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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 12:25 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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There's a certain romance about the cold dawn, food for the winter, the crunch of the frosty ground, the stillness of waiting etc etc. Only take a clear shot, patience, the whole deal is very different than "surf the web for political outrage."

I can imagine what you mean but it's not an image I recognise, being used to seeing small groups of men barging around muddy fields at weekends, with a few dogs, shouting, making a racket, shooting continuously at everything that moves and slaughtering foxes just for the sake of it.

PB+J's description is hunting as I understand it. Mr.Gumby's is not: At the risk of raising hackles, perhaps hooliganism is a better word?

Even when hunting in groups - pheasant season's a good example - in the US you don't shout. It's not only bad etiquette, it's counterproductive. Simple talking itself is kept low and to a minimum, if you absolutely must. If you want to bag quarry, why warn it in advance?

Not that we don't have our own wrongheaded hunters in the States, but it's not the norm I know. And I'm not a hunter, but these things are hardly arcane. While hunting is a form of recreation for most, the culture of legitimate hunting in the States is nevertheless more one of purpose rather than mere entertainment. And legal permissions are a must. Here, the general rule is that every year you have to renew your hunting licenses (note the plural). There is no one-size-fits-all licence; each quarry has its mandated window of time - its "season" - and you have to have the specific license to hand for whichever it is you're after. Some game have only a limited number of licenses available, and most come with bagging limits. Hunting without the right license and outside of proper season is considered poaching, and the consequences can be stiff.

There are exceptions with invasive species such as feral pigs, which are open season (meaning they may be hunted all year 'round). I imagine one still has to get a license for that, but it's not a part of my locale's fabric, so I must rely on those who know for better details. One's own private property and exotic game farms might also be different situations; those I don't know about, either, and the laws are likely to vary from state to state.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:14 pm 
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Even when hunting in groups - pheasant season's a good example - in the US you don't shout. It's not only bad etiquette, it's counterproductive. Simple talking itself is kept to a minimum. If you want to bag quarry, why warn it in advance?


First there is communicating with each other and with the dogs across fields. But you have to understand foxes as well: most of the time they will know you are there before you see them. A fox will sit and size you, and the situation, up and will stay out of sight if they can.

So, hunting foxes is about stirring them into action, the dogs will do that, or the noise will. If you walk quietly across a field a fox will lie low, you won't see him if he can help it. Startle him, he'll run and may come into the open.

Just after we bought the house I was up on the roof, repointing the ridges or something like that. A group of hunters went into the field across the valley. the dogs caught a smell. I could see the fox, they couldn't. It lay low until they passed and walked quietly away from them as soon as they had their backs turned.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 1:24 pm 
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Mr.Gumby wrote:
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Even when hunting in groups - pheasant season's a good example - in the US you don't shout. It's not only bad etiquette, it's counterproductive. Simple talking itself is kept to a minimum. If you want to bag quarry, why warn it in advance?

First there is communicating with each other and with the dogs across fields. But you have to understand foxes as well: most of the time they will know you are there before you see them. A fox will sit and size you, and the situation, up and will stay out of sight if they can.

So, hunting foxes is about stirring them into action, the dogs will do that, or the noise will. If you walk quietly across a field a fox will lie low, you won't see him if he can help it. Startle him, he'll run and may come into the open.

Just after we bought the house I was up on the roof, repointing the ridges or something like that. A group of hunters went into the field across the valley. the dogs caught a smell. I could see the fox, they couldn't. It lay low until they passed and walked quietly away from them as soon as they had their backs turned.

Understood. I take it as a given that a fox will be well aware of you before you ever are of it. Dogs are used in pheasant hunting for the same reasons; like foxes, the pheasants go to ground and must be flushed out. But US pheasant hunting is still a pretty low-key affair, noise-wise (apart from the report of the guns); dogs that don't bark during that sort of hunt are kind you want, and commands to the dogs are usually low. Calling them back would require raising one's voice, but that's about it. Some pheasant hunters don't use dogs at all, but let their approaching proximity to the pheasant do the work of spooking it into flight.

I don't know if foxes are hunted on foot in the US; where I live, they're usually trapped in midwinter for their pelts.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:02 pm 
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https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2020/06 ... -our-midst

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:38 pm 
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PB+J wrote:
Upper class Philadelphians still do the whole foxhunt on horseback thing. A friend of mine was born to wealth on Philadelphia's "Main Line" and "the Radnor Hunt" https://www.radnorhunt.org/Foxhunting-(1) was part of his upbringing. It seems pretty awful to me--the baying hounds, a lot of pretentious twits chasing a terrified animal.

I had no idea that mounted foxhunting was even done in any real way in the States at all. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised, though.

