The Sublette County Journal
Volume 4, Number 21 - 1/20/00
brought to you online by Pinedale Online
The catching of the breeding stock proved real interesting and some pretty wild snowmachine rides were involved. To catch a fox without running over them and hunting them we would have to run about 4 or 5 miles before he is tired enough to grab him safely. The fox would finally get tired enough so we could run right along side and grab him first by the end of the tail and then quickly by the fur right behind the head. With a buddy along to help, you could get a small muzzle on the fox and after about twenty tries, could thread him into a gunny sack with his head just sticking out so he could breathe good, and tie a drawstring around his neck and the sack.
I had a rack on the back of the snowmachine to haul the fox out and two would fit on nicely. This was in February and the fox would be paired up and we could leave one sitting in our snowtrail, in the sack, and he would be waiting for us when we came back by after catching the second one.
If the snow was too mean and we were having trouble moving, I could put one fox across the seat in front of me to take a little weight off the back. The fox were always crawling with fleas and I would hurry back to the pickup as soon as possible to keep the fleas from getting all over me. When we got them home we would spray them real good with black label RAID , as that was the only kind of stuff that would kill the fleas. We would put the fox in a plastic sack with just his head poking out and de-flea him with the RAID. We would also squirt some of the RAID on the fox's head being careful not to get it into his eyes or nose. A shot of Ivermectin would take care of any fleas the RAID missed. It gets into the bloodstream and kills the fleas while they are eating on the fox's blood.
We kept in close contact with the Hobb's Fur Farm of Franklin, Idaho, which was at that time the largest Silver Fox farm in the western United States. Mike Hobbs was very helpful in all aspects of the operating of raising the fox, including telling us how to build the breeding cages, nest boxes, water system, etc. Our white belly mountain coyotes were much sought after fur at that time and Mike wanted us to catch him some good coyote breeding stock. After clearing it with the game warden, fining out it was legal to capture any predator and the animal could be transported across the state line to Idaho, we decided to give it a try. We wound up catching Mike 16 live coyotes to trade for three pairs of Silver Fox. Catching the coyotes proved to be quite an undertaking - it would take a while to tell of this crazy adventure.
Bucky's Stories are sponsored by Walker's Agri-Service in Pinedale
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