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The Buntine Fox and Dog Trap
Australian designed, Australian made, multi-purpose for foxes, wild dogs, feral cats
Please phone IT'S A TRAP on 1300 487 287 for a shipping price of the big fox/dog trap to your delivery address. We require your town and postcode for the shiping quote.
- Premium quality design and build, heavy duty metal mesh, built to last
- Big enough to be serious about fox and dog trapping - gets the body and tail in before the trap door drops
- 10 kg of hot-dipped galvanized Australian One Steel
- Simple and smooth to operate
- Lockable side access door for easy access to bait basket at the far end of the trap
- Sturdy enough to withstand foxes inside the trap trying to find a weak spot to escape
- Will also trap the other feral meat eaters - wild dogs and feral cats
- Live capture - reversible if your own dog is trapped - simply let it out, no harm done, no broken bones or poison (one fox trap customer had to get her daughter out of this trap)
- Poison-free trapping - no unintended secondary kills
- Quality spot welding and galvanizing, attention to detail
- Solid sheet metal back wall to deter animals from trying to access bait at the far end of the trap
- Check traps daily to remove stressed wild animals from exposure
- Size is 1,220 x 510 x 510 mm, 10 kg weight
The European Red Fox is an introduced feral animal and is not native to Australia. It is legal to trap and shoot feral animals. It is illegal to trap them and let them go alive. There are millions of foxes in Australia. They are beyond extermination and are here to stay. Management is your area is what you can do.
After trapping the first fox, more will be back so The Buntine can be used over and over again. The fox is a very efficient tracker, hunter and killer of native Australian wildlife and livestock. A real fox trap needs to be long enough and large enough to get the fast moving fox body and tail inside the trap before the trap door drops behind it. Smaller traps for possums or cats will not trap smart, adult foxes. The trap door will come down on their back on smaller traps, they reverse out and you just educated that fox to never go near a trap again for the rest of its life.
Suggestions for trapping foxes
Keep human scent off the trap as much as possible. Smoke or spray the trap if needed - see below.
Cover the floor of the trap with sand, not soil, (soil rusts it eventually) and throw in a few nearby leaves or small twigs on top of the sand to make it look more like normal ground. The sand prevents the fox from feeling the metal mesh under its feet which is unnatural for it.
Anchor the trap firmly to level ground with a tent peg in each corner to prevent the trap from moving in the wind - movement will make a suspicious fox unlikely to ever go in. Tent pegs also anchor it to prevent the trapped fox of dog from rolling the trap and escaping. When the trap is upside down, the locking bar can drop the other way, the door is opened and the fox walks out, never to return for seconds.
When you are ready to attract a fox, lure a fox/dog/cat to the trap by dragging something rotten (sheep’s head or other smelly meat) on a rope in a large circle right around the trap from a distance and lead the continuous scent trail right into the entrance of the trap. Foxes have the best canine nose on the planet and naturally follow scent trails.
Bait the trap in the bait basket. When the fox has a go at this bait, it triggers the trap door behind and CLANG, you have this fox.
Customer feedback on what they find is a successful fox bait for the Buntine includes Kentucky Fried Chicken (the smell wafts around), same for cooked liver, raw meat, bacon, chicken necks, road-kill rabbit with the head still attached - tied to the bait basket, and according to a customer who bought this trap from us a couple of years ago and who has trapped over twentyfive foxes in it so far (he is also a hunter and buys ammo from us), feral cat is a very highly regarded food by foxes. He says they will go for feral cat before they go for chicken.
Once a fox finds live poultry, it will keep coming back until the last of the poultry is killed or taken, unless you trap or kill it. The sooner the better for the poultry, lambs and native wildlife, especially birds and small marsupials.
Chook pen trapping
Build the Buntine fox trap into the wall of the chook yard or pen. Have the open end of the trap in line with the outside wall of the pen with the body of the trap inside the chook pen.
The fox thinks it has found the easy way in to get a chook or twenty and heads in to the trap opening, no digging or no climbing needed. Use bait in the bait holder to trigger the dropping of the trap door behind the fox. The external locking bar then drops and the fox cannot get out.
Trapping in a yard or paddock - outsmarting neo-phobic foxes
Foxes (and rats) are neo-phobic – suspicious of new things. They are clever, wary survivors. Younger foxes are easier to trap, the more experienced foxes take a bit of understanding of their behaviour to trap them.
To outsmart an older, smarter, cunning fox in an open area of a yard or paddock, place the trap where you think the foxes are active. Anchor the trap to level ground with four tent pegs, lay sand on the floor so they do not feel the metal mesh of the trap underfoot, set the trap door up and tie it up with wire so that the trap door will not drop. Some people make a darkened fox trap by laying leafy branches down both sides of the cage, some people don't. As long as the darkening does not interfere with the trap mechanism. If the sand on the floor is smoothed out, you will see footprints if something has gone in.
Walk away from the trap for a few days, even up to a week. Let the suspicious fox get used to seeing the same thing in the same place to increase its familiarity and reduce its natural suspicion. Then educate the fox.
Still keeping the trap door wired up so it will not drop, place a piece of bait just inside the entrance on the floor. Let the fox have a free feed. When this free feed is taken, good. Place another piece of the same food half way inside the trap. Repeat this for a third time, placing the bait three quarters up inside the trap. The foxes confidence is now up to fully enter the trap. When this food has gone, set the trap.
Without changing the type of bait, unwire the trapdoor mechanism so the door will drop and place the bait in the bait basket. The confident fox comes back inside the trap for its usual easy feed and CLANG, you trapped it. Older foxes are smarter, warier and more experienced than younger foxes and can be harder to trap so it is worth the effort.
