Monday, February 24, 2014

How I Built an Artificial Fox Earth

You may remember my plans to build an artificial fox earth so that I can attract a vixen? This is how it looks now it’s finished. The green bank at the back is to give my photographs a green background…..

And this is how I built it. It took some doing! Three men and a mini-digger in the wind and the rain… let’s hope the vixen takes to it!

This is the chamber I built to go inside it. It is basically an upside down plastic pallet box, lined with wood to prevent condensation. It also has a weld-mesh floor to prevent animals such as badgers digging out from under it, covered with soil, dry bracken and leaves.

Inside is an infra-red camera with a cable that leads to a hide that I have positioned nearby to watch from.

I set the box into a four-foot hole and then dug two six metre channels leading away from it. Into these I laid two 10 inch pipes, before covering the whole thing up again with soil and moss and turf.

Now all I have to do is stay away for a little while so that the foxes there feel confident to go and explore.

The good news is that as I walked up to the site before we set to with the digger, there was a strong smell of fox so there are definitely some about.

Foxes will have just finished courting now and I expect that the vixens will be looking for a safe den over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed!

I painted this just before Christmas. This is the sort of shot I want to get to give me some new ideas for compositions.