Revised: May fox hides along river downtown

foxhunt cartoonWebmaster’s note: After we published an article about the May, 2015 fox hunt, author Al Burke, WB9SSE submitted a revised version, which appears below.

This month’s hunt, which occurred on the third of May, was held on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon in shirt-sleeve weather. The hunters included the team of Linda & Steve Nardin, K9’s LAN & SAN and their grandson Alex, the team of Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & KA9YYI plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS & SSE, the team of Jim & Kim Machamer, KB9’s DOS & DOT, and the team of Jason Eicholtz, KC9UOQ & Debbie Romine, KK4QXC.

The duties of the fox were provided by Charles Ward, KC9MUT, Fred Gengnagle, KC9EZP, and Robert Dean, KC9UHU. They chose a shady location in Guildin Park along the south bank of the St. Mary’s river northeast of the Van Buren St. Bridge to hide the microfox. It was cleverly emplaced and camouflaged in a tree branch about 6′ off the deck. They employed three high power foxes located around the hide area, including one, in Fred’s truck, parked between two semi-trailers with the evil intent of creating a quasi waveguide aimed towards downtown Ft. Wayne. As usual, the microfox would transmit a cw signal at about 50 milliwatts for one minute followed by the high power fox who would transmit for one minute, this sequence repeated every five minutes.

The hunters were stationed at Cobin Memorial Park when the fox started squawking at 13:30 hours. At first Robert had some difficulty with his equipment such that we heard no modulation on the fox signal, just carrier, when he functioned as the high power fox. But when Charles or Fred operated as the high power fox, we heard their taunting, but melodic voices just fine and took DF bearings on their signals. Shortly after they started transmitting the stampede was on in earnest!

We wound up traveling down Lake Ave. and into the downtown area following our DF readings, and eventually found out way to Bloomingdale Park on the north side (yes, that is the wrong side) of the St. Mary’s river. Anyway, we dismounted and walked the St. Mary’s Pathway far enough to determine that the fox was on the other side of the river. Hence we exclaimed “Oh phooey!!” (sort of) because we had to double back, cross the Van Buren St. Bridge and then find our way into Guildin Park. By that time, and before our arrival, the other foxhunter teams had localized the fox and were tromping around the area on foot searching for the elusive microfox.

But as things evolved Jim, K9OMA, was the first hunter to find the microfox, about 93 minutes into the hunt. He was followed by Jason & Debbie at about 95 minutes, then by Steve, Linda and Alex at 96 minutes, and finally by Jim and Kim at 103 minutes.

So the Pliett / Burke team were the winners based upon time-to-find and will serve as the fox for the June hunt which is scheduled to occur on Sunday, 7 June. The fox will emanate on 146.855 MHz, and the foxhunt intercom will be on the 146.76 machine.

Following the hunt everyone proceeded to the Dairy Queen on Sherman and West State and consumed mass quantities. Mmmmm-good!! (Some claim this is the best part of a fox hunt). Maybe yes, maybe no…but, YOU should have been there. It’s easy, it’s fun and we always have ride-along space in our vehicles for those interested in experiencing the sport from the hunter’s point of view. Or, if you contact the upcoming fox team (Pliett/Burke for the June hunt) ahead of time, you can become part of the wily fox and experience the hunt from its vantage point. Either way is fun.

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

Hunter May Points Year-to-Date Points
KC9MUT 7.75 (Fox) 21.75
KC9UHU 7.75 (Fox) 21.75
KC9EZP 7.75 (Fox) 10.75
K9OMA 5 (first to find) 18.66
KA9YYI 4 16.66
WB9RUS 4 16.66
WB9SSE 4 16.66
KC9UOQ 3 5
KK4QXC 3 3
W9SAN 2 7
W9LAN 2 7
Alex 2 4
KB9DOS 1 3
KB9DOT 1 3

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