After nearly 50 yrs of shooting I can finally claim to have played tig with a fox,have heard about it but have hardly been able to see a fox during the day never mind following one without being spied!. I am just getting out and about again after a recurrence of a disc prolapse which has all but done for any walking whatsoever.Today the sun was shining and I was getting under the wife's feet as usual with my grumpy mood so thought I might take a stroll over a new permission with the .243.The land is grass and bracken with a big hill and peripheral woodlands.....ideal.
10 minutes in I found a great spot overlooking a small v shaped glen with lots of bracken on the left side and gave a few squeals on the call.Almost immediately I saw a movement on the right hand side about 200yds out,a quick squint through the binos revealed a brown hare staring at me,ears aloft.Then a movement from the bracken on the left,no mistaking the fox coming at pace towards me,my heart started to go faster as it always does in this situation.I got down flat on the wet ground ,breaking in my new ridgeline smock in the process.Getting down and arranging myself I took my eye of the fox and immediately lost sight of it,after some more squeaks I again caught sight on a ridge on my left,within range but no safe shot possible.The situation remained for 10 minutes and despite more pathetic squeaking the fox disappeared over the ridge,ah well I thought,another day.
I continued my walk round the permission and made my way back through the glen I had started out on.Skirting the bracken which was now on my right I saw the unmisakeable vision of a fox brush some 50 metres ahead,the beast was obviously busy in the bracken and may have been eating I thought.I lifted the rifle and filled the scope with the fox,just about to pull the trigger and a wee voice said"wonder how close you could get?". I jigged in and out of the bracken till the fox was no more than 15 metres away,still oblivious.It then came out and continued a bit further on then back into the bracken again,I followed. This in and out of the bracken continued for about ten minutes and I have to admit I was in my element,smiling to myself about how great a stalker I was.
At the end of the day I let the fox go as he sauntered out of the bracken and on his way,this may not go down well with many,but the pleasure I got from today was worth more than a dead fox at my feet. I will however be back up there soon with a less romantic head on!!.