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Minimum calibre for fox control


243ack

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What do members of this forum consider to be suitable calibres for sensible range fox control?. I'll tell you why I ask when I've had (hopefully) a few replies.

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Any centerfire from .17 up.

Shot a lot of foxes over the years with a .17Rem got the job done.

Personally I don't think as a general rifle the rimfires are reliably up to task.

Cheers

Dave

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my opinion is 223 minimum for an everyday fox rifle, 22-250 i would say is spot on the money to be honest! Iv shot alot of foxes up to 100 yards with 17HMR of which iv never had a runner, this was before i had a centerfire. but for a doo all fox rifle id still give it to the 22-250, plenty off go to 300 (which in the lamp is a very long shot) great bullet head or factry ammo selection and all rifle manufacturers make rifles in this caliber!

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Depends what you mean by "sensible range" - people have all sorts of ideas about this, some logical, some batty. I've shot foxes with .22 rimfire (a cub at twenty yards), 22-250 out to 300 yards, and other .22 centrefires at all distances in between. I know folk who've shot loads using Hornet, others who go lamping with a lever-action in .357 Mag... Whatever seems appropriate to the ground, the distance, day or night - I don't like to be too prescriptive about these things, though some people get very adamant about what is the "right" calibre for zapping Charlie...

TonyH

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Depends on what range you say is sensible? :D

Fox destruction has been granted with the HMR (varies from force to force) but as we all know this is highly affected by the wind as are some of its larger cousins (c/f calibres) dependant on the pill used...

 

So, IMHO - its got to be a centrefire .17 rem BUT, as WE all know the HMR seems to be the "L" plate for foxing these days

 

It would be of more interest to me to identify what calibres are being used and what has taken out the greatest numbers....a league table of sorts..?

 

Looking back - the .22 rimfire must have (and perhaps still does) accounted for more fox's than any other calibre in the world.

 

I use a .223 (55 grain nosler bt) and .243 (70 grain nos bt) for my foxing to quite dramatic effect

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In my opinion the sensible choice for the fox controller is the centerfire, and all calibers have their limitations. After saying that, i have shot many a fox (cubs and adults) out to 50 yds with the .22 lr and have seen the 17 hmr drop foxes with out fuss out to 120 yds. I guess it depends on where and how you shoot foxes. The 12 and 10 gauge shot gun can't be beaten for short range work in my book, though to noisy and dangerous to use in built up areas (which is why i say where and how you shoot your foxes). I think you need to tell us why you have ask the question, giving us the chance to answer your question more accurately.

Jay.

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In my opinion the sensible choice for the fox controller is the centerfire, and all calibers have their limitations. After saying that, i have shot many a fox (cubs and adults) out to 50 yds and have see the 17 hmr drop foxes with out fuss out to 120 yds. I guess it depends on where and how you shoot foxes. The 12 and 10 gauge shot gun can't be beaten for short range work in my book, though to noisy and dangerous to use in built up areas (which is why i say where and how you shoot your foxes). I think you need to tell us why you have ask the question, giving us the chance to answer your question more accurately.

Jay.

 

I've had a 'disagreement' with someone as to the suitability of HMR for fox at 'sensible' range with 'correct bullet placement'. I believe, through experience, that it is suitable up to 100yds and well competent. I'm heartily pleased that the replies up to now have been reasoned and sensible.

I agree with an above poster that probably more foxes have been accounted for with a .22LR and shotguns than any other calibres.

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Guest Scotland Rifles

Well i have taken loads with the 17hmr,and never had to take a second shot with any of them,

 

but i have moved on to a centre fire for my foxing now, and thats where i will be staying.

 

I use a .20tactical and it dumps all its energy in the target, and since i have moved up to this calibre i have not used the 17hmr on a fox since,

 

i will take a fox with the 17hmr if it pops up when rabbiting etc, but i will stick to my .20tac for now,

 

everyone seems to think that the 22,250 is the be all and end all of foxing rifles,

 

well i can tell you its not anymore :D.

