March fox hides in city park

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foxhunt cartoonThe weather for the (as originally planned) March foxhunt date (March 1) repeated what the weather did to us in February, i.e., it sucked. So the March foxhunt was delayed until the 8th where-upon three foxhunt teams gathered at our new foxhunt starting point of Cobin Memorial Park near Lakeside Golf course. The anxious hunters consisted of the team of Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & KA9YYI plus AL & Carole Burke, WB9’s SSE & RUS, a second team consisting of Jim & Kim Machamer, KB9’s DOS & DOT, and a third team consisting of Steve & Linda Nardin, W9’s SAN & LAN plus their grandson Alex.

The fox crew consisted of Charles Ward, KC9MUT and Bob Dean, KC9UHU, and included a couple of IPFW student “Observers” from Bangladesh invited along for the day’s events by Bob. (Undoubtedly, their tagging along on the hunt almost for sure verified their belief that Americans are nuts).

The fox was situated near Soapbox Derby hill in Franke Park. The high power part of the fox was located in Charles’s fancy new (and unrecognizable) pickup truck which drove a yagi stashed back in the woods at the end of a long feedline. The low power part was a microprocessor driven microfox spewing Morse code on 146.430 MHz, hidden under a log, in the brush, in a nearby copse of trees.

At 13:30 hours, the planned starting time, nothing was heard by the hunters. Charles & Bob subsequently diagnosed an equipment problem which they quickly resolved so that the fox started bleating at 13:40 hours. The fox was thereafter heard by all hunters and the race was on.

Jim had added an addition parasitic element to the Pliett/Burke team’s roof mounted quad antenna for this hunt which noticeably improved its directivity. The added element plus great care in taking DF readings resulted (in post hunt analysis) in plotted DF bearings that crossed at the Franke Park location. However, our team was the last to localize the fox; the Machamer team and Nardin team having arrived at the Soap Box Derby hill site before us.

Despite our later arrival, our team was first to locate the microfox eighty three minutes into the hunt, with Jim first to find the little bugger. Shortly later (at eighty four minutes) the Nardin team found the fox, followed by the Machamer team (at eighty five minutes). Thus the Pliett/Burke team were the winners and will serve as the fox for the April hunt.

Following the hunt everyone buzzed over to Steak-N-Shake on Coldwater for the post hunt repast.

Given the time-to-find numbers mentioned above, the following points earned for this hunt, and for the year-to-date are:

Call sign March points Year-to-date points
K9OMA 4 (first to find) 9.33
KA9YYI 3 8.33
WB9RUS 3 8.33
WB9SSE 3 8.33
W9SAN 2 4
W9LAN 2 4
ALEX 2 2
KB9DOS 1 2
KB9DOT 1 2
KC9MUT 7 Fox 11
KC9UHU 7 Fox 10
KC9EZP 0 3

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