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A December 2016 fox hunt with FOXBUSTERS

Ross and Graham on a spotlighting sortie in Rover the buggy (Graham driving).                   Armed with a rifle, .223Rem firing 55gn Ballistic Tip projectiles @ 3,150fps.  A rifle .243Win firing 70gn Ballistic Tip projectiles @ 3,500fps and 12Ga shotgun firing BB size shot.

Fox 1              A 6.72kg male 2 ½ Yo, came from 200m to the sound of the “Secret Weapon” (SW) and stopped at 35m.  Ross took him with his .223.  He had eaten beetles, caterpillars and had 7 tape worms and a round worm in his small intestine.

Fox 2              This time a 1 ½ Yo female, 5.33 Kg came to 35m and succumbed to the .223.  Gut contents, carrion, beetles and caterpillars.  She had given birth to 4 cubs.

Fox 3              Graham took at 231m a 2.79Kg male cub with his .243.  It was on a dam bank in a canola stubble.  It had eaten canola, beetles, carrion and earwigs.

Fox 4              Was called in from 400m to 50m.  Ross, with his .223,took this 1 ½ Yo, 5.75kg female that had not given birth, but had eaten canola, beetles and grasshoppers.

Fox 5             An adult fox also came to the (SW) at the same time.  It turned and ran away through high grass when Ross shot fox 4.  At about 85m, it was stopped by a snap shot from Graham’s .243.  It could not be found for examination.

Fox 6              Would not come to any caller, so it was perused for about 700m when Ross flattened the 2 ½ Yo female weighing 4.38kg with the 12Ga shotgun.  She had eaten Grasshoppers, Barley and Canola.  One round worm was in the small intestine and she had birthed 6 cubs.

Fox 7              At 80m from an awkward position and a nearly obscured position Ross managed to take this 2.46kg female cub with his .223.  It had a varied diet of Carrion, Beetles, Earwig, Caterpillar, Canola, Earthworms and a Lizard.

Fox 8              Would not come to any caller.  As the barley stubble paddock had numerous bog mark ruts, we slowly followed this 3.20kg male cub for hundreds of metres to where Ross pulled off a running shot with his .223 at 130m over the fence in the next paddock.  This last fox for the night had eaten a Centipede and Beetles

There were 7 other foxes that were seen but not shot at due to distance and lack of opportunity.

6 years, what is happening with FOXBUSTERS?

FOXBUSTERS as a concept and website is 6 years old.  the SSAA Australian Shooter magazine (Feb 2016) featured an article on FOXBUSTERS.  since then there has been over 760 requests for the “Secret Weapon”.

             State                                        Number
WA 216
SA 38
Vic 142
NSW 119
ACT 7
Qld 41
Not Known 269

Some useful networking is happening – a meeting of like minds is taking place.  There has been only one public speaking event last year with equipment demonstrations and a PowerPoint presentation.

The article in the ‘Shooting Australia’ website entitled “Lady With A Gun”  has been well read.  This lady put to words a an accurate assessment of shooters and the feral animal problem in Australia, which is shared by us FOXBUSTERS.

Over 600 foxes have been examined by necropsy, discovering an amazing variety in their diet.  Vixens examined for pregnancy and/or cub numbers birthed.  As well as stomach contents, the small intestines are examined for parasitic worms (tapeworms and roundworms).

Click on the links to read more.

On May 24 2017 FOXBUSTERS®  became a registered Trademark.

Many reports of successful use of the “Secret Weapon” are coming in, but we would like to hear of more of the fox being outfoxed!

Happy Hunting to you all

Graham

What is FOXBUSTERS® “Secret Weapon”?

Foxes are attracted to the sound of an animal or bird in distress.  Logically a distressed animal would be easier to catch and eat. Play this sound, it effectively attracts foxes where they have had experience with catching birds.

Even at night when spotlighting for foxes, when a foxes eyes are seen, switch off the engine and all lights except one spotlight which is shone low keeping the fox eyes illuminated in the upper edge of the beam.  Foxes are known to gallop towards the sound. More on use.

Please fill the form below to request a mp3 copy attached to a reply email.

Ten points that affect rifle accuracy

  1. Scope Quality – capable of withstanding the recoil of the caliber.
  2. Scope mounts – strong components kept tight
  3. Barrel cleanliness – free of fouling, copper and lead deposits
  4. Barrel wear – numerous rounds fired and hot loads
  5. Barrel float – clearance of fore end to the breech
  6. Type of action – actions other than bolt action may have accuracy issues
  7. Trigger – needs to be light, crisp, no creep and predictable
  8. Ammunition/reloads to suit the rifle
  9. Sighted in at the optimum distance for the caliber
  10. The shooter understanding the ballistics of the calibre and wind effect

Tunney LCD Fox Hunt

On March 24, 2017 the  fox hunters of Tunney took out 7 cats, 64 foxes and only 5 rabbits for the 27th Tunney LCD Annual Fox shoot.

FOXBUSTERS was one of the teams involved in the shoot.  The Tunney group has taken 1,046 foxes, 59 cats and 1,011 rabbits in the past 27 years.

