Types of Foxes in CT (& What To Do if You See a Fox)
It’s not uncommon to see a fox in Connecticut. Foxes can be found throughout the entire state in large numbers. But, are these animals a danger to people and pets? Let’s take a closer look.
This article will cover everything you need to know about foxes in CT, including the types of foxes, what to do if you see one, and how to deter them from your yard. I’ll also cover the rules of the fox hunting season in Connecticut.
Red Fox in Connecticut
The red fox is the most common species of fox found in Connecticut. You can easily spot a red fox from its reddish fur, white belly, bushy tail, black legs, and long muzzle.
Foxes aren’t large animals, as they usually weigh between 8 and 15 pounds, and measure about 40 inches long from nose to tail.
They are active both day and night, and often inhabit suburban areas that have both wooded areas and fields. The red fox eats both plants and small animals, with their diet consisting mostly of rodents like rats, mice, woodchucks, squirrels, rabbits, birds, frogs, and insects.
There used to be several species of red fox in CT, but today there is only one. The eastern American red fox was originally native to CT but has interbred with the European red fox after it was brought over to the United States in the 1700s. All red foxes found in Connecticut today are considered hybrids.
Gray Fox in Connecticut
Aside from the red fox, the gray fox is the other species of fox in Connecticut. The gray fox is often confused with the red fox because of the red fur on its neck and ears. However, it’s clearly distinguished by the salt-and-pepper-colored fur on its back.
The gray fox is a bit shorter than the red fox, but it’s still roughly the same length and weight. Gray foxes are also more reclusive, so you won’t see as many out in the wild. The species is generally only active at night, and they’re able to climb trees.
Gray foxes prefer a more wooded habit, so it’s uncommon to see them near an established residential area. If you’re having fox problems, it’s typically the red fox that you’re dealing with.
Connecticut’s Fox Problem
Although healthy foxes are not a threat to humans, they can attack pets and livestock. Foxes can also rummage through garbage cans and create dens under your outdoor deck. For this reason, many Connecticut residents have identified foxes as a nuisance.
Foxes can also carry contagious diseases, like distemper, mange, and rabies. So, let’s look at some of the ways to deter foxes from making a home in your backyard.
What to do if you see a Fox in CT?
There are a couple of ways to deter a Connecticut fox. Here are some things you can do to keep your pets safe, and foxes off your property.
- Keep cats and small dogs indoors at night.
- Do not feed a fox.
- Fill holes under your deck and shed.
- Scare foxes away every time you see one with loud noises or bright lights. Spraying water at them can work as well (but be careful since foxes have sharp claws).
- Make sure livestock (like chickens) are completely fenced in.
If you see a fox in your yard, it’s important that you scare it away. Foxes can become aggressive once they get used to humans, especially if you give them food. Foxes usually have more than one den, so they will quickly leave if you scare them.
A fox will only set up a den for its breeding season (January through March), so make sure you remove potential den sites before then. Even if you have a fence around your yard, a fox can still climb over or dig under an improperly constructed fence.
Foxes are generally solitary creatures, so you won’t have to deal with a pack of them like you do with wolves or coyotes. They only pair up during the breeding season.
As a side note, a fox’s only real competition in CT is a coyote. Connecticut coyotes will kick foxes off their territory, so foxes are usually found in between gaps in a coyote’s home range. If you don’t have foxes in your town, you probably have coyotes.
Fox Hunting Season in CT
It’s not recommended that you shoot or trap a fox in your yard unless it has been attacking livestock, or it’s the hunting season.
The fox hunting season in Connecticut usually runs from October 15th to February 28th. The hunting hours are a half hour before sunrise to a half hour after sunset (so you can’t hunt foxes at night).
There is also a daily bag limit of 3 foxes, and a season bag limit of 30. If you intend on selling fox pelts, the animal must be tagged. There are no limits on foxes harvested through trapping. All foxes taken must be reported online or by telephone.
The rules for hunting foxes in Connecticut can change every year, so it’s important you look up the most current regulations.
Connecticut Foxes – Final Thoughts
Although Connecticut’s foxes are considered pests similar to raccoons, skunks, and coyotes, they don’t really cause that much damage. Foxes have a bad reputation, but they are only a threat to small pets and young livestock.
If you want to control the fox population in your neighborhood in order to provide protection to pets, just follow the steps laid out in this article. Connecticut’s Deep Wildlife Division also some good information about how to deal with foxes in the state.