September fox hides in tree

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fox cartoonWell, the September foxhunt started as usual from Cobin Memorial Park at 1:30 pm, on Sunday 10 September, on anything but a typical Indiana summer’s day. It was cool, about 600 F, rainy, and windy with a thick overcast blotting out the sun. Not necessarily a nice day to hunt. Of course, that meant nothing to the hunters, after all, they are animals.

Only one foxhunting crew was able to participate in this hunt, that being the stalwart team of Jim & Annie Pliett, K9OMA & KA9YYI, plus Carole & Al Burke, WB9’s RUS & SSE. The other usual suspects (hunter teams) were either convalescing from surgery or using Sunday afternoon to attend to repairs on their automobiles and antenna systems. (Some grumbled as to “How can that stuff be more important than Foxhunting?”). Then again, 10 September was the date of the Findlay Hamfest, so that might have dissuaded some other folks from participating. We plan to schedule around such events in the future.

Charles Ward, KC9MUT and Fred Gengnagel, KC9EZP served as the fox. They hid-out behind the former Hougland Elementary School (Heritage Elementary) which is of course in Hougland, on the north side of Hougland Rd. They emplaced the microfox in a copse of trees north of the school building. The microfox itself was located in a tree branch about seven foot off the deck, with its antenna oriented vertically, and was contained inside a camouflage wrapping that did a very good job of hiding it.

Charles and crew fired up the high power fox on time from behind the Hougland Elementary School building and we heard them right off the bat at Corbin Memorial Park. We noted with great joy that the DF bearing was to the south south-east, and not due east, into New Haven, where experience has taught us that electromagnetic waves involved in a fox-hunt go to die.

So we took off down Coliseum and then jogged over to New Haven Ave and just followed the DF bearings from the roof mounted 2 meter quad antenna which eventually had us driving south on Minich Rd. and into Hougland. Just before we got into Hougland we started picking up the microfox which told us that the microfox most likely was mounted up in a tree, i.e., off the deck, since its signal is normally very weak if it is close to the ground or buried, or the evil foxes have removed the antenna.

When we drove past the former Hougland Elementary (Heritage Elementary) School building the DF bearing abruptly changed so we knew we had the fox localized, and it just about had to be located on the school building property.

When we entered the school parking lot we noticed a copse of trees about 300 feet behind the building. Jim’s 2 meter hand-held yagi and my 3rd harmonic yagi both indicated that that’s where the microfox had to be. So we hoofed it back to the trees and started looking. Then we noticed a large amount of three leaved plants that shouted POISON IVY!! When I mentioned that to Charles, he said, with a wry smile, “Yes, we noticed that too”. If Steve Nardin had been there, that close to the Poison Ivy, he would have evaporated!

At that point, while I stood well back from the devil weed, I encouraged Jim to look at a spot on a specific tree about seven feet off the deck where my third harmonic yagi said the microfox had to be. Charles and crew had wrapped the microfox in camo and it was not until Jim reached into the tree where the third harmonic yagi pointed and grabbed the absolutely invisible package that it became visible to us. We found the little bugger at about one hour into the hunt.

After the hunt we headed over to the Huddle House Restaurant in New Haven, just off US 30. That’s the first time Carole and I had ever been to this establishment, and I must say it was very good. We met Phil Hooper, (AB9IZ) over there who had just finished piloting a string of railroad cars into the FWA/New Haven train yards, and he joined us for our meal. All in all, it was a fine end to a fun day of foxhunting.

The Pliett/Burke will serve as the fox for the October hunt which will occur on Sunday, 7 October. The weather should be pleasant that early in October. Why don’t you come join us?

The scores for this month’s hunt and for the year-to-date are as follows:

Hunter Points This Hunt Year-to-Date Points
WB9SSE 1 20.5
WB9RUS 1 19.5
K9OMA 2 23
KA9YYI 1 19
KC9MUT 5 27.5
KC9EZP 5 24.5
W9SAN 0 14.33
W9LAN 0 13.33
Alex 0 12.33
K9LI 0 13.0
Julie 0 11
KD9LFW 0 5

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