For both the seasoned and beginner hunter, learning how to fox hunt at night is both exciting and challenging. Known for its sly, cunning nature, the nocturnal fox is an ideal candidate for a night hunt. Before planning a night hunt, check with your local Department of Fish and Game for any fox hunting restrictions in your area.
To fox hunt at night, you will need:
- Firearm and ammunition
- Fox call, mouth or digital
- Spotlight with red filter
- Layered clothing for cold nights
- Hunting license, if required by law
- Scout a Location. The ideal location for fox hunting at night will give a clear vantage point. It will have the farthest possible line of sight to spot incoming prey. Look for a slightly elevated location overlooking a large, open field and backed by a wooded area. Most importantly, be sure you are sitting in a location downwind to the fox. If shooting with a friend, sit close enough to effectively communicate with one another, as a safety precaution.
- Sweep the Hunting Site. Using a spotlight with a red filter, sweep the surrounding area as a test for surrounding visibility. Be sure the white light is not visible, which is more likely to scare a fox away. The red filter also helps preserve your night vision, making it easier to see the fox you are hunting.
- Start Calling. When hunting a fox at night, attract your prey with a call. Use either a mouth call or digital fox call, which simulates the sound of a distressed rabbit. Beginners may find better luck with a digital fox call, but both types are effective.
- Wait. Then, Wait Some More. The fox won’t come running like a trained domestic dog, so patience is key. Continue sweeping the field with the spotlight to catch any incoming activity. Hunting fox at night requires tenacity, so don’t give up too soon. Continue using the fox call every five to ten minutes. If no fox appears after forty minutes, make a decision as to whether you will continue calling at your current location or start over at a new night hunting site.
- Spotlight a Fox. If the spotlight falls on a fox during your night hunt, keep the direct beam just out of its eyes. It’s best to keep the light elevated slightly enough so that you can use it to track the fox’s movements. If the fox is stationary and at a comfortable shooting range, take the shot. A small caliber firearm, such as a .22, is best if you intend to keep the pellet. Use the fox call if the animal is too far away for an accurate shot. When the fox comes within shooting range, take careful aim and fire.
There is never a guarantee that a fox hunt at night will garner you a pellet. It takes practice and persistence. Just don't forget to have a little fun.