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Arron
7th April 2018, 08:47 PM
We have at least one fox which seems to ramble over our back yard most nights. We have a long, skinny 1100sqm block that (almost) backs onto a National Park.

I donít want it here. I think itís decimating the local wildlife, there being species of bird and mammal absent here which I think should be present.

Any ideas on how to get rid of it. I could trap it perhaps but Iím not into killing things (except fish) so what then? Do natl parks or local councils deal with this?

Cheers
Arron

TermiMonster
8th April 2018, 10:35 AM
Shotgun:)

FenceFurniture
8th April 2018, 12:56 PM
Do natl parks or local councils deal with this?You'd have to think that Parks would have a vested interest in getting rid of it. I'd start there - they are probably better motivated too.

BobL
8th April 2018, 01:02 PM
Foxes are territorial so removing one will just allow another one to replace it and you will be on a hiding to nowhere.
Short of a major eradication campaign in the NP they will always be around.

Look up ways of deterring foxes.
Strategies include males peeing at the edges of your block.
What about a male dog - take it for a walk every morning and night around the block and get it to pee around the block.

cava
8th April 2018, 01:20 PM
Wire mesh fence around the perimeter of the block will keep it out.

BobL
8th April 2018, 02:07 PM
Wire mesh fence around the perimeter of the block will keep it out.

Depends what's on the other side. As a kid I saw the holes they dug under a mesh fence around our large (400 m^2) chook yard. One night we lost about a dozen chooks and my uncle borrowed two large kangaroo dogs for about a month and we didn't hear or see anything during that time. The dogs were mangy looking things and scared the bejesus out of us kids and mum didn't like them at all, besides they owner needed them as guard dogs at his farm. As soon as the dogs went the foxes came back and got a couple more chooks before my uncle fired off few rounds and they took off. In the end dad and uncle sank the chook mesh about a foot under the ground and that stoped them. There were a few attempts at digging holes but they seemed to give up pretty easily.

Otherwise I agree its a simple enough solution. They also liked the rubbish bins and the garden/wood shed with no door, I think their could smell the ever-present mice that were attracted by the chook food and made heaps of nests in there.

China
8th April 2018, 04:00 PM
12 gauge, .177 remington, .22 hornet, .22 magnum. etc. etc.

Mr Brush
8th April 2018, 04:09 PM
I'd bump 5 or 6 of them every year - our 20 acre property backs onto National Park. Anyone in a similar situation will confirm that National Parks are about the worst neighbour you can have. Headshot with the rifle does the trick.....:2tsup:. Much more effective than all the city types on neighbouring properties, who shouldn't be allowed near 1080 let alone putting it out as fox bait.:((

Reminds me of one spectacularly brilliant (although some would say flukey...ahem) kill a few years ago. Went out with the rifle and spotlight in a howling gale, 70km/h winds, not expecting to see anything out and about. Lo and behold, there was Mr Fox, out at extreme range (foxes are well educated in the effective range of every calibre of rifle....). Nothing to lose, thinks I - aim off about 4" over his head for the long range, and at a spot about 12" upwind of his head. I figured I'd either hit his head for a humane kill, or miss altogether (much more likely). He went down like a sack of spuds - never knew what hit him. I'm not saying I could ever do it again though........

BobL
8th April 2018, 04:41 PM
I'd bump 5 or 6 of them every year . . . .

So only 7,499,994 or 5 to go ? :)

I assume the numbers are about the same from year to year?

kungsleden
8th April 2018, 04:44 PM
A good fox is a dead fox. They are a pest here. Killed all our chooks, just chopped their heads off and went for the next one. Trapping them is very difficult. They can smell you have touched the trap. I did not manage to get one in the trap with a dead chicken in it. But they are not that clever. To prevent them digging to get into a chook pen, you just need to extend the fence horizontally underground outwards from the pen.

China
8th April 2018, 05:54 PM
And make fence very tall, yes I know Foxes can't clime fences, only when you are not looking

kungsleden
8th April 2018, 06:01 PM
And make fence very tall, yes I know Foxes can't clime fences, only when you are not looking

Tall, but not tight, with barbed wire at the top.

Mr Brush
8th April 2018, 10:09 PM
One of our idiot neighbours had a deluxe chook pen built when he moved down from Sydney to "the country". Fence just went down to ground level, quite tall, no roof....

The first lot of chooks lasted about 2 days; fox dug in, killed the lot, took one with him, came back on following nights to cart the other dead birds off and eat them. Mr Fox didn't have time to get the second (smaller) lot of chooks - wedge-tailed eagle came in the top of the pen, goodbye chooks.....:rolleyes:. Hands up anyone who isn't surprised?

