The red fox is a curious and cheeky predator, so fox lure hunting challenges your experience and preparation for the hunt.
First of all, luring puppies and young foxes that have not been chased before are easier than luring the older and experienced foxes. This is because they are more alert and know the dangers. However, a good fox game call and the right technique are often the key to success.
There are several important conditions to consider including terrain, weather, scents, breeding periods, prey, time of day etc.
As with other hunting forms, preparation and observation are important elements for a successful fox hunt.
It is the easiest time to lure foxes during the cold season. The prey opportunities are limited, and the foxes need extra calories to cope with the winter weather. Therefore they will need to hunt more often out of the den.
The optimal time of day will be from dawn onward or at dusk. The fox is active during the same periods of the day where its prey is active, so it is also possible to hunt even in the middle of the day. Many fox hunters express that the early morning when the sun rises is their favourite time.
On the morning hunt, you should of course try to get in place as silent as possible because the fox is probably already active in the area. If it is possible to sit at the edge of an open terrain, it would be preferable, as the fox is probably out searching for food.
Once you get in place, wait 5 to 10 minutes before you start using your game call.
The choice of hunting field can be based on several conditions. Choose a place with a good view of the terrain and where the wind does not lead directly to the area where the fox is expected to come out. Remember that the fox will always try to approach towards the wind. Therefore, try to get a good view all the way around.
We also recommend that you put up a fox critter as it is super efficient to take away the focus from you. The fox hears the calling sounds of a wounded prey and believes that the critter is an easy meal. The fox knows 100% where the sounds comes from – even from a long distance, and when it sees the rotating critter, it will instinctively be captivated by the wounded rabbit.
If possible choose a location where you don’t get the morning sun straight into your eyes.
Choose a location as high in the terrain as possible. The best spot is to sit on the ground on a seat cushion or a low hunting chair. If you are sitting in a high seat where the sound of the wounded animal comes from an unnatural height, then the fox will know that something is not right. At least, make sure to “call down” with the game call if you are hunting foxes from a high seat, so that the sound hits the ground level.
Start calling 3-5 times and hold a 3-5 minute break. Make sure that the shooting stick is ready. We have repeatedly experienced the fox appearing quickly as soon as we begin to call.
Start by calling a little cautiously and with low volume – the fox might be close to you. If it does not react increase the volume and length of your call.
Depending on the circumstances, you can use different game calls. Typically you should use a fox call that imitates a wounded hare, bird or the sound of a rodent (mouse or rat).
If the terrain is open and there is a certain distance to where you expect the fox to be located, then we recommend the sound of a wounded hare. As a result of this, we use Dan Thompson fox game calls which have a metal membrane that gives the correct sound of a wounded hare. It’s a fox magnet.
Use your hand in front of the call to vary and make the sounds authentic. Dan Thompson’s wounded hare calls (PC2, PC3, PC4 and PC5) are very easy to use – in principle all you have to do is blow; but try to reproduce the sound of a wounded hare in the best possible way.
All 4 of the above-mentioned fox calls reproduce a hare but they vary in volume and tone. PC2 and PC3 are the most powerful in volume and are therefore recommended for the more open areas. PC4 and PC5 are lower volume and are therefore used for fox hunting in terrain with bushes and trees. The tone in Dan Thompson’s PC calls is divergent and sometimes one tone works better than the other. Due to this, many hunters choose to bring a range of game calls in their lanyard.
Remember that if you shoot past the fox, who has responded to a game call, it has learned the lesson and will not respond again on the same call.
If you choose a location in a terrain primarily with bushes and trees, we recommend starting with a Dan Thompson PC5 call, which does not sound as loud as PC2. It may also be the sound of a wounded bird with the Twisted Syco call or the Crying Bird from Klaus Weisskirchen. If the conditions are better with an even lower sound, you can choose a mouse pipe, for example Foxcaller, Klaus Weisskichen mouse pipe or Dan Thompson PUR fox call.
Make sure to blur your face and hands with a face mask, gloves and possibly a hunting blind. The fox has 100% focus on the area where the sound comes from, so there is not much movement required to reveal your presence.
Many believe that fox hunting is best on days with sun and low winds, but the fact is that the fox must go out and seek food regardless of the weather. Heavy rain and wind will, however, dampen its activity. Therefore, you can take advantage of the situation and lure the fox when the rainfall decreases.
When hunting in windy weather, you have to pay special attention to the wind’s direction. Likewise, in forest areas where it can swirl around. Here you can use a wind indicator, which is a small plastic bottle with a fine white powder, which clearly shows the wind direction when used.
You may want to place a fellow hunter a further ahead – It can improve your opportunities for a successful hunt.
If there is no action within 30-60 minutes, try a new position. If the fox does not appear that day, it rarely helps to continue calling.
As mentioned in the introduction, fox hunting is more about experience and preparation. Therefore it is best to get out there and practice and see what works.
Once you succeed, fox hunting, and hunting in general with game calls is a unique and unforgettable hunting experience.