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Old February 20, 2013, 11:23 PM   #1
Chowder
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Fox Hunting.

I have posted a few threads about my first attempts at hunting and am looking to broaden my horizons. I am building an AR for coyotes but that build is taking a bit of time with the current state of parts supply.

The last time I was out hiking, not hunting or anything I saw a fox and noticed it was a lot smaller than I was thinking they would be. So my question is would a .22 LR with quality ammunition be enough for fox? The only non .22 rifle I own is a 44 mag and that would be a tad overkill lol.

I do not know much about predator hunting but I think learning to call in fox might be a good place to start. Worse case scenario I can see is calling in something larger and just enjoying looking at some predators in action. Thanks in advance for your opinions on this, so far I have gotten some great information on the much more experienced hunters on TFL.
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Old February 20, 2013, 11:51 PM   #2
L_Killkenny
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You are right a fox ain't very big and yes a .22lr can do a fine job at short ranges if you do your part. Many hunters feel the .22M is ideal for fox out to 100 yards or maybe a bit more. A .22lr shooting CCI Velocitors is about the same at 50 yards. Don't go crossing the .44 off the list. Use a cast bullet load (if using factory ammo think cowboy loads) that has as flat of a point as possible. You'll get an exit every time but shouldn't do any more damage than other centerfires and less than many.

Cept for proper centerfires, If ya got a shotgun that's your best bet. 12ga, full choke or tighter, #4 buck will do the job. Fox ain't known to just stand around and give great shot opportunities and a quick pointing shotgun works great.
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Old February 21, 2013, 12:32 AM   #3
colbad
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For Fox hunting I found a "gold card" and a roll of $100s work best
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Old February 21, 2013, 01:58 AM   #4
Chowder
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You are right a fox ain't very big and yes a .22lr can do a fine job at short ranges if you do your part. Many hunters feel the .22M is ideal for fox out to 100 yards or maybe a bit more. A .22lr shooting CCI Velocitors is about the same at 50 yards. Don't go crossing the .44 off the list. Use a cast bullet load (if using factory ammo think cowboy loads) that has as flat of a point as possible. You'll get an exit every time but shouldn't do any more damage than other centerfires and less than many.
Never really thought of using light .44 loads in my marlin. SWC or round nose .44 specials maybe for coyote? I would like to keep the pelts if I go for them. I currently carry federal cast core in it when camping and those are hitting just under 1600 FPS at 300gr. If I did the math correctly that should be 1600lbs of energy... Might leave those at home haha.

I just did a little searching on .44 specials from rifle barrels and in my tired state worked out some math. First I want to say I am going by advertised velocity and I am still very green in my knowledge of ballistics so any input or telling me im flat out wrong is very welcome.

I found that doubletap 240gr 44 specials run at about 920 FPS but that is with an undefined barrel length, But I am assuming a pistol length barrel. I got the information here www.ballistics101.com/44_special.php. From what I found .44 special gain roughly 300FPS in a rifle (mine is 20"). If my resoning is correct that would make about 800 lbs of muzzle energy and down to about 600 at 100 yards shooting 2.5 inches high with a 100 yard zero. I use the specs from the SWC kieth type bullet BTW.

So do you think this would be viable for coyotes? or some of the 180gr lighter loads for fox from my 1894? Thanks again for the info I never really even thought a out using it since small bore hyper velocity rounds seem to be the norm for varmint and predators.

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For Fox hunting I found a "gold card" and a roll of $100s work best
What about a roll of ones wrapped in a 20
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Old February 21, 2013, 02:17 AM   #5
alex0535
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I love my .17 HMR and if I were going to be going after fox my go-to gun would be my Marlin 917V .17 HMR. I might prefer a slightly lighter .17 for going after fox but there are not a lot of squirrels that get away after I get them in my sights.

I don't think it would leave an exit wound but do I think it would kill one very efficiently.

