shoot someone's fox

shoot someone's fox

thwart someone's plans or ambitions by pre-empting them.
The expression comes from the world of fox-hunting, where shooting a fox, which robs the hunters of their sport, is viewed with great displeasure.
2004 Scotland on Sunday The Democrats had planned to make unemployment a key issue in their campaign: Dubya, with his tax cuts, has shot their fox.
See also: fox, shoot