Looks like they do it in the South Carolina Low Country, too: https://www.thelowcountryhunt.com/fox-hunting

In the Low Country tradition the purpose is not to kill the animal, but simply the thrill of the chase. And in looking through the website, I see that as with other forms of Stateside hunting, etiquette is firm: shouting is very much frowned upon.

I suppose one might think of a kill-less hunt as a preferable development, but there's still the issue of the quarry being terrified, and I confess to being uncomfortable with that.

It appears that the Philadelphia tradition echoes that of the Low Country; it's not expressly clear, but the implication seems to be that they don't kill their foxes, either. But in PB+J's link, I found this ironic:

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Once dispatched as a pest and varmint, the fox is now revered and preserved. His willingness to lead this sporting parade continues to fascinate both the devotees and the casual observer.

"Willingness"? :really:

The fanciful choice of words might be charming if it didn't insult the reader's intelligence.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 2:40 pm 
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I took that from my kitchen window. It actually came up to the window, put his feet on the windowsill to look in. That's domesticated enough for me. They come to the front of the house as well in autumn, to get the windfall from the appletree.

There was a lovely photo of the 'Little Fox' restaurant in Ennistymon (prop. Niamh Fox), where we used to go for a dinner at times, before covid19 drove it out of business. Anyhow, it was a pic of the restaurant with a big fox standing outside (I hesitate to call it an 'urban' fox, Ennistymon, after all). It was put instagram, my wife showed it to me saying 'bet you wish you had taken that one'. Tried to find it yesterday to put on this thread but couldn't find it.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:05 pm 
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What a handsome animal. You don't see many foxes where I live; I've only seen one, myself. You're more likely to see opossums after twilight. They give me the willies.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:08 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
What a handsome animal. You don't see many foxes where I live; I've only seen one, myself. You're more likely to see opossums after twilight. They give me the willies.

We see foxes very, very often around here. I often sense them in the garden. I've also often seen them in the garden. They're scary, but very admirable creatures.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:21 pm 
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Here "inside the beltway," a few miles from the White House, we see foxes almost daily. They were rare even five years ago, but they've now become common, there are also coyotes in the county, though I haven't seen one. They often look a little mangy: I'm not sure this is the healthiest environment, since people put out rat poison and the foxes eat the rats.

Possums now and then: haven't seen a racoon in years, although I'm sure they are out there.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:26 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
We see foxes very, very often around here. I often sense them in the garden. I've also often seen them in the garden. They're scary, but very admirable creatures.

I don't know why, but I'm not jittery about foxes. I guess it's the look, and the same with why opossums freak me out: the look. Opossums are kind of like reptiles with hair. But I just found this to help me change my attitude:

https://forfoxsakewildlife.com/2018/12/ ... -opossums/ (scroll down)

Gotta love the website name. :lol:

PB+J wrote:
... haven't seen a racoon in years, although I'm sure they are out there.

We used to have scads of raccoons until the city invested in raccoon-proof garbage bins. Now you almost never see a raccoon, but the squirrels are still around; they just chew their way in.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:30 pm 
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Foxes aren't scary. They are cool as a cucumber. I was walking in the field behind the house at one time facing into the wind. There was a big fox that didn't notice me and I quietly managed to get within two metres of him. When he finally copped on, he turned around, sized me up for a few seconds and just walked away, unphased.

Another time one came trotting up the driveway as I came out of the back door, just looked at me, turned around and went back towards the road.

As I said, we get a lot of them. There's a massive badger sett behind the house as well. Badgers and foxes leave little pathways through the hedges (the cats use them too) in and out of the garden.

Here's another instance, possibly the same fox, looking for windfall in front of the house (he took off with an apple), taken through the glass in the front door:

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:32 pm 
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Yup, we got critters: coyote, raccoons, some ´possums, feral rabbits. . .but not these: https://dailyhive.com/vancouver/otter-v ... pool-video

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:44 pm 
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an seanduine wrote:

One of my favorite animals. Supposedly river otters have wide distribution in Minnesota, but I've never seen one, myself. From the article:

“My sister was outside and yelled that there was an otter in the pool so we all ran down,” Sallay-Carrington told Daily Hive. “He didn’t stay in there for too long and scurried away under our fence.”

Didn't stay long? With dogs barking and commotion and people yelling, I wonder why.

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PostPosted: Fri Jun 12, 2020 3:48 pm 
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River Otters can take care of themselves. They are mustelids, with jaws and teeth to crush bone easily. Well to keep your dogs curbed. . .vets can be expensive.

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PostPosted: Tue Jun 23, 2020 11:38 am 
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Came across a new word for the pandemic's reduced-activity/lockdowns' effects on wildlife: the anthropause.

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