Bloody foxes. One took a chook from right outside the yard in broad daylight. I wasn’t going to let it happen again. The next day, I’d be waiting.
When we moved here, we knew there were foxes around, but several sessions of whistling lured nothing in, so perhaps there weren’t any close by. The previous owners had done a fair bit of shooting, so I figured they’d probably hammered the local population.
Ah, but you know what foxes are like.
The next day, I waited but nothing came as the sun got lower. I left my post and walked down to the creek to whistle. That’s when the chook squawked in panic. I turned around and sprinted back up to the house.
I met the fox head-on at the orchard. We saw each other at the same time and he turned and jogged the other way – with one my hens in its mouth! That was it. The red mist descended and I didn’t just want to shoot a fox, I wanted to kill this fox.
The cunning bugger slinked away using a row of posts and young trees as cover and I couldn’t get a shot. But he paused briefly to look back – the common mistake of foxes – and I could see a few inches of neck and shoulder between a post and my chicken.
I was fired up. I didn’t take my time. The instant the crosshairs settled on the red coat I touched the trigger with a certainty that only comes with angry determination. I knew I wouldn’t miss.
The fox dropped dead on the spot with a mouthful of feathers. The chook sprawled onto the ground a few centimetres away. When I got there, her head was up. She was in deep shock, frozen in fear, and the wounds in her back looked nasty.
I put her in a nesting box with some feed and water, not expecting to find her alive in the morning. But the most marvellous thing happened. She was up and about in the morning like nothing had happened, and within three days the wounds had healed, no infection set in and even her limp disappeared. She is now as healthy as ever.
We’ve named her Foxy.