The Great Little Fox Hunt
of 2010
Small But Great !!!
Photographed by Tom Dawson - WB3AKD and reported by Denny Boehler - KF4TJI

        Following the smallest LARG meeting I can remember on Saturday, May 15, 2010, LARG's smallest fox hunt commenced. There were only two hunters, Denny, KF4TJI and Doug, KJ4BRN. We decided to ride together. Doug moved his equipment to my truck. I set my radio to the fox's frequency, 145.560, and we were off.

We headed west on Rt.7 listening as we went. When we got to Rt. 601, I went south a ways. Doug was curious about the location of the Bluemont repeater, so I drove past it. Then I headed north on 601. No hint of a fox anywhere. Since I did not want to end up in West Virginia, I called Tom, WB3AKD, to check with him. This was supposed to be the easy fox. While talking to Tom, I realized the fox frequency was 145.650, not 145.560! Tom suggested we head back toward Leesburg.

Just east of the Hamilton exit, Rt. 704, we got a strong signal from the fox, but had to go to Rt. 9 to exit. If I had put the right frequency in, we would have found the fox much sooner! We drove back on old Rt. 7 and stopped to get bearings just north of Hamilton. The bearings pointed about 30 degrees. Within three blocks the signal disappeared. We drove a loop north and west of Hamilton without hearing the fox. Then we decided to try the road which parallels Rt. 7 just north of it. There we got a strong signal. We drove back to Rt. 704 and parked near the W&OD. We had no signal from that location. Doug headed west and I headed east on the W&OD. After walking over a quarter mile, I got a faint signal. When it improved a bit, I called Doug on the balloon frequency to tell him I had a signal. He had already started heading my way.

The signal continued gaining strength as I walked. I was getting close as Doug joined me and we located the fox in a tree just off the trail. In an earlier discussion with Tom, we decided to only find the easy fox.

The Easy Fox Resting In Its Den

The hard fox location has been saved for a future fox hunt. We took the fox and met Tom to pass the fox on to him. Tom opened the fox and shut it off and we talked a while. When Doug and I got in my truck, he had a full strength signal on his HT and I did on my mobile rig on the fox frequency. We pulled up next to Tom’s vehicle and told him we still had a strong signal from the fox. When you drive by Hamilton tune your radio to 145.650 and see if you can hear the ghost fox!

Doug and I enjoyed the fox hunt. Tom had done his usual fine job of hiding the fox. The signal from the fox seemed to be mainly in a small area. Even when we drove along the road paralleling Rt. 7 the signal would be acquired and lost in a short distance. My lessons learned from this fox hunt are 1) programming the right frequency is a requirement and 2) before the next fox hunt I am going to get a book of topo maps which cover the state of Virginia. See you at the next fox hunt.

Denny - KF4TJI