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Predator Master

I can't tell you anything about calling red fox, but I have had some exciting experiences with Arizona's grey fox.

Provided you're in grey Fox country, which includes most places that lack the red fox, this little guy is perhaps the easiest of all predators to call in to your stand. Once you call them in, these little guys have a hard time understanding that you're not something to eat and have a tendency to hang around your stand, even if you miss them with your first shot. Several times, I've shot and missed that first shot, only to have them return in short order.

The grey fox responds best to distress sounds of small rodents and birds, but the sound of a young cottontail is a proven winner when nothing else is available to you. The grey fox is a unique member of the dog family in that they have the ability to climb trees whenever the mood strikes.

Unlike coyotes and wolves, the grey fox is a solitary hunter and doesn't form social bonds with other family members. When it comes to calling, the grey fox offers tons of fast paced action sure to please any caller regardless of experience level. In the Southwest, the grey fox prefers thick cover, areas with thick brush and strewn with large boulders is sure to hold a fox or two. The grey fox breeds in February through early March. The gestation period is approximately 53 days with litter size ranging from 1 - 7 pups.

The fox pups begin to hunt with the parents at 3 months of age. The family group remains together until autumn when the young reach sexual maturity and disperse to claim their own home range. The parents also separate and go their own ways until next breeding season. The grey fox is a solitary nocturnal hunter and eats a vast variety of food, which include rabbits, rats, mice, and vegetable matter. The grey fox is one of the easiest of all predators to call in, as once they decide there's food on the table, nothing seems to detract the animal from its' purpose.

I once saw a grey so convinced that the 250 lb. guy blowing on a cottontail call was indeed a real live cottontail that he stalked within just a few feet of the caller, then jumped right in the lap of the caller. The caller let out a series of screams while the fox was carrying on too for all it was worth. The grey fox clearly thought that he had found the "Mother" of all rabbits. The caller managed to throw the fox off him, at which time I delivered a good swift kick that sent the little meat-eater on its' merry way. Of course the guy doing the calling wasn't worth squat after that episode and as it turned out, no worse for wear.

Take my word for it, these little guys might be small but they have one hell of a heart, just make sure your prepared.

Will Craig

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