January 2002 Foxhunt

It would seem that many people are still on annual leave as only four
turned up to take part in the January Fox Hunt. The hunt was organised by
the VK3TVB/3MZ/3JMD/3VR fox hunting team (when will those guys settle on
just one callsign?).

The new start location in the Safeway carpark proved to be much more
convenient than the old K-Mart carpark. Top of a hill, not too many other
cars and safe exits in two directions - who could ask for more?

The first hunt was a very short hop - a low-power fox had been concealed
inside the hollow support pole of a cyclone fence. The antenna was a tin
piece of hookup wire concealed in the crack between two logs. Only 2-3
metres away, there was an inviting hole in the fence that provided entry
the old Burwood brickyards - those that took part in the BLN hunt 2-3
ago will remember this site. First in the area was the VT team, followed
shortly by YDF and YQN team members. As hoped for, all teams got
by the plethora of nasty fox hunting spots in the bushes on the other side
of the fence. First to move back and find the well concealed transmitter
the VT team - with YDF and YQN less than a minute later.

A friend of Geoff's (3VR) had agreed to help with the second hunt. With a
well concealed handheld in his pocket and the extension microphone
up his shirt sleeve he just looked like any of the other 1,000-2,000
wandering around the Glen Waverley carpark and shops. Once again the VT
got in the area very quickly and soon realised that the fox was mobile in
some way. After tracking in the car for a while they realised that the
at which it was moving indicated that it was on a person. They dropped off
two runners that decided to work together - as Doug picked one direction,
Glenn would race ahead and triangulate to determine the area/person. They
were immediately suspicious of a guy standing around making a very long
mobile phone call and as Glenn stepped up to challenge him - the real fox
who was only 1-2 metres away must have sniggered as he moved out of the
area. Realising they had made a mistake, they raced after the other guy,
he got out his car keys and they thought that he was just a motorist
returning to his car. Unfortunately, for the fox he didn't realise they
still watching from a distance and as he popped his keys back in his
and went mobile again they both raced up and challenged him. 11-12 minutes
later the YDF team found him and 5 minutes after that YQN.  BLN runners
seen running up and down alleyways and did find the scorekeepers...but
unable to locate the real fox.

Hunt 3 was another miniature fox - this time concealed in a waterproof
container and shoved into a hole in a rock in the middle of a creek in
Waverley. Hounds got into the area fairly easily, but were challenged by
difficult terrain. The VK3YDF team were first in, with YQN and VT taking
minor placings.

Hunt 4 was a mobile hunt. We called in the hounds from the Wellington Road
entrance to the freeway. As expected, most hounds dropped onto the freeway
immediately and headed straight towards us. We gave them about 4 minutes
then dropped onto the freeway...heading back in the direction from which
they had come. As the signal level rose (we were transmitting 70 Watts),
several teams dropped off the freeway and/or dropped runners. The YDF team
quickly realised what had happened and headed back towards us. In the
meantime we had driven into an industrial estate and hid the car
a tarpaulin in a narrow alleyway. We could hear cars moving around the
industrial estate and reduced transmissions from 30 seconds ON/OFF to blip
mode (hee hee hee). First in the area was the YDF team - by now well ahead
of the others; they got in quite quickly, followed by the BLN team about
minutes later.

Hunt 5 was a transmitter suspended in a balloon about 50-70m above the
in an area of native forest called Shepherd's Bush.  All teams took some
time to finally work out that the signal was up and then
to stop looking up each tree. At one stage there were 6 hounds sniffing up
different trees. Without a torch the Balloon could just be made out in the
moonlight and when the Tx was on the LED could be seen 50m below on the
ground.  First in was YFD with the other teams following 6-8 minutes
For the record a 3ft Balloon can lift 200grams and a 5ft balloon inflated
4ft lifts 300grams nicely

The final hunt for the evening was concealed in a hollow post at the edge
a garden bed. Unfortunately for us, the YDF team had spotted the pole in
car earlier in the evening and was on the lookout for this. (Damn- if I'd
thought of it at the time, we should have double-crossed them and hid it
in the dense undergrowth nearby). Results - YDF, VT, YQN and finally BLN.

A relatively early supper was held at the home of Geoff (VK3VR). Scores

1	1	0	1	2
2	1	0	2	3
3	0	1	2	3
4	0	2	2	1
5	0	3	2	1
7	0	1	2	3
Total	2	7	11	13

Place	1	2	3	4