The Foxhunt Chronicles
The third foxhunt of the 2013 FWRC’s foxhunt season occurred on Sunday, the 7th of April on a beautiful warmish spring day. Just a perfect opportunity to be outside after a long winter.
April’s contingent of hunters included the team of Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & KA9YYI plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS & SSE; the team of Charles Ward, KC9MUT, accompanied by a blast-from-the-past, Phil Hooper, AB9IZ; the team of Linda & Steve Nardin, W9’s LAN & SAN plus their grandson Alex; and the team of Bob Dean, KC9UHU & Dave Spence, K9NDU. So there was a total of eleven hunters’ intent upon getting after their ever elusive prey (as long as it wasn’t in New Haven, although it turned out that it was).
Serving the role of the prey for this contest were Kim & Jim Machamer, KB9’s DOS & DOT. They hole-up at a single diamond baseball complex in Klotz Park, hidden in the Southwick Village neighborhood of New Haven, and a part of the New Haven Parks and Recreation System. This location was not on any of the maps, paper or electronic, possessed by the hunters, and I think a band of Navajo Trail Trackers would have had the same amount of trouble we did ferreting out their location. Why, it was almost like Jim and Kim planned it that way,…….hmmmm.
Their high power fox was a mobile rig operating into a yagi, while the actual fox itself was a cross-band HT ensconced in the back-stop structure of the baseball diamond. For this hunt the fox operated on 146.16 MHz, the input to the 146.76/.16 machine which provided area hams the opportunity to listen in on the 146.76 machine’s output as the hunt progressed.
The (high power) fox began transmitting promptly at 13:30 hours and most, but not all of the fox hunters, located in the Off-Track Betting Parlor parking lot at Washington Center and Lima Rd heard it from the get-go. As usual, the initial beam heading indicated “east” to “south-east”. (Curiously it’s almost never west or north or due south….always eastwardly with the dreaded possibility that the fox is hiding out in New Haven).
Well, most everyone headed south down Lima Rd because they couldn’t contend with “east” and thus New Haven. Pretty soon everyone got separated so our team just kept heading south on Lima/Clinton through downtown Ft. Wayne until the bearings indicated we should turn to the east. We did so and eventually wound up around Harding High School although we seemed to take some seemingly random side trips based upon bearings taken that I think were impacted by what I call “the New Haven Effect”. As a result we had a higher mileage than we should have. But it affected the other hunters too.
Eventually we localized the fox at Klotz field and found that Dave and Bob plus Steve, Linda and Alex had arrived there before us. We were interested (and secretly gratified, hee hee) to find that they were frustrated in not having found the actual fox although they had been stomping around the grounds for some time. Jim and I got our third harmonic gear out and started to DF on the actual fox transmissions, and found it hidden in the structure of the baseball diamond back-stop in fairly short order, 109 minutes into the hunt. We were followed by Dave and Bob at 110 minutes, and followed by Steve, Linda and Alex at 113 minutes. Charles and Phil had been really flummoxed by the New Haven effect and thus didn’t localize and eventually find the fox until 131 minutes into the hunt, unusual for them to say the least.
As it turned out the scores for this hunt based upon time-to-find and mileage were as follows:
So Dave Spence and Bob Dean will serve as the fox for the May hunt based upon the April results.
Year to date cumulative points are as follows:
Following the hunt most everyone who could headed over to the Steak-N-Shake at Chapel Hill for a hearty repast and a chance to relive details of this hunt.