November fox hides in remote environmental preserve

The final Fox Hunt for 2019 started with a search for a good hiding place. On our way back from Toledo Julie and I came across the Blue Cast Springs Environmental Preserve, a part of the Acres Land Trust system, and is about 3 miles from Ohio on the East side of Allen County (basically at the corner of Bluecast Rd. and Old US 24 East). It looked promising, but we were concerned that we would not be heard from the starting point. A bit of scrounging and head scratching led us to construct a flimsy 28 foot support on which to put our homemade 4 element yagi to serve at the high power fox. We tried it out 9 days prior to the 3 November hunt , and our Sniffer pulled it right in from the Cobin Memorial Park starting point.

On the day of the hunt, 3 vehicles were ready. One vehicle had Jim, Annie, Al, and Carole, K9OMA, KA9YYI, WB9SSE and WB9RUS; the second vehicle included Steve and Linda, W9SAN and W9LAN, and their grandson Alex, and the third had Spencer, KD9NRS. Missing were regulars Charles, Fred, and Bill, KC9MUT, KC9EZP and K9WEH.

The weather was near perfect for November, about 50 degrees and partly cloudy, with very light winds. At 1:30 the first transmission was made, and it was verified that everyone heard the high power fox at the starting point. Various topics were broadcast during the one minute (every five minutes) high power fox transmissions time. And this included a discussion of grandchildren performing in marching band, and also featured some black walnut processing ideas). Since none of the topics we discussed were mentioned thereafter, we have to assume they were so erudite that there was simply nothing more that could be added to the discussions, or, that we will have to find something more exciting to talk about next time. There was one comment noting that the yagi did a good job.

The first vehicle (the Pliett/Burke crew) pretty much followed standard fox hunting methods, following the signal along its path as best they could with the roads that were available. This proved successful, as they found Blue Cast Springs in about 41 minutes. This sounds like a long time, but it is at least 15 miles as the crow flies from the starting point, and none of them were crows.

The second vehicle, (the Nardin team) used a slightly different strategy. They took off in the general direction of the fox, and somewhere along the way decided they knew where the fox was, and headed there. Unfortunately that was not where the fox was, so they lost some time. They arrived about 67 minutes after the start.

The third car was a newbie, Spencer Cassady who basically was doing a ride-a-long but in his own car. He chased car two all the way.

Finding the microfox was not particularly challenging, as is usual when we are the fox. It was up a tree high enough that only Alex could reach it, and he had to climb up the tree a bit at that. There was a dummy device at the base of the tree to deceive those who think we always hide the microfox on the ground in the downed tree limbs and such, but it did not deceive anyone for any length of time. The average time to find the microfox after parking at Blue Cast Springs was about 8 minutes. The microfox was found first by Jim Pliett, and then Al Burke followed by the Nardin team, and after that by Spencer.

All but Spencer retired to Richard’s Restaurant in New Haven where copious amounts of good food was consumed, and a good time was had by all.

This was the last foxhunt of the 2019 season. The next hunt will occur in February to start off the 2020 season. The Pliett/Burke team will serve as the fox for that contest.

November hunt scores and the corresponding year end scores are as shown below.

Hunter November Score Year-End Score
WB9RUS 3 18.5
WB9SSE 3 22.5
K9OMA 4 27.5
KA9YYI 3 21.5
Brian Mockenhaupt 0 1
KC9MUT 0 30.1
KC9EZP 0 17.34
AB9IZ 0 11.34
W9SAN 2 21.67
W9LAN 2 21.67
Alex 2 15
K9LI 6.33 25.33
Julie 6.33 19.33
Julie’s Dad 0 5
K9WEH 0 11
KD9NRS 1 1
KD9ITZ 0 2

Charles Ward, KC9MUT garnered the most points during 2019 and thus will take home the Foxhunting Trophy for another year.

Don, K9LI, and Julie – November Foxes

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