How long is a piece of string?

Our reader doesn’t say whether he intends to shoot foxes on foot, from a Quad or Land Rover or by any other means, so I will have to generalise.

My view is that a single-shot rifle such as the Ruger No.1 is a sensible choice because it is very easy to load/unload/make safe even when poking it out of a vehicle window.

However, if you prefer a bolt or lever-action rifle it really doesn’t matter provided you learn to handle it safely and accurately and, just as important, be seen to be safe by anyone else who may be present.

Cost can be anything you like.

Second-hand rifles are readily available and when I last spoke to DJ Litt’s of Newport (01633 250 025) they had an excellent Ruger No.1 in .223 available second-hand at a tempting price.

The new rifle market starts from about £500 up to whatever one is prepared to pay.

Any modern rifle is likely to be plenty accurate but the most important thing is to get a good telescopic sight and a set of quality mounts. When shooting small targets, particularly at night, you really mustn’t spoil the ship for a ha’porth of tar.

Get the very best ‘scope and mounts that your budget will stand.

Cartridge and calibre are equally a personal choice. Cost of ammo is not really a consideration unless you intend to fire thousands of rounds per annum.

Any accurate rifle chambered for .17 Remington (the centrefire cartridge, not the Hornady Magnum Rimfire), .22 Hornet, .222, .223, or .22-250 and loaded with suitable bullets, will kill foxes cleanly at any sensible range.

As always, the secret is to get in close and make sure of the shot. A missed fox will be very much wiser and very much more difficult to approach the next time you see him.