All seemed well for the foxes of the neighborhood, until September hit — and within the span of a week, two fox pups were dead, both victims of traffic. We didn't see any foxes after that, but we did find evidence of their habits; in addition, we heard more about the elusive red foxes that lived down the street. When I put what remained of the doe out at the end of November, I hoped to provide the foxes — both red and gray — with good meat during what was already shaping up to be a ridiculously cold winter.
About a week or so ago, Steph and I looked outside and realized that everything but the deer's head was gone: the spinal column, the ribs, the pelvis — they had been stolen in the night, no doubt by the larger, stronger red foxes. It was incredible! I wondered where the bones would end up, and hoped their final resting place wouldn't be on someone's front lawn. The next morning, the doe's head was gone: the rope tied around her neck had been chewed through.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, and our neighborhood foxes — enduring what's been the coldest, snowiest winter in decades — were hungry. They still are.
A few days ago, I pulled a dead cottontail out of our freezer. It had been shot sometime in the autumn and given to us — and I figured that the foxes would rather like it if I left it out for them. Before I skinned the rabbit, I took a couple photos of it hanging.