Fox Hunting a Humane Approach
Table of Contents
Fox Hunting a Humane Approach. I spent my teen years growing up in rural Australia. As with many of us in that environment, hunting was just something you did. You used a firearm in my case and shot any feral pest that you came across. Including that cunning predator, the fox. When you go hunting in Australia in a farmland setting it is difficult not to come across them and in this pursuit we killed a good number.
I was not comfortable, at times, with the way we did this. There were some messy kills and it struck me that I could do it better. It is with this article that I explore some ways in which I can help advance that idea.
The problem with foxes in Australia
The European Red Fox was introduced to Australia in the 1860’s for recreational hunting and rapidly spread throughout southern Australia. Their primary prey is another introduced animal, the rabbit. It did not take long however, for the fox to acquire a taste for Australia’s native fauna.
The European Red Fox has been listed as key threat to native endangered and vulnerable species
Small marsupials, mammals and ground nesting birds are at high risk as well as lizards and frogs. Their diet is not confined to native wildlife. Poultry, lambs, goat kids and domestic pets are also killed by foxes.
The fox is officially recognized in Australia as a pest animal by causing the destruction of agriculture, wild ecosystems and natural resources.
In some cases foxes have been known to kill up to 30% of newborn lambs.
Fox Hunting Australia as a Control Method
Fox control is difficult and various methods have been employed including trapping, baiting and den fumigation. Shooting is, arguably the most humane of these control methods as long as it is done in a manner that is likely to kill instantly thereby minimising unnecessary suffering.
The most humane approach
The method that showed the least suffering was a headshot from a static position.
Various concepts can be taken from this study and I have outlined my take on what was presented.
Humane methods of shooting foxes take into account:
If the fox is within range of the firearm
Know your firearm and its limitations. If your target happens to be 300 metres and you are using your average .22 rifle then you are unlikely to even hit the object you are aiming at. Let alone placing a headshot.
Whether the target is clearly visible
This is fundamental. When hunting anything you must be able to clearly identify your target.
Use of appropriate firearm and ammunition
Correct shot placement
One shot, one kill! Great in an ideal world but we know it does not always happen. The concept is to give yourself and your target the best possible chance of a clean kill.
Make sure your first target is dead before moving to the next.
Locate and dispatch any wounded animals preferably with a second shot to the head.
A final word
With these factors of humane fox hunting considered, there are lots of other things to help with a successful hunt. We will cover legal requirements, safety, where to go and equipment in other articles. Read on.
Basic Cartridge Selection
Want the right rifle for your needs? Check out this article. You should probably decide on the cartridge first, it may help you along your quest.