For the red beast, or fox pens
In the view of most hunters, pen hunting is a hunt for wild boars, moose or deer. And it is not surprising, because even the Rules of Hunting clearly define the terms of “driven hunts of ungulates”. But this does not mean at all that it is only possible to hunt with a pen for those who have horns and hooves. A good example is Romania, where for many years in the foothills of the Carpathians was held
“Royal Driven Hunting” for bears. It must be said, very gambling and mined, but literally a year ago banned under the influence of the “greens”. In Russia, the hunted foxes and hares turned out to be very popular.
I met her in one of the hunting grounds near Moscow about ten years ago. And from that time he became one of the initiators and sometimes the organizers of the annual holding of such hunts and an active participant in it. In order not to make too much anxiety in the grounds, fox hunting plots are held after the end of the ungulates hunting season. And in some areas – and at the same time with them, but in other parts of the forest, uninteresting for boars and elks.
Although at first glance it seems that fox pens are not much different from pens on ungulates, in fact this is not at all the case. And not every farm is capable of organizing such an event, which requires certain experience and knowledge. So what’s so special about pen fox hunting?
First and foremost, as in any other hunt, is a sufficient number of shooters. And since hunting is carried out with a smooth-bore weapon and shooting is conducted at short distances, their number should be sufficient to cover the laws. As a rule, 10-15 people, but it all depends on the length of the pen.
With beaters, things are a little more complicated. If the forest is dense and cluttered up, the beaters have to move on foot, and it is advisable not only to hear, but also to see each other. Therefore, the distance between them should be minimal. Then there is confidence that the beast, raised by the noise and loud cries of the beaters, will be raised and run on the shooters. If the grounds are woods with weeds, then 3-4 beaters on snowmobiles are enough, which not only raise the beast with the noise of technology and cries, but also drive it to the line of shooters, preventing them from moving to the side. Accordingly, the length of the pens will depend on the type of land. In the first case, they will be short, and in the second – much longer.
One of the best pens, in which I was fortunate enough to participate, took place on a field overgrown with weeds.
At the first moment, when we were placed around this weed, we decided that the huntsmen simply work out the required number of pens, prescribed in the contract before the hunt (no less than six pens per day). Imagine our surprise when goofs began to leap out of the weeds in all directions, dodging shots of the bewildered hunters. Seven foxes were driven out of the weed, a length of one hundred per hundred meters.
It should be said about the knowledge of their land rangers. It is important that they understand where the animals feed, where they rest, in what places they have holes. From this depends the direction of the pens, their duration and location.
What else the productivity of pens depends on is the attendance of land by other hunters. How many times did it happen that after 2-3 empty pens it suddenly became clear that a week ago another team of hunters was already chasing foxes in these places.
There is one more factor that does not depend on the organizers, the weather. It greatly affects the activity of animals and their movement. The worst option is a blizzard and bad weather. Then the foxes hide in burrows or in other shelters and practically do not move, so they can be raised very rarely. But the frosty and clear day or the weather close to 0 ° С is very favorable for such a hunt. Animals in such weather are active, they move a lot and mouse in the fields, and on vacation they do not go to the burrows and rest under bushes or in weeds.
Masking on a driven hunt is also not the last. Foxes are small animals, so they don’t look particularly taller than the belt and, like most animals, do not have color vision. Therefore, the usual camouflage when hunting in the forest, as a rule, is enough. However, if you stand on a room in an open area in the field, a white camouflage is indispensable. In addition, the snow sticks to the clothes in it less, and the wind does not blow it. A fox sometimes comes right under his feet to a motionless hunter in white camouflage.