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Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: mouth of the Susquehanna
dead red foxes
I know that we trappers tend to be the first to notice when things just aren't right out in the nature we go into. I also have some eyes and noses to watch when I can't. Buddy from one of my trapping locations called me today to tell me he found a dead red fox a short ways behind his house in the woods. Keep in mind he called a coyote into right behind his house and shot it nearly 2 years ago, and the other coyotes have continued to hang around the area since. There is also a bobcat that has been around.
He says it was a male, no mange he could see, and something had eaten the guts and rib cage out of it.
About feb 1 or so I found a dead xl size red in some woods right in back of my parent's place where I live. I assume it was a male due to the size. The fur was beautiful, and it really upset me to see this waste. Something had eaten the guts out of it.
Some years back another guy I know caught a grey fox not too far just over in PA, and something had killed it and eaten the chest and guts out of it. There were signs of a coyote found after season that same year, and a coyote was shot/killed there the next deer season.
What I'm getting at is- is this the work of coyotes in all 3 cases? Do they like to eat the guts out of foxes? I can't think of how there could be disease killing the 2 reds recently, it wasn't mange, and there just aren't enough reds to be distemper or something. Disease tends to always rage through when the species is very overpopulated. The year that foxes were all over the place, they were being hit on roads at a high #, almost like possums LOL. I'd think these may have been sick with rabies, parvo, distemper and just got stupid and slow, because I have seen foxes run across a road and they are like lightening. Raccoons can run, but not as fast as foxes, and possums toodle, so that's why you see more of them hit on roads. Deer hesitate or try to turn around in panic, causing hits. Foxes just dart- zoom-gone. But if a fox is sickly, then they slow down to raccoon speed or toodle like a possum.
So, for those who have experienced the first mass wave of coyotes into red country, did you find dead foxes in the woods that were not mangey or obviously shot and left? What do the coyotes do to the trapped foxes they kill- are any eaten in any way?