Snow Day Fox

Posted by: Greensand Hunter

Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 11:05 AM

The distant throb of the snow plough woke me at 3AM. I lay there dreaming of a certain moonlit wood and imagined snowflakes falling through the now leafless timber and alighting on my excessively decorated backpack. Should I just go for it or would I join battle with British Railways preferred “revised timetable” and head to my London office? At 5AM the green tea was brewing and my kit, including snow chains, waited at the back door ready to hit the ice. Mayfair had lost!

Once onto the backroads the Land-Rover’s tyres made a pleasing sound as they pushed through virgin powder. The headlights picked out a woodcock lying in the middle of the road. It showed no signs of movement as I stopped the vehicle and walked to within 2ft before it fluttered slowly into a tangle of Alder. Was it nursing a puncture from single No. 7 shot or was it just weak with cold and the lack of accessible food? Guess I’ll never know.

I slipped into the Estate wood and donned my Woolpower 200g balaclava as it began to snow again just as in my dream. Large flakes that fluttered like feathers in a fabric conditioner advert. I felt good. How could I afford to miss such a rare day of winter beauty and inner calm. With half an hour to go before full light I moved slowly towards my intended ambush point and soon spied my first target of the day. Quickly I scuttled to the nearest tree and prepared the Predator Sniper Styx.

The fox ranged across the undulating meadow occasionally disappearing form view. All attempts to gain her attention by calling failed. The shot had to be now or the chance would be lost. I slipped my trigger finger from glove and held the crosshairs high on the russet shoulder. My only chance would be that spilt second when the Vixen next changed direction. I let the pin fall on 38.5 grains of Varget. Boom! A strange silence followed. I couldn't see the fox but knew I had connected. Rather than move to my intended vantage point I spent a further half-hour calling with a variety of open and closed reed predator calls. This proved unsuccessful but to have simply collected the fox immediately would be breaking one of the golden rules of fox calling as often you will get lucky and find another hungry varmint close by.

After collecting my first prize I moved to even higher ground just as the sun broke above the skyline spilling golden rays onto field after field of snow. Lone trees cast their lengthy skeletal shadows and horses looked strangely short until one realized their legs were lost in snow. I broke out the 10 - 15 X 50 binos and glassed each woodland fence line then commenced a series of calls that I hoped would provide the next adrenaline rush. I was using a combination of calls that included 2 open reed types from Crit'R Call and a twin closed reed call from Zepps. The latter is called the "Rattler" and in a small wood can be so loud and alien as to frighten even me but, and here's the point, it gets results. Honest!

Amazingly nothing appeared for over an hour and when I did pick up fur at Leica 15 power it was in a field some 400 yards away. I toyed with the idea of a shot but this was one fox that had no intention of stopping. In the time it took to drop the crosshairs over the top of fur it was another half field away. I lowered the rifle and took in the view as the blinding sun provided an element of much needed warmth but sadly not to my extremities.

Soon 1 hour became 3 and at which point I'm ashamed to say this 54-year old was simply too uncomfortable to stay put. I just had to get some feeling back into my toes. I dragged the now stiffening fox back to the relative shelter of the woods just as another less kind type snow arrived. Finding a nice vantage point over a deep timber-filled ravine I prepared lunch. The soup tasted good and my whole body, including feet, now tingled with warmth. Slipping the custom PRS (Precision Rifles Scotland) K250 between V sticks the Conterol projectionless rings & mounts glinted momentarily as I commenced a series of calls on the smallest open reed. Keeping my lips and tongue well back on the Crit'R Call Pee Wee's reed ensured a high pitched squeal associated with small mammals in distress. Using a variety of further calling techniques that involves opening and closing the port with hand; varying the amount of air and frequency and just about anything else that will add to the affect of a seriously upset rabbit, I soon heard the call of an interested jay and the mewing of a buzzard. Must be doing something right I thought but in truth calling hawks, owls and, of course, covides (crows) is relatively easy. At least that's what I've found.

10 minutes later I caught sight of a heavy dog fox as he slipped silently through a tangle of fallen timber. Slowly he moved towards me in the most accommodating fashion. I didn't even need to re-adjust the rifle, just track him slowly with a slight movement of the wrist. As the mask came into view from behind a fallen branch the .25 calibre 85 grain Ballistic Tip made contact with fur at circa 3300fps. The fox did not even twitch. Further calling failed to bring in another.

Suddenly I felt a tad guilty and realised I had at least better check a few e-mails if my claim of "working from home" was to mean anything.

My stolen "Snow Day" was over.


Posted by: the impactzone

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 11:34 AM

great story, thanks
Posted by: DesertRam

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 11:54 AM

Great tale! thumbup Thanks for taking the time to write it up for our reading pleasure.

And by the way, welcome to Predator Masters! We're glad to have you.
Posted by: Jason El Paso

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 12:20 PM

Great hunting tale!!!!
I love the stock on your longgun !!!!!!
Posted by: HardwickN

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 12:27 PM

Great story and nice looking rifle.
Posted by: 220_Swift

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 01:56 PM

Thanks for the very entertaining story!!!!

Real nice rifle too!!!!!!
Posted by: whoadog

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 06:39 PM

Great story! I commend you Sir for your writing and photography skills! I got cold just reading your story. Congratulations on a successful and probably memorable hunt.
Posted by: 76_michael

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 06:41 PM

good read , love your rifle , the stock is beautiful
Posted by: lcp

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 06:51 PM

Great story,and thanks for sharing.
Posted by: 6mm06

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/03/13 10:59 PM

Great story, fantastic photos and one heck of a beautiful rifle. Getting frozen toes hopefully was worth it. It certainly looks cold there.

Posted by: Bloodhound

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/04/13 12:50 AM

Great day in the woods...congrats
Posted by: Norwegianfoxdropper

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/05/13 02:18 PM

This story is awesome! Congratulation on the fox and on the nomination. The rifle looks superb.
Posted by: weekender

Re: Snow Day Fox - 05/05/13 03:39 PM

awesome read, thanks for sharing
Posted by: Greensand Hunter

Re: Snow Day Fox - 01/05/20 01:24 PM

It's such a pity Photobucket have their head up their ****!

Happy New Year (2020)!