After casting my vote in the referendum and several "meetings" I decided to get out yesterday evening to have a bit of a lay out to see if any more foxes were showing near the earth where I took three vixens from a week and a half ago. The landowner's wife said that she had seen a couple of foxes above the earth early in the morning while walking her dog so it looked like I might get a shot or two in.
I had just got settled in to my shooting position when one of the heifers noticed that I was there - Within a couple of minutes I was totally surrounded by a dozen or so inquisitive heifers. I felt that the best thing to do was to just keep my rifle unloaded and lay still and try to ignore them. I have to say that it was a bit annoying when one of them started licking my boots and got a swift kick on the nose for it's troubles - In hindsight not a good idea as if it had caused them to "stampede" I could have got trampled on! Anyway, a bit of patience paid off and they eventually realised that I was not going to feed them and they slowly made their way off to pastures new!
I had forgotten to bring any midge repellent with me so I soon found that I was attracting rather a lot of midges and that if I was going to try for a fox I was just going to have to grin and bare it!
About 45 minutes after the heifers had left me in peace a fox decided to make an appearance and was approaching the earth from the skyline, slowly making it's way towards the earth and a safe shot. Once it was below the skyline I tracked it down with the cross hairs on it all the time and when it got to where I had a nice clear shot with it sideways on to me I gave it a quick bark and the moment it stopped I squeezed a round off.
The shot was good and it dropped on the spot, gave a quick twitch of it's legs and that was that. Through the scopes it looked like an older fox but I could not see if it was a dog or vixen and I decided to leave it there in case there were any others in close proximity in need of a little lead 130g pill!
As it was the midges were becoming too much for me and I was getting eaten alive so after another 15 minutes I decided to knock it on the head. I packed the rifle and gear away and then donned a pair of rubber gloves to retrieve the dead fox so I didn't have to drive home stinking of fox, and I'm certainly glad of those rubber gloves! The fox was a really old boy with worn down and really dirty teeth, and was showing heavy signs of mange, he truly stank!
I dragged him back to the farm cottage and let the landowner know how things had gone, which he was delighted with and said that he would chuck the carcass on a large bonfire he was planning in having today!
All in all a fair result but even after a good shower and a couple of beers the wife said I still looked like something from a horror film where I had been bitten by so many midges and reacted badly to the bites - I've still got some of the marks showing on me this morning and even thinking about it I am itching again!
The things we do and put ourselves through to try to keep out farmers happy - And God do I hate those midges!