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Thread: Tough year at dens

  1. #1

    Tough year at dens

    Any bods on the forum do much den work at foxes?
    I,m having the toughest time i can remember, checked a hell of a lot of holes and only finding billy's or empty Starting to worry that this year they are very late and we are stuffing up a lot of potential dens sites , we've had a couple of likely holes freshly cleaned that the dogs have spent a lot of time in and out at , but nothing found , one was only 1.2 m deep to the bed, fresh belly wool at the mouth but no ffing fox! We only get about 40 in the lamp a year and normally 6-8 dens usually with a couple of later shifts.
    Got one den 3wks ago on the low ground ,cubs just starting to go red in face, one last thurs about 2000ft up,new born moleys, alot of the surefire sites waterlogged. Snow again last night down to 1200ft mark.
    Still losing lambs and getting the odd dog in the spotlight but lacking dens(so far), Nieghbour had 15 dens last year and only two so far this year, most of the other nieghbours are similar , just wondering what it like elsewhere?
    Beginning to think i might have to move to the city to let the dogs work foxes.

  2. #2
    down here in noth yorks never see so many foxs as this year
    have you frightened they all down here
    Humans are pre wired with fight or flight response
    Great Grandad fought, Grandad fought.
    For the sake of my Grandchild I wish for Less Flight responses entering Europe

  3. #3
    Looks like to me you are on top of them, hence fewer dens. I know dog foxes will travel a long way to kill lambs even by passing lambing fields on thier door step, when on call outs with the hounds in May this has been the case on many occassions.


  4. #4
    We have shot 26 since January off a 240 acre sheep farm…and just of late they will sit in the lamp until the 75 grain bowels them over.
    They are lambing again next month, so I guess we will be busy with half grown cubs to be fed.


  5. #5
    We've done nearly fifty adults and cubs above ground since mid March, another six last night, no shortage here this year!

  6. #6
    [QUOTE=BODACH;379088]Looks like to me you are on top of them, hence fewer dens. I know dog foxes will travel a long way to kill lambs even by passing lambing fields on thier door step, when on call outs with the hounds in May this has been the case on many occassions.

    I wish i could believe it ! not managed to get a handle on it for 30yrs trying, seem to shoot ,snare 'n, dig about the same numbers, give or take ,apart from this season. We are one of two places that still have hill sheep in 70,000 acres around us, some of this ground is stalked over but relies on nieghbours to do dens when they've done there own. So it may be as you suggest , the foxes are travelling further and further to a food source. After the dens have had the once round and the red calves are up and running we will get the footpack in and stir things up a bit and see what we find then, here's hoping

  7. #7
    No problems this year in Argyll had nine dens this year, We only do them the last two weeks in April as this is what my boss allows then we must get on with the deer,Last year we only got three. The cubs. Were all black not much difference in size compared to other years.

  8. #8
    start my dens end of march and picked them up no problem with vixen at home and new born cubs,
    problem in may is cubs can be in stupid places like little rabbit earths ,
    what i did notice is all the earths we got which is alot is that they only had small litter sizes with 5 cubs being the biggest and smallest is 2.
    also picked up a few litters in earths that have never been used for years. saying that did track a lot in the spring in the snow !
    cabs are well on now helped a mate two weeks ago and drove 2 out of a wood that were big and red and on ly half the size of the vixen that also came out.
    when working in dumfriesshire a few years ago we had a lot of rain and lot of places were full of water, and went on to find two litters that were born on top by the side of big rocks with ferns growing up the side and the ferns had falling over the rocks creating like a thatched roof (got photos and will dig them out)and the vixen had made a nest under it and cubbed the cubs were only a week old and there was a cracking earth only 50yrd away.
    i would be on your gaurd as they wont be far away.
    if your struggling give me a shout!!!

  9. #9
    We've no soft cover at all , no heather ,no trees just grass and rocks so they have to be in the rocks or underground or the eagles nab them quick time.
    On my brothers ground about 25miles away alot of the dens are empty this year with the viccy's cubbing up top in all the windblow from the winter gales or else in broom banks. He's getting on better lower down the country.
    9 foxes before 9am last thurs , 6 cubs, 1 viccy drying up ,1 viccy bare belly suckling and 1 still pregnant the jammy bas*ard! He makes a point of phoning to tell me cause he knows were toiling.

    Shepherd changed the batts in the radio left at one den to keep the dog -off . 51/2" of snow ! I so love all this global warming !! I hope it's gone by tomorrow night as it's my turn again.

  10. #10
    had 3 cubs on top of a den with the .22 yesterday , they were pretty big for this time of year

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