Have we got a deal for you! This issue of the Foxhunt Chronicles will feature a description of the hi-jinks surrounding both the October 2014 AND the November 2014 contests. “Why am I so lucky?” you may ask. Well, it’s because I was out of town a lot right after the October hunt and didn’t have time to attend to writing up a report of what happened in October. So I combined the October and November foxhunt descriptions, and you get two for one.
The October hunt occurred on Sunday the19th of October and featured the team of Charles Ward, KC9MUT and Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP, the team of Bob Dean, KC9UHU and Dave Spence, K9NDU, and the team of Steve Nardin, W9SAN, Linda Nardin, W9LAN and their grandson Alex. Seven hunters in all. I really can’t remember where they gathered and started the hunt from as that was way back in October, and hey, this is late November as I put this tome together. I.e., I’m getting old and forgetful.
The role of the fox was played by Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & KA9YYI, plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS and SSE. They were ensconced at Klug Park, near Parkview Hospital, and hid the micro-fox just below the grate of a storm sewer at the intersection of Leroy Ave. and Lawndale Drive. They employed a mobile rig running about 25 watts and a cubical quad on the roof of Jim’s van as the high power fox.
The high power fox started squawking promptly at 13:30 hours and evidently produced a satisfactory signal at Buckner Park for the hunters to sniff at. They soon left the park and headed east. Around 30 minutes after the start of the hunt, Charles & Fred showed up at Klug Park, dismounted, and started looking for the microfox. They succeeded in finding it 41 minutes into the hunt. A few minutes later Linda, Steve & Alex, and then Bob and Dave all showed up to look for the microfox. Both of these teams subsequently located the microfox at 65 minutes into the hunt.
Based upon time-to-find and miles traveled, it turned out the Charles & Fred were the winners and thus the fox for the last hunt of the year in November. Steve, Linda and Alex came in second, with Bob & Dave third.
Following the hunt, everyone boogied over to Hall’s-Prime Rib on State St. for a well deserved repast, and a lot of humor, derived from the hi-jinks of the waiter staff. The food at that place really is quite good.
Just two weeks later, on the 2nd of November the final hunt of the year occurred. For this event the hunters consisted of the team of Jim Pliett, K9OMA and Al Burke, WB9SSE, (their XYL’s Annie, KA9YYI and Carole, WB9RUS were at Jim’s QTH preparing things for the after-hunt bonfire/party that occurs at the conclusion of the last hunt of the year), the team of Steve & Linda Nardin, W9’s SAN & LAN plus their grandson Alex, the team of Kim & Jim Machamer, KB9’s DOT & DOS, and the (new) team of Jason Eicholz, KC9UOQ & Debbie Romine, KK4QXC, and single hunter Bob Dean, KC9UHU. This handsome and anxious crew gathered at Buckner Park awaiting the subtle beckoning call of the fox.
The role of the fox was played by Charles Ward, KC9MUT, Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP, and Phil Hooper, AB9IZ. They established their den in a thicket at Payton Park north of Ft. Wayne. The high power fox was the usual dismounted mobile rig driving a yagi, while the microfox was about 30 feet away hidden & disguised (quite well) in a tree about six feet off the ground. Despite the fact that they had hauled in tables, chairs, a well stocked mini-fridge, a sauna, a pool table, Burmese dancing girls, and a large flat panel TV to wile-away the time while we hunters slogged through the bush, they were none-the-less difficult to detect back in them-there bushes.
The fox began making noise right on schedule, and all of us hunters at the Buckner Park starting point heard it right off. We got a bearing to the north-east and proceeded directly up Lima Rd. Then the bearings took us east on Gump Rd. at which point we deduced that the fox was probably ensconced somewhere in Payton Park. So we dismounted at Payton Park and started hunting on foot, and were the first team to localize the fox lair.
The thicket where the fox was located was surrounded by a circular path about 100 yards in diameter. As it turns out Charles, Fred and Phil were not located at the center of the circle, but were off to the side by maybe 20 yards to one side of the center. (Of course, the center was occupied by a swamp). So naturally, as it turned out, Jim and I approached them from the opposite side of the circle and thus had to struggle through quite a bit of underbrush and avoid the alligators they had stocked the swamp with. But find them we did around 40 minutes into the hunt. It took us another eight minutes to find the microfox hidden (really well) up in the tree. Thus we were first to finish the hunt at 48 minutes (and 12.9 miles travelled).
Jim and I hung around, glowering at Charles, Fred and Phil while we removed the leaches we had acquired in the swamp, and tended to our alligator bites. Eventually most of the rest of the hunters arrived. They of course approached from the opposite side of the circle that we had, thus avoiding the swamp and most of the thick brush (although they did stomp around in the quagmire for about 20 more minutes. (It’s amusing to listen to other people’s stumbling and “ouching” and cussing when it’s not you, hee hee).
Eventually Steve, Alex, Kim, Jim and Bob all discovered the microfox (at 70 minutes into the hunt, and 13.6 miles, but minus the leaches and alligator bites). New hunters Jason and Debbie took a bit longer, finding the microfox 99 minutes into the hunt with 29.2 miles on their odometer. Not bad for their first try.
Following the hunt everyone made their way over to Jim & Annie Pliett’s QTH for the bonfire/party. Jim built a really big one this year. Annie & Carole prepared hot dogs, red and white chili and other stuff which was augmented by the goodies attendees brought to the event. Nobody went away hungry. Check the “photos” tab on the club web page for a few pictures of the festivities.
Based upon time-to-find and mileage, the Pliett-Burke team won the November excursion and thus will serve as the fox for the first hunt of the 2015 foxhunt season (planned to occur 1 February, 2015).
The cumulative, end of year scores (for everyone who participated this year) appear below. Bob Dean, KC9UHU was the overall winner with 7062.2 points, followed closely by runner-ups Charles Ward & Fred Gengnagel with 6449.8 points each.
Presentation of the Foxhunter plaque to Bob will occur at the annual FWRC Christmas banquet on December 12th at the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church. See you there.