Over the last 18 days I've shot one fox, and seen maybe two more, in spite of being out almost every night. Over the 18 days before that I shot nine, and saw several others. 11 went down over the 18 days before that.
I wouldn't mind, but I must have gained the best part of 1,000 acres of new permissions (where no-one else shoots) over that time, so it's not as though I've killed all the foxes already. I've also been using every trick in the book - calling with well-proven methods, baiting, stalking into the wind, etc, etc. I use thermal imaging and high-end night vision equipment, so if there were any foxes about I'd have seen them, even if they were far too far away to shoot. The crops are still low enough for me to see them - but I've barely seen any.
So - there must be a rationale behind it. Clearly the vixens with pups are still below ground, but the dogs and 'helpers' won't be allowed in with them yet. We've had an unseasonably cold spell, so my best hypothesis is that the dogs were able to bury a lot of food during the warm weather we had in the run-up to the pups being born, and now they're simply digging it up rather than going off hunting.
Anyone else got any ideas?