Feral peril: More than 30 foxes swarm in from the surrounding area for a free feed.

Feral plague renews bounty call

Shooters say a photo showing dozens of foxes feeding in a paddock demonstrates the urgent need for a bounty in South Australia, especially after the success of Victoria’s bounty system.

“If Victoria has a fox bounty, South Australia and NSW should have them as well. It’s just logical,” said Rod Drew, CEO of Field and Game Australia, which published the photo on its Facebook page.

The photo was provided to FGA by a contract shooter and FGA member, who had received from a pro shooting colleague.

It shows well over 30 foxes that have converged to feed on offcuts from the contractor’s work.

It’s not uncommon for foxes to follow a professional shooter on his rounds, but the unprecedented number in this photo seems to back up reports that foxes are getting out of control in many areas.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” Mr Drew said. “Since the drought broke hunters have been shooting more than they ever have.”

He said pig numbers were also up significantly, and forecast another bumper duck and quail season.

“Foxes are interesting because people don’t see them, particularly urban people, so they don’t think it’s an issue,” Mr Drew said.

The success of the Victorian bounty, which has seen more than 100,000 foxes killed in less than 12 months, is partly based on the boom in fox numbers.

“Imagine if you rolled out the bounty in NSW and SA at the same time,” Mr Drew said. “You’d really have an impact.”

He said a legal fur trade and the extra work of den ripping and poisoning would have a big effect on fox numbers.

“But you can’t take the foot off,” he said, referring to previous culling effort that had not been continued.

Professional kangaroo shooters rarely kill foxes because they are too busy with the animals that provide an income and do not want to waste bullets on other animals.

Putting a value on foxes would have the potential to change this, as well as encouraging recreational hunters to put more effort into culling the pests.

To date there has been no interest in fox bounties by authorities in SA or NSW.




Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

super super
fail fail
fun fun
bad bad
hate hate
lol lol
love love
omg omg
Mick Matheson

Mick grew up with guns and journalism, and has included both in his career. A life-long hunter, he has long-distant military experience and holds licence categories A, B and H. In the glory days of print media, he edited six national magazines in total, and has written about, photographed and filmed firearms and hunting for more than 15 years.