 

bob.

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I shot quite a few foxes with a HMR, and a good proportion were runners. I found the boiler room shot to be very unreliable, even at close range. The longest one i shot was around 120 yards. I personally think its unsuitable, and inhumane.

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If youre going to shoot a fox with a HMR then in all honesty it has to be a head shot. I've shot a load with this little gun but never taken a engine room shot, I dont want any runners.

 

Mark

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I would say that bullet placement is the answer to what ever size calibre your using.

As one of the guys has said many have been done with a .22RF

I would use an air rifle if the task lends its self to using it ,but everything would have to be right before I would attempt the shot.

Many fox shooters go for the biggest part of the fox that fills their scope and I have seen it many times when I have been out shooting with guys, dont get me wrong I have had runners after they have been hit ,but thank god not more than 20 in over 3000 foxes and all were either dead by the time I got to them or on their last breath.

As for my own advice for a minimium calibre ,anything that is centre fire from a Hornet upwards.

HMR,s have their place but inconsistantcy in ammo dose not make them the most accurate rifle for fox control in my eyes,

As I say this is just my penny,s worth

cheers Andy

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I shot quite a few foxes with a HMR, and a good proportion were runners. I found the boiler room shot to be very unreliable, even at close range. The longest one i shot was around 120 yards. I personally think its unsuitable, and inhumane.

 

This mirrors my experience of the 17 HMR perfectly. I had a fox sit up 5 minutes after I shot it in the side of the head with one at 30 or 40 yards. Just awful. I no longer own a HMR, wouldn't have another as a gift and wouldn't shoot another fox with a HMR even if it was in a snare at my feet!

 

I've killed dozens with a .22 rimfire with close range headshots, dozens more with 17 Remington. It's just a matter of choosing the correct rifle for the circumstances in which you shoot your quarry.

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Thanks for input folks. Reasoned and sensible - a breath of fresh air!.

Personally, I only use HMR if I've got nothing else in the truck, but have had none of the horror stories reported by some. If I set out after fox, its the Sako 22-250 with Swaro atop - or Remmy 22-250 with N550.

Many thanks again to all posters.

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On my recent renewal I asked for a .20 cal, not sure which one yet to get (.204 or a .20 practical).

The FEO asked why I wanted one and I said it fitted in nicely between my .22 rf and my .243 and was predominantly for fox.

In his opinion that was a good reason and he also commented without asking, that he thought the .22 rf was an unsuitable calibre for such purpose.

 

I shot a .17hmr a few years back when I had authority to purchase on my ticket and the wind drift put me off. At 150 yds a mild wind was pushing my .308 a couple of inches or so on paper. At the same everything, fire position etc the .17hmr was drifting the full width of the A4 paper target. Basically aim on the left edge and just get it on the paper at the right edge.

 

I decided out in the field this performance was not to my liking and so varied the authority for something else.

 

I am sure others may have had good results with the hmr but it was not for me. Any of the centrefires would be my answer.

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Adding fuel to this fire, on a particular pig farm near a built up area (pity the residents at feeding time !!!) with three safe and designated backstops and the need for an accurate and quiet calibre we cleared 157 foxes in 7 months, where the vixens were venturing into the arcs to take piglets from the litter. The calibre - .17HMR 20 grain. Ranges 40 - 100 yards. Head shots everytime. Runners - none.

 

Just my experience and preference on this specfic occasion.

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Head shots are usually fatel unless you blow a jaw off. Generally I only take head shots between the eyes and then only when its not to far.

 

Minimum caliber for fox at sensible ranges was asked, my vote is the centerfire Hornet case. It matters not if it is 17AH. 20 or 22.

