This spring and especially summer hunting obviously allows you to “take out the rifle” before time, but essentially to spend excellent moments in nature which offers at this time of the year a thousand flavors at dawn and dusk. Not to mention that taking a few foxes before the season won’t hurt your territory.
We are going to give successful fox hunting tips and recommend some necessary equipment for this mode of hunting and the second to come in a few days will focus on the practice.
This article is intended for beginners and experienced people who can either learn a new hunting mode or just “snap” a trick here or there and perfect their already well-honed hunting technique.
1. Legislative Framework
Fox hunting on the lookout or stalking begins on January 1 in the United States (France & UK Start season from 1st June. To be able to practice it, you must have a big game hunting plan or make a specific request to your DTT.
According to your department plan, you must have on you at least a deer bracelet or a copy of your hunting plan to certify in case of control that you have one.
The hunting license is valid until January 31 of each year, so you can hunt with your validation from the previous season throughout the month of June, but you will have to anticipate that from February 1 you will need a new validation.
Beware of hunters on communal hunts where often internal regulations govern this practice.
2. Weapons and Optics
Equipping yourself for fox hunting requires a small investment, but by looking carefully you can manage to get by for not too much money.
Of course, you will need a rifle. 2 possibilities are available to you, either you already have one for big game and it will do the job perfectly (unless it is a 300 weatherby or 375 HH!) or you have to buy one.
If you already have a rifle, bolt-action or failing that semi-automatic, then you simply need to equip it with a sighting optic. If your weapon is designed to receive a removable mounting then it’s wonderful. You can switch from your hunting and stalking optics in the blink of an eye. If necessary, a pair of collars, an adjustment and the matter are heard!
If you want to buy a weapon specifically for this hunt, it becomes interesting because several small calibers are suitable. The most common for fox hunting is the 243 Winchester. Taut, swift (also widely used to pull brocades as well) is produced by a good number of manufacturers at reasonable prices.
At less than $500, there are very good rifles dedicated to this use (notably at Mosseberg or ATA with its Turqua model).
Another perfect caliber for Pinhunting is the 222 rem. Even cheaper to buy, especially in kipllauf as an example at Bergara. It allows you to shoot up to 150/200m if you know the ballistics of your ammunition well. The weight of the bullets varies from 35g to 50g and their energy from 1000 to 1500 joules.
Other interesting calibers because they are extremely versatile in stalking and stalking, are the 6.5 Creedmoor and the 308 Win. They will allow you to hunt many other species than the fox and have top ballistics. In summary, there is no ideal caliber but the 4 mentioned above will bring you comfort and performance.
Sound moderator or not?
The answer is almost unequivocal. If your weapon has a thread, use a sound moderator. It only has advantages: less noise and less disturbance of the territory. You can easily shoot several animals in the evening. The MDS also brings less nuisance to the neighborhood and finally more comfort when shooting, it is a magic tool for summer hunting.
Let’s now move on to the part concerning the optics because you need a bezel of course. Nowadays all types of magnification exist and the best thing is to equip yourself with a so-called lookout telescope. We can still consider that depending on the frequency of your outings, a mixed telescope can do the trick.
Some also hunt with driven optics. After all, for a shot below 100m and provided it’s not too dark, it’s enough with a 1-6×24 for example.
But let’s talk about scopes dedicated specifically to this kind of hunting. As said before, a 3-12×56, 2.5-10×50 or 3-16×56 scope are all perfect as we say. What will again come into play is the budget you want to put into it, which will implicitly affect the quality of your optics and therefore its ability to shoot late or early in the morning.
It should be remembered that the more you have a high magnification telescope (and that you use it to its maximum) and the less light you will have, the greater the output objective and the greater the light.
To put it simply, let’s say that if you have a limited budget and therefore cannot buy high-end optics, go for a classic magnification type 3-12×56. Conversely, if you want to have fun then another world opens up, which offers you prestige optics with their multiple magnifications and for some their ballistic turrets which can be very pleasant to use.
Note that Nikko Stirling offers a 3-12×62 scope (therefore with a very large output lens) at $479 which is perfect for this use.
To conclude in a slightly more factual way, let’s say that a new special fox “pack”, rifle + scope is trading in the $700 to $900 for the first prices.
Fox hunting is practiced from January to August and is generally lightly dressed. Quite thin and above all quiet camo pants and a thin flexible camo jacket will do the job. At Pinewood or Stagunt you will find the perfect outfits for this hunt.
What counts in fox hunting is to be as invisible as possible, a hood and gloves will undeniably be a plus.
Add to that good light walking shoes that you can find online shops.
A lot of small accessories can make your life easier, think first of all to take a backpack so you don’t forget anything. Here is what we usually put in it:
- Lamp (see our review of the Best hunting lamp)
- An extra sweater for chilly evenings
- Fox call
- Mosquito repellent (use sparingly if really needed!)
- A small talc pear to know the direction of the wind
- A bi-pod if you are not using a pirsch cane. There are many models that can be adapted to the rings of granardières
- A rangefinder
This “pack” is a bit of a base if you want to spend a good morning or evening on the lookout. Nothing is more infuriating than arriving at the station having, for example, forget your binoculars.
Thermal vision: If you have the possibility of equipping yourself with a thermal vision monocular or thermal binoculars, this is a daunting accessory. The quality of these devices for 2 years has exploded and from around $1500, you can equip yourself with fabulous devices. Hunting with this type of device becomes totally different and gives you considerable help in detecting animals.
Another accessory to be able to take with you is the pirsch cane. It can be of manual design or manufacturing. And in this case, we can only advise you the excellent 4stablestick which can be bought from a hundred dollars for the 1st models.
This concludes our guide of a large dossier dedicated to stalking and fox stalking, but most of the advice can be applied to any summer stalk hunt.
In the next part, part, we will detail the techniques for sharpening or approaching master Goupil and optimizing your chances of success.