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Discussion in 'Off Topic Chat' started by Alison, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    I should preface this by saying that we are from the city. The most *wild* thing we have seen is a drug deal at a KFC in Minneapolis. We moved to NH last year and have about 3 acres, but the rest of the development isn't build yet so there are about 20 or so acres of untouched forest around us.

    Last night the boys had gone to bed, I was watching a movie while putting away laundry (Calendar Girls) and Tim was on the computer. All of a sudden we heard this scream that sounded inhuman. I could tell it was coming from outside and Tim and I both ran to see what the problem was. He grabbed a flashlight and right in front of our front porch was a red fox and our INDOOR! cat right next to each other. :shock: Tim scared off the fox :twisted: and the cat ran away. We finally got her to come inside, but the fox just stood right across the road watching everything. I assumed that the fox was trying to eat our cat, but from doing some reading online it sounds like fox very rarely eat cats and that they are usually more afraid of them. I don't know if any of you have ever heard a fox screa, but it was enough to send shivers down my spine and get the adrenaline going! We've seen this fox a lot, and I do feel badly that we apparantly built our house in his hunting grounds. Our cat is just fine, though why a fox would be scared of a 12# fat declawed cat I don't know :wink: Don't know how she got outside, either? Why I didn't bring my camera is beyond me. Would have made an amazing shot!

    Oh, and this morning I got woken up at about 4:30 by a pack of coyotes that were howling to each other.
     
  2. malachite

    malachite Heavily Medicated For Your Protection

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    I can relate to that. I've never heard foxes scream that up close but off in the distance. They have that higher pitch screech that's kinda like a coyote but it sounds pretty creepy.

    The only up close fox story I have is rather funny. A couple of us were camping at the base of the Mogollon Rim (Payson, AZ) when we we're set upon by foxes. I heard them first, scurrying around just out of sight and wrote them off as skunks or racoons. Then I went over to the 6' tall rock that we had designated as the toilet. Right as I walked up to it, a fox was sitting right on top of this rock. Of course as soon as we saw each other he scurried off.

    For the remainder of the night I could see glimpses of them all around us just out of firelight range, but their glowing eyes were hard to miss. The first funny part was that one of the guys with us was a very well to do, uptown city boy who had never camped out further than a cabin at summer camp. We'll he was freaking out. Next thing you know he gets a glimpse of one and out comes the gun :shock: As we were trying to settle him down a bit and get the gun away from him he was going on about "lions of the forest". "You mean mountain lions?" I said. "Yeah, those.....". So I told him without trying to bust out in laughter "They're in the trees and jump down on you". Well, the gun was easier to get away from him then as he was frantically pointing it up into the trees while fishing through his bag for his flashlight like woman being chased in a cheezy horror flick, trying to get her keys out of her purse. So now unarmed with nothing but a flashlight he was able to get a good look at these little dogs and felt better knowing that all they wanted was to go tearing through our food.

    We were up for a few more hours, trying to determine just how many there were. Being as drunk as were made counting pairs of glowing eyes pretty impossible so we sacked out. I left out the remains of dinner for them hoping to make cleaning everything in the morning a lot easier. Left a pot some nasty beef stew and some chicken pasta and put everything else away.

    I was rudely awakened a few hours later by some freaky, primal scream, and other noises mixed in. So I upzip the tent a few inches to take a look. The log that wouldn't burn all night in the fire had decided to finally catch so the fire was up and going again. Not 5 feet away from the fire was mom fox, playing with 2 little ones. Just laying there, biting and shoving them as they jumped on top of her while making all the noises that puppies do. Scattered around the campsite was 5 more foxes. One on top of the little fold out table near my truck and one underneath with half it's body burried into a paper grocery bag. I watched em' for a bit, stayed quiet, and they never noticed me.

    Come morning the foxes were gone and the campsite definitely looked visited. The beef stew and chicken pasta were untouched. Lots of footprints right in front of them as every fox must have checked it out, but decided otherwise. These foxes were smart, they knew what they were after. When we were putting everything away before bed, one of the guys with us figured his goody bag was safe enough in the back of my truck. Granted the tailgate was down but it's pretty amazing that they jumped all the way up there. 35" tires and a 3" inch lift put that thing pretty high for a small dog to be pushing grocery bags out of. What was in the bag that they were after? One jumbo sized bag of Chips A'Hoy Chocolate Chip Cookies, one bag sour cream and onion potato chips, and one bag of Fig Newtons. They left us the wrappers and one shredded grocery bag.

    We only went camping with snot nosed Richie Rich one more time as the next trip the gun did go off (but that's another story). But even today, more than 10 years later, I think about that night everytime I go camping. If I'm with one of the friends that was there, we always mention it.

    So yeah, how 'bout them foxes :wink:
     
  3. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Foxes will definitely eat cats and consider them a delicacy.
    Back in the UK I knew several gamekeepers at a local estate and they would use dead cats as bait for fox traps.
     
  4. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    Do they hunt and kill cats or just feast on them if they are already dead? I can't imagine that this fox would be screaming if it was hunting, it would scare off the food :)
     
  5. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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  6. mrsid99

    mrsid99 TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Are you certain it was the fox making the noise and not your cat? :wink:
    BTW, coyotes like cat du jour as well!
     
  7. malachite

    malachite Heavily Medicated For Your Protection

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    Small dogs and cats are number one on the list for coyote fine dining in the northern reaches of Phoenix and Scottsdale. The coyotes only rank number two however for being responsible for small pet disappearances. Great Horned Owls get top honors for that.
     
  8. Alison

    Alison Swiss Army Friend Supporting Member

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    At first we thought it was the cat, but we can tell it was the fox because we saw it, and I also have heard my cat scream, doesn't sound the same. I found some audio clips of a fox screaming on a web search that sounded just like what we heard, it's not the same as the coyotes that we hear.
     
  9. graigdavis

    graigdavis TPF Noob!

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    We have foxes in Ohio, but they are rare, they stay hidden pretty well. Although I was camping once and the sun was just peeking up. I was woken up by this horrid snort-whine sound. I thought predator was there to get us. I look up and about 30 yards away were a couple deer. They were stomping their hoofs and snorting trying to get a scent.

    I have seen a lot of deer, and I even hunt deer. But I have never heard a deer make that sound before.
     

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