But a good .22 LR round would probably do the job. The difference I notice between shooting squirrel with good .22 LR and .17 HMR is that squirrels hit with the .17 HMR are dead on impact, .22LR they roll around take a little while to die, some get away. A bigger animal like a Fox, perfect shot placement is going to be necessary.
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:35 AM   #6
Tickling
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I think you'd be better served buying some traps.. at least if the foxes in your neck of the woods are similar to the foxes in Oregon..
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:39 AM   #7
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I think you'd be better served buying some traps.. at least if the foxes in your neck of the woods are similar to the foxes in Oregon..
Might be easier to get fox that way but I am more interested in getting out and hunting not just acquiring fox.
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Old February 21, 2013, 03:49 AM   #8
Tickling
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Fair enough. I think Alex nailed it, you're not going to want to spoil a beautiful hide with an exit wound.

Please post pictures when you get one
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Old February 21, 2013, 10:51 PM   #9
Chowder
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Fair enough. I think Alex nailed it, you're not going to want to spoil a beautiful hide with an exit wound.

Please post pictures when you get one
I agree with you, I don't want to blow apart a fox just for no reason. I dont own a 17HMR but I am sure Alex is right on it being a great round for fox. Looks like I will have to wait until my AR is built. I suppose I can pass the time by calling them in and get a shot lined up with my Binoculars or camera. This brings me to my next question.

What do you all use to call them? I have seen electronic calls that are affordable and also some mouth calls that are very cheap. I even saw some fancy ones at sportsmans that wagged a tail in the air. Do you experienced predator hunters suggest a fancy call for the beginner?
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:51 AM   #10
L_Killkenny
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Do you experienced predator hunters suggest a fancy call for the beginner?
Not me. Seen way too many guys buy all the latest gear only to have it sit on a shelf. Start out with a hand call or two and see where that goes before you invest money in e-calls or new guns for that matter. Callin is somewhere between and art and a science. Some guys start with handcalls and stuggle and think the problem is their sounds. Then they go out and buy an e-call thinkin that will solve the problem. Here's a hint....... If you ain't seeing critters with a hand call than your sounds are not the problem. Your set up and/or location is. E-calls are another tool in your bag of tricks.

As for damage. The rimfire magnums can be great but it's not that hard to use centerfires and get great results. Centerfires do not automatically mean big holes. Take your .44; With the right bullet you'll get a small hole in, a little bigger out. More than acceptable in any circle I've run with or any fur buyer I've sold to. Go pushing lightweight HP's fast and you might make a mess.
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Old February 22, 2013, 08:59 AM   #11
bird_dog
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I've shot foxes with .44 mag, moderate loads. Sorry, still made pretty big holes. Average sized foxes are not big animals.

The nice thing about foxes, unlike coyotes, is that they aren't very hardy in my experience.

My favorite round for them is the .22mag. It's quiet, accurate, and good for quick followup shots if you miss -- and you will, since they're often running in to the call, making for a difficult shot.

One thing I've found in fox calling is that they'll almost always follow a fenceline or a hedgerow or an old stone wall on the way into the call. Try setting up 30-40 yards away from a hedgeline, so they run broadside to you. The old dying rabbit call or even just lip-squeaking will generally get their attention. I've found they're a bit less cautious than coyotes, but just as senstitive to movement. Have your gun up and ready to shoot before they're in range or within sight of you.

Good luck to you. It's a lot of fun.
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Old February 24, 2013, 07:13 PM   #12
BigD_in_FL
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When I lived in ND, a friend was renting a farmhouse and had fox everywhere. His preferred eliminator was a TC Contender in 22 Hornet. Pelts were worth some money back then, especially for fox and coyote shot in January when the pelts were thick
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Old February 24, 2013, 07:44 PM   #13
phil mcwilliam
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I've shot many foxes using a .22lr. The main ammo I currently use is CCI Minimag hollowpoints & you wont have any problems dropping foxes to 75 yards. I also have a .17hmr & this increases the range to 150 yards for foxes. My 22-250 will kill foxes as far away as I can hit them.
Foxes will sometimes come to a call. I have a couple of cheap tin fox whistles that I usually keep in a pocket or pack. These whistles will sometimes even momentarily stop a fleeing fox giving just enough time for a shot.
I'd say if you bought a cheap fox whistle & had any .22lr high velocity hollowpoints that shoot accurately through your gun, then you are good to go fox hunting.
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Old February 25, 2013, 12:44 AM   #14
stevelyn
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Quote:
I love my .17 HMR and if I were going to be going after fox my go-to gun would be my Marlin 917V .17 HMR. I might prefer a slightly lighter .17 for going after fox but there are not a lot of squirrels that get away after I get them in my sights.

