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Mr. Argue was kind enough to give permission for his article to be retyped and placed in this website. It was originally published in the Shooting News and Weekly, January 2-8, 1987. The two images of the Border/Beardie cross follows the article.

Fife foxes and Beardie Collies

by Derry Argue

"A LETTER arrived the other day from a friend in Fife. He had been out lamping with his young Greyhound/Bedlington bitch which is just shaping into a sensible worker.

The letter was a really graphic account of three foxes encountered in quick succession. the lurcher managed to exchange a couple of bites with one of them. However, apart from some hectic sport, no actual catches were made.

Steve's letter closed with an invitation to join him for a look over the ground a couple of nights later. Despte being very busy with a lot of night work I phoned Steve up and made the arrangements. It would be good to hunt for sport for a change.

I put a new film in the camera and looked forward to an outing with the pressure off and the bag unimportant. When I lamp alone (with dog, lamp, call and rifle) I can't possibly take photos as well. Here was a golden opportunity.

After ten minutes on the ground we spotted four distant eyes. One of the foxes slowly worked into our squeaking, the other cleared off. The night was too light, still and quiet and the foxes had been lamped before. Keeping still, with our backs to a hedge, we squeaked patiently until the eyes slowly became a silhouette and then a fox, facing straight down the .22 scope at 30 yards. It was an easy shot and the fox didn't run for more than a few seconds before falling at the woodside.

In the gloom it seemed the fox had indeed reached the wood ahead of our two lurchers and Steve and I were in the act of trying to order the dogs into the trees to find it. At that Fielder latched onto it. It was lying dead on the stubble at our feet. As our only serious intent was to start Steve's bitch on fox, we called her from the wood. When she spotted Fielder with the fox she went in like a demon, making my wee hairy whippet look a bit soft. Indeed such was the larger dog's fire I hauled mine off in case they fought over the prize. It was pretty obvious Steve's dog was a hard case which should enter to fox very easily.

Mix Up

Indeed at the other side of the wood we called up another and had a bit of a mix up as Steve slipped his dog just as I was going to squeeze the trigger. It wasn't a very long slip but the fox streaked off for cover, Steve's bitch after it and me trying to slip Fielder. Fox, dog and dog disappeared over a brow in line. Nothing was seen or heard for some minutes. They obviously lost it, presumably without making contact.

So we came very close to entering Steve's bitch but she'll have to wait for another night.

Steve has plenty of foxes to choose from, we saw several during the two hours. What about the camera? Why no photograph? I'd left the damn thing in the van!

By the way, Steve has just bought a farm pup and a long net. The collie is a first cross Beardie/Huntaway and Steve hopes to train it to the net. He's the sort of modest bloke who is always asking advice about the game but, by the way his lurcher is turning out, he obviously has the knack himself.

I look forward to seeing how his collie turns out."

Caption: Front - Border/Beardie cross and behind is a pure Beardie Collie.

Caption: Border/Beardie cross which is probably more common than a pure Beardie Collie.
 
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