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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Good evening, people.

Serious fur-takers as those who hunt red fox need the best round for the job. My study on line has concluded that the .17 Hornet center-fire cartridge is the best compromise for good take-down power combined with good fur-friendliness.It is both long-range and accurate. It saves the pelt on such fragile animals as fox. It shoots flat to boot.

The bad thing is very few new rifles come factory chambered in this caliber. Running a Google check I could only find three rifle brands that offer at least one new gun in that chambering: Savage, CZ and Ruger. Not one such company offered a new bolt-action rifle so chambered in black and in all-weather finish with a plastic or synthetic stock. I don't want a wood stock or a camo stock.

I would really love for Weatherby to offer at least one all-weather varmint/fur Vanguard rifle in this chambering. A heavy barrel, match trigger and prone-position stock would be the frosting on the cake. Why most major firearms companies shun this paltry but perfect small-furbearer round is beyond my understanding. Is there still very little market for rifles in .17 Hornet?

This 2013 video shows a foxing test for .17 Hornet in an older Savage with the finish I like. The action of cycling the bolt looks very rough and sticky, though. I know Vanguard is made by Howa but I like the name Weatherby. Weatherby bolt-action rifles have a very nice and smooth action and Vanguard has always been a great rifle at a modest price.
 

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The 17Hornet is a fun little round to shoot and very accurate. The market just isn't huge. If none of the current offerings appeal to ya... All you need is a good gunsmith a good after market barrel and your choice of action....you can have it your way it just costs more.

In my neck of the woods I'm as likely to call a coyote as I am a fox...the .17 hornet is certainly accurate enough to make surgical precision shots but marginal shots result in a lot of run offs....And fur isn't worth messing with so I take plenty of gun to stomp whatever comes to the call.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
I have been thinking about taking up red fox lately. A nice dog and vixen would look pretty as full-body mounts in my living room. If I were hunting trophy-quality fox fur, I would have no interest in taking any coyotes on that particular outing. I have no interest in gray fox as well. If I were to shoot coyotes for pest control, I wouldn't care how the pelts looked as I would have no interest in the fur. The .243 Win. caliber, which can be easily had in a Vanguard all-weather rifle, several different models, would be fine there for that.

That said, it seems as the .17 Hornet is ideal for trophy-quality fox fur. The current market might be thin on .17 Hornet factory rifles because there is relatively little interest in fox-fur taking except for maybe among the well-to-do who opt for custom-gunsmithing rifles for that special purpose. In a few years the Hornet might develop a serious following and all the mega-gunmakers might eventually follow suit.

The CZ 527 American with the Hornet caliber option comes with a checkered wood stock and a blue finish, I believe. CZ must assume this gun will be only present at the predator stand or rifle range in nice dry sunny weather. Does trophy red-fox-fur taking ever occur in damp weather in California or any of the western states where red fox might be available to hunt legally? Maryland and Virginia back east seem to be red fox capital of America.
 

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Im going to be hunting yotes with my 223 savage axis. My neighbor is going to use his 220 swift. I talked him into it after a recommendation from our discussion i made here about coyote hunting. He was going to usa a 22 mag, My other neighbor gets a lot of fox. He traps them and also hunts them with a plot hound.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
The 17Hornet is a fun little round to shoot and very accurate. The market just isn't huge. If none of the current offerings appeal to ya... All you need is a good gunsmith a good after market barrel and your choice of action....you can have it your way it just costs more.

In my neck of the woods I'm as likely to call a coyote as I am a fox...the .17 hornet is certainly accurate enough to make surgical precision shots but marginal shots result in a lot of run offs....And fur isn't worth messing with so I take plenty of gun to stomp whatever comes to the call.
I'm going to hold off before buying a new foxing gun for a while. I want to see if biggie rifle-makers ever get around to include the .17 Hornet. If push ever comes to shove, I may just settle for the wood-stocked CZ 527 American and make it a point to go after trophy red fox for the taxidermist in dry weather. I don't want to ruin nice fur specimens by being over-gunned.

I wrote Weatherby the other day to ask them why they haven't yet included an all-weather Vanguard in a caliber such as this nifty little fur zapper of a caliber. Still waiting for an answer.
 

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I wish i had pics of it but my dad used to have a really nice fox mount. We were going somewhere one day and a fox ran out in front of the car we were following, bumper clocked his head so we picked it up. He had it mounted on a natural board standing on all four's. About 5 years later some guy comes into his shop saying he just hit a baby fox just down the road. My dad asked the guy to go get it and he had it mounted under the other one sort of curled up like it was sleeping.

BTW rivervalleys re barrel idea is really the only option when you want a certain gun in a caliber that isn't made. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for one to be made, it's a very small niche caliber.
 

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I would have no interest in taking any coyotes on that particular outing.
If you call a yote in there won't be any fox showing up. Never pass up a coyote, they can and will wipe the fox population out in a given area.

Here's the last grey I shot it's been about a year ago.

6.5x47 Lapua 120gr NBT.




Not fur friendly at all.

 

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Doesn't look to organ friendly either, looks like strawberry jam in the cavity.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
If you call a yote in there won't be any fox showing up. Never pass up a coyote, they can and will wipe the fox population out in a given area.

Here's the last grey I shot it's been about a year ago.

6.5x47 Lapua 120gr NBT.




Not fur friendly at all.

I don't feel that a fox-fur-friendly round as .17 Hornet has the power to take a coyote humanely. I feel I would want no less than .243 Win. for song dogs since I have no desire to keep their fur anyway. Should gray fox always be shot as a matter of conservation wherever the law permits? I need to study game regs on predators more. I understand red fox might be rare in western states and shooting them might be restricted in the west.For predator mounts, I find nice specimens of red fox most desirable.
 

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My brother hunted coyotes exclusively with 17HMR and .22 mag. I don't think he ever had one go more than a couple of feet. All of his hunting was done within 100yds, not sure what distances you'll be hunting at but a 17 with good shot placement will certainly take one down. In fact here you can only hunt them with small calibers and very few counties allow anything larger than the .22 family. Obviously the centerfire will give you much more range and will probably work better.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
My brother hunted coyotes exclusively with 17HMR and .22 mag. I don't think he ever had one go more than a couple of feet. All of his hunting was done within 100yds, not sure what distances you'll be hunting at but a 17 with good shot placement will certainly take one down. In fact here you can only hunt them with small calibers and very few counties allow anything larger than the .22 family. Obviously the centerfire will give you much more range and will probably work better.
Red fox tends to range long to the gun and call: 100-250 yards from what I've read.
I'd hunt red fox in that distance most likely

One must be cleverer than that fox and patient to pull them closer.

I suppose .17 Hornet would work for 'yotes if one were to restrict their range and has the marksmanship skills.
My goal is to not cripple any critter fired at.
 
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