My pump action has a custom paint job, which helps blend it in to the surroundings and the 3.5in chamber gives me the possibilities of a range of ammunition. The other advantage to it is the Kick’s High Flyer aftermarket choke in the end of the barrel, which produces a better pattern, especially with steel shot.
When foxing I generally use Gamebore 3.5in Mammoths or Remington 3.5in Nitro. If shooting with lead mini mags or anything from 35g fives and bigger, really. Again, this is depending on the distance. I have used home loaded 3.5in 66g BB’s before. These shells, combined with the Kicks full choke, have plenty of stopping power at a fair distance for a shotgun. When you shoot, aim for the vitals – head or chest. Killable range is never more then 40 yards, but the closer the better. I wouldn’t take a risky shot in case it got away. When shooting a fox on the move, placement depends on the speed and distance. Shoot in front like any moving target with a shotgun, but if it’s only walking keep the swing and aim about at it.
Fox shooting with a shotgun
As well as being a primary tool when foxing on my own, I will often carry my pump as a secondary gun when lamping with the rifle. It’s amazing just how close some foxes can get when lamping, either through the use of squeaking or simply being disturbed at close range. I always try to carry my shotgun on my back with the lamp clipped to it so that I can quickly cycle a round into the chamber and take a shot if needed. We normally go out a couple of hours or so before dark and sit out until the light fades or lamp into the night if watching over holes. Recently, I sat out from 8.30pm til 6am!
As always, it was a very quick finish to a long game of cat and mouse. One thing for sure is that the shotgun got the job done and it would have been almost impossible to take that shot with a rifle. Despite using the rifle a lot I always weigh up the situation and take the shotgun if I think it will give me the upper hand.