Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Fox drive helps reduce feral damage

About 100 members from the Southern Riverina Hunting Club took part in a fox drive at the weekend, killing 85 foxes and six feral cats.

June 4, 2014 3:45am

The Southern Riverina Hunting Club killed 85 foxes and six feral cats during its annual fox drive.

The Southern Riverina Hunting Club’s annual fox drive netted 85 of the pest animal at the weekend.

Six feral cats were also destroyed in the hunt.

About 100 of the club’s 350 members participated, with teams leaving from Finley and Corowa to target pest foxes between Jerilderie and Conargo.

Jim Muirhead and Mick Cleve each led a Finley group, while the Corowa team was led by Burr Lee.

Rain on Friday and Saturday did not deter the hunters, but conditions on Sunday were too wet and it had to be cancelled.

Mr Muirhead said this was the main fox hunt for the group, however hunting continues year-round to keep fox numbers down and protect native and farm animals.

‘‘The fox is a cunning animal and can cause widespread damage. Foxes destroy native animals like the stone curlew, the plains wanderer and the superb parrot – any small native animal really.

‘‘They also go for lambs, so it’s also about helping out the farmers.

‘‘New calves can also be chewed on by foxes, particularly if the cow is down and can’t defend its calf.’’

Mr Muirhead said while farmers use 1080 fox baits, there is no guarantee a fox will take it.

He also said gaps in baiting from property to property can also impact on its effectiveness.

Foxes adapt to their surroundings and can hunt day and night, he said.

Mr Muirhead said foxes are also known to dig their dens in dryland crops.

As well as trying to eradicate feral foxes, the weekend’s fox drive is also used to educate younger club members.

‘‘We want to educate youth who may be considering taking up hunting once they turn 18,’’ he said.

‘‘The drive teaches them hunting ethics and methods, including a humane way to destroy a pest animal.’’

This year’s fox drive was sponsored by several district businesses.

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