Do You Hear What I Hear?

The Daily Dig

What animals have you encountered lurking in the night around your farmyard? How about a red fox and her pups?

Published on: July 29, 2013

The other day, I let the dog out. He usually runs all over the yard and chases off any sign of a moving creature. Lately, he has been running straight for the front porch and squeezing himself under It barking. Something is living there.

Mr. Farmer kept seeing a red fox with a few young pups in the area. Thinking that it could not have been a fox den under that porch, I started to do some research online. Sure enough, there are rare occasions where foxes will den under porches. I thought this to be a little odd especially with a dog around.

Then one morning, Mr. Farmer let the dog out and as it went around the south side of the house, he saw the red fox hightail it around the north end of the house.





After a few days of this, things quieted down. I thought maybe the fox moved her pups and decided to venture out somewhere else. Like a 1/4th of a mile to the north in a barn.

Therefore, I did not think anything of it when one night I went outside to fetch the dog. It was time for bed. 11:30 p.m., dark and I am half-asleep. I walked outside and stood there calling for the dog. Unexpectedly I hear this high-pitched, blood-curdling scream coming from the never-ending darkness right in front of me. (listen to the Vixen's Scream in the video at 34 seconds in).

By this time, the dog walked inside, nothing fazing him and I slammed the door and ran inside. I don't get scared often, startled is more like it. But this was downright haunting. I somehow managed to get my story told to Mr. Farmer as he sat there looking at me as if I was a bit crazy (It's not unusual for him to give me that look from time to time). It did not help that I told him I thought it was a ghost. Because you know, ghosts always scream at people. He got online and did some searching. Thinking it was a bobcat or mountain lion - nope, not that. Then I started searching red foxes. Sure enough, I found a video that mimicked the sound. Now I didn't feel so embarrassed.

Do You Hear What I Hear? Its a Vixens Scream
Do You Hear What I Hear? It's a Vixen's Scream

According to a YouTube video, the scream I heard is called a "Vixen's Scream." Despite its name, it is known for male foxes to use this call. Some think it's used as a mating call since it is mostly used during mating season.

Take a listen for yourself. In the attached video, go to about  34 seconds into the video where it says "Vixen's Scream." Now imagine if you heard this about 11:30 p.m. half-asleep in the dark. You would be scared…I mean startled too! Ghost or no ghost.