeaker from Best Fox Call which I think is a willow
grouse call and that was just enough to regain its interest as it was sitting there and luckily
instead of coming following the contour of the wood it decided to come out to the left
of the wood. So again we had a fantastic backstop on that one because we have got rising ground
there. So again no more than 40 – 50 yards off a perfect shot. Put them both together.
I would say youngsters. Yes they are. Double vixen from the same litter. As we travel to our final hole Roy explains
the need for the Nightmasters. It is just a lot quicker you can cover the
ground have a good scout around. See what you have got. It allowed us to get a number
of foxes relatively quickly and now we know pretty much where the foxes are that are lamp
shy. We can come back with night vision and clear those up another night. Our last customer is another long play. The
fox comes from the woodland on the far edge – before it’s too close, Roy knocks it over. After a slow start it’s been a really satisfying
night with some lovely shots from the rough and across the green. Nicely put, put – get
it.

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