The Fox Hunt

In my Trainee or Forester year, I arrived with the staff for the manditory pre-camp training. The counselors-to-be were attending various orientation sessions to be brainwashed into the proper CRC approach to camping. All in all, though, it was a pleasant and relaxing experience, as noted by one counselor, who then added, "This is a great place, but it's too bad the kids will show up soon and ruin it all."

The camp management was disturbed by a red fox which had taken up residence over the winter, which repeatedly appeared at various places around the camp. It did not seem too disturbed by the presence of people, which worried us even more. If it was accustomed to people, we feared it might approach a camper, and then possibly bite. The result would have been a series of rabies shots (still a pretty fearsome experience in those days), and an all-around bad experience.

I found out about all this when I asked someone why the rifles from the riflery range had been distributed to a number of the staff, who were walking around with them. A reluctant decision had been made to shoot the fox, for the safety of the campers. This had to be done before the campers arrived, of course; after that, the guns would be put away. I told my informant that I had never personally seen the fox. He replied, "Well, there he is now!", pointing behind me. I turned around, and there indeed was the fox, not far away, watching us. But we had no rifle, and by the time we fetched one, the fox was nowhere to be seen.

Indeed, the wily fox had a habit of appearing all over the place to people without rifles handy, and never showing itself to anyone who was armed. The training period came and went, and the fox remained at large. The campers arrived, and the rifles were put back in their shed.

And the fox was never seen again. I guess the arrival of hundreds of noisy campers was too much for him, and he took off for quieter pastures.

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