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A fox for tea..

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23 minutes ago, MattyF said:

Aye mark the alpha dog fox is boss.. when I lived down south In the woods next to a big pheasant pen the keeper of the shoot was an ex marine who had been in the Korean War , an entire encyclopaedia of anything country and life related .. I told him I had seen this big dog fox the size of an Alsatian close to the house and near the pheasant pens and he should shoot it... he looked at me funny and his reply was this , if you shoot that big fox you will get a hundred more come in and take his territory, he is the boss he controls every things around here.
So I didn’t shoot the fox but some one else did ... within a week we had the chickens gone , the fox went through wire ripping itself apart in desperation to get them.. another keeper locally reckoned he had shot around 100 foxes in the same week trying to move in...that big old dog fox whilst he still had strength had kept out all the young pretenders .. personally I have no bother with fox hunting, in nature the weakest get taken out and a pack of hounds will never catch a heathy fox upsetting natures balance... predators keep a balance doing what they do and humans don’t interfering but it’s too late in a lot of cases not too.

Yes, we have wiped out a lot of the top predators so we have a duty to take their place as best we can.

 

Re. foxhunting. I am much more comfortable having fox numbers controlled by a pack of dogs than by some brandy soaked farmers with shotguns who shoot any fox on sight, sometimes killing it if they get lucky, but often just maiming it to go and die slowly and painfully.

 

I should say that I also have no problem with professional shooters who know what they are doing and have respect for their target.

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35 minutes ago, eggsarascal said:

Unless bolt holes have been blocked, which I've seen more than once. Not fair game in my mind.

Totally agree Eggs, this is not good practice and it certainly goes on, but in my view all the angst around foxhunting is just a distraction from all the wildlife related issues we really should be concerned about. Loss of habitat in the name of 'human progress and profitability' being the big one.

Edited by the village idiot
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Apparently Coyote numbers have exploded in the US and they are now present in every mainland state despite huge extermination programs. The more they shoot and poison the more the population grows.

 

They have recently discovered that the Coyote's in any given region do a howling roll call. If they detect individuals missing the females automatically produce more pups!

 

You've got to love nature's ability to confound us whenever it gets the chance.

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I have geese outside and I deliberately leave the foxes alone. The resident foxes know there is an electric fence and not to go near, shoot them and the replacements (which will be many) are not "trained" to the electric fence.

I am not kidding myself that I am immune from fox attacking my geese but it is working for now. 

Only shot two foxes in my whole life and one of them had a cousin's hen in it's mouth.

 

As for fox hunting, I don't get on with them very well at all but in all honesty it should never have been banned (because there are many more important things to be worrying about) and hunting is probably the best thing for foxes anyway, it removes the weak/sick and many farmers create space for foxes so they have something to hunt. I would be very surprised if hunting overall doesn't result in more foxes rather than less.

They don't kill many foxes, they just crash about making lots of noise. Foxes are smarter than them.

Edited by Peasgood
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Right there peasgood we are surrounded by them, but they know what the electric fence around the coup is ! I don’t think it should of been banned , Well apart from the practice of blocking off bolt holes and sets should of been but survival of the fittest is how nature works , man has eradicated the next natural predators in the chain. Will be interesting to see if they bring back lynx in to keilder forest and what happens... wolves would of been more interesting!

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6 minutes ago, MattyF said:

Right there peasgood we are surrounded by them, but they know what the electric fence around the coup is ! I don’t think it should of been banned , Well apart from the practice of blocking off bolt holes and sets should of been but survival of the fittest is how nature works , man has eradicated the next natural predators in the chain. Will be interesting to see if they bring back lynx in to keilder forest and what happens... wolves would of been more interesting!

I was going to raise the lynx/wolves issue but wimped out for fear of the sheepy backlash.

 

I think it would be fantastic to have Lynx back in our forests. We have to be really careful that we have considered all of the potential ecosystem impacts, but on the surface it looks like a good option. They are extremely reclusive, very habitat (forest) specific and will only feed on deer (if available). I don't think availability of preferred prey is going to be an issue. We are not even scratching the surface in terms of controlling deer numbers.

 

Does anyone know of the results in other regions of the world where they have been reintroduced?

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I can’t see it happening my self , most of my neighbours are up in arms about it! And pushing for it to not happen I’m kind of on the fence , our grazing is open to forest on all 4 sides and we have issues already with badgers and foxes taking lambs or wounded sheep but the deer numbers are reasonable . keilder is better managed though than a lot of areas for its deer despite being almost wilderness.. working in some grotty woods outside Newcastle this week and the deer are out of control , so are the doggers and rubbish in the woods as well though, Possibly this would be better grounds for lynx where the public have an issue with culling of Deere and letting nature take its course , Tree stock is suffering un yet they won’t shoot deer!

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2 minutes ago, MattyF said:

I can’t see it happening my self , most of my neighbours are up in arms about it! And pushing for it to not happen I’m kind of on the fence , our grazing is open to forest on all 4 sides and we have issues already with badgers and foxes taking lambs or wounded sheep but the deer numbers are reasonable . keilder is better managed though than a lot of areas for its deer despite being almost wilderness.. working in some grotty woods outside Newcastle this week and the deer are out of control , so are the doggers and rubbish in the woods as well though, Possibly this would be better grounds for lynx where the public have an issue with culling of Deere and letting nature take its course , Tree stock is suffering un yet they won’t shoot deer!

Do you know how many lambs/sheep they lose per year?

 

In terms of the Lynx, they anticipate very few lamb losses and are proposing to compensate farmers for any losses.

 

This will go down like a lead balloon, but I think the rationale for large scale sheep farming is pretty sketchy anyway, especially in upland areas.

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