Would you consider killing a fox pest control? Does that make you a little uncomfortable and perhaps ask why would anybody want to kill such a creature? We all remember the story of Mokhairul Islam from Bangladesh who killed 83,000 rats in one year and most people would have no problem with that. After all he did get a color TV out of the deal and rats are disgusting right? Most Americans are basically animal lovers (at least way down deep) and the fox is such a beautiful animal certainly not like a rat or big hairy spider so when we hear of people killing over 90 foxes in one season it tends to upset us. It seems that in Australia the fox problem is such that citizens have taken matters into their own hands and two young cousins Ash Saunders and Brady Hayes along with mates Josh Lidgerwood and Todd Vogelzang seem to have taken the lead in eradicating the problem. They didn’t use guns but the story did not say exactly how they killed the slyest of creatures except to say they tracked them with 4 dogs. Like Mokhairul the boys received praise and reward for their pest control efforts but I wonder if the same would be true in the U.S.A.
Brady said he was surprised about the attention he and Ash had received. “We didn’t expect it, we’ve been doing it for years,” he said. “This year wasn’t even that good – it was a bit quiet.”
I only bring this up not because I’m an expert on fox control, far from it. Growing up in Iowa we ran trap lines and hunted but the elusive fox was something we rarely got. I never thought of trapping or hunting as pest control back then, it was really just a way to earn income which we were hard pressed for at the time.The only kudos’ we ever received would be when we tracked and killed wild dogs which ran free and terrorized local farms. At school most of my friends were happy to hear we killed a wild dog because they saw the story on the news and perceived them as bad but when I’d mention that we caught a beaver or raccoon their reaction would be quite different.
This year my son and I went gator hunting and got our allotment of two big boys. When I tell some customers the events of that night they seem awed by it and unfazed but others cringe at the thought of killing a wild animal that has seemingly done no harm. In Florida the population is so high with alligators that these state sponsored hunts are welcome and encouraged but they come with strict rules and limits. Birds are also an animal that can get way out of control in terms of numbers and pest control methods are sometimes the best thing for reducing populations before economic or even a near tragic event happens as with the famous river landing of U.S. Airways flight 1549. Still, people love animals and don’t want birds or foxes and even gators to be harmed because it is seen as cruel.
The one exception I find is when someone has one of these creatures in their yard or garage or birds that ruin a store front entry from their droppings. See a 6 foot gator stalking Fluffy your cat and all thoughts of letting nature be seem to go out the window. Responsible pest control goes beyond the willy nilly spray job for fleas, it also includes animal control even though I know that sounds cruel. When farmers lose livestock or homes are being invaded by squirrels bad things happen and something must be done. Bird droppings are toxic and full of disease and fox or raccoons that lose their fear of humans or are so populated that they begin to invade domestic property they must be dealt with.
I’m no fan of indiscriminate killing and for isolated incidents live trapping and release is a great way to keep everybody happy. I’m the first guy to suggest sealing an animal out but when danger to a persons life, health or property is at stake the line has been crossed and lethal quick measures should be taken.
That’s just my opinion, what’s yours? Do you ever see the need to eliminate such an animal as a fox? I’d be interested to hear what you think on the subject in the comment section below.