 

A

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I'm not a fan of the HMR for Fox. This arguement will rage on forever but I just don't like it! I had a lot of runners with my HMR when I had it. I'm not a range pusher either. In my view you either need more bullet weight or more velocity. If they're close then try it, but even then it's far from ideal. Just as .17Rem stated, even really close ones run off sometimes!

 

I moved up to .22 Hornet and it was great. Then I went to .17AH and that's great too. In my opinion even the .22lr is better for Fox than the HMR, just because it carries more weight.

 

You'll find that many who are pro or anti HMR for Fox have never even used one. That's the trouble with forums! They read someone elses story and then preach it. I've shot Fox with .22lr, .17hmr, .22H, .17AH, .223, .243 and 6.5x55. Out of all of them the HMR would be my last choice if I could pick any one. First choice would depend on the range and situation, but generally the Hornets are plenty unless you're pushing the range past 200 yards.

 

Swap your HMR for a Hornet. It's good for head shot bunnies, performs just like a HMR but hits a bit harder and is cheap to load for.... Now I've said it and my tin hat is on, but that is my opinion!

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Hi All,

 

My experience with the .17HMR, it is very useable on foxes but a great deal of self restraint is required and you have to choose your shots very carefully as there is less margin for error.

 

Head shots seem to be the vogue but not something I'm too happy with due to the possibility of jawing. Normally I would take a low head / neck shot but I've had some undesireable results with the HMR with these. Personally I go for the heart / lungs. I think the mistake people may be making with this shot is hitting the meat of the shoulder and the HMR just doesn't have enough go. Managed to clean one up with the .223 for a friend that he had shot a few nights previous with his HMR. The killing shot was the .223 through the neck but there was also his healing HMR impact low on the shoulder. He was understandably very pleased.

 

With sensible ranges and sensible shot placement and indeed choice (you don't have to 'have at' everything that crosses your path) it's a useable tool, but there are better calibres.

 

 

Cheers

 

 

 

 

 

Clive

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An adult fox is of sufficient size that even a C/F rifle shot not quite in the boiler room will not be instantly fatal.

When going after charlie it is our duty to achieve a clean instant humane kill and as such not only is shot placement important but also suitable C/F calibre.

 

Ian.

 

 

I'll have to be careful what I say here!. As a 'professional' gamekeeper (i.e: get paid for it - no reflection on competency!!), I find it difficult to rationalise why we have a 'duty' to some animals and not others. Not many of us would bat an eyelid at setting poison for mice or rats. Some may baulk at poisoning squirrels - but, if done correctly, is legal; thus condemning then to a less than painless death. If you have ever seen the results of a fox (or mink) in a pheasant pen, I wonder if the morals would still be as lofty?.

So my dilemma is this: where and how do we draw the line at which animal is it OK morally to sentence to a slow and painful death, and which animal must we exercise a 'duty' to kill 'instantly'?. I am talking ethics here - not necessarily Law. (The link to the original thread question is one of fatally wounding, as opposed to instant kill).

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  • 2 weeks later...

For me thats a simple question. There is no animal alive that i would give a slow and painful death to. Nothing deserves to suffer whether its eating a pen full of pheasants or a coop full of chickens, or a grain store full of grain. Its doing what it is biologically programmed to do.....eat to survive. It doesn't understand our emotions at seeing whats left.

What sets us apart from the animal is our ability to mete out a civilised end to a creature, if we have to.

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For me thats a simple question. There is no animal alive that i would give a slow and painful death to. Nothing deserves to suffer whether its eating a pen full of pheasants or a coop full of chickens, or a grain store full of grain. Its doing what it is biologically programmed to do.....eat to survive. It doesn't understand our emotions at seeing whats left.

What sets us apart from the animal is our ability to mete out a civilised end to a creature, if we have to.

 

 

I agree with Baldie 100%. It doesn't matter what the law says, everything deserves to be given a clean and pain free death. To me poisoning a Mouse is as bad as shooting a Deer in the ass. It's cruel.

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