What is the timeline of a fox?

These observations are based on fox behaviour in the southern states of Australia.

April/May       Party time, when foxes are sometimes observed gathering in numbers.  It is thought they are meeting and pairing up ready for mating.

June/July       Foxes have been observed mating.  Courting seems to take place over a period of time.  Vixens don’t all come on heat at the same time as evidenced by a variation in the size of cubs later on.  The vixen is receptive for only about 3 days, so the male (dog fox) is very attentive and frequently doesn’t eat for a number of days.  Because their attention is directed on breeding, foxes don’t readily respond to decoy calls, however are sometimes easier to approach.

August/September       Fox gestation period is about 53 days or 7 ½ Weeks.  3–7 Cubs are born in a den which could be an enlarged rabbit warren, hollow log, underneath buildings, car bodies and stacks of timber.  Within 2 weeks the cubs eyes are open.  They are grey in colour.

October/November       The cubs will be weaned at 5–8 weeks depending available food and the health of the mother.  The skin disease mange, depending on the severity, can affect the number of cubs conceived and how long the vixen will lactate.

December       Most of the cubs have left the den, but tend to stay in the family group or split into pairs for company and training to hunt from their parents.  Cubs are weighing 1–2.5kg and are still not confident enough to readily come to a decoy call.

January/February/March/April       Cubs, now weighing 3kg plus, are now confident to investigate a decoy caller and heading out on their own looking for their own territory, hunting and scavenging.  We consider this is the ideal time of the year to hunt foxes.  The crops have been harvested so there are stubble paddocks to drive over.  Most of the boggy areas have dried out and are firm.  The young foxes are bold and silly.  The 2, 3, 4 and 5 year old foxes are out there, more difficult to get but not impossible.

Adult females weigh 5-6.5kg.  Adult males weigh 6-7.6kg

We are back to April/May again.  The young foxes are sexually mature; most of the young vixens will mate and produce more cubs.