 

Tunney LCD Fox Hunt Tallies

YEAR

CATS

FOXES

RABBITS

1990

0

12

88

1991

3

22

96

1992

6

11

37

1993

5

37

121

1994

1

45

43

1995

0

27

86

1996

2

17

18

1997

2

36

36

1998

1

20

43

1999

0

26

52

2000

1

22

23

2001

3

63

36

2002

1

32

11

2003

1

21

17

2004

1

76

20

2005

4

47

77

2006

1

43

23

2007

2

33

12

2008

2

20

1

2009

1

58

22

2010

1

46

11

2011

2

29

27

2012

2

41

32

2013

1

34

17

2014

4

78

20

2015

 0

43

27

2016

         5

          43

             10

2017

         7

           64

               5

2018

 

 

 

2019

 

 

 

2020

 

 

 

59

1,046

1,011

 

Why do FOXBUSTERS® target foxes?

The European red fox (Vulpes vulpes) was introduced into Australia in the 1870s for recreational hunting. Their subsequent spread was rapid and they are now responsible for environmental and agricultural impacts valued at over $200 million per annum.
In more than 140 years, fox populations exist in most of the favourable habitats suited to foxes.*

There would be over 3 million square kilometres of potential fox habitat in mainland Australia.

In the agricultural areas of Western Australia where the 2012 FOXBUSTERS research was conducted, fox population densities averaged one fox per 0.7 square kilometres (1.4 foxes/km²). We are concerned that there could be 4.2 million foxes in Australia.

Because foxes can jump, dig or burrow and climb, fox-proof fencing is extremely expensive to erect and maintain. Fencing is only an option in specific areas for high value livestock.

1250 volunteers in the 2013 community fox hunts organised by the Red Card for Rabbits and Foxes Programme, culled 4,949 foxes, 418 feral cats and 4179 rabbits in organised annual fox hunts that took place in autumn, across the South West Land Division of Western Australia. **

FOXBUSTERS members are involved in these events, but continue the culling of feral (introduced) animals throughout the year.

There are few natural predators that control fox numbers in Australia. Wedge Tailed Eagles, some snakes, large goannas, feral cats, dingos and wild dogs will sometimes prey on young foxes. Foxes were introduced for sporting purposes, but they now must be controlled.

* http://www.dpi.vic.gov.au/agriculture/pests-diseases-and-weeds/pest-animals/a-z-of-pest-animals/red-fox

** http://www.redcard.net.au

Are they fox eyes in my spotlight?

The colour of fox eyes can vary depending on many things.

A. The colour of the spotlight being used; HID, halogen or coloured filters will have an effect on the retinal reflection colour you see.
B. The age of the fox may have an effect.
C. How directly the fox looks at the light.
D. The distance between your eyes and the light source (reflective angle) can affect the colour.

What colour am I looking for?

Usually greenish yellow. However white, orange and even red eyes can be a fox.
Cats, sheep, cattle and dogs can share the same colour as foxes. The space between the eyes can sometimes determine whether or not it’s a fox.
The movement of the eyes is the next thing to look for. You may see a fox or a cat blink. A fox’s eye may move quickly whereas most other animals don’t move so quickly. A fox may only give a quick glance compared to a sheep for example.
A fox may be seen apart from a mob of sheep, but sometimes within the mob but moving differently to the sheep’s eyes.
Because other creature’s eye reflections are similar to fox, you must identify the animal before shooting.
Cats, sheep, cattle, wolf spider and fox eyes can look similar in colour.

Deer have particularly bright eyes.  They group together quickly and move quickly when startled.
Animals with a more red appearance are kangaroo, possum and rabbit.

Always positively identify the animal before shooting.

2012 FOXBUSTERS Fox Tally and Data Summary

Foxes Shot 234 Data recorded on 85 foxes
Males (dog) 40 = 47%
Females (vixen) 38 = 44%
Sex Not Recorded 7 = 9%
Heaviest Fox 8kg
Lightest Fox 1kg
Average Weight (66 foxes weighed) 5.36
Healthy foxes 67   =86%
Mangy foxes 11   =14%
Young foxes 54 = 48%
Mature foxes 14 = 16.5%
Old foxes 9 = 10.5%
Ages not recorded 8 = 10%
Foxes taken with rifles 55
Foxes taken with shotguns 30
Calibres used 12ga, .17HMR .22rf, .222Rem,.223Rem, 22-250Rem, .243Win,25-06Rem, .308Win
Stomach contents Cow-Sheep & Lamb Carrion, Black Beetles, Dung Beetles, Maggots, Rabbits, Rats, Mice, Frogs, Lizards, Birds, Figs, Grain, Grass, Lupins, Cow-Sheep & Lamb Manure

Spotlight Shooting Stats

Kilometres Driven 1,407
Hectares Viewed 31,320
Foxes Seen 446
Foxes Shot 228   =51%
Number of Hunts 40
Average Foxes per Hunt 5.7

Population Density

Highest Density Hectares per Fox 44.25
Lowest Density Hectares per Fox 342
Average Hectares per Fox 70.22
Guest Hunters/Observers 42

FOXBUSTERS goes public

On Sunday 16th September 2012, FOXBUSTERS went on public display with a small stand at the local Spring Market Day that celebrated The Year Of The farmer.

The marquee was shared by a local knife maker and a nearby nursery. There was significant interest and surprisingly few negative comments.  Unfortunately the bright day made viewing of TV and computer screens difficult.