It was a cold November morning just east of Blackwell Tx.. There was a light frost on the ground with a slight breeze. I was bow hunting for deer from a tree that was 30 yds. from the S bend in a dry creek. The creek bed in this area was about 10? deep and 20 yds. wide with a mixture of cedars and mesquite trees up and down the bank. A few oak trees were mixed in as well. Thick heavy under brush completed the landscape along the creek.
Since I hadn?t seen any animals I decided to get down and still hunt along the upper edge of the creek. The breeze was in my face as I crept along. On the side of the creek that I was hunting was a fairly flat CRP field that made the walking easier. As I made my way from bush to bush I was watching down in the thick cover of the creek.
I hadn?t gone but about 40 yds. when some gray and red fur caught my eye. Just out side the brush where the grass and the brush met I could barely make out a fox sitting on his haunches sunning himself. The bright warming sun made his fur glow. I slowly raised my binoculars and could see that he was facing me with his eyes closed. I was frozen. Did he see me? He didn?t act alarmed in the least. Why would he close his eyes if he?s seen me? As I stood motionless with my binoculars on him he opened his eyes and shut them again. He had not seen me. He was dozing in the warm sun. I continued to watch from about 60 yds. and his head was bobbing sideways like what my wife says I do while watching a football game after Thanksgiving dinner. When his head would bob too far he would wake up and glance around, then slowly close his eyes again.
While being fully camoed out and carrying my bow in one hand and binoculars in the other I decide to see how close I could stalk down the edge of the creek to him before he saw me. I wasn?t interested in shooting him. I just wanted to see how close I could get.
Step by step, bush by bush, I crept towards him. Two or three times he caught me out in the open when he would bob and open his eyes. I would freeze and he never knew that I was there. After 20 minutes and about 20 yds. of sneaking up on him he decided to lay down with his feet out in front of him and his head and nose up in the air. Eyes are still closed and relaxing in the suns? warmth. No doubt he had a big night of hunting.
Each step now had to be quieter and smaller. Step by step, now I was 20 yds. from him and no idea that I was there. 10 yds. from me was a 4? tall cedar that blocked his view of me. 20 minutes later I was looking down over the top of the cedar at him. He still had no idea that I was there. All of a sudden his eyes popped open and he was fixed on my eyes. I saw sheer panic in his eyes as he froze for about 5 seconds. Then as fast as his eyes popped open he was gone down into the creek. By this time my heart was about to jump out of my chest as I figured his was. As I laughed about the whole thing I told myself, what a great stalk that was. The story doesn?t end here.
I continue down the creek another 100 yds. and there he is again on the other side of the creek. Dozing in the sun as he did before. 30 yds away and oblivious to my watching him. Sitting up on his haunches bobbing his head back and forth. I was frozen with my binoculars on him when he could tell something was watching him. His eyes opened and he was staring a hole right through me when I saw that sheer panic over come him again. This time he didn?t bolt but instead sunk down and snuck off into the bushes. I could only imagine what he was thinking.
I wondered if I would see him again as I proceeded down the creek. Nope, I never saw him again. I?m sure he was thankful of that.
Didn?t get any venison that week but came away with a fond memory. I had Out Foxed the Fox.