I don't think it would leave an exit wound but do I think it would kill one very efficiently.
I prefer using the .17HMR on foxes myself. It's a lot more fur friendly than a .22 or .22WMR. The 17gr TNT load from CCI leave an indecernable pinhole going in and rarely exits other than a tiny fragment or two. Plus it seems to anchor them faster than a .22.

A .223 just leaves a mess.
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Old February 25, 2013, 02:56 AM   #15
Chowder
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You guys are making me want to buy another marlin rifle lol. Its not a bad thing but I told myself I would hold off on gun buying fora bit lol. A XT 22 mag or .17HMR I think would be a blast. I love my rime fires.
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Old February 26, 2013, 12:18 AM   #16
L_Killkenny
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You guys are making me want to buy another marlin rifle lol. Its not a bad thing but I told myself I would hold off on gun buying fora bit lol. A XT 22 mag or .17HMR I think would be a blast. I love my rime fires.
Good call to hold off a little. With the introduction of the new .17 WSM you couldn't pay me yo touch the other rimfires if I was looking for a rimfire fox gun.
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Old February 26, 2013, 01:04 AM   #17
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^He brings up a good point, if you want an even more powerful rimfire wait until the .17 WSM is out.

Chowder, I think a .17 HMR would be a great option for the diversity of Alaska's small game from squirrels to coyote with good shot placement. The .17 WSM would be more adequate for a coyote though.

.17 hmr is currently my favorite rimfire, it is highly accurate, very effective on small game. A blast to shoot.
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Old February 26, 2013, 04:19 AM   #18
stevelyn
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You guys are making me want to buy another marlin rifle lol. Its not a bad thing but I told myself I would hold off on gun buying fora bit lol. A XT 22 mag or .17HMR I think would be a blast. I love my rime fires.
Actually mine's a Savage in LH.
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Old February 27, 2013, 09:17 PM   #19
Chowder
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Actually mine's a Savage in LH
I was thinking of a marlin because I have 3 and love them. speaking of savage though... I might be getting a great deal on a 110 in 7mm mag... new project but not for fox haha.
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Old February 28, 2013, 12:57 PM   #20
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the .22lr will work just fine. I don't shoot foxes around the place because they keep the deer mice and pack rat populations somewhat in control. But, I wouldn't hesitate to kill one that was raiding my chicken house.

The only issue I would have with calling foxes in AK would be the potential of calling in something a little bigger wanting an easy meal. I think a wolf, wolverine, or bear ( of either variety) would definitely cause some skidmarks inside your drawers.

I have had bobcats and badgers and even a mountain lion come to an electronic dying rabbit call intended for 'yotes.
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Old February 28, 2013, 05:43 PM   #21
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Best thing is find the den, I gots a good den clearing device works great on foxes badgers and any other hole dwelling varmint. Then sell em to the navhda and DKV guys as they use em to train their dogs with.
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Old March 1, 2013, 03:19 AM   #22
Chowder
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The only issue I would have with calling foxes in AK would be the potential of calling in something a little bigger wanting an easy meal. I think a wolf, wolverine, or bear ( of either variety) would definitely cause some skidmarks inside your drawers.
That's pretty much a risk anytime I go hiking off the common areas. .44 mag on the hip and bear spray with easy access on my pack is what I feel comfortable with. I am just hoping I am awake enough Sunday to go out for rabbit again. 2 weeks of work and school without a day off its tempting to sleep all day Sunday haha.
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Old March 3, 2013, 06:26 PM   #23
sc928porsche
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In my young days, before I was married, I used to hunt foxes all the time. You could find them at the local watering holes and the best time was early to late evening. Wee hours of the morning the selection quality and quantity seemed to degrade.
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