Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 59

bowhunter who targets predators, a small handheld call that imitates the chatter of a fox’s primary prey, rodents, can prove invaluable. So it’s ironic that my closest encounter with a red fox this past season had less to do with my calling efforts and more to do with the success of a deer hunting friend of mine. Predators are opportunists and they would just as soon dine on a handy day-old gut pile as a fresh, elusive chipmunk. My buddy had filled his buck tag on opening day. On the second day I took a stand not far from the spot. Although I didn’t see any deer that morning, I was treated to an endless parade of foxes trotting through the woods carrying chunks of entrails in their mouths as they feasted on the gut pile. When one of them passed within 10 yards, I remembered that this season I had, indeed, purchased a furtakers license and the rest, as they say, is history. Of course a fox’s vitals are considerably smaller than a deer’s (think tennis ball versus paper plate), so a prudent archer will opt for close range shots at stationary animals. Although foxes are almost constantly on the move, like a rutting buck responding to a sudden grunt, they can usually be stopped by the crisp chirping sound of your lips kissing the back of your hand, thus offering a reasonable shot. Although I didn’t intentionally stake out that gut pile to enhance my chances at bagging a predator, it’s an excellent strategy to use in outfoxing one. Although we clearly have our share of bears and coyotes here in the Keystone State, when it comes to hunting predators, the red fox is at the top of the list, with the mostly nocturnal gray fox far behind. Most of us encounter Mr. Reynard only incidentally while on deer stand. In the course of our early archery season here in the southeast, it’s not uncommon to see more than a few foxes prowling the forest floor in search of unwary squirrels, mice or voles. And because staking out gut piles is, at
NOVEMBER 2010

best, a very limited opportunistic method for hunting predators, most of us rely on calls. The pathetic cries of a rabbit in distress can be a bone-chilling sound, something akin to a wailing baby trying to catch its breath between sobs. But while the eerie echoes of a cottontail’s death throes may send chills up the spines of uninitiated humans, such racket represents a loudly clanging dinner bell for predators in search of easy prey. So when the hunters become the hunted, the primary tool for outfoxing predators is exactly that: the death knell of a prey species, such as a rabbit or squirrel, a call that draws the would-be predator within bow range. There are plenty of such calls on the market. As with deer hunting, my predator hunting is typically done from a treestand. The same advantages elevation gives me when hunting whitetails — escaping wary eyes and better scent dispersal — is a good idea for foxes. As noted earlier, foxes travel with their noses to the ground, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen them cross the trail I took on my way to my stand, sniff my tracks, suddenly put on the brakes, reverse their direction and race away in high gear. The animal’s keen sense of smell can detect human odor hours after your tracks are made, so if you’re serious about bagging Mr. Fox, take precautions to wear rubber soled boots — preferably doused with fox urine — when approaching and leaving your stand. And because bulky electronic calls can mean another lugging and hoisting chore to get them to the stand and up into the tree, I much prefer small, lightweight, handheld calling devices, both manual and battery driven, that fit neatly in my pocket, as well as the palm of my hand. The fox’s acute sense of hearing rivals his sense of smell, so even if the calls produced by your handheld devices don’t travel quite as far as a mega-electronic sound blaster, it’s probably not going to make for a significant disadvantage in the long run.
59



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010

Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010
Contents
Bonds for a Lifetime
Memory Maker
CWD in Pennsylvania —Will it Come?
Eight in ’08
Do It Yourself Dirt Hole Set
A Shot in the Dark
Troy’s First Bear
Jamie Get Your Gun
Tip and the Woods Rabbit
Down to the Wire
November
Field Notes
Conservation News
Off the Wire
Another View
The Naturalist’s Eye
Straight from the Bowstring
Fun Game
Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Cover2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Contents
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Bonds for a Lifetime
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 4
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 5
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Memory Maker
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 7
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 8
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 9
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - CWD in Pennsylvania —Will it Come?
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 11
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 12
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 13
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Eight in ’08
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 15
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Do It Yourself Dirt Hole Set
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 17
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - A Shot in the Dark
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 19
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 20
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 21
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Troy’s First Bear
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 23
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 24
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Jamie Get Your Gun
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 26
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 27
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Tip and the Woods Rabbit
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 29
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 30
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 31
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Down to the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 33
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 34
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - November
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 36
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Field Notes
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 38
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 39
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 40
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 41
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Conservation News
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 43
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 44
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 45
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 46
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 47
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 48
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 49
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Off the Wire
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Another View
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 52
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 53
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - The Naturalist’s Eye
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 55
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 56
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 57
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Straight from the Bowstring
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 59
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Fun Game
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 61
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 62
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - 63
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Crossings
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - N1
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - N2
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Cover3
Pennsylvania Game News - November 2010 - Cover4
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