BLN July 2008 Fox Hunt Report

Fox hunt – Buildings and Business Parks  

Hunt 1   Hunt 1 was held near the Glen Iris Railway Station at Melway map 60 D6. John, Graham and Graham’s nephew, Greg, came prepared with a directional antenna on a rotatable mast – and they were prepared to use it! Initially, the 5-element yagi was placed facing north (in the direction of the hounds), on top of a ladder behind an old shed. As hounds were heard approaching, the mast was rotated – purely to ensure, of course, that the signal would be heard by all.   YQN was first in, closely followed by Adam from the YDF team, then TXO, HRL, OW and VT. Bryan, also from the YDF team, didn’t realize that his team-mate had already found the fox, and kept himself amused by searching the side of the shed just 5m away from the ladder.  

Hunt 2   Hunt 2 was the first two-legged hunt of the evening. The first leg was held at the small business park at 29-31 Clarice Road. Conveniently located, the western end of this location looked out upon the interface between a golf course and a public linear park. The fox was placed on a metal platform overhanging the park, which could be easily reached from a ladder in the parking lot. From the park, however, the hounds would have to clamber up an extremely tall wall to gain access to the fox. To make matters worse, hounds had been told that it was NOT enough to sight the fox on this hunt; they would have to touch it in order for the frequency of the second leg to be revealed to them!   So, with beam pointing towards the west in an attempt to lure the hounds into an unnecessary run through the park, Marta settled down to wait. She was soon rewarded by the sound of sniffers approaching rapidly through the park. They quickly worked out where the fox was; to be honest, at that point, we had anticipated that the hounds would run back to their vehicles or try to run around to Clarice Road to get in from the correct side. This was a bit foolish, really, given the spider-like tendencies of a number of the runners. Sure enough, within seconds, Adam from YDF had nimbly scaled the wall and got in, followed half a minute later by Bruce from YQN. After being told the frequency of the second fox, Adam realised straight away that it was a Fox-Or, and therefore close, and ran off to find it. Bruce, however, waited for his car to arrive, so it took him a little longer to find his way to the second leg.   At around the time that the first two teams were getting in, there was a lot of activity below the platform from other hounds. Roger quickly realised what was going on and, sensibly deciding that the wall was unclimbable, ran away giving terse instructions to his car. We’re not sure whether he ran around or got a lift to somewhere near the fox, but about 7 minutes after YDF, a puffed looking HRL ran in. Meanwhile, the OW runners had arrived and proceeded to engage in a discussion as to the location of the fox. It lasted several minutes, to the hilarity of the fox, before Ewen finally decided that there had been enough talking, and painstakingly hauled himself over the wall to get in. Clifford followed a minute or so later. Shortly after, VT arrived – IN THEIR CAR – YAY (the only team to do so!!) and headed off as Gary from TXO finally materialised (yep, over the wall) thirty seconds later.   The second leg was just up the road outside a factory. David had originally planned to simply hang a Fox-Or-ing transmitter from an access ladder adjacent to a huge wood chipping tower. That was before Fitzel found a discarded length of PVC pipe. David agreed it was just the right diameter to contain the transmitter (hehe)! Adam, from YDF, the first on site, too quickly cottoned on to the suspicious tube running up the side of the ladder. Damn! Bruce/YQN figured out the trick with a little help. Roger/HRL worked it out, taking proper notice of David’s subtle hints and encouragement. We’re pretty sure Ewen and Clifford from team OW arrived before TXO and VT, but they were just not getting David’s now blatant calls of “warmer, cooler, you’re really hot”. The other teams were in hysterics, yelling advice, as the pair scrambled past the fox up to a platform high above.  

Hunt 3   The third hunt was designed to encourage weight loss. BLN found a gap between two buildings on Whitehorse Road in Mitcham. The entrance to the gap was a generous 700mm at Whitehorse Road, but narrowed progressively until the buildings were virtually touching at the back. The gap contained rubbish and dead ivy. BLN’s youngest and newest team member, Greg, managed to negotiate past the rather surprised spiders and hid the fox almost all the way into the gap. To confuse the hounds, Graham and Greg waited at the opposite side of the building!   Roger arrived first on the scene and took the bait, claiming that he could see the fox from the thin end of the wedge. Graham applied BLN ruling “G0-r0uNd”, ensuring that the hounds would experience the full joy of running through the entire length of the crevice. YQN was first, followed by OW, YDF, HRL (finally, with protest in hand), VT and TXO. Surprisingly, YQN, who came first, whinged that there was nobody from the fox team near the entrance of the crevice! After much consultation, BLN decided against docking points from YQN for the silliest complaint.  

Hunt 4   The fourth hunt was located in a large overgrown area on a hillside out the back of the RSPCA in Burwood. A surreal line of 2m high T-shaped poles, possibly once used to support vines, but now overcome by blackberries, were the source of the signal. Adam/YDF was in first having deduced that the signal was coming from leaky coax which David had carefully strung across the pole tops. YQN, VT, OW, TXO, and eventually HRL tracked the coax to the fox camouflaged as a rusty 44 gallon drum under a tree. Clifford, dazed from running into a branch during the run up the hill, took an unnatural interest in blackberries.  

