Fox Found in Little-Known Park

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The Foxhunt Chronicles

fox cartoonThe 2013 Foxhunt season commenced on a darkly overcast Sunday, the 10th of February, amidst a cold, breezy and slightly, here and there, snow covered landscape. Aside from the mild frostbite potential, and the outlook for a bone chilling rain, not a bad day for a foxhunt.

The February hunters included the team of Annie and Jim Pliett, KA9YYI and K9OMA, plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS &SSE, the team of Bob Dean & Dave Spence, KC9UHU & KB9VTK, and the team of Charles Ward & Fred Gengnagle, KC9MUT & KC9EZP. Stalwart foxhunters Kim & Jim Machamer, KB9’s DOS & DOT, and Steve & Linda Nardin, W9’s SAN & LAN were not able to participate in this first hunt of the year due to Kim having a case of the Eww-Fung-Gu while Linda is recuperating from a broken hoof which she got from tripping in the garage. Steve didn’t attend because he was nervous about the doctor-vet who was eyeing Linda’s foot and the pistol he carries in his belt.

Mark Berke, WA7NXI provided the services of the fox all on his lonesome. He himself was the fox, there was no hidden remotely controlled transceiver that served as the actual fox as is typically the case. Mark was ensconced in the itty-bitty Jehl Ft. Wayne Park tucked into the Lake Forest addition behind Georgetown. Most of us didn’t even know that Jehl Park existed.

Mark transmitted on 146.310 MHz, the input to the FWRC’s 146.91/.31 repeater so that the activities during the hunt could be rebroadcast to the local ham community using the 146.91/.31 machine. Thus a large portion of local hams could “participate” in the hunt without actually being a part of it.

For its part the Pliett-Burke team were employing a vertically polarized cubical-quad antenna on the top of Jim’s van this year, replacing the yagi that had previously been used. In addition, Jim installed a GPS tracker driving a Microsoft mapping program and a vector drawing program on his laptop to allow drawing vectors on the map based upon DF bearing measurements taken to triangulate and localize the fox.

The hunters, located at the Off-Track Betting Parlor parking lot at Lima Road and Washington Center Road heard the fox right off the bat. As usual, initial bearings were to the east. This of course meant that the fox could be located in the dreaded New Haven, the bane of all foxhunting activities because of the strangely screwy things New Haven seems to do to rf signals.

As it turned out, the new cubical-quad lead us to Jehl Park chronologically behind the Dean-Spence team and the Ward-Gengnagle team. It turns out that the Dean-Spence team located the fox 43 minutes after the start of the hunt, Ward-Gengnagle found the fox at 76 minutes while Pliett-Burke took 77 minutes.

Based upon the mileage and time-to-find scoring criterion, the scores for this hunt, and the year-to-date scores are as follows:

WB9YYI / K9OMA / WB9SSE / WB9RUS 653.5 points
WA7NXI 739 points
KC9MUT / KC9EZP 639 points
KC9UHU / KB9VTK 794.5 points


So the role of the fox for the March hunt will be provided by the Dean / Spence team.

Following the hunt most everyone buzzed over to the Coldwater Rd. Steak-N-Shake for a hearty repast and a thawing-out.

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