When spotlighting, how do I communicate with the driver?

When spotlighting for foxes, you are well advised to wear ear muffs to protect your hearing from firearm noise. Also there is usually a vehicle roof between the shooter/s and the driver. There is also wind and engine noise, so normal verbal communication is very difficult or impossible.

Here are a few suggestions to improve communications and therefore improve safety.

Electronic earmuffs. Earmuffs that are battery powered and have built in external microphones that emit sound from speakers mounted within each earmuff. With adjustable volume, they can be used to improve hearing. The main advantage is that harmful sounds such as gun fire are safely filtered out. They help with verbal communications.

Hand held spotlight signalling. Nonverbal signals can instruct the driver direction and that a quarry has been sighted. The following are a suggestion for nonverbal signals.

1. Quarry sighted. A horizontal shake of the light in the direction that the fox has been seen.
2. A small change in direction required. Point the light in the required direction, then drop the beam to ground near the vehicle, then, back to the desired direction several times until the driver responds.
3. A major change in direction required. Shine the beam on the ground where the driver can see it and rotate clockwise for a right hand turn and anticlockwise for a left turn. (Same direction as the steering wheel)
4. A drain or other hazard sighted. A quick sweep of the beam over or along the hazard until the driver responds. A shouted warning may also be required.

Tapping on the roof to signal to stop can be an option, however there are disadvantages.
The quarry may be startled or even spooked by the sound. The roof may not be easy to reach. It requires a free hand that may be required for holding on or holding the spotlight or firearm. Tapping is not recommended.

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