November fox hides among briars

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Fox hunters in the briars
Fox hunters search among briars for a hidden radio transmitter. More photos in this website’s photo gallery.

Sunday, November 10, 2013 marked the last foxhunt of the (2013) season. It was a crisp late Fall day with a bit of a breeze, but the sun was more or less out. The day attracted foxhunters Steve Nardin, W9SAN, Linda Nardin, W9LAN, and their grandson Alex, the team of Charles Ward, KC9MUT, Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP and Phil Hooper, AB9IZ, the team of Jim & Kim Machamer, KB9’s DOS & DOT, and lone hunter Robert Dean, KC9UHU. This motley crew were hole-up in the Off-Track Betting Parlor parking lot, as usual, anxiously awaiting the bleating voice of the fox.

For this hunt the role of the fox was played by Jim Pliett, K9OMA and Al Burke, WB9SSE. Their usual partners, Annie, KA9YYI and Carole, WB9RUS were at Jim & Annie’s QTH preparing goodies for the after-foxhunt cookout & bonfire that routinely caps-off the end of the foxhunting season, but they were with us in spirit.

Jim & Al were located deep within the Mengerson Nature Preserve about a half mile north of Stellhorn Rd. just off Schmucker Dr.

The high power fox consisted of a five watt cross band HT driving a quad antenna on the roof of Jim’s van which was parked at the edge of the Preserve, and the quad antenna was pointed towards the Off-Track Betting Parlor. From deep within the woods Jim and Al could activate the high power fox remotely thanks to the cross-band HT in Jim’s van.

As for the low power fox, (and this can be substantiated from the formal report prepared by the Investigate Committee of the Geneva Convention that someone (uhumm) happened to commission),…. Jim, repeat Jim, that is, NOT Al, implanted a low power (30 milliwatt) microprocessor controlled microfox inside a tree branch personally selected by JIM from his back yard and then placed by JIM, not Al, amidst a bunch of other tree limbs in a briar patch. The operative idea here is that JIM, not Al, selected the placement of the microfox amongst those briars, and Al knew nothing of this. In fact, he’s not even sure he was even there when the actual placement activities were going on. In other words, Al knew nothing, saw nothing,… Verstehen?

Well, promptly at 13:30 hours (local) the high power fox started palavering on 146.160 MHz, the input to the 146.76 machine. Evidently everyone heard it and started heading east.

Not quite an hour into the hunt as Jim & Al sat shivering in the piney-woods they noted Charles & Fred skulking through the undergrowth quickly followed by Steve and Alex, then Robert and finally Jim & Kim. So at this point the hunters had localized the fox and began to zero-in on the microfox which was located in the horrific briar patch about 50 yards from where Al & Jim were camped out (but, of course, of which Al knew nothing).

The microfox transmitted a one minute sequence in cw (“Catch Me”, “Catch Me”, etc. followed by Jim’s call sign) about every two and a half minutes. So in fairly short order the hunters had the wood pile in the briar patch encircled and were combing (and cussing) through the assortment of tree branches and thorns murmuring hateful and bordering on violent threats aimed at Al (who knew nothing about the fox placement….really!).

Charles, with a thorn induced bleeding hand wound was the first to locate the microfox followed immediately by Robert, and then Jim & Kim and finally Steve and Alex.

Based upon the time-to-find and mileage data for each team, this hunts score tallies were as follows:

Fox Hunters Points
KC9UHU 734


Thus Charles and Fred will serve as the fox for the first hunt of the 2014 season next February.

After the hunt everyone buzzed over to Jim & Annie Pliett’s QTH on Wappes Rd. for the final foxhunt-of-the-year cookout and bonfire. Between what Annie & Carole had prepared and the carry-ins everyone else brought, we dined on hot dogs, both red and white chili, fried chicken, meat balls, chicken and noodles, chips and of course all manner of cookies, pies and cakes. It was perfect except for the lack of deviled eggs, but nobody went away hungry.

Depending upon space, there may be a few pictures from this hunt and the cookout/bonfire on the club web page and/or inserted into the Foxhunt Chronicles.

So as it turned out, the cumulative points garnered for the 2013 foxhunting season are:

Fox Hunter Points
WB9RUS 5259.5
WB9SSE 5259.5
K9OMA 5259.5
KA9YYI 5259.5
KC9MUT 6628.5
KC9EZP 6368
W9SAN 4872
W9LAN 4074
ALEX 4280
KB9DOS 4922.5
KB9DOT 4922.5
K9NDU 5057.5
KC9UHU 6304
AB9IZ 1003.5

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