I was looking forward to this hunt all week, I just knew it was going to be a Friday arvo on the foxes that I would never forget. I had the gear packed on Thursday night while watching the footy show. I recharged the spotlight battery, packed our backpacks with ammo, packed rifles into rifle bags, got my hunting clobber all ready to chuck on tomorrow at 3 ready to be out by 4pm.

Well dad arrived home ready to rock n roll. We loaded the car had something to eat then left to pick up  Art, a mate of ours who lives up the road. We picked Art up and left to meet with another mate who was also coming along to throw some lead at the vermin. We arrived at the property at about 4pm, I had never hunted this property in the afternoon I had hunted there many times but always mornings 7/8/9 am. Now we normally see bunnies darting around everywhere while driving up the driveway. But this time just one big buck bunny sitting out in the last of the afternoon sun. He was about 60 yards away from us. Well the CZ 22lr sent a Winchester Xpert HV 36grn towards the buck. Needless to say that little  Winchester Xpert  HV 36 grainer was the last thing that went through that rabbits head.

       So i was off to a good start and was pretty happy. But things would soon become much more exiting. We parked the car at our spot unloaded the gear loaded up and set off for our first whistling location. Our first location was the front paddock that we had just drove past. This paddock has heaps of blackberries and ferns on its fringe. And the creek runs through it making it a dynamite spot for bunnies.... and foxes.
We sat at out locations I was in the middle, Art was about 30 yards to my left covering a fence line that was overgrown with ferns, dad was 20 yards to my right. And Craig was about 30 yards to dads right covering the creek line thick scrub area (Craig and Art both had 12 gauges so they sat covering the bracken fern borders). I was in the middle with the rifle covering the possible long shot. So we had a semi circle on the entire front paddock to coverall possible locations.
       I started with softer calls gradually getting louder. I use the Tenterfield Fox whistle. After 15 mins I noticed a red stump with a bright white middle looking at me about 60 yards away at my 12 o'clock position. I said to myself.... I know what that is..... and it ain't no red stump. As i was only equipped with my CZ 22LR I wanted to try and get him closer as 60 yards is bit far for a 22LR to be shooting foxes. I tried with softer more tense calls on the whistle but he wasn't having any of it.... as a matter of fact he sat down 60 yards away from me and just stared at me. I thought bugger you then I'm going to have a crack at you.
       I sighted him up through the Nikko Stirling 4X40 and I could see him licking his chops and twitching his eyes staring straight at me. I held the cross hairs right on his throat neck area ( as I thought that's what would be needed from the little pea rifle at that distance ). I squeezed the trigger and sent the pill on its way. The fox was dead before it hit the ground. The bullet entered through his wind pipe exiting through the top of his head... I was pretty amazed at the 22 doing so much damage. As I have shot foxes on other occasions with the 22 and they have ran 50 yards before dropping.

       Dad and Craig went over another hill into another gully to snipe some bunnies and Art and me went to the other end of the property to have another whistle. We sat down next to the hay shed and started on the whistle. About 3 minutes into calling i saw a fox charge down the opposite gully into the blackberries below us and then i lost sight of him. All of a sudden i felt a breeze go over my shoulder and I thought... ok no chance of this fella coming any closer he's smelt us already. As I took my hat off and clipped on my backpack ready to get up I turned my head around to my right almost looking behind me.... What's that I said.... Wait.. is it a dog..? I raised to CZ 22LR and yelled out halt! As soon as it stopped I had it in the scope ( I knew what it was ) it looked straight at my position I started making squeaking noises and it started walking towards me. At about 40 yards it stopped broadside to me.... I held on his red shoulder and squeezed off a shot. Another one bites the dust! Dropped like a sack of spuds.
       Art and myself popped a couple more bunnies while walking along the driveway back to the front paddock to meet Craig and Dad. We were waiting and waiting for them..... and as the sun had gone down but it was still light enough to see without a spotty we decided to have another whistle. Even though we were going to be whistling in the same paddock that we started in ( and shot one fox ) we were pretty confident of getting another one as the place is just crawling with them.

       I started with some real ear ringing deep painful squeals from the whistle. As it was getting dark and no fox was seen i thought the daylight would beat us and we wouldn't be able to see a fox coming in. But then... out of the corner of my eye I saw a fox break cover and start walking towards us. As we were in full camo gear (hats facemask, pants, jackets boots and gloves)
 and the wind had dropped off, he had no idea where we were. The fox started doing its own thing having a dig having a look in our direction, having a dig a sniff of the breeze. Then I gave a couple of very quiet squeals on the whistle and I had him fooled he walked up to me about 40 yards from my rifle barrel right in front of me. I aimed up, squeezed the trigger and let him meet his ancestors. I then heard a person yell out..... oi you in the bushes.... wherever you are... come out we saw you shoot that fox.. I had a laugh as I knew straight away it was Craig and Dad coming back to meet us in the front paddock. They had witnessed the entire thing from the opposite creek bank. 
       Well i was pretty happy with 3 foxes and we hadn't even rigged up the spotty yet. We got back to the car had something to eat, had something to drink rigged up the spotty then started with the electric dog. We lit up the paddock next to the driveway. All of a sudden bunnies erupted from everywhere. The ones that sat got to meet their ancestors and the ones that ran did also as the boys had the 12 gauges going off like a 21 gun salute. We went around the entire property once and back to the car. When we arrived back at the car we were all buggered. from going up and down hills all night opening farm gates carrying rabbits trying to avoid falling in rabbit holes. We packed the gear away put the nights tally in the back and set off for home.

       When we arrived home at about 11.30pm after dropping the fellas off, me and dad were too tired to pull out the skinning knives and start on the nights tally of 18 Rabbits and 3 Foxes....... So we made a deal. Tomorrow (Saturday morning) we would get up early, Dad would skin the rabbits. And I would do the foxes. I wanted to do the foxes as I don't like the way dad skins them (call me fussy).

       Dad tanned the foxes with a kit that we have been getting from the local gun shop for years. The Foxes are all treated and tanned and hanging up with the rest of this years tally so far in the trophy room.

       So get out there and hunt those cunning foxes help the local chicken farmer the Lambing farmer the duck farmer. Fox hunting is not only a traditional pastime and a form of skillfull hunting but its helping keep fox numbers down creating a sustainable native environment for all species.



Luke Williams

Australian Hunting Net 2011