John VK1ET was the Fox for this Hunt.
The Fox appeared on air around 7:05 PM although it was very weak and only a few receivers at the Lab could hear it. 5 Hounds left the Lab and spread out to find reasonable reception points. The signal was poor in any hollow and rather better towards the top of rises emanating from the North.
Neil VK1KNP was first in the Fox vicinity at 7:20 on Gininderra creek below the dam, causing much hurried activity by John VK1ET who was still completing the camouflaging of the fox location. John was seen sprinting through the bush, although he did not give away the fox location.
The fox had been placed beside the water, which being summer was not flowing. Neil quickly determined that the signal was on the other side of the creek, however it was too wide to jump and he was wearing business clothes. Neil chose to wander downstream to look for a crossing, and while attempting to cross over a layer of branches & flotsam tried to walk on water. As Neil is not light this resulted in the first splash of the evening, sinking up to his knees in the water. After persisting and finding a new crossing the Fox location was narrowed to a willow beside the creek and finally located by careful field strength mapping at 7:28 PM. The antenna was positioned at the edge of the water behind a branch, while the fox was buried approximately 2 metres away under a log.
Next on the scene was Dave VK1DC who arrived on the correct side of the creek at 7:35. Dave's hand-held was quickly overloaded in the near field and he used Neil's sniffer to narrow the fox location. Dave succeeded finding the antenna at 7:48 PM.
Pedestrian Peter VK1PK arrived at 7:50 sending Neil and Dave scurrying back to the other side of the creek. Peter quickly zeroed in on the fox by off tuning his FT-290 by 25 kHz to narrow the radiation source. Peter located the device at 7:58 PM.
Paul VK1TEE and Laeli VK2LO had separated and gone to separate high locations to take compass bearings, meeting back at the Lab to decide their course. Unfortunately they chose to start out on foot and returned later after determining that the fox was in fact around 3 km distant. Richard VK1SW and Andrew arrived just before Paul and Laeli and proceeded to hunt out the device in the encroaching darkness.
Unfortunately Paul who was attempting a similar crossing to Neil managed to go for a swim in the creek up to his chest. Amazingly the sniffer did not get wet! Paul gave up at this stage leaving Laeli to find the fox. Richard and Andrew cited bad light and gave up at this point.
Order of fox location: VK1KNP, VK1DC, VK1PK, VK2LO.
Next week Dave VK1DC will be the Fox. See you all then.
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