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My First Fox


Michael Casey

I remember the first time I caught a fox, it was awesome. I was 14 at the time.

I was visiting my Aunt and Uncle. They lived on a huge farm, with lots of acres and plenty of land to explore. They told me that one of their friends had some fox running around his place and digging around a small shed that they had. They asked me if I would trap them and I didn’t hesitate for one second. That night I packed up all of my trapping supplies, and I was off the next morning.

When we got there I set a box trap next to their den. The people didn’t want me using foot holds because they were afraid I might catch one of their cats that the fox had been eating. There were originally four pups and then the mother. But two of the pups had been hit on the highway and killed. I was determined to catch them. I had that box trap set there for about 5 days and still no activity. Of course I wasn’t to worried about my scent, so I’m sure there was plenty of it around.

So, after about a week of no activity, they decided to let me use some real traps. I followed a trail the fox had made leading to another little shed. The grass was tall, so it was very easy to find their trails. I came across a half-eaten rabbit, and decided I would make a set there. I staked an old #1 longspring. I wasn’t very aware of what I was doing because I just picked up one of my traps that hadn’t been cleaned or dyed. I didn’t wear gloves or use any clean tools. I wore the same shoes that I used to do chores around the farm, including stepping in some oil. So, obviously I didn’t use any clean supplies. I staked the trap using a Berkshire disposal stake. I didn’t even bed the trap. I just set the trap down, and put some grass over it.

Then, about 10 feet away, on another trail I put another #1 longspring, this time I left it bare, didn’t put any grass or anything over it. I left the box trap with the hotdog in it in the same place, about 20 feet away. I went about 8 days checking the traps early in the morning, and coming home disappointed every time, I was starting to think there wasn’t any fox there.

Then one morning, as I was trying to make my way threw the tall grass, towards the traps, I looked up and saw a fox dart out from the area of one of my sets. I still to this day have never seen a fox that colour. It was a beautiful dark, dark red and black, all over. I have never heard anything like it. It must have been a rare fox or something. So, that had built up my confidence that there really were fox there.

Then one morning, we went to go check them, and by that time I had lost all confidence in catching a fox, even though I knew they were back there I was tired of checking empty traps every day. So I told my Uncle to not even stop, I wasn’t going to check them because I just knew that they would be empty. All the traps I had to check were two #1 longsprings and then that box trap. Well, I got out of the truck, and started to unlock the gate. I was walking towards the set with the dead rabbit by it, and I saw a movement in the grass.

I had caught my first fox!! I was so happy I almost cried. It was a small red, maybe 4-6 months old. I didn’t care, I had beat the fox and caught him. We dispatched him and were off.
About four days later, I caught the mom fox. By then I was on cloud nine. To out smart a fox is was one of the most important trapping goals I have ever set. I was also surprised that my small and dirty traps had actually held the fox. I was always told you had to use a bigger trap, and you had to at least bed the trap. But I proved wrong!

Well, that is my story about my first fox ever. I hope to be catching coyotes next, and I will be using #3 Cs and putting A LOT more care into the set. Well, there you have it that’s my story on my first fox ever!