October 2003 Foxhunt

The October hunt was run recently by the VK3MZ (et al) Team. Six hounds took part – with the KIR team accepting Geoff’s invitation to dinner that evening – only to discover that he had been talked into helping out with the hunt (sorry guys – maybe we could go out next month??). The meeting location was the Doncaster swimming centre carpark and promptly at 8:22 the hounds were called in for the first hunt.

This was a single leg hunt tucked away at the end of a long and winding road in what appeared to be public space. With no fences in the area we wandered down to the edge of a creek and concealed the fox. Nearby residents were attracted by the movement and wandered out to see what was going on – and we took the time to be courteous and informative about what was happening. They were thrilled to see the first team in – VK3YQN – and how they located the fox after only 2-3 minutes of sniffing. Second in was VK3BLN who waded the creek and climbed the embankment to get in about 2 minutes later; apparently dense undergrowth on the other side of the creek had prevented them from driving all the way to the transmitter on this hunt. While many other hounds appeared on the other side of the creek, none of them were able to find the stepping stones used by David – as a result, no other hounds got in before time expired. There was a protest about the location and this was neatly sidestepped by Geoff at the time because the protesting team had not submitted copies of the appropriate forms before time was up (I mean if people could protest after the hunt was over – say at supper – the end result would be quite unfair). Subsequently, Mark (VK3JMD) offered an independent opinion It’s a protest of second against first. It has good grounding It is easier to let it go but the right thing is to admit a mistake on the foxes behalf and cancel all scores for that hunt. YQN have a history of such violations in the past (Braeside Park when we ran a hunt at my place last) for being on private property and this shows past offence and a disregard for the rules.

The second hunt was a 2 legger; with the two transmitters about 400 metres apart as the crow flies..but about 5km by road (i.e. about 1-2 minutes drive if you’re in the VT vehicle). First into leg 1 was YQN with BQZ and BLN narrowly behind. Next in was YDF then Greg, VK3VT, who had inadvertently found the 2nd leg first – and then sped off to find the 1st leg. The 2nd leg was tucked down yet another dead end road on the edge of a state park – with the fox concealed at the base of a tree on the edge of the forest. While YQN was first into the 2nd leg, we were using leg timing – and as a result the VK3VT team came first place on this leg (the combination of Greg’s driving, a V8 and knowing where the transmitter is was quite hard to beat).

The 3rd hunt was a single-leg hunt in a court north of Warrandyte. First in was VK3BQZ, with BLN, YDF and YQN close behind. The 4th hunt was hidden in a small laneway at the end of a long road. Surrounded by private property – there was only one way in – plus the way that Roger found (but he assures me it was legal, and if Roger says so, that’s fine by me ;-)). First in was Greg VK3VT, followed 9 minutes later by BQZ and BLN a few seconds after time was up – but given the benefit of the doubt.

The 5th hunt was in a court in Donvale – with YQN coming taking out 1st place followed by YDF, BLN, TXO, BQZ and VT.

The final hunt for the evening was on the Eastern side of the Yarran Dherran nature reserve. Adam from the YDF team came in first after a long run – followed by Greg and team who had come from the other side of the park. As we sat on the hillside waiting for other hounds to arrive two vehicles found their way onto a dirt-track on the other side of the creek. We watched the landcrab hurtle along the track at high speed – only to hear the distress call about 60 seconds later as they plowed into a large puddle – as water poured into the cabin they debated who would go down with the ship – – but Graeme wasn’t prepared to cooperate. The VT team were kind enough to make a brand new snatch-strap (for which we promised him 0.1 bonus points) available for a rescue attempt and after much preparation and three attempts, the (even more battered than normal) landcrab was pulled free. A highlight of the evening was the video recording of the bogging – and de-bogging – made by Adam VK3YDF. This was shown at supper and is likely to be a feature part in any future fox-hunting movie.

Scores announced at supper were

1 YQN 13

2 BQZ 14

3 BLN 15

=4 VT 18

=4 YDF 18

6 TXO 26

Allowing for protests and adjustments,

1 BQZ 11

2 YQN 13

=3 VT 14

=3 BLN 14

5 YDF 15

6 TXO 23