June 5th arrived, and with it beautiful early Indiana summer weather, perfect for a foxhunt, although there was bit of a threat of rain showers later in the afternoon. The foxhunting crews that gathered at Cobin Memorial Park consisted of: Jim & Kim, KB9’s DOS & DOT, Steve & Linda, W9’s SAN & LAN, plus their grandson, seasoned foxhunter Alex, Jason, KB9UOQ & Debbie, KK4QXC and Jason’s daughter Kylie, Charles, KC9MUT & Bob, KC9UHU. Charles and Bob hosted two newly minted hams as ride-alongs who were interested to see what foxhunting was like.
For this contest the role of the fox was provided by Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA and KA9YYI, plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS & SSE. They hunkered-down at the Homestead High School-Jorgensen YMCA baseball complex south south-east of Homestead High School.
The high power fox consisted of the mobile rig in Jim’s van driving the foxhunting cubical-quad antenna mounted on the van’s roof, and was situated in a parking lot off of Homestead Rd. For the microfox we hiked about 1000’ east of the parking lot where we found a chain link fence amidst an area of heavy growth (i.e., weeds). Jim excavated a trench on the west side of the fence deep enough to bury the microfox right at the fence line. It was impossible to see. We found a park bench about 100’ east of the fence and proceeded to wait for the foxhunters to arrive. Carole & Annie operated the high power fox from Jim’s van and promptly began taunting the hunters starting at 1:35 pm using 147.885 MHz as the fox frequency. The microfox was programmed to transmit for one minute every two and a half minutes.
Jason, Debbie and Kylie were the first to localize the fox coming into the area from the east, behind Jim & I about fifty minutes after the hunt started. They immediately started looking along the fence line based upon their DF readings on the microfox. Of course, they were on the east side of the fence because we were, while the microfox was buried on the west side of the fence.
Pretty soon Steve, Linda, Alex, Charles and Bob, and their ride-alongs showed up and they all started furiously hunting along the east side of the fence. It was a site to see watching all of those folks rooting around like hogs in a corn field. Even Kylie was in there; I think she’s a born foxhunter.
Eventually everyone figured out that the microfox had to be on the west side of the fence so they stampeded over there, and as a group were basically standing over the (buried) microfox, ripping up weeds (and perhaps a bit of poison ivy), and digging away. Amidst all of the flying vegetation and dirt I think Bob actually was the first to lay eyes on it, but Charles actually put hands on it first and thus was the “first to find”. They were followed almost immediately by Jason, Debbie and Kylie, Steve and Alex. It kinda looked like somebody had come through there with Agent Orange.
A bit later Jim & Kim found Carole and Annie in the van, and then hoofed it over to the fence from the parking lot. And then in pretty short order they located the microfox. (They just had to look for the bald spot on the ground near the fence).
Following the hunt everyone proceeded to the Steak-N-Shake at Illinois and Getz Rd. whereupon we feasted mightily and spun tales about the hunt.
Charles and crew will serve as the fox for the July adventure which will occur on 10 July to avoid the July 4th weekend. It will emanate on 146.580 MHz with 146.760 MHz serving as the intercom.
For those who keep score (ha ha), the numbers to date are as follows:
|Hunter||June Points||Year-to-Date Points|
Why don’t you come join us on next month’s hunt? It’s a lot of fun.