The fox is one of the most problematic predatory foragers for homesteaders, gardeners and preppers alike. Their voracious appetite and taste for a variety of animals can decimate chicken and rabbit populations, and they also feast on a variety of rodents, small game and vegetables as well. Foxes are also excellent foragers, and they give raccoons a run for their money in terms of being able to find and access food. They can devastate gardens and make a mess of trash and compost piles. They can also detect poorly-protected food stockpiles with relative ease as well. Oh, and foxes are carriers for a number of diseases that can harm humans and animals alike. In a nutshell, protecting property from foxes is important now as well as on the post-SHTF homestead.
Foxes are good climbers, they can slither through narrow holes, and they also burrow. Consequently, fencing, cages and roofs are the first and best line of defense when it comes to keeping them out of gardens, pens or chicken coops. However, the bottom of fences should extend outward for about 18 inches, at a taper, that starts out around 6 inches deep. This should create a good barrier that can keep foxes from sneaking in through the bottom during the middle of the night.
Fencing involves a lot of work, but this is the easiest and most-effective way to minimize the chances that foxes will get into protected areas.
Foxes are terrified of dogs, and dogs love to terrorize and chase foxes. It’s a match made in heaven, and one dog can keep dozens of foxes at bay. However, a dog doesn’t provide 24 hour protection, so it will only work some of the time. Additionally, dogs don’t always chase every fox they see all of the time, so the level of protection a dog provides will ultimately depend on its mood at the time. Consequently, don’t fall into the trap of thinking that a dog can replace fencing or other forms of protection. Rather, think of the dog as a great way to compliment the protections you already have in place.
Predatory-scent products are designed to repel foxes by tricking them into thinking that there is a predator nearby. While people have experienced varying degrees of success after using these products, they don’t work for everyone. Consequently, take them with a grain of salt, and feel free to experiment with them. However, don’t expect miracles, and they won’t replace the need for fencing or cages at the end of the day.
Aside from fortifying your perimeter, it’s also important to remove items that may be drawing foxes onto your property. Keep garbage secure in a sturdy container with a lid and latch, and keep it on a far corner of your yard, away from the house as well as the garden when possible. Keep the property clean, and don’t allow yard waste, debris or odds-and-ends to build up that may provide shelter or a hiding place for foxes.
The more that you can do to make your property as unfriendly as possible will help to encourage them to look for food elsewhere. However, remember that foxes are wiley and opportunistic, so being vigilant, attentive and willing to adapt will also help you to gain the upper-hand with keeping them at bay.
Foxes can be a persistent problem, but the problem can be contained if you’re willing to stay on top of things. Take some time to learn more about fox behavior, hunting style and other things that can help you to tailor your approach accordingly.