Between the high-powered electric boundary fence, and the rifle, any introduced species that stick their noses onto our place get dealt with. Unfortunately, we are increasingly surrounded by clueless Sydneysiders in their multi-million dollar "weekenders" who think that

(a) Foxes are cute and fluffy - surely they wouldn't hurt anything?
(b) "We love watching all the bunny rabbits playing in the front paddock" (actual statement)
(c) Isn't that purple flowering stuff pretty? (Paterson's Curse)
(d) What is that big patch of yellow stuff over there? (Fireweed)
(e) Oh no, my cat Fluffy/Tiddles would never kill anything....he's just a little sweetie

If their widdle puddy cat comes out at night hunting native wildlife on our property, it had better be able to run real fast when it gets the spotlight on it.:((

Time for us to move somewhere more rural and away from the Sydney overflow methinks.

Mr Brush
8th April 2018, 10:21 PM
I got a fox last year by shooting a small rabbit as bait, and leaving it in an enticing position just down from our garden. Checked several times during the evening with torch; rabbit still there, no foxes to be seen. On the last occasion I popped out for a final look with gun before going to bed, and there was Mr Fox, caught in the spotlight, having literally just picked the rabbit up in his mouth. He bolted......I followed him across paddocks and through a couple of fences (mercifully the energiser was turned off....OUCH :oo:), and finally dropped him just as he was trying to get back through the front fence. Walked over, and removed my rabbit from his mouth - he never even got time to chew it. Tragically, the same trick the following night resulted in loss of rabbit - I guess I just got lucky.

Easiest to shoot them while they are young and don't know what a spotlight is - they tend to sit still staring into the light. However, if you take a shot and miss you've stuffed it - they won't sit so still the next time you get a bead on them.:D

ian
9th April 2018, 08:17 AM
One small problem

Bushmiller's 20 acres is large enough to shoot on, Arron's 1100 sq.m is not.

But I agree, foxes are a pest that should be eradicated

Mr Brush
9th April 2018, 11:26 AM
OK......land mines it is then. I recommend the M16 (U.S. Army) for foxes - saves having to get rid of fox carcasses, and will give your garden a useful treatment of "blood and bone" too.

Just remember not to go out in your backyard for a bit. :D

ian
9th April 2018, 11:53 AM
You'll find that a Claymore is much more effective against a Fox than a land mine

Mr Brush
9th April 2018, 12:17 PM
ian - I tips me lid to your experience in these matters :D. A Claymore would probably result in less devastation to the surrounding landscape, I agree....

Seriously, for the OP, 1080 bait is probably your only effective option. Used with all appropriate precautions (it is deadly for cats and dogs too) it should do the job, but best handled by a professional. Unless you're doing lots, it isn't worth getting all the necessary training to use the stuff yourself. More info at

https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/1080/fox-1080-baiting

Mr Brush
9th April 2018, 12:23 PM
So only 7,499,994 or 5 to go ? :)

I assume the numbers are about the same from year to year?

Pretty much yes. Which means all I'm doing is keeping the local population in check, and stopping them breeding up. You're right though; as fast as you kill them, others will move into the vacant territory. I only bump the foxes to give our local native wildlife a chance - we have all sorts of things on our property which foxes would wipe out.

ian
9th April 2018, 12:37 PM
ian - I tips me lid to your experience in these matters :D. A Claymore would probably result in less devastation to the surrounding landscape, I agree....directional, so no damage to the sides of the shed

no unsightly crater to fill in

also cuts down on slashing costs

Bohdan
9th April 2018, 12:54 PM
And make fence very tall, yes I know Foxes can't clime fences, only when you are not looking

In my place all the fences are electric except the gates which are made of 40 mm square tubing. I regularly find a pile of fox poop on the top of a gate, almost exactly in the middle.

I am amazed that they can climb the gate, balance on a 40 mm wide ledge and still be able to poop to mark their territory.

If they get seen a .17 cal Remington convinces them to lie down permanently.

Mr Brush
9th April 2018, 01:14 PM
.17 Remington is an excellent gun for foxes - shoots almost flat out to the limits of your spotlight :2tsup: Good for the foxes that sit further out laughing at you....

Speaking of laughing, I've had no success 'whistling up' foxes, even with the proper (commercial) whistle. Makes a high pitched squealing noise that sounds like a rabbit in distress. Had a few goes at night with no luck, then finally had a chance to try it on a fox in daylight that was about 100 yards away. Final proof that I'd been wasting my time. The fox stopped, looked up briefly, then wandered off. I could almost see it shaking its head and laughing at me.....

