Tracking the elusive fox

Every now and then I catch a fleeting glimpse of the red fox, but the animal always seems to be on the move — fast.  After the last snowfall, I found what I think are fox footprints crossing and mingling with the deer tracks.  There are plenty of dogs (and their humans) walking about in the wetland part of the backyard, but their tracks are pretty far from these I found on the steepest part of the hillside.

I forgot to put my lens cap down for size comparison, but the footprint was about 1 1/2 inches across.

I forgot to put my lens cap down for size comparison, but the footprint was about 1 1/2 inches across.

Fox footprints are rather distinctive (from dog) in that the hind pad of the fox foot is very thin and somewhat crescent shaped, while it is thicker and pyramid-shaped in the dog, coyote, and wolf.

I followed the tracks up to the top of the hill where there was a large pile of brush and what looked like fresh dirt out in front.

deer tracks curve off to the lower left of the photo; fox tracts curve upward toward the brush pile.

Deer tracks curve off to the lower left of the photo; fox tracks curve upward toward the brush pile.

I didn’t want to disturb this site, if this is, in fact, the den, but I might put the game camera up near here.

This looks like what a fox den is supposed to look like,  and the ground around the supposed den is thick with fox footprints.

This looks like what a fox den is supposed to look like, and the ground around the supposed den is thick with fox footprints.

I put out some bait (hot dog) along the side of the trail, in the hope that I might “train” the fox to a particular area where I’ll put up the game camera.

Yum...hot dog on a stick.

Yum…hot dog on a stick.

3 thoughts on “Tracking the elusive fox

  1. That would be exciting if it turns out to be a fox den. It sure looks like one. They also like high areas with good drainage near a pond or water source so it looks like you have scored pegdirt!

  2. Pingback: Fox feast | Back Yard Biology

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