All the way through my twenties I was a fox shooter in the first degree. Out at least two nights a week regardless of the weather looking for Charlie. Never drove, always on foot plus we would always end up at the local. They were the days knife on your belt, blood on your trouser leg and a musty smell. Now you would just get locked up. Now I'm getting lost.
But after I moved down the road from the family farm, only ten minutes mine when i was twenty eight. I started to not so much loose interest in foxing. But it was the fact I had to drive and was used to having a drink and walking home across the fields. I was never a coke man. So my foxing became a thing of the past and evenings home in front of the tv became the norm.
Eleven years later I was blest with my first child, late in life but very unexpected my daughter was. Moving down the road was a change this this little bundle was an earth quake. All of a sudden I had no time at all. Sharon and I both shared the child care I dont work every day some days I just spend with my daughter having fun.
Free time became less more and more time on my daughter. Less time in Scotland roe stalking, less time in my shed, less time archery and less time on my own.
So I opened up the land I lease in Scotland which myself and Oliver shoot, to include 3 members of the SD the chance of a syndicate and so the land is used. Gave up the archery club altogether and no trips abroad, only shoot on British soil now.
But in the past few months I kept thinking about foxing again. Neil_r very kindly got me a new fox call at the midland G F. But that's been sitting in my shed for months. New Lamp read, but I wasn't.
THE SNOW CAME!
I alway remember what good success I had in the snow with Charlie. So last Friday I nipped into Leicester to renew the lamping battery, got my gear out. Neil the Plummer has lent me some night vision so charged that too.
Saturday night came informed the local farmer (the old man)I was going out. Then set off just me and the dog plus a bunch of new toys. Snow was not to crunchy but untouched. There were hares everywhere 4/6 in every field I walked into. Never used night vision before and with the snow you could see a fair bit. Have to admit NV was fun to use amazing what you see.
Been out for an hour when I caught a fox crossing the field he had seem be before I saw him. He was not stopping. Plus by the time I was ready he had long gone. Move on to the next. Saw another two but again a little out of practice and missed the chance of a shot. Only stopped out for 2 hours but I made the effort.
Sunday came and again I got geared up and took the ten minute drive saw the local farmer this time my brother. Been out for around an hour over the back of the farm when a dog like critter was trotting across the bottom near the hedge. Crept to the brow of the hill and lay down in the snow. Started to use my call but no luck off it trotted plus to far for a shot.
Just about to get up when another fox came out the hedge heading in the same direction. This time the call worked a treat. From the course it was on turned and headed my way. With all the snow and light pollution did not even need a lamp. Safety off and BANG! Fox fell over.
Well chuffed first fox shot at night in 10 years. He was not very big but what a lovely thick coat he had. Plus a nice colour. Left him by the hedge for my brother to pick up the following morning.
Saw another within 15 minutes but again on another mission not stopping for me. Walked back to the farm house and then drove home. Enjoyed myself and walked some ground I've not done in years.
On reflection 10 minutes is not far to drive to have a little time to myself and do something I used to enjoy every week.
I'll be out again this week!