I have heard many "tales" of Old Brock and Charlie being "mortal enemies" but I have also heard about them tollerating each other. So much so that I was "sat on the fence" about this.............Until this evening!
A farmer where i shoot mentioned that there were a couple of foxes getting close to his lambing shed and would I try to "sort them out" when I had the time.
I suspected that these foxes were coming from an adjoining farm where I do not have permission - And that is quite simply because there was another shooter that had permission there and I did not want to "tread on his toes". However that situation has changed and that the other shooter is unfortunately no longer with us. With that In mind the farmer who I shoot for said that he would have a word with the neighbouring farmer on my behalf to help me to get permission to shoot there, so I have left it at that for now.
What I was fairly certain of was that the foxe(s) were coming from an old badger set that they had taken over just over the other side of the boundary wall. I have tried lamping them from my permission side of the wall and seen them on the wall as if they knew that I would not dare to take a shot without a safe backstop - Crafty little beggars!
This evening after my meal I decided to go out and have a good look at the "situation" through the time leading up to dusk. I took the .270 with me in case one showed and I was able to squeek it over the wall on to my permission. I made myself comfortable at about 4:30 by spreading a small camo tarpauline on the top of a ridge about 250 yards from the sett/earth (On the land where I do have permission) and covering the small tarpauline with my camo hide net. I put the rifle on the bipod and then settled down laying down on the camo net with one layer of camo net over the top of me to help with concelement. (It was actually quite warm and comfy lying like that) I kept a squeeker handy in case a fox decidied to show.
At about 5:45 a fox showed coming out of the sett/earth but it was clear that it was "on a mission" and wasn't going to hang about and very quickly ran in the oposite direction to me and headed towards the road where someone keeps a few chickens. I would rather it had turned and showed a bit of interest in the squeeker but Hey Ho, that's life - It will be there for another time and hopefully it will then make it's last and fatal mistake. This fox was smallish and very dark in colour, but looked in marvelous condition with a thick coat and really bushy tail. My guess is that it was a dog fox that was maybe hunting to feed a vixen who might be almost ready to give birth to cubs.
However, not to be detered I decided to wait it out for a while in case there were any other foxes also sharing the earth. About 15 to 20 minutes later I couldn't believe what emerged as I was watching through my field galsses - A huge badger that was in no hurry to do anything except spend a few minutes grooming itself and sniffing the air before it eventually waddled off to forage.
This has confirmed to me that foxes and badgers can live not only in harmony together, but they can and will live in the same sett/earth!
Unfortunately I didn't think of taking a video camera with me but I will almost certainly be "watching over" that earth again over the next week or two (Weather permitting) but next time I will make sure that i have the video camera handy as I believe that it could make some interesting viewing!
Has anyone else experienced anything like this while watching for foxes to emerge in the evening?