The Red and Gray Fox The Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes) and the Gray Fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) both exist as members of the canine family. The red foxes native range includes the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, North America and Eurasia. The less prolific gray foxes range extends throughout the southern half of North America and into northern parts of South America. Gray foxes are special creatures as no other canine’s range spans both North and South America.
Red foxes possess the innate ability to inhabit and thrive on the edging of urban areas. This trait, allows red foxes to prosper over the less adaptable gray foxes in more “civilized” habitats. Unlike red foxes, gray foxes have the unique ability to climb trees to escape from predators or search for food. This trait is extremely unusual, as grays are the only American canine capable of climbing trees.
Crepuscular creatures, both red and gray foxes prefer to hunt during dusk and dawn. Red and gray foxes both have seasonally varied diets, gaining nourishment from a wide assortment of plant and animal matter including rabbits, mice, garbage, fruit, berries and insects.
Red and gray foxes practice monogamy, both tending to choose a singular mate for life, unless that mate is killed. Red and gray foxes mate in the early spring, with females (vixen) typically birthing litters of between 4-8 pups in late April or early May. Pups of red and grays stay with parents for up to 6-7 months before venturing forth to find their own territories. In captivity, red foxes have been known to live as long as 15 years but in the wild they typically do not survive past 5 years. Gray foxes tend toward having slightly longer life spans with some having survived to 20 years in captivity.
Wildlife Quiz Questions:
1. What is the native range of the red fox?
2. What is the native range of the gray fox?
3. What is special about the native range of the gray fox?
4. What special ability do gray foxes posses?
5. What is the diet of the red and gray fox?
6. Both red and gray foxes prefer to hunt during dusk and dawn, what category of creature does this make them?
7. How long to red foxes live?
8. How long do gray foxes live?
Wildlife Quiz Answers:
1. The native range of the red fox includes the entire Northern Hemisphere from the Arctic Circle to North Africa, North America and Eurasia.
2. The native range of the gray fox extends throughout the southern half of North America and into northern parts of South America.
3. Gray foxes are special creatures as no other canine’s range spans both North and South America.
4. Gray foxes are the only American canine capable of climbing trees.
5. Both red and gray foxes gain nourishment from a wide assortment of plant and animal matter including rabbits, mice, garbage, fruit, berries and insects.
6. Creatures that hunt during dusk and dawn, are categorized as crepuscular.
7. In captivity, red foxes have been known to live as long as 15 years but in the wild they typically do not survive past 5 years.
8. Gray foxes tend toward having slightly longer life spans than red foxes with some having survived to 20 years in captivity.
Wednesday, April 20, 2016
Wednesday, April 13, 2016
After years of fishing with lead core line, Luhr-Jensen spoons and down riggers, I have recently begun employing a different tactic when chasing togue into deep waters. I enjoy success through simplification by employing the 3-way swivel technique. This method is comprised tying two 3-foot pieces of line to a three-way swivel and attaching a 1 or 2 ounce weight on one line and a small lure on the end of the other. The rig is attached to the rod and reel by a 10-12 pound braided line. The braided line is preferred over monofilament, as braided creates less drag and doesn’t stretch when a quick hook set is required. This straightforward set-up is capable of deploying lures or bait down to depths of 60 feet. While most anglers will be fishing such classics as the Swedish Pimple and DB Smelt, I have also had great luck with the Sutton Silver Spoon and Classic Silver Vibrax Blue Fox Spinner. Also, don’t be afraid to go small when chasing big togue, as smaller lures can be extremely effective.
East Grand Lake (DeLorme’s The Maine Atlas and Gazetteer (MAG), Map 45, A-4) and West Grand Lake (Map 35, B-3, B-4) both hold excellent populations of healthy togue. Anglers looking to explore these two lakes would be well served to explore trolling around the drop offs that exist around Norway Point and Five Islands on East Grand Lake and Hardwood Island and the western shore of Whitney Cove on West Grand Lake.
Take a Kid Turkey Hunting
Youths, under 10 will need to use a bow and arrow, crossbow or 20 gauge shotgun or greater, as Maine law prohibits the use of .410s to hunt turkeys. For some small framed hunters, the 20 gauge can pack a punch, so make sure to lessen the chance of injury or accidents by practicing shooting, weeks ahead of the opener. Recoil absorbing autoloaders, 2 ¾ inch loads and ample recoil pads can help to ensure youth do not develop bad flinching habits from the start.
When attempting to locate turkeys Down East, it pays to slowly walk or drive along logging roads and snowmobile/ATV paths. This method of “running and gunning”, is easier on little legs and allows turkey hunters to be mobile and more apt to locate early morning gobblers. While prime turkey hunting locations exist throughout Washington County, a fun and exciting hunt can be had by starting in Northfield (Map 26, B-2) and driving the logging roads into Smith Landing, the beautiful Great Falls (Map 26, B-2) and continuing south following the Machias River into Whitneyville. For coastal hunters I suggest exploring the 649-acre Jonesboro WMA (Map 26, C-2).