A Solway Fox Trap set up beside a partridge release pen.
Over the past few nights, a fox has been stalking around our partridge release pen. He's been pushing in the wire and scaring the birds in his attempts to get inside, but as yet, he's only been able to kill one bird outside thepen. With the electric fence and rabbit netting all around the pen, it's unlikely that he'll be able to get in, but the future's not bright for the birds once they are released.
Having studied the way that he is moving around the pen by looking for his footprints in the wet moss, it's quite obvious that he's using some distinct tracks back and forth. A fox trap might just turn the tables on this nocturnal prowler, so we have set one up against the sitka spruce plantation where he likes to walk. It's important to cover the floor of a cage trap so that any curious fox will not be put off by having to walk on galvanised mesh to get inside. We covered the floor of the trap with moss peeled from some old stones so that the mesh is totally hidden, and baited the trap with a dead rabbit.
The trap has been set for a couple of days now, and it is quite normal that nothing has happened yet. Foxes are very cautious animals, so it may be some time before the human smell wears off and the trap starts to pull its weight. The good thing about the Solway Fox Trap is that it is side entry, making it far more versatile than many other "straight through" traps. It can be used to catch foxes on awkward corners or in places where traditional traps or snares are unsuitable.
It's now just a matter of playing the waiting game...