Not at all well at the moment but fed up of not being able to get out, I dragged myself off the sofa and took a trip to my local permission this afternoon. Mooching around slowly, I spotted two Roe Does just over 100m away. Not having the deer rights on the land (and still waiting for the DSC1 result to enable removal of my mentoring condition), it was at least a joy just to watch them going about their business. After 5 or 10 mins of browsing, they hopped into a small wood. I gave them a few minutes and then enjoyed a cracking hour and a half following them from a modest distance. As the light faded, I bumped another deer in a large wood and shortly after saw another two does over the top of a hedge just 30m away. They clearly sensed something wrong and hot footed it away into the brush.
The sun now dropping away below the horizon, I stood on the edge of a gateway lazily watching several rabbits chasing each other around. As darkness finally fell, I made my way back towards the car across wind. On the third scan with the lamp, it picked up two sets of eyes and the unmistakable profile of two foxes, some distance away. Turning the lamp off and making my way closer, occasionally checking where they were, they were clearly trotting away, not liking the light. I suspected they may stop when they reached the hedge and was shortly pleased when my instincts proved correct. Now clearly feeling secure so close to cover, they presented broadside ~150m away. Rushing in the heat of the moment, the shot missed. A quick reload and I was surprised to see them trotting slowly and steadily, quartering towards me back across the field to the large wood, getting closer with each step. The distance down to ~80m and showing no signs of stopping, I gave 2-feet of lead and dropped the lead vixen in her tracks. The other sprinted back to where they had started. Pausing only briefly to look back before continuing down the reverse side of a hedge, I made my way over to the fallen fox.
After laying her to rest, I made my way over the last two fields before the car. At the penultimate gate, I just thought I'd have a quick scan of the field on the other side. The lamp picked up another set of eyes and the clear profile of another fox ~150m away trotting towards the hedge. To far to be confident of a clean shot this time, I tracked her hoping she would stop before going through the hedge. She did and no mistake this time, she dropped on the spot:
Now very tired and am sure I'll pay for the outing over the next few days, but a great outing and most welcome distraction. The farmer is also very pleased with the total of five foxes taken in two outings since Christmas.