Apparently it can be done - Google fox whistling

truckjohn
9th April 2018, 04:13 PM
The real problem is educating them... Shoot and miss and you have just educated a fox. Set out a trap baited with food and don't kill it - you have just educated a fox. Trapping them and carrying them away - you just delivered an educated fox to someone else...

So if you aren't prepared to permanently deal with them (for whatever reason) - please consider doing everything you can to make your place uninteresting....

A few tips....

#1. All trash and food scraps are stored in locked trash cans till you haul them to the dump.
#2. No pet food or livestock food out doors. This includes bird seed...
#3. No birds, rabbits, goats, pygmy pigs... These are all bait....
#4. Don't do things to attract wildlife - no bird feeders, etc.
#5. Keep the grass cut low and hedges trimmed... No brush piles. This is all "habitat".... Either for them or things they eat.
#6. Make sure fences go high and the bottoms are buried underground. Make use of electric fences and barbed wire....

Really an truly - the #1 item - trash - could be on the list 72 times and it would not be enough... Dumping food waste and trash out at the edge of the woods is like a bright flashing neon lamp to a Fox... You will never ever get rid of them if you are dumping trash.... This includes compost piles...

Uncle Al
9th April 2018, 09:13 PM
If their widdle puddy cat comes out at night hunting native wildlife on our property, it had better be able to run real fast when it gets the spotlight on it.:((


Maybe it is Supercat, faster than a speeding bullet :superman:.

Alan...

China
9th April 2018, 11:27 PM
Mr Brush, fox whistling can be very effective, I have dispatched many a fox this way, but the saying "Cunning as Fox" is well said they only need the slightest hint that something is not right and they are off

Mr Brush
11th April 2018, 09:54 AM
China - I've watched many YouTube videos on this with envy. Some guys can whistle a fox up from a hundred yards away to literally the other side of a gate they are leaning on before Mr Fox catches on.

It almost seems to work better in daylight??

As for cunning, they do learn fast. Best to get them young before they learn the ropes. A young fox will sit still staring into the spotlight, whereas an adult is constantly on the move (and generally just out of range). With the young ones I'm always careful not to take the shot unless I'm certain I can get him, otherwise you just make the job that much harder if you miss once. Only exception was a fox which had encephalitis (brain disease); this makes them effectively stupid with no concept of cunning. The fox concerned was despatched after I noticed it sitting on our verandah peering through the window watching TV of an evening......:rolleyes:

Yanis
11th April 2018, 04:45 PM
We have a 2M high fox proof fence around about 25 acres and it has successfully kept the foxes, dogs and cats out for the last 25 years. It has a skirt inside and out of about 400mm either side then it has 2 electric wires, one at the top and one at about the 1m mark. The fence itself is heavy duty chicken wire to about 900mm then lighter chicken wire of 1.2m. Three lines of fencing wire one at the bottom along the ground to which the fence and skirt is clipped, one at the join in the two chicken wires then one at the top. You can see the construction here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgRIXvUdaNM

To eradicate foxes you need to use a trap or bait. It is quite a specialised art and depends on the location and what the foxes themselves recognise. There are local agencies that will help you and loan you the equipment to deal with them. You cannot be squeamish with them. They are a pest and have destroyed many species of local wildlife.

The FP fence is the only permanent solution since it only gets rid of those foxes you have and will open the way to others.

Also note that they are seldom alone. They usually hunt in pairs.

Arron
11th April 2018, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the replies. With the constraints we have, and the cunning nature of these beasts, it sounds like I have little chance of getting rid of them myself, and if I did they would only infill anyway.

I have considered contacting National Parks, but I have some knowledge of them externally and with the way their budget and manpower has been decimated in this area I doubt they can commit to much.

Cheers (sort of)
Arron

Arron
11th April 2018, 05:37 PM
We have a 2M high fox proof fence around about 25 acres and it has successfully kept the foxes, dogs and cats out for the last 25 years. It has a skirt inside and out of about 400mm either side then it has 2 electric wires, one at the top and one at about the 1m mark. The fence itself is heavy duty chicken wire to about 900mm then lighter chicken wire of 1.2m. Three lines of fencing wire one at the bottom along the ground to which the fence and skirt is clipped, one at the join in the two chicken wires then one at the top. You can see the construction here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgRIXvUdaNM

