I went out yesterday for a walk with a shotgun in the hope of getting a few pigeons, crows or rabbits purely because it was far too nice a day to waste while the wife was doing the laundry and preparing the Sunday dinner. When I got to the chosen farm and had my usual chat with the farmer he said that he had been loosing a few chickens during the day so if I saw any foxes he would like me to shoot them on sight regardless of sex, size or age.
I had a good idea of where the earth was (Which is on a neighbours land but I have permission there too) so I started to make my way to the area to have a look and see what if anything was about. Leading up to this earth was there is a large gully which is quite deep and has a row of hawthorn trees/bushes down the side of it. As I approached the gully from the top end I spotted what I thought was a slight movement in the undergrowth near the the bottom end of the gully (Which is about 150 yards long) so I stopped and crouched down along side a hawthorn bush to give me a bit of cover while I tried to get a better look at what it was that was moving. Low and behold trotting up the gully came a youngish fox carrying something in it's mouth. I stayed still and silent and waited in a crouching position so as to be as small and invisible as possible. I allowed the fox to get just 12 to 15 yards from me (This fox was so intent on going about it's thieving business that it had no idea that I was there waiting for it) and then stood up and let it have both barrels. Unfortunately as I was only expecting a few rabbits, pigeons or crows I did not have any "heavy loads" with me so it got two Europa 32g 6 shots straight in the rib cage which dropped her there and then without any fuss right along side the chicken she had been carrying.
I dragged both the fox and the chicken back to the farm and told the farmer how things had panned out and showed him the results (Both the fox and the chicken) which he was delighted about - More so the vixen than the chicken.
However this was a young vixen (I suspect one of last years) so I doubt that this will be the end of the poultry thieving and I will not be too surprised if I get a phone call telling me that there is still a bit more work to do. I've already spoken to the neighbouring farmer who has given the go ahead to watch over the earth and take "whatever action I think necessary" with either a rifle or a shotgun!
At least there was no doubt with this one, she was very definitely "Guilty As Charged" as she was caught carrying her ill gotten (And freshly killed) gains home!
Note to myself - I must remember to carry a few heavier (Preferably BB) cartridges and a pocket camera with me when going out after pigeons, rabbits and crows in future!