Tod is an orphaned fox who's mother is shot by a hunter not long after leaving him by a fence post. Big Mama sees the action unfold and feels sorry for the little fox, so she finds a way to make a plan. She calls on the help of Dinky and Boomer and they eventually get Widow Tweed to adopt the young orphan.
He befriends a young hound dog named Copper, who is supposed to be his enemy, but they become inseperable. Reality hits hard when Copper is sent off on a hunting trip and is taught to be a true hunting dog. He comes back telling Tod that their friendship can't last any longer due to the fact he's changed.
This makes a hard blow on Tod, but after digesting the news, Chief comes after him. Copper saves him from being killed but by escaping, Chief ends up getting hurt in the process, nearly killing him. This angers Copper and causes him to go hunting after Tod after he is dropped off into the forest by Widow Tweed.
During the hunt, Tod and his new female fox friend Vixey, are able to evade Copper and Amos Slade, but when the two hunters encounter a bear, Tod is split between running away for his life or risking it all to save his old best friend. He goes after the bear and after coming down a waterfall, he's hurt badly. Amos Slade tries to take advantage of this, and Copper returns Tod's favor by standing in front of him and preventing Amos Slade from shooting a bullet.
Their friendship is repaired in the end.