This is one of the “once in a lifetime moments.”

As I was instructing a fellow shooter I noticed some movement in the sand around our targets.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I was eye to eye with a fox just meters away.

For some reason it seems it didn’t notice us and I tried to grab my camera and switch it on. You can see the surprised look of the fox as I shouted to him and took a picture.

In terms of firepower, the fox was heavily outnumbered by a JP Enterprises CTR-02 .223 Rem, a JP Enterprises NC-22 in .22LR and a MEGA Arms in .223 Rem.

It looked like a healthy puppy, probably starved and looking for food – in the wrong place!

In case you wonder, the fox survived.

We like the local wildlife; from snakes to foxes on the ground to buzzards and the occasional eagle in the sky.

Which random wildlife encounters have you had at the shooting range?


  • Nathaniela

    What did the fox say?

    • Major Tom

      Ding ding ding ding ding ding….

      • ostiariusalpha


  • Alex A.

    It wasn’t a shooting range per se but I place in the mountains where I’d go shoot. Once I was there with my rottie and we saw a bunch of crows in the trees, like 60 of them turns out there were two dead elk buried from a mound lion.
    I never saw it but the sun was going down & I was 1/2 mile from my truck. The whole way back it stalked us. That was scary, I could hear it in the bushes but never saw it circling around us the whole way back.

    • Giolli Joker

      That’s a murder.

      • Alex A.

        Yes I definitely called 911 and reported the murder of the baby and mama elk๐Ÿ˜‰

    • ostiariusalpha

      My Grampy had a similar situation with a mountain lion stalking him while he was deer hunting. He noticed it peeking at him with ears flattened and just the eyes showing behind a fallen tree; probably wouldn’t have even spotted it if the tip of the tale hadn’t given it away. He put a .30-06 between the eyes and shaved its brain pan off.

      • Samuel Millwright

        And that right there is why I’ll never get a straight razor shave

        • Alex A.

          Lol yeah man, it’s true what they say, the hair on my neck and arms were straight up he whole way back. And hell yes I was scared.

      • Alex A.

        I think if I’d had a shot, well idk ears flattened not a good sign. I also felt undergunned even tho I had a full 30 rnd mag in 5.56.
        Amazing story your Grampy had! It sounds like that cat was ready to pounce!

        • ostiariusalpha

          The tail flicks are another bad sign that the cat has violent intention. I just remember from as a kid, that he had a large cat skull with the top blown open amongst his antler trophies, and told us how he it happened.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    As I live directly in the center of the simmering urban hellscape of Houston I shoot indoors but around my place I got bats, lizards, red tail hawks, snakes and whatever the hell this thing is…

  • EzGoingKev

    OKC Gun Club’s 50-300 yard range has two deer that just stroll across the range while people are there. Usually they will show up in the afternoon when there is a cease fire.

    You can shoot at targets near them and they just ignore you. I remember one day a guy had to send his kid down range to scare them away.

    • Phillip Cooper

      Reminds me of Ft Benning Infantry School, 1988. Damn dear would just wander onto the weapons qual ranges like it was cool. This was accompanied by the RSO yelling for cease fire and threatening any dumb Private that might want to bag Bambi with much gnashing of teeth and prodigious pushups and extra duty.

  • john huscio

    For some reason i saw this pic and went “must be alaska”……

    • Dougscamo

      Like with a cranky old lady that runs an airstrip?

    • sauerquint

      There is fireweed framed by the rack

  • Major Tom

    Last week I had to chase off a bear using an M91/30 Mosin-Nagant. He was munching on some trash and making a racket.

    Never fired a shot. That bear saw one good look of that 17 inch spike bayonet I had fixed and ran away super fast.

    • Dougscamo

      He recognized the expert on that series of Mosin-Nagant rifles…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Rusty S.

    Deer, rabbits, and a drunken shepherd illegally grazing 500 sheep…

  • Dougscamo

    Had a black bear walk behind the firing line at a local range….while shots were being fired….paid no attention…went on his way
    Was at another range (LE) and the hill behind the range was infested with groundhogs who paid no attention….too dern far to hit with a handgun….

  • mrpotatocat

    At a little range in Central Texas, there is a family of deer who hang out in the woods across the street. They come up to you and take feed from your hand.

  • Dmitry Goosavich

    There was this abandoned house rabbit I hanging around at my range one morning. The thing kept and hopping into the line of fire. We tried to shoe it off but it kept coming back. I’ve never seen a rabbit ignore the sounds of people and guns and just graze the field. After a while I noticed she had some bad injuries on her. We ended up trapping her in a box and taking her to a vet which pretty much saved her life. Anyways I nursed her back to health and decided to keep her. Her name is Gunner and she’s the most armed rabbit in America.

