This week Neil VK1KNP was the Fox. A location line of sight to the hounds on a hill in Bruce was selected for the Fox. The location has widely separated (unconnected) road entrances and was at least 300 metres from the nearest vehicular access. The Fox was placed in a gum tree which had grown out of the undermined stump of a previous bigger gum which had been cut down. The stump had a large area where animals had made their home and so looked a good hiding spot. It is important to note that Neil is not akin to using the obvious spots though!
The hounds started at 7 PM and Neil left the site and proceeded to search for hounds to follow! Although the fox was very strong at the start point, because of terrain shielding, as the hounds moved closer the signal became weaker. This had more than one hound confused. John VK1ET was observed first in the Uni of Canberra, while soon after Simon VK1AUS borrowed the Fox's beam. While heading back to the area of the fox by a long route Neil detected a hound following, so promptly led him into Bruce TAFE and Calvery Hospital. Nice try Jack! Once the tail had been confused Neil returned to the Fox location on foot.
John VK1ET arrived at the fox location at 7:30 and found it at 7:32, At 7:35 Dave VK1DC arrived and took about 5 minutes to locate the Fox. Then the real fun started. When Neil arrived back Peter VK1PK, the pedestrian hound, was wandering around the tree looking perplexed. He was being covertly observed by John & Dave from a distance. He continued to be perplexed for at least 10 minutes before he spotted it. More and more hounds zeroed in on the location all repeating the same dance around the tree. At one stage there was no less than 6 people with antennas, mostly vertical pol, circling the tree all looking forlawn. All agreed the signal was coming from that spot but could not find the source in the stump.
Now being a Gum tree it had a clean trunk with occasional pieces of bark, but bare enough to determine there were no cables going along the trunk. Look Up was the hint - nothing seen initially. One by one the hounds finally twigged and joined the early spectators which now included some of the public. The Fox had been placed in a fork of the Gum some 4.5 metres above the ground and covered in loose bark off the same tree. The Stump was the obvious place and provided a good red herring.
Those hounds who bothered to check horizontal Polarisation up and down determined the signal was UP and looked closer. The hounds finally gave up at dusk around 8:30 PM, we then adjourned back to the Lab for a WICEN meeting.
Order of determination of the Fox: VK1ET, VK1DC, VK1PK, VKTEE, VK2LO, VK1AUS, VK1JA, VK1SW and Andrew. The Fox next week will be John VK1ET.
Hunting will commence at 7 PM Thursday evening from Wales St Belconnen. Be there by 6:45 PM.
Fox Frequency 146.500 MHz, Liaison Black Hill 2M 146.900 MHz.
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