My First Harvest - Arizona Public Land Gray Fox
After several setbacks over a week and a half chasing speed-goats and muleys through the Arizona desert, we were feeling somewhat discouraged and needed a bit of a win. So, last night, Mason and I set back out for another evening of predator calling. About fifteen minutes into our first stand, a gray fox came running into approximately thirty yards where I took my shot, putting her down quickly and ethically. We retrieved her and took the time to pay our respects and clean the harvest.
This was a special moment for me, even more so than any harvest is to a passionate, ethical hunter. This fox is officially my first take of any game animal whatsoever. While small in size, she represents a monumental moment for me in my journey as a hunter.
Not everyone understands or agrees with predator hunting. However, an animal such as the gray fox has few to no natural predators and can be independent as soon as four months after birth. These predators can quickly grow out of control and endanger other wild species such as quail, grouse, pheasant and wild turkey. Fortunately, with the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, wildlife biologists work in concert with hunters to balance these populations. This way species, both predator and prey along all levels of the food chain, are ensured to thrive.
Instead of population management becoming a clinical and costly endeavor, it provides revenue generation for conservation along with an incredible experience for all those involved. It may hurt your feelings, but you can’t deny the science. Hunting, including predator hunting, is necessary to preserve our wildlife and ensure its survival for posterity.