How to Trap Foxes
Use live trapping and relocation to “outfox” a nuisance fox. The following step-by-step instructions from Havahart® can serve as your guide.
1Choose a Fox Trap
In order to ensure a safe and secure capture, your live fox trap should be spacious and strong. The best fox trap meets the folowing criteria:
Extra Large: The size of your trap should allow enought space so an adult-sized fox can fit comfortably inside. A trap that's at least 42" long by 15" wide is best.
Durable: Wire should be 12 gauge and made of galvanized steel.
Safe: Internal trap edges must be rolled smooth to prevent a fox from injuring himself when inside.
2Determine Trap Placement
The best location for your trap is somewhere outside the den entrance.
If you're not sur how to identify a fox den, some common characteristics include:
- underground dens have two or more entrances in the form of freshly-dug holes in the earth, typically in sloped terrain
- above-ground dens usually take the form of tree hollows or brush piles
- a heaby odor that resembles ammonia
- surrounding vegetation is thick, offering plenty of cover
- a water source like a stream or lake is nearby
TIP: If you are able to locate an animal carcass outside of a den entrance, position your trap directly beside it.
3Conceal Your Trap
Foxes are very smart and will quickly aboid a suspicious trap. It's important to conceal your trap so that a fox can feel comfortable entering.
Wear gloves at all times when handling your trap and bait to keep your scent from being transferred
Sterilize your trap with boiling water if you believe human scent has already been transferred to the trap
Camouflage your trap by covering it with plenty of nearby vegitation
4Bait Your Trap
A fox must become comfortable with feeding near your trap before he will feel confident entering the trap. Tie open your trap and use a greatfox bait like fish or raw meat to slowly lure in the fox inside:
Day 1: Place your bait beside the trap and wait until the bait is eaten.
Day 2: After the fox eats the bait that has been placed outside the entrance, place more bait just inside the trap, but not beyond the trigger plate.
Day 3: Once the fox has shown signs that he's comfortable eating in the trap, carefully position your bait directly behind the trigger plate.
For more baiting tips, read How To: Fox Baits.
5Set Your Trap
Once your fox is used to eating inside the trap, you may prepare it for a catch. Make sure your trap is carefully set as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
TIP: Foxes are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during twilight. So to avoid catching a daytime critter, set your trap just before the sun sets.
Check your trap every often until you’ve caught a fox. Once a fox is trapped, it is vulnerable to dangers like hunger, overheating, and anxiety. A fox should never be neglected inside the cage for longer than necessary.
7You've Caught a Fox!
Approach the trap gently and cautiously.
Avoid contact with the fox: wear heavy gloves, hold the trap away from your body and never stick your fingers inside the cage.
Keep the fox as calm as possible: speak softly and drape a cloth over the trap.
If local laws permit, relocate your fox at least 10-20 miles away from your home in another suitable habitat with plenty of cover and a nearby water source.