Know your enemy
Male foxes can take one chook or water bird one at a time for a meal then come back repetedly for more during the same night until they get the lot. Vixens with young to feed can take many chooks in a raid. Mother fox can demonstrate how to kill chooks to her young and then they practice killing on what is left. Owners can wake up to twenty or more dead chooks. Mostly foxes are nocturnal but they are brazen enough to take poultry literally from under your nose in a paddock in broad daylight. Foxes thrive around people and are often seen on verandahs and around houses, day and night, in the country and the suburbs. They will know your habits, routines and behaviour. The night that you leave the chookshed door open is the night that they are likely to raid.
Foxes can keep taking chooks/piglets/goat kids/water birds in the one raid and burying the carcasses in a stash somewhere else for a feed later on. Same applies for a paddock of newborn lambs, especially with the first born of twin lambs. While the ewe is giving birth to the second twin, the first born is defenceless and easy prey for a waiting, watching fox.
Never under-estimate the cunningness and intelligence of a fox, just understand their nature and then outsmart them. They have the best canine nose on the planet for detecting smells of other animals, including you.
Give it one to two weeks (depending on weather) after trapping the fox and its scent fading away, another fox will move in and take over the same territory. They are quite territorial and mark their boundaries with urine and scats to send a message to the other foxes to stay out of its territory. There is no shortage of foxes (or feral cats) out there. Research from a Melbourne Age article said there were 10 to 30 foxes per square kilometre in Melbourne, especially in the leafy eastern suburbs, and four foxes per square kilometre in country Victoria.This area has the distinction of having the highest number of foxes per square kilomtere than anywhere else on the planet.
Foxes know where to get a feed and where to hide in plain sight, often living within metres of people. Along rivers in cities is a favourite fox habitat, on top of large cut hedges looking down on unsuspecting pedestrians, inside compost bins, in hothouses etc. They are known to come out of the hills and follow railway lines, peel off into the suburbs during the night, have their killing spree on backyard chooks and head back before dawn.
Foxes mark their territory by urinating and depositing prominently-placed, easily-recognizable pointy-ended droppings on top of objects like rocks, other animals droppings, even on the top of a farm gate. This happened to us, it was placed right where the scent of the hand grabs the gate to open it (picture that acrobatic feat), as a highly visible warning to other animals (including property owners) to stay out of its territory.
The higher up off the ground that a fox marks their territory, the more aggressive is the signal to other competitors. Their warning scent fades in time if not regularly freshened up by the fox, or until you trap it.
An old timer in the shop confided that in his day, they used to use human droppings at the base of every second fence post around the farm to mark off their human territory to keep the wary fox at bay. Scent is a language that the fox understands.
Why get rid of human scent from the trap
If a fox smells human presence on or around the trap, especially the older, smarter foxes, they are too suspicous to go inside for the bait. Their nose is hundreds of times keener than yours. Just by standing next to the trap, you leave a fog of human scent behind when you leave.
If the trap has been handled with bare hands or if you swipe your jeans against the trap, the detergent residue scent from the washing machine is enough to put them off. If you walk through a petrol station or workshop and there a scent of is grease, petrol, paint or synthetics on the soles of your boots, if you then walk around the fox trap to set it up, they are not going in it. Scent matters to a fox. So wear clean-soled footwear for this job.
Give the trap a light spray of eucalyptus oil to mask the human scent after setting it up. Or make a small smoky fire of dried gum leaves and twigs (not on a high fire risk day), put a rod through the end of the trap and hang it over the smoke for a few minutes. This will mask the human scent. Only handle the trap with chemical-free clean gloves thereafter.
If you do not have gloves to hand in a paddock, grab a bunch of fresh gum leaves off a tree, crush them and rub them over your hands to help mask the human scent before handling the fox trap.
Major wildlife losses
Foxes do not just live on farmed animals like sheep and poultry. Along with feral cats, they consume millions of native animals, small mammals and birds, unseen, literally every day, in the Australian bush. These meat eaters are not thriving on fresh air. Australia is very good at species extinction. Introduced feral animals are a large cause of native animal decline. The native animals did not evolve to have a defence against the introduced feral predators.
What to do with a trapped fox
Be careful. Forget the cute animal photos and cartoon clichés. The trapped fox is a dangerous wild animal intent on savagely biting anything it can, especially you. If you have to move a live fox in the trap, wear solid, protective gloves and use the external handles on the trap. It will be heavy and the fox will shift its weight around. Be prepared for serious aggression. This precaution applies equally for feral cats and wild dogs that you trap. They fight to the death and will attack, even through the bars on the trap. If you get scratched by a feral cat or kitten, assume you are going to hospital as serious infection is highly likely from the putrid meat under their claws.
The best kill of a feral animal is a quick humane kill. Shooting while still trapped in the cage is the fastest and safest way. Watch out for ricochets. If you do not have a .22, ask a neighbour who does have one. Or contact your local council Ranger or the RSPCA for assistance and information, before you trap the animal. Speed is important once any animal is trapped. You don't leave trapped animals in the cage for days.
Nothing eats a dead fox. Compost is a disposal solution as long as it has not been poisoned. Recycle it by turning it into nitrogen fertilizer for the garden. Bury it soon and deep to keep out the flies and other predators.
The fox bounty is back
As of 1 October, 2011, the Victorian government is paying $10.00 per trapped/shot fox and now $100.00 per trapped/shot wild dog. Conditions apply. Ask the DPI, Department of Primary Industries, for details.
Some hunters who shoot foxes have fox traps set as well to maximize the number of foxes for bounty payment.
Please phone IT'S A TRAP on for a shipping price of the big fox/dog trap to your delivery address.