Are there foxes native to the Pacific Northwest?

I ask because I’m pretty sure what I saw this morning was a fox.

Our family dog, a Welsh Corgi named “Major” was behaving a tad odd this morning when I went out to the barn. He usually greets me at the fence and after a bit of petting wanders back to his usual spot under the deck. Instead he followed me around, looking nervous. I didn’t think much of it. I did some normal weekend chores out there and occasionally heard him barking, which is also unusual as he’s a pretty quiet dog. I pulled the pickup truck out of the barn and brought it around to the back of the house for some other weekend chores and I saw what I thought was Major at the back corner of our property. There are some horses that live in the pasture back there and occasionally he makes some odd Corgi attempt at herding them despite the fence in the way. But this animal was obviously not Major on second glance. First of all it had a big bushy tail, something our Corgi lacks! Its nose was very pointy as well. It looked back at me as I got out of the pickup, easily 60 yards away and went into a panic. Major was standing near the house and barking at the animal. It raced back and forth along the fence, like … well a trapped animal. As I looked at it my mind tried to comprehend it. Too short and with a far too bushy coat to be a Coyote. I see and hear plenty of Coyotes around here and this was certainly not one of those, unless perhaps it was a pup? Its coat was a dark, dusky grey, not the dirty blonde/mixed grey/brown you usually associate with Coyotes. It glanced back at me a couple of times and the nose and ears had a distinct Fox look. It was much larger than the red-colored Foxes I’ve seen in the UK, or in the North Woods of the Midwest.

I gathered up the dog and got him out of the backyard. The animal, whatever it is, vanished into our pastures on the east side of the property.

I went inside, grabbed my camera, and let Sue know what was going on. I opened the gate on the west side of our property along the wooded side of the driveway. I then looped around the house to the north and east and entered the fenced area around the barn. I planned to flush it out of the pastures and towards the gate so it could be free of the fenced part and into the woods. I never did see it again, but found a place where it dug its way under the fence along the southwest fence line.

Any Naturalists or Zoologists out there care to inform me as to what species of animal I saw?

7 thoughts on “Are there foxes native to the Pacific Northwest?”

  1. Certainly could be a fox. According to wikipedia (not an authoritative source, but pretty sound):

    Today, the Red Fox has a range spanning most of North America and Eurasia, southern Australia, and with several populations in North Africa.

  2. May have been a Gray Fox. I have seen almost as many of them here in centrral coast of California as Red Foxes. Their range reaches into southern Canada according to Wikipedia.

    The photos in Wiki show an almost red tinge to the chest. The ones I have observed in the wild have been much more gray. Very much like you describe.

  3. It ‘could have been Joe?’ Really? Hope Joe doesn’t get shot in the woods…..!
    Didn’t we cover this on JL, under, “Eats, Shoots, and Leaves?”

    Sorry, cg…you *never* miss an oppo to poke a funfilled finger in my eye, so I HAD to do it!!!


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