You must have some interesting wildlife on your block. What species have benefitted from your fence?
Cheers
Arron

artful bodger
11th April 2018, 08:48 PM
Thankfully there are no foxes here in Tasmania. Although that topic is up for debate.
I have seen a bloke on the mainland whistle up a few foxes with great success.
Feral cats are a big problem here.
One evening we saw one walking down our pathway so the next day we borrowed a possum trap from some friends.
For the first 6 nights we caught a cat every night.
7th night nothing, 8th night another cat.
9th night nothing, 10th night another cat.
8 cats in 10 nights.
The compost heap swelled big time. The eastern barred bandicoots have come back with vigor, not to mention the other native critters.
That was a while ago, might be time to try again.
Flaming introduced creatures eh?
Bout the only worse thing is humans.

truckjohn
12th April 2018, 07:21 AM
That's a really good point there...

If you will rephrase your question to "What do I do about introduced, non-native predators" ... The discussion is probably a lot more relevant... While "Foxes" are certainly a problem - feral cats are 10x worse.... And often foxes can be quite beneficial to let live in that they prey on feral cats.... Cane toads can be worse than both of these put together... Though frog legs are much better eating. ;)

Wild game cameras are pretty reasonably priced and will give you a fantastic chance to look at what's going on and who the real culprit is... You may be blaming foxes for the neighbor's cat's bloodsport..

The next thing you will find is that these "Remedies" are often very seasonal... Traps are often most effective right after Momma fox evicts the kits... Whistling and game calls is often most effective right at breeding season... Second most effective when momma fox evicts the kits... Third most effective during prey-birthing season when baby rabbits, pigs, and chicks are young and squealing.. Food based poison things are often most effective during seasons when food is scarce... Etc.....

Often - you can also take advantage of multiple solutions simultaneouly.. For example - a good fluffy chicken feather or fluffy squirrel tail dangling from a low branch at the same time as a calling... Catfood bait piles left for a week and then hunted 1 single night.. Female fox urine scent lures hung out right before breeding time.. Etc...

The worst thing you can do is to leave the same stuff put for months and months... For example - remove the trap as soon as you don't catch anything.. And leave it gone till the next springtime when the young dumb foxes come sniffing around your trash can... Don't bother calling calling calling all through the middle of the summer.. Wait till the young rabbits are dropping and call then... And don't keep at the same strategy after you are "busted" by foxes...

Yanis
12th April 2018, 12:41 PM
You must have some interesting wildlife on your block. What species have benefitted from your fence?
Cheers
Arron

Pottoroos, betongs and three species of wallaby, Swamp, Tamar (one variety), and red neck. It is a registered sanctuary and we supply wildlife to other SA sanctuaries from time to time.

Yanis
12th April 2018, 12:45 PM
Thankfully there are no foxes here in Tasmania.

I think that the most recent and authoritative information is that there certainly are and they were introduced maliciously a few years ago. Many of the Tassy wildlife experts are in denial I'm afraid and in time you will find that you will start to see them. If they are in relatively low numbers then you will never see them. Scat has been discovered in Tasmania, which is the definitive test.

onetrack
13th April 2018, 12:00 AM
I haven't chased foxes for many years, but in the W.A. wheatbelt when younger, I've certainly dispatched many hundreds of them to Fox Heaven, with various forms of armament, plus spotlight.
Used to go out virtually every night during lambing season, in the old traytop Landrover, and give 'em curry. It was a very rare night we came home with zero kills - and if we did, it was because the old LR was too gutless to catch them.

They are the most cunning animal on the face of the Earth, they can pull every fast trick in the book, and they can disappear in milliseconds - even in daylight.
You will never get rid of them, they are a scourge on the nation, and they are impossible to eradicate from your property - and impossible to eradicate from Australia.
You could shoot or trap a dozen of them around your property, and another dozen would soon turn up to take their place.

I've had cheeky foxes come right up to the missus and myself, as we laid back on a deserted town beach at 10:00PM. They know humans likely mean food scraps.
They live in every city in the world, even in the middle of London. They only need a small patch of dirt to dig a very big den, and breed like .. ummm .. foxes.

https://www.timeout.com/london/blog/the-secret-life-of-londons-foxes-093016

For an 1100 sq m block, the best fox solution is the netting boundary fence suggestion, buried to at least 300mm.

Just to give you an idea of the fox problem - 177 people in total, probably less than half, actual shooters - got together down at Boyup Brook (W.A.) just on 2 mths ago, and they took out 701 foxes in ONE night.

https://www.facebook.com/BBIncBlackwood/posts/2007368002868268

blueywa
14th April 2018, 12:20 PM
I used to whistle them up to the back of the Ute and knock them off with a pick axe handle... True story..