Deer and Red Fox Encounter

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Mountain Man
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Deer and Red Fox Encounter

Unread postby Mountain Man » Mon Mar 28, 2011 5:11 pm

I just thought I would share a deer and red fox encounter I had while bowhunting a few years ago.

It was mid November and about an hour before dark I had two does coming in from the east when the lead doe encountered a red fox about 30 yards from me. The fox stood it’s ground and the doe stomped her foot a few times. The fox stood there but then ran off to the north. The does proceeded to work their way towards me. I shot at the lead doe and hit her but I knew it wasn’t a good hit as she walked off gingerly into some thick buckthorn. I sat down in my treestand and waited. I strained to see through the buckthorn which still had a lot of it’s greenish to yellowish leaves at that time of year but I couldn’t see anything. Every so often I would hear leaves shuffling around about 30-40 yards from me in the buckthorn but I still couldn’t see the source of the sound. I figured it was the deer I hit. I decided it was best to stay in the stand as I thought from her reaction that I probably hit her in the gut. I planned to sit until dark and then try to sneak out for a while and come back the next day to look for her. About 30-45 minutes later the doe appeared out of the buckthorn about 30 yards away. She would take a few steps then stop. Then look behind her. I could tell she was hurt and didn’t want to walk. After walking, stopping, and looking behind her a few times a red fox appeared about 15 yards behind her. Now the fox appeared from the south so I don’t know if this was the same fox as before that had circled around or if it was a different fox (I know there were at least two mature red foxes living in that area based on a previous sighting). The fox was trailing the wounded deer. The deer eventually walked in front of me broadside at about 25 yards. She stopped to look back at the fox which was still standing in the same spot from about a minute earlier. I put my pin on the doe’s chest and released another arrow. The shot was perfect this time and passed right through sticking in the dirt just beyond where the doe stood. The doe took off on a death run but she ran out of sight and I couldn’t see her fall. From my treestand I could see my arrow sticking in the ground. Several seconds after the shot the red fox trotted over to where the doe was standing when I shot. The fox slowly inched toward the arrow then sniffed the arrow and bolted. I thought that was a bit strange but then I realized that the fox probably smelled my scent on the knock of the arrow even though it passed through the deer’s lungs. I climbed down and quickly trailed the doe. I found her about 75 yards away in a small ravine. I quickly dressed her in the fading light and found that my first arrow had hit her in the front of the gut just behind the breast bone. The second shot was a nice double lung. I guess there’s really nothing special about this story but I was surprised to see a red fox trailing a wounded deer like that. If I hadn’t shot the deer a second time I assume that fox would have stayed on that deer’s trail until it became too weak from the gut shot and died. I have to assume the fox got to eat some of the gut pile later that night.

Here’s one more thing about red foxes. I have seen them pee in deer scrapes on numerous occasions.


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Re: Deer and Red Fox Encounter

Unread postby mossyoak » Mon Mar 28, 2011 8:43 pm

Cool story Red Fox are very interesting critters, I have also noticed that Foxes often pee in deer scrapes you see a lot of pictures on hunting forums with foxes in the scrapes.
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Re: Deer and Red Fox Encounter

Unread postby dan » Tue Mar 29, 2011 8:57 am

Very interesting story... I liked the part where the fox bolted after sniffing the arrow. You learn a little something every time you enter the woods if you take the time to watch whats going on around you...
I filmed a feral cat walk past a stand in Iowa a few years ago, and watched in amazment as the deer that crossed the cats path spooked... That really told me that the predator scent is a natural scent for deer to associate with fear, regardless of the size of the predator.
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Singing Bridge
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Re: Deer and Red Fox Encounter

Unread postby Singing Bridge » Tue Mar 29, 2011 11:28 am

very interesting encounter, MM- being able to watch their interactions had to be memorable. 8-)
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Stuart
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Re: Deer and Red Fox Encounter

Unread postby Stuart » Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:04 pm

You will remember things like that for the rest of your life... :)


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