JULY has brought out foxes by the hundreds and farmers are doing all they can to protect their sheep and lambs.
Sheep farmer Len Harbour has been hunting foxes all his life and said that this year has been one of the worst.
"Everybody has the same problem with foxes," he said.
"At our place (near Mount Buninyong) there seems to be a lot more coming out than other years. They just know when it's lambing season."
The Fox and Wild Dog Bounty has encouraged hunters all over the state to pick up there guns more regularly.
Mr Harbour agrees that fox hunting has always been more of a practicality than a sport, but now with the bounty he said it's a job too. Since the bounty commenced on October 1 last year, more than 11,200 fox heads have been submitted to the Ballarat's Department of Primary Industries Collection Centre.
More than 80,000 scalps have been delivered to the 22 collection centres over the nine months.
DPI Bi-security manager for established invasive animals John Matthews said the bounty rewards hunters for their hunting efforts.
"The last collection in Ballarat we saw 42 people deliver 2714 entire fox scalps," he said.
"This is another tool to assist fox control in Victoria."
Each entire fox scalp awards a hunter $10 and a wild dog skin $50.
There are assigned collection days for the Ballarat area which can be found on the DPI website.
In last week's Farmers' Weekly, Best Wool Best Lamb Chairman Dr Jason Trompf's theory of regularly condition-scoring their ewes rather than shooting and baiting foxes was discussed.
He said predation control was merely a band-aid remedy.
But Cardigan sheep farmer of 30 years Bill Hearn said it is ridiculous to say that aren't foxes aren't a problem.
"This year I've lost 30 lambs — 25 of which have been to foxes," Mr Hearn said.
That number is from the last six weeks alone.
"They're out of control.
"I had a ewe that had just lambed with twins... when I got there one lamb already had punctures in her scull and was dead, the other one also had punctures and died later..."
"This is my worst run in 30 years.
This loss has cost Mr Hearn more than $3000, where he will receive no compensation.
Len Harbour has currently being keeping the foxes' scalps participating in the bounty.
"The more the merrier," he said.
"The more foxes out of the paddocks, the less lambs we'll lose."