After having snared for just less than a year on the Chayne, I need to refine my technique. Foxes use the land very sporadically, and they always seem to be passing through more than occupying set territories. Finding frequently used runs out in the open is a nightmare because the hill is a maze of different tracks and paths, so it’s time to change my tactics. By building a midden, I can draw in foxes that are passing through and force them to use short paths which will be safe from non target species. Snaring in a concentrated space will not only make the snares much easier to check, but it should improve my success rate.
Choosing a spot in a quiet and secluded corner of the farm, I’ve used a strimmer to carve tracks through the rushes in a “X” shape, and I now need to build a fence around the little space to restrict access to just four points. It is going to be quite a job to get everything set up, but I plan to have this midden working by January, when breeding foxes are moving around much more and they will be hungry enough to home in on any smelly bait.
Snares are totally vital to my work on the Chayne, and I dread to think what would happen if they are banned. Thanks to some high profile publicity from animal rights activists, snares have never been more at risk, but from my perspective, a ban on snares could well be a death sentence for all kinds of moorland bird species.