Official Results, Holland Fox Hunt, May 18, 2010
After each fox hunt here in West Michigan I find myself driving away thinking "What a blast! This was the best hunt yet!" .. And then the next fox hunt comes along and it is just a little better yet. Such was the case with last Tuesday's hidden transmitter hunt starting at the Holland ARC Technical Center. Fox for the event, Sheila Bosscher, (K8AJ) gave us a real test of our ADF abilities with her imaginative hiding spot along with new ideas for the hunt. Once again I drove away saying "not THAT was really fun! This was the best hunt yet."
Sheila picked a hiding place that shocked most of us who are used to the fox hiding in an obvious ham vehicle in a public park, cemetery or on a country road. Instead, she picked a perfect lair by a tot-lot park in an up-scale residential neighborhood. Surrounded by a row of tall pine trees, a lake and a metal container, she sat hidden a the back seat of a borrowed car. Although the car was adjacent to the residential street, it was only visible for an instant as we passed by. We were tipped-off by the smallest of black magnetic antennas on the roof of the car.
The first to find the fox was Tom Bosscher (K8TB), Sheila's husband. Tom was our first local entry using a Doppler antenna. Obviously Tom was in a class by himself.
Following shortly behind Tom was the surprise of the night. In just 27 minutes into the hunt, first-time hunters Derrick Noland (W8DDN) and Jim Hoyle (N8OMA) found the fox using a borrowed tape-measure antenna. We are going to have to watch out for these two in the future! Their hunt took 8.2 car miles.
Winner for the night in the manual antenna class was Laryn Lohman (K8TVZ) and Ike DeWitt (K8EMU) with 5.1 traveled car miles. Second place went to the team of James Richards (K8JHR) and Chuck Nowak (AJ8W) who also had 5.1 car miles. Total hunting time was the tie-breaker in this case.
If there was an award for the most "hi-tech" looking vehicle, it would have gone to our third-place team of Jim Lamberts and Phil Van Huis who traveled 6.7 miles in their search for the fox. With a 4 element CushCraft beam floating over their truck, they turned a lot of heads as they charged over the course.
All teams found the fox within the allowed 2-hour time limit. This included the team of Jim Leys (WD8CAN), Jeff Ver Hage (KB8QAP), Robert Holton (KC8USP) and Mike Hill (W8DER) .
New to this hunt, the fox used an automated transmitter "PitCon"controller by a Byonics. This transceiver controller is specifically designed for hidden transmitter hunting and has been used on several practice hunts locally this year. (Ref: ) Hunters were treated to random computer tones instead of the normal chatter from the fox. Hints, which are ordinarily given verbally by the fox were issued to each team in sealed envelopes before the hunt. Each hint in the envelope was labeled with a time it could be opened.
The first hint, labeled "8:00 o'clock", Said "Hope you're not heeding Horace Greeley's advice tonight" Of course, Greeley's "Go west young man" would have put the hunters squarely in Lake Michigan well before 8:00 o'clock. The last hint suggested that the hunters should look for everyone else at Wendy's on US31. It was a fun night!
Everyone left Wendys looking forward to the next hunt at the IRA Hamfest in Hudsonville on June 5th and the next Holland Hunt on the third Tuesday in June. (June 15th)
Submitted by W8DER 5/19/2010.