Plan to participate in 2017’s foxhunts!

Fort Wayne Radio Club members test their radio direction-finding skills by participating in a monthly "foxhunt" hidden transmitter hunt

It’s time for YOU to start planning for the upcoming foxhunting season. Foxhunts will occur on Sundays in the months February through November. We knock off for December and January. The dates established for 2017 are as follows:

  • 5 February,
  • 5 March,
  • 2 April,
  • 7 May,
  • 4 June,
  • 9 July,
  • 6 August,
  • 10 September,
  • 1 October, and,
  • 5 November

A foxhunt in any particular month can be rescheduled once within that month (due to weather, civil riots, Godzilla attacks or other unforeseen events). If the rescheduled hunt subsequently cannot be executed for whatever reason, then there will be no hunt that month.


The fox can be located anywhere in Allen County.

The fox must be located on publicly accessible property. It can also be located on private property provided the fox has obtained permission from the property’s owner to do so, and the fox makes it known to the hunters that it is on private property during fox transmissions (at least several announcements to be sure all hunters are aware of the fact).

The starting point for the hunters is the River Greenway Trailhead (Cobin Memorial Park) near the Lakeside Golf Course.

Starting time is nominally 13:30 local time.

Hunt duration is limited to 2 1/2 hours unless all participants agree to extend it during a particular hunt.

The “fox” normally consists of a high power fox and a micro-fox. The high power fox transmits an FM signal strong enough to be heard and DF’d  from the Cobin Memorial Park starting point. The micro-fox is a low power microprocessor controlled cw transmitter, typically on the order of tens of milliwatts that is the actual quarry of the hunters once it is localized by virtue of the high power fox. It is at the fox’s discretion if they employ a microfox in the hunt or not. They may choose to just run with a high power fox only, although that makes the hunt less fun in my opinion.

The high power fox transmits for one minute every five minutes starting at the nominal 13:30 hunt start time.

10. The microfox transmits for one minute immediately following the end of each high power fox transmission.  However, at the discretion of the fox,if desired, the microfox may be programmed to transmit an additional one minute cycle in between it’s normal transmissions following the high power fox. So for example, the transmitting sequence during a hunt might be:

13:30:00 to 13:30:59 high power fox transmits,

13:31:00 to 13:31:59 micro-fox transmits,

13:34:00 to 13:34:59 micro-fox transmits,

13:35:00 to 13:36:59 high power fox transmits,

and so forth

Scoring rules are as follows: 

When a foxhunter physically locates and eye-balls the fox, (normally the micro-fox), he/she will notify the fox who will note the time.

If there are N foxhunter teams, each member of the first team to find the fox receives N points, and the first person in that team that found the fox receives N+1 points. All members of the second team to find the fox receive N-1 points. All members of the third team to find the fox receive N-2 points, and so forth.

The person or team that function as the fox each receive a score equal to the sum of the number of points earned by each of the hunters divided by the number of foxhunter teams. In other words their score = (Σ (points earned by each hunter)) / (number of hunter teams).

For example, based upon the results of the February 2015 foxhunt the scoring plan resulted in the following numbers:

Hunter Team # Team Order of Finding Fox First to Find Fox Foxhunt Score
KC9MUT 1 1st x 4
KC9EZP 1 1st   3
KC9UHU 1 1st   3
W9SAN 2 2nd   2
W9SAN 2 2nd   2
KB9DOS 3 3rd   1
KB9DOT 3 3rd   1
K9OMA Fox     5.33
KA9YYI Fox     5.33
WB9RUS Fox     5.33
WB9SSE Fox     5.33


The fox frequency (both high power, and the microfox) is 146.430 MHz. The 146.760/.160 repeater is used for intercom purposes if needed.

We generally meet at a restaurant or ice cream shop following the hunt to partake in a light meal, and trade comments and lies about the hunt. (Now, if anyone wants to bring a pre-hunt snack to the Cobin Memorial Park starting point for all of their fellow hunters to participate in, it is highly recommended that they bring meat balls thus keeping with a tried and true ham radio tradition dating back to the early 1920’s).

So please, mark your calendar for the first hunt on the 5th of February and join in on the fun.

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