Fox Facts

The red fox is dog-like in appearance with a long, pointed muzzle and a long, bushy tail. The color of the fur on its back is a dark, reddish yellow. The tail is reddish yellow, but also mixed with black and tipped in white.

The gray fox is similar to the red fox, but is gray in appearance and has a slightly smaller build. Both species of foxes grow to be 35 to 44 inches in length. The red fox is generally heavier than the gray fox and can reach a weight of 31 pounds. Red foxes prefer open country with moderate cover. Gray foxes prefer dense cover such as thickets and forests.

Foxes are mainly nocturnal animals. They are most active in the early morning hours and during the early hours of darkness. They are very fast animals and usually catch their prey by outrunnng them. The fox has a very keen sense of sight, hearing and smell. Being predators, they use their senses to stalk their prey with stealth and patience.

Foxes are usually wary of humans and live in ground burrows, wood piles, rocky outcroppings and hollow trees.

The fox is a carnivore and usually preys upon rabbits, mice, birds, eggs and insects. They can occasionally feed on fawns, pigs, lambs and poultry.

Signs

Sometimes the only detectable sign of the presence of a fox is its footprint. Because they are so fast and wary of humans, they are seldom seen.

Foxes usually either bury their prey or remove it from where it was killed. The damage done by a fox is often difficult to assess. Foxes are especially harmful to poultry production because they usually only take one victim at a time and usually take the dead carcass away with them. Consequently, those who have experienced damage caused by a fox might not notice the loss until many raids have taken place.

Trapping Tips

Whole animal carcasses such as chickens or rabbits make good bait for foxes. Commercial fox lure can add to the effectiveness of a cage trap.

Cage traps for a fox should be thoroughly concealed and must be handled with gloved hands. Special care should be taken so as not to leave human scent in the area where the cage trap is set.

A good way to attract foxes to a trap is by taking advantage of their natural curiosity about hidden food. Dig a hole about 6 inches in diameter and around 10 inches deep. Bury slightly spoiled meat in the hole, being certain to leave a little bit exposed. Add a bit of commercial fox lure or bait to the hole. Place the cage trap over the hole so that the rear of the trap covers the actual hole itself. With this arrangement, the fox will have to walk into the trap to get a look at the hole.