For the first time, I have my mom hunting; but it’s only with a trail camera. A full SD card of pictures was good start to learning about a new fox family.
There is no bad time to set up a trail camera in a good spot. Yes, the results may change from season to season, but the story they provide is worth the effort when new species appear.
For some reason, I have failed to set up a camera at my mom’s home. She and my stepfather have great wildlife traffic right outside their windows. They make an effort to encourage animals to frequent their meadow and are rewarded with great sightings of numerous species.
A female grey fox has recently begun to visit their meadow. I’ve never gotten trail camera footage of foxes so it seemed like a perfect opportunity to see what they were up too. The spot also has plenty of deer and turkeys that would keep the camera clicking away.
The foxes made their first appearance a month ago. One was obviously a female that was nursing kits, and it became clear through a few more sightings that there was a den nearby.
This was pretty exciting and all I could do was kick myself for taking this long to set up a camera at their home. I’ve thought for a long time that they could have had some pretty good bucks pass by during the rut. If nothing else, the oak forest around their home was a perfect location for supporting Cross Timbers species.
The decision was a no-brainer after seeing how excited they were to have the camera looking out for them when they weren’t there to see what was visiting. Their wildlife viewing was about to include another dimension. They were going to begin to see what happens after dark, and that’s when the woods come alive.
After a short period, we checked the camera. The foxes preferred to visit shortly after 9 at night. They didn’t stay long, and apparently had other places to be after that.
The best pictures were of a young doe and her newborn fawn. As usual, they used the cover of the heat of the day to grab a bite to eat. Most other animals are trying to stay cool in the early afternoon, but a doe with a young fawn will use that time to relax and explore the world.
The funniest part of this new experiment is that my mom and stepfather both felt compelled to cover up the camera when they were out working in the yard so it didn’t take pictures of them. Now they know how to shut the camera off and turn it back on when they feel it may be invading their privacy. I assured them there was plenty of battery life and space on the SD card, but they weren’t interested in being captured on camera.
I hope that I can eventually get young foxes on camera as late summer turns into fall. I don’t know much about them, but they seem like an interesting species to get to know. And this seems like a perfect opportunity to get to know them. Set a trail camera up and you’ll be hooked from the first time you pull out a full SD card full of pictures.
Jon Kocan is the Stillwater News Press outdoors writer and a longtime hunter. He can be reached at email@example.com.