The February foxhunt was run by the VK3YDF team in cool dry conditions.
The first hunt was planned to be a 4-legged hunt however, Tx malfunction caused a re-think. It commenced around 8:30PM with the first leg being found beside Scotchman’s Creek near Forster Rd in Mt Waverley. The fox parked his car in a small car park associated with Fairway Reserve. Shortly after, another vehicle also parked in the same car park. Its single male occupant remained seated in the vehicle for some time. On seeing the fox leave his vehicle, the other car left the car-park – possibly due to the driver realising that the fox was not there for the same reason. This spot must have been well known to the some of the hounds as they arrived quite quickly at this location. Then it was a matter of which side of the creek to follow? Most chose the easy run down the walking path (oops, wrong side) and then had to negotiate the rather steep sides of the creek. One team’s hunter even found a prickle bush (unplanned BTW) when sliding down the bank. A sweeping shine of the torch found the fox.
The second leg was at the rear of a set of factories in Slough Estate. This was a relatively easy hunt with transmitter hanging against the other side of a wire fence. Most teams found this without too much difficulty with 3VR and YQN well ahead of 3BLN, BQZ and 3VT. The third and fourth legs were abit of a shambles as the Leg 3 Tx died. Members of the YQN and BLN team s both found Leg 4. It was decided to call the hunt over and only score to end of Leg 2.It was advised that the 3rd leg of each hunt would be cancelled due to the lack of transmissions emitting from the fox.Hunt 2 Leg 1 was in the estate bounded by Avendon Blvd in Glen Waverley.
The fox parked at the edge of a pleasant small “village common” and waited. Some of the hounds drove into the estate, whilst some chose to respect the wishes of the well-heeled residents and ran in from the surroundings to the estate. Most hunters seemed to believe that the lone vehicle parked in the open could not be a possibility and so ran around a bit. All eventually came to the car and were “in”.
The second leg was located at the end of a small park off Ferntree Gully Road with the fox hidden behind foliage in a far corner. Only one team decided to enter via the park itself. The rest of the teams went in along the side of the freeway only to be confronted by a wire fence. VR and JMD were first on the scene and were initially hesitant thinking it looked like private property, but after seeing the fox hidden in the bushes decided that scaling the fence was probably the quickest solution. 3BLN, 3YQN, 3VT and 3BQZ all followed shortly after with only 4 minutes between first and last teams.
The third leg (nil)
The fourth leg was located in Brandon Park Shopping Centre on an over-height warning post on the upper level Car parking access ramp. The MZ team was first on the scene, they decided however to do a few laps of the car-park, before dropping runners that also did a few laps of the car-park. The second in the area was YQN only a few minutes behind. First in was the MZ team, followed shortly by YQN, then not too long later were BLN. After a short delay VT and BQZ were fighting it out for the minors, it was VT however who with a keen pair of eyes and no sniffer who found it first. BQZ however were distracted by the two fox vehicles on the upper level. They were exchanging foxes, not being foxes.Hunt 3 was to be an 8-legged combination fox-or-ing and regular multi-legged hunt. This however was to be reduced to 6 legs. The melways locations of 3 fox-or-ing transmitters were given. For those unfamiliar with fox-or-ing this is an orienteering style hunt that is gaining popularity, we picked it up from our friends in Hungary. Fox-or Tx s are very low power foxes that can only be heard with in about 500M.
The first leg a fox-or transmitter was hanging in a tree next to the Whites Lane Tennis Club courts 71 E7. All teams found this fox without difficulty. The next fox – second leg was hiding beside the Mount View Reservoir. The fox could be found down an access track bounded by the reservoir and the Police Academy. Very soon after the beginning of the hunt, sounds of squealing tyres and a revved engine came from the Anglican church car-park. However, this turned out to be not a hound, but some other troublemaker. Not too long after this though, the odd torch and sniffer carrying miscreant was running towards the fox vehicle. One or two mentioned the church official that they had challenged about being the fox (much to that person’s distress). Others complained about the location (but they had not looked at the map or understood the State government’s unbundling of the water supply authorities – we pay for the expensive part Melbourne Water, the water retailer’s sell the supply). So, the location was on the Crown land area under the control of Melbourne Water.
The third leg, another fox-or could be found beeping away beside the tennis courts 70 E8, not too far from the fourth leg, that was hidden inside a disused water storage reservoir next to the Bunnings car park off Ferntree Gully road. A rather large concrete wall and wire fencing bound a large portion of this area. While there were a number of ways in, most teams got in by getting on top of one section of wall where there was a ladder down the other side of the wall, although the ground there was a tad mushy in spots. One team was seen trying to climb a tree to try to gain access to the other side. Some others found a section of wall that was only a metre or so high. Bruce VK3TJN was the first to discover one of the ladders and managed first place. Dennis VK3BQZ followed shortly after with VR, VT and BLN taking the minor s.
The fifth leg was another fox-or located in the Monash Gallery of Art parklands, there was a lake beside the fox 71J10, can everyone see the trend playing out here? The last leg was between the Wheelers Hill Pub car park and the bounding houses. A large noise retraining wall hides the densely treed area approximately 4 Metres wide between the houses and car park. First on the in the area was the MZ team, Geoff was first dropped approx 8-10 minutes before any other teams. However, uncertain of the nature of the area behind the car park, he waited for is team to negotiate the streets beyond the houses. Mark JMD was dropped in a nearby street and found a dubious way in. Second in the area was Bruce of the YQN team, who following Geoff s lead had no hesitations jumping the 3-4 M high fence. First in was YQN, followed shortly by VT, then BLN, then Geoff for MZ, who returned after a brief re-visit to his team. BQZ were in not too far later.
The supper hunt (hunt 4) was called next as a two-legged hunt with the first fox being hidden in Streeton Ct, Burwood East. No, it was not planned to be there, I just couldn’t find where I had to go (the only entrance I could find to the park I was supposed to be in was down a fenced walkway that was a tad too narrow for the Pajero. Even so, it was interesting to note the number of vehicles that stopped at the entrance to the court. They must have assumed that it couldn’t be down there as it was too obvious and must have been in the park behind. Well, it was supposed to be in the park. Still it did take some time for the hounds to find the fox. First in was almost a tie between YQN and BLN, several minutes later saw MZ, BQZ then eventually VT.
The second leg of the supper hunt was just inside a quarry area near the corner of Middleborough Rd and Burwood Hwy. The fox was put on the top of a small mound. Nathan from the VK3YQN team and David VK3XAJ had a sprint to the fox with only a split second difference between them. 3VR and JMD were next on the scene and after running well past the fox eventually worked out where the signal was coming from to take third place. Graham VK3ZEO followed shortly after and the VK3VT team happened to drive past and see us while we were heading back to the car. Supper was held just down the road in Richmond St Blackburn, (Not Blackburn St Richmond as some teams queried)
This may vary from what you were expecting as on the night I forgot to score the last leg as leg-time (as indicated on instructions) Overall positions have not changed at all.
Scores look like this:
Team Score – Points Place
VK3YQN 7 First
VK3MZ 10 Second
VK3BLN 28 Third
VK3VT 41 Fourth
VK3BQZ 46 Fifth
Incidently, scoring by leg-time on all hunts would have resulted like this:
YQN-MZ tied for first on 20, BLN second on 44, VT third on 52 and BQZ on 58
Adam Scammell VK3YDF for the VK3YDF foxhunting team.