    • Johnsmyname

      Dude, nice story, good on you!

    • That is a really great story man, I wish more people treated animals like that. Good for you brother. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • JT303

    A few months back we had a kid run out past the firing line of the (informal) air rifle range we use for marksmanship instruction. He wanted to grab a football that had gone over the wall… needless to say myself and my colleague laid into him. Don’t know how much of it went into his skull, but he was certainly unintelligent enough to count as wildlife. Pondlife, maybe.

  • codfilet

    I had two young fox kits living in the culvert in front of my house one summer. At some point, the mother kicks them out to fend for themselves, and they hang around, confused for a while. These two were very unafraid of me, and I left food for them. One day, they moved on to wherever.

  • Gary Kirk

    Let’s see.. Deer, groundhogs, buzzards, a beaver, two goats, 1 horse, and a box turtle that refused to leave.. We’d move him and a few minutes later he’d wander back.. Finally just stuck him in the back of the truck till we were done. Probably more, but don’t feel like thinking right now..

    • Dougscamo

      You know….that first line through the turtle that refused to leave sounds like the start of a really good bar joke….

  • Jeff Smith

    Three horses that are terrified of gunfire and one that runs towards it.

    • Johnsmyname

      He’s got Calvary written all over him! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Jared A. Faber

        Is he gonna be put on a cross?

        • Johnsmyname

          Darn autocorrect.

          • Dougscamo

            I figured you were from the South….which is how the ole timers said cavalry….until I read your comment about the critters on the range….

    • SP mclaughlin

      Riot training!

  • Johnsmyname

    I get woodchucks and skunks on my range in CT all the time. You’ll be shooting and they’ll come right out with no care in the world. Puffs of dirt kicking up nearby and all. Also, we have early morning deer on the hill behind the trap fields while shooting. They get used to the noise and are emboldened by the fact nobody shoots at them (I assume responsible gun owners and sportsmen aren’t taking pot shots when. I ones looking).

  • Brett

    Had a buffalo and a crane come on a live fire range before.

  • Gidge

    I’ve seen a kangaroo hop across the berm at an IPSC match. Another time a cow wonder up for a look at a stage. And you periodically see Wagtailed Eagles flying over one of our ranges.

    • Dougscamo

      “Now that’s something you don’t see everyday.”

      • BillyOblivion

        In America.

        In Australia they probably see it quite often. Kangaroo are like deer, only dumber and jump higher.

  • Intoler8

    I was flying out of Salt Lake for business a few years ago. Was on a 737 and while on taxi to the active, we had to wait behind other aircraft, cross an active and wait to takeoff. In between the two runways, I noticed some movement. it was a fox jumping around and pouncing in the tall grass. I think he was hunting as I didn’t see another that he could have been playing with. He had no care in the world about the noise or large aircraft taking off, landing and moving around him. Thought it was cool.

  • Glenn

    I went to the range early one morning. Setting up on the firing line I heard a noise coming from one of the trash cans. It was a small critter trapped and trying to get out. I laid it over and it’s muzzle velocity was faster than my gun. In the Mojave desert there are these small ‘squirrels’ smaller than a gray squirrel with a long thin tail. See them all the time scampering across the road. Have no idea how it got in there.

    • BillyOblivion

      They’re called “rats”.

  • Jim_Macklin

    Unless your rifles are miniatures that is a full grown fox. To see a fox that close in daylight means the odds of the fox being rabid are 85%.
    I would have shot the fox immediately, trying to not hit the head. Then I would have left it alone and called the local game warden to come get a suspected rabid fox..

    • Eric B

      OK, thanks. We don’t really have the virus here. Looked healthy.

      • Jim_Macklin

        It wasn’t acting healthy. Ask any local vet, game warden or public health doctor if the rabies virus affects the behavior of an infected animal before physical appearance changes.
        No wild fox will be that close to humans in daylight unless it is sick.

        • Timmah_timmah

          First, it’s 85%… now it’s 100% because “No wild fox will be that close to humans in daylight unless it is sick”. While it is a good chance it may have been rabid, it is not necessarily the case.

          • .45

            Well I certainly would have avoided any hugs and kisses. There was a family of fox on the property I grew up on. It was extremely rare to see one in broad daylight, and almost never did they let anyone get close. This does seem rather suspicious.

