Brother-in-law has been turning out a steady stream of ewes with new lambs into the field in front of our house. The inclement weather has been hard on them but he hasn't lost any to it yet. We also have a small flock of escape artist chickens that run riot in there aswell.
First warning was a hen and cockerel disappearing, no sign of kill sites or on the usual entry points to the field for foxes, I was around front of buildings all day and heard no commotion. Two mornings later a lamb had vanished, again no signs.
Out went the trail cam at a good vantage point, nothing, except another lamb, this one still alive but with a nasty wound on its head.
So, out for evening walks with shotgun. Sunday night I'd done a second full circuit of the fields and seen nothing. Back at buildings I unload it and put in my car outside the house while I check hens locked up and electric fence in order. Just finished that when I hear the angry thump of a ewes foot on the soggy ground , swing torch across the next field and there is a ewe, lamb tucked in close ........... and an f'ing fox 30 yards out from her just stood staring at them !
Torch straight off and back to car, negotiating a very live fence in the dark, to retrieve shotgun !
Made my way quietly to top corner of field hoping to get a shot across at it, no luck, it'd also moved to the top and in taller rough margin. Had to make my down to the bottom, cross over into next field. I guessed if spooked the fox would follow the next fence line up the hill towards the cover of the woods. With this in mind I went across field till I thought I was in line with that fence and then slowly walked up. Didn't get my guess quite right but close enough. Torch on, two foxes !? The one I'd been stalking and another further into that field which looked very startled at the sudden company. The first was in range so up with the gun and got it side on as went to go through fence. Swung back to see where other headed and it was well out of range and accelerating.
So, well pleased to nail one of them, especially with the second guessing, keeping up with it and getting in range.
Frustrated, ... next night I went to shut hens, swung torch across field and there was a fox legging it away. Guess it was the second one, doubt I'll get in shotty range of that beggar again unless very lucky !
Recounted this to b-in-law and he was delighted one down, but followed with "When you getting that .223 then ? Can't have that other one running round all smart and clever !"
Being skint and left handed the .223 could be a while coming, so on that note and hoping for luck, off out with the 12 again !