Over 70 foxes at the 2020 Fox Shoot!
Team numbers and participants were down this year, partly due to district sporting events (which ended up being cancelled due to the rain) and with this much welcomed rain being widespread during the day, the team working the South Kukerin area cancelled late on Saturday. Jamie Frost, one of our regular participants reported on Sunday morning that he did go out shooting with 3 foxes shot from his boundary fence, having sighted 8 altogether but couldn’t get close enough to have a shot at the other 5 lurking in the neighbour’s paddocks.
The winning team, ‘Riff Raff’ led by Ben Atkins and his fellow teammates from Wagin won $175 kindly sponsored by the Northam Wheatbelt NRM Office with funds received from the State NRM Office. The winning tally was 25 foxes and 26 rabbits with a score of 151 points.
Runners up were ‘Dead Eyed Dongo’ consisting of Shayne and Lee Smith, Malcolm Roberts and their visiting mates who shot 19 foxes and 8 rabbits. They received $100, kindly sponsored by the Northam Wheatbelt NRM office with funds received from the State NRM Office.
Mark Davidson led the Fence Road Bandits minus a couple of his usual crew and won $75 for third prize with their tally of 11 foxes and 14 rabbits. The prize money was kindly sponsored by the Northam Wheatbelt NRM office with funds received from the State NRM Office.
The food for the breakfast was sponsored by the Northam Wheatbelt NRM office with funds received from the State NRM Office and a special thank you goes out to Emily who helped set up the kitchen and feed the hungry teams. Thanks to Keith and Jill for donating the eggs.
Also, thanks to JB who carted the carcases away and Calvin for arranging for the Shire to carry out this task.
The participants took the opportunity to vote on making a change for next year. It was decided that teams will trial the concept of bringing in tails only.
A suggestion to keep track of the location of a carcase if chasing more than one fox is to drop a fluorescent marking tube near the carcase, allowing for easy detection when searching for it later. These fluorescent marking tubes can be purchased from the Narrogin Gun Shop and if you are keen to use this product, please support this business who kindly sponsor many fox shoots around the region.
The fox shoot involves many volunteers committing their time to ensure the event is well organised, including advertising, promotion, team registration, purchasing food and catering; therefore, a huge thank you to the Volunteers who supported the shoot this year. A special mention to Hayden Gossage for assisting with most of these tasks and for creating a handy excel table which made easy calculation for everyone’s tally.
The Sporting Shooters Association of Australia (WA) donates $5 for every fox and cat culled (to a capped amount) to Regional Men’s Health Initiative.
Since the support of the SSAA a total of $53,000 has been raised for Regional Men’s Health and an extra $580 can be added to the total following the shoot on Saturday night.
In 2018 in Southern WA, 3657 foxes, 215 feral cats, 1935 rabbits and 59 miscellaneous were culled under the Red Card Program, shoots can be over one or two nights.
Foxes pose a serious threat to livestock as they prey on poultry, lambs, native birds, reptiles, insects, frogs and particularly small marsupials.
The total annual cost of foxes to Australia’s environment and economy is estimated to be $28 million.
Article submitted by Claudia Hadlow, Shire of Dumbleyung Landcare Manager.