The gray fox is one of two fox species we have here in Massachusetts. A lot of people think it’s rare, because they don’t see them as often as they see the red fox. But that probably has more to do with the nature of the two beasts, the red being bold and the gray more secretive around people. In any case, I was thrilled to capture some nice photos of this gray fox on my roadkill baited trail camera.
If you get a good look, it’s easy to distinguish between the two species. The red fox has black feet and lower legs, and a white tipped tail, as you can see here. The gray fox, on the other hand, has pale feet and legs, and a black tipped tail. The two foxes are about the same size (around 7-14 lbs), but the red fox has a slender build, while the gray fox is a little shorter and stockier.
Gray foxes thrive at edge habitat, where field meets forest, especially if the forest is young and brushy. It preys on cottontails and other small mammals which also thrive in edges. This is exactly the habitat in which we placed the road killed deer used for bait at this camera trap. I used a Moultrie M80 Moultrie Game Spy M80-XT Infrared Flash CameraAs you can see it takes some nice photos, even at night. I also use these 2 cameras with excellent results:
Moultrie M-990i No Glow Game Camera
Moultrie M-880 Low Glow Game Camera
After we set the deer and camera in pace, a storm or two covered the deer with more than a foot of snow. The gray fox was the first to sniff it out. I was amazed that anything could smell a frozen body buried under that much snow.
The fox came for 4 consecutive nights, attempting to dig, but the hard crust over deep snow was too much. Maybe the fox gave up, because it hasn’t visited since March 5th, even though a bobcat finally opened the carcass. But that’s a future post. Will the fox return? The camera and most of the deer are still there, so stay tuned.
Interested in setting up your own camera trap? Check out my post How to Set up a Camera Trap
Questions? Comments? I love ’em, so go ahead and make my day.
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