            Anyway, I have no exciting range animal stories. The range I go to is out in the woods next to farmland, but local animals prefer to avoid it for some reason, and vultures flying around looking for something in the fields nearby are the main animal presence. Every now and then you’ll see deer or hear a hawk call in the distance, and sometimes you’ll find tracks that show after hours something wandered onto the range, but nothing has ever come face to face with any shooters that I am aware.

  • USMC03Vet

    A turtle. i like turtles.

  • Oregon213

    They are kinda like feral leprechauns.

    • Rick O’Shay

      Attraction to shiny things and everything.

  • USMC Grunt2

    Buffalo and rabbits on the Camp Pendleton Rifle range. Entire range would go cold if a buffalo wandered into the line of fire.

  • Nathan Alred

    Range bunnies are pretty common at the local police range. But every now and then you will hear the tower call out “DO NOT ENGAGE THE BALD EAGLES”.

    I would hope no one ever would, but you sure see a lot of head tracking, and the occasional muzzle swing.

  • Timmah_timmah

    Neat photos. Thanks for sharing.

  • Rodford Smith

    Our range is roughly triangular, with a wooded hill at the back, a railroad behind and a field to the right. We’re inside the city limits and somehow the wildlife knows no hunting is allowed. We occasionally have to stop shooting because several does and their offspring walk across the edge of the woods, just beyond the 125 yard target board. We also have buzzards and red-tailed hawks flying overhead (the hawks often calling) and smaller birds all around.

    One time I was out there alone, sitting at the bench, letting my gun cool, when I heard a buzzing sound. I looked up to see a hummingbird hovering just under the edge of the awning, looking at me. We stared at each other for a few seconds, then it flew off.

    I also sometimes see toads in the grassy gravel in front of the benches.

    • Dougscamo

      You shouldn’t call brass-gatherers toads (Turds On Active Duty)…. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • mazkact

    When I lived in Mississippi we frequently had deer wander onto the range at Magnolia in Byram , MS. Here in Texas south of Houston at PSC pretty much just skeeters and assorted bugs.

  • Frank K

    Actually it’s a hybrid chacotta,

  • jim

    Earlier this summer two deer, that had been reportedly on location for a while, made their appearance on the rifle range as we set up to start the day. While nothing was harvested it did make for some good ranging practice through the glass.

  • Linz

    Warthog on a South African range. Friendly enough but if it decided it wanted your lunch- you were advised to hand it over.

  • Ray

    Our range is on the side of a mountain, so we get the occasional young bear or deer, who haven’t learned to stay away from gunfire.

  • magnetik

    Deer show up at our state ran range pretty frequently.. its not unusual to hear the range officer yell “don’t shoot the deer” through the intercom. heh

  • trekkie

    being technically below the water table, we do get a few frogs bouncing out of ours every now and again.

  • John Scott

    Our private gun club range (was) located at an Army Corp Of Engineers controlled Hydroelectric power plant (Gallatin, Tn). Hunting was STRICTLY forbidden on the property. Very frequently, large deer and huge Tom Turkeys would walk out and stand right in the center of the range, causing the range to be called “Cold”, until they left (often times 15-20 min). Many times with a dozen or so guys sighting in their deer rifles! On the pistol side, I had a Tom in full strut walk right in front of my line of fire (while firing) between me and the bianchi plates. Clearly none of these were scared AT ALL of all the people nor the gunfire. I did not witness this once or twice but literally dozens of times. Dozens. Within the last few months our Gun Club has lost our lease and are relocating. To private land. I am sure we will keep the tradition of calling the range cold, though.

  • Sir_Tanly

    I’ve been shooting at my 100 yard range near dusk, lowered the rifle and noticed a flock of 25-30 wild turkeys wandering around just below my line of fire. We are, among other things, a game preserve, so I’m not allow to tag them. Have also followed deer tracks out of one of our tactical ranges … found a stream I didn’t know existed.

  • CW

    While SO’ing several shooters thru a COF, there was a dove who kept walking within 3 or 4 ft. Sometimes it would be between the shooter and the targets! It would flinch a little at the sound of the shot, but finally walked away to get a drink in a near by puddle. WFKs???


    One day while shooting at my range in the Colorado mountains, not one but THREE albino deer, along with a few ‘normal’ colored deer, came down the hillside directly behind the 100 yard backers. All activity at the normally busy and loud range stopped, as all eyes were fixed on these beautiful creatures. The deer could not have cared less about all the people watching them. After a while they meandered over the hill. I know what you are going to say, if you don’t have a picture it did not happen. Well, this was at least fifteen years ago and I am a bit behind in the technology department anyway, so I may not have had a camera or phone with me that day. It was an awesome sight.