On Saturday afternoon the 3rd of October 8 hounds assembled in Weston Park, near the Maze. Hounds in attendance were Gilbert VK1GH, Rob VK1KRM, Mike VK1KCK, Roger VK2SRH, his two daughters & a friend and Dave VK1DC. Neil VK1KNP has constructed a second Fox, which has a delay start facility, so he was able to be at the start location when the first Fox began transmitting at 2:02 PM. Spare sniffers were distributed at the start and due to the composition of the hounds present it was decided to run pedestrian hunts for the day.
The hounds headed south on foot to the oak trees where the 1st fox was hidden under leaf litter. Mike VK1KCK located the fox first, but while this was going on Neil had placed the second fox up a tree near the train, which late arrival Dave VK1DC, sniffed out before arriving at the first fox location. Gilbert and Rob had some difficulty with their sniffer which was playing deaf, however Gilbert managed to zero in on the 1st fox using his hand held without an antenna and body shielding. Rogers's daughters took to hunting really well managing to find the foxes in very similar time to the more seasoned hunters.
Dave placed the 3rd fox while everyone else was circling the tree looking for the second fox. Dave chose a position in leaf litter under a tangled bush. To make things a bit different the new fox had it's random Transmit mode activated, which proved to level out the hound skill levels as the Fox made a series of very short random transmissions with random breaks. All the hounds arrived at the location within 2 minutes of each other but 10 minutes elapsed before Neil found the device using a hand held and attenuator. The cramped conditions under the bush made use of the normal sniffers difficult. Neil did not give the location away and the others spent a further 10 minutes tilling the undergrowth.
Once again Dave placed the 4th fox in the drain of a dry pond, 300 metres away over the hill. This one on low power was difficult to hear, and a construction zone was in the direct path. Mike VK1KCK arrived at the fox first this time. While this was happening Roger and his daughter placed the 5th fox.
Back over the hill again, this time to the edge of the lake next to the kids' tree house. The 5th fox was in compost at the base of a tree with a diversion near it. We nearly got the feet wet with this one, and a concerned mother thought we were detecting her son playing on the tree house. Dave found the 5th fox first.
Rogers's girls then placed the 6th fox in a conifer at chest height. This gave some unusual bearings with reflections off a chain-wire fence causing all the hounds to make a U shaped search route. Dave arrived first closely followed by Neil who located the device first this time.
On the way to the 6th fox Neil dropped the 7th fox which was successfully hunted out by Roger in some long grass. Once again the 10-minute delay start time proved a useful tool with the fox coming to life just after the completion of the 6th hunt.
Most of the days hunting had been around the Train and Maze, so Neil decided to place the 8th Fox in the Maze after negotiating a fee with the attendant. The hounds entered the maze and had both a navigation and location task to deal with to find the device. Rogers's girls found the device first ahead of Dave who was first on the scene.
The final fox was placed by Roger and presented very strong signals when the sniffing equipment was turned on near the cars. Very suspicious signals were coming from the vicinity of Neil & Rogers cars. It was quickly narrowed to Roger's car but from where. Decoy antennas had been placed but all agreed that signals were being emanated from the boot area. The radiations were coming from a boot mounted mag base antenna but the fox was actually on the front seat.
Everyone had an enjoyable days hunting which wrapped up around 4:30 PM. Blue sky and sunshine were present for most of the afternoon although a slight rain shower occurred during the first hunt. The venue proved an excellent location for hunting, and many people made enquiries of what we were doing, providing a bit of publicity for the hobby as well. The use of two foxes proved a great success with each hunt quickly following the previous hunt. Thanks to the hounds that showed up. We will run another hunt soon for those who missed out. Those who came had a great time.
Next Fox hunt will be on Thursday 29th of October starting at 7:00 PM from the Lab.
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