How Do You Trap (Catch) A Fox: Ultimate Guide

Foxes live in all corners of the world, and one of the main reasons that they have such a bad reputation is that they will often kill and eat people’s chickens.

They also have a tendency to rummage through trash and can make a real mess. In the rural areas they are the biggest pet to eating love stock, but in urban areas they can create quite the commotion when they start digging through trash to find their next tasty morsel. 

If a fox is plaguing you, you can easily trap it.

There are plenty of resources out there that will assist you in trapping a pesky fox, there are brilliant humane options available as well. So choose your weapon, and it’s time to catch you a fox! 

Choose your trap

First off, you want to ensure that this capture is safe and secure, you do not want the fox hurting itself or escaping. Your live fox trap should be spacious and strong.

There are some criteria you want your trap to meet. 

  • Extra large traps. You need the trap to be big, as the size should allow enough space so that an adult sized fox can easily fit inside the trap. You want it to be around 42” long and a good 15” wide at best.
  • Furthermore, you need the trap to be durable, you do not want something that works once then just disintegrates. Try getting one that is 12 gauge and is made of galvanized steel to get the most out of it. 
  • You also want it to be safe, so internal trap cages should be rolled smooth to prevent foxes from injuring themselves when inside. On the off chance something else ends up wandering into the cage, you do not want anything hurting themselves by it being there, so safety is key. 

Find a good place for the trap

Now, you have your trap. It is time to pick a place to put it. The best place you can put a trap is going to be near the entrance to the fox’s den.

You can identify a fox den by noting some of the common characteristics these have. 

They are; 

  • Underground dens will often have two or more entrances (depending on the type of fox) you will notice them in the form of some freshly dug-holes in the earth. Foxes will usually build in sloped terrain. 
  • Above ground dens will often be in tree hollows or bush piles. 
  • Take note of aromas that resemble ammonia. 
  • Dens will usually be in areas where the vegetation is thick and there is plenty of cover. 
  • There should also be a water source nearby, like a stream or a lake. 

Hide the trap 

Foxes are cunning as it goes, and so if you want to avoid placing a suspicious trap, you need it to be concealed so that the fox will go in willingly. 

To ensure this, wear gloves at all times so that your smell is not all over it. You should also sterilize your trap with boiling water in the case there is any potential human smell on it.

You can finally camouflage the trap by covering it with plenty of nearby vegetation. 


Foxes will need to feel comfortable feeding near the trap before they will feel comfortable entering it. You can tie open the trap and use fish or raw meat as a fox bait to lure the fox to go inside. 

Place the bait beside the trap and wait until it is eaten. Once the fox has eaten it, place some more inside the trap, but not beyond the trigger.

Once they have eaten this piece, this shows they are comfortable entering the trap, now you can gently place the bait directly behind the trigger plate. 

Set up the trap

Once you have confirmed that the fox is happy to eat inside the trap, you can now prepare it to catch the fox. Ensure that the trap is set up carefully by the trap manufacturer’s instructions.

Foxes are very active during twilight, so try to avoid catching any daytime animals, or someone’s cat. It is a good idea to try and set up the trap just before the sun sets. 

Check it

You should check your trap regularly for two reasons. Obviously you want to check to see if you have caught a fox, however, you also want to check it to make sure you haven’t accidentally caught something else. 

Once you have caught the fox, it will be a victim to hunger, overheating, anxiety and more. You should never leave a fox neglected inside a cage for longer than necessary, so be sure to check the trap often. 

Top tips

Ensure that when you purchase a trap it is not an inhumane leg-hold trap, the best options are humane ones with a well camouflaged wire mesh wage with a door that is activated as the fox pulls on the bait.

Foxes will be smart enough to know that a trap sitting out there in the open is a trap, so ensure that it is camouflaged and try to position it naturally, in a way that would work best with the natural surroundings, against a wall is a good example of this. 

The best baits to use are fish, or food that smells strongly of fish, pork, or other meats. You should place the bait around the trap as well as inside it, if you only place the bait inside the trap this may deter the fox. 

If you don’t want to have to put in all this effort, though, you could simply deter the fox from coming on your land in the first place. You can get fox repellents which will target their smell and taste buds.

You can even whip up a homemade repellent using garlic, onions, and sage. While, these do take some time and are not always effective.

You can also get motorized sprinklers, which will most likely scare off the fox, and they will be unlikely to return to your property. 

Chad Fox

Chad Fox is an author and researcher dedicated to bringing reliable information about foxes to the public. He supports animal sanctuary awareness.

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