Hunt 5   The fifth hunt continued our theme of business parks, being located at the end of Clipsal Drive in a vacant area filled with various spiky plants. Marta parked her car unobtrusively behind some crates in one of the parking lots, and then wandered a little way in to deposit the fox in a nice thick bush of blackberries. YDF was the first to arrive, with Adam leaping almost disdainfully over the low chicken wire fence and rushing amongst the blackberries to be in within seconds. His team mate, Tim, affected a slightly more sedate pace, but still found the fox without problems.   YQN and TXO were next to arrive. It took them a little while to negotiate the fence and blackberries, but eventually they approached the bush where the fox was hidden… Approached it, and then pushed right through, obviously misled by the beam which was perched atop it! It took them a good (painful!) minute to circle back around through the blackberry bushes surrounding the fox and get in. VT, both Chris and Greg, were next (a call of “It’s in the f***ing blackberries” rang out into the night), followed by HRL, who complimented the fox on the artistic placement of the foliage that she had decoartively adorned the fox with to disguise the LED (well, he said “It’s at the end of this coax, with a bit of grass on it”, but one can interpret that statement in many ways). Ewen and Clifford for OW were last to arrive, and they criss-crossed all over the place before finally finding the fox, visiting almost every blackberry bush in their travels.   The sixth hunt was then slightly delayed, as we waited for Roger to extract a workbench from a nearby DumpMaster. David was very jealous!  

Hunt 6   Hunt 6 took us into Koomba Park alongside the Dandenong Creek. There were rows of posts to stop people driving into the park, but Graham found a gap and got the Forester onto the bicycle track. Then it was decided to hide the car off the track. To ensure that THE-SUB wouldn’t get bogged, Graham first got out and walked into the hiding spot. Satisfied that the ground was firm and level, he announced that it would be a “walk in the park” and confidently drove in. Doh! Wheel spin in first gear, wheel spin in reverse. Greg and John tried pushing the car out, but the rear wheels were below ground looking for worms.   A combination of rain and the bogging lead BLN to use the car transmitter rather than the regular fox. The rig’s microphone had a dodgy button, ensuring that the comms channel and mobile phones were kept alive with complaints. YQN came in first (winning 3 out of 3 of the hunts hidden by Graham), followed by YDF, OW, TXO, HRL and VT.   Bonus points were offered to the team that could un-bog Graham’s Subaru! Greg VT took up the challenge with his mighty gas guzzler and interconnected the two vehicles with Graham’s snatch strap. With cameras flashing and videos rolling, Greg dropped the clutch, accelerated onto the bike path, and sped away. The big rubber band drew taught, there was an almighty BANG, as THE-SUB hurtled out of the bog – flying backwards towards the path, narrowly missing some small trees and leaving a set of massive skid marks. The crowd roared with appreciation, VT was awarded 3 points, and the Forester towing points passed the ultimate test.

 Hunt 7   The seventh hunt was staged as two legs. The first was located at the far end of a grassy knoll adjacent to a wild, untamed, boggy area out the back of a business park in Mitcham. Really, it was easy to drive in – just proceed along the side of the grassy knoll – but it took ages for the teams to appear. Adam from YDF ran in, quickly followed on foot by Bruce/YQN who was adamant that alternate methods of egress were possible. OW and HRL tootled in on foot followed by VT and TXO sensibly in car. TXO then put on an impressive display of driving finesse, executing an insane slide along the grassy knoll, nearly succumbing to the bog during their getaway.   Marta hid the Fox-Or for the second leg amongst the pipes of a Daikin air conditioning unit mounted head high on the side of an office building farthest from David. This proved to be quite an amusing spot. First of all, early in the evening, a team (OW) drove in (while hunting the first leg), drove to the north side of the parking lot and parked there for several minutes. Apparently, they’d found a hole in the fence and were attempting to reach the first leg via it. Eventually, they gave up and drove away without ever having noticed Marta hiding down an embankment a few feet away.   Next, some teams complained that they couldn’t hear the transmitter; it couldn’t be moved, however, because as these protests filtered through, TXO and YDF materialised on the wrong side of the wire fence separating our office building from Antonio Park Primary School. “It’s private property,” Gary was heard to say as he ran away to find another way in, even though he was only a few metres from the fox! As he left, a mysterious figure sprinted at high speed on the correct side of the building… Clipboard at the ready, Marta awaited his call sign… But he turned the corner and ran away without even pausing! This turned out to be Bryan; clearly, he hadn’t had his run for the day, for after completing a lap of the building, he got in with some assistance from Adam on the wrong side of the fence. YQN arrived a minute later. He sniffed his way along the side of the building, diligently checking every square inch of the open drain filled with water which ran the length of the office. He then investigated a pipe, the north side of the air conditioner, the underside of the air conditioner, the top of the air conditioner… And then, finally, as VT approached, he found the fox disguised amongst the pipes. VT got in a minute later. We’re not sure how, because after he found it, he asked Marta whether it was the first leg!   Hamish from TXO was there at the same time, but spent some time investigating nearby bushes before finally getting in a couple of minutes after VT. It turned out he had found this leg first, as well, but TXO then went on to successfully find David. A good eight minutes later, Clifford arrived, from the Antonio Park end after locating a convenient hole in the fence. He, too, investigated the plumbing and architecture of the building quite thoroughly before getting in. Ewen, for OW as well, wandered in shortly afterwards and requested a lift with the fox back to the start. We first waited for Roger from HRL to find us, who was spotted rushing in a couple of minutes later, again from the Antonio Park side and through the fence hole.  

Supper   Supper was held at Graham’s place in Ringwood – many thanks to Betty for taking on the task of heating up an abundance of food in a small oven! The rich cheesecake desserts were carefully planned out to ensure the relevance of future “gap hunts” like Hunt 3.  

Results   All results were order based – as every hound got in on every leg tonight, there were no penalties. For hunt 2, the order for the second leg was again order based, but on leg time. For hunt 7, as various hounds found the second leg first, we calculated scores based on the time that hounds found their first leg, and then on leg time to the second fox found.  

Bonus De-Bogging Points-3
Total Points2959272933