Joined: Sep. 2002
||Posted: Nov. 21 2002,11:50 am
The XARC fall 2002 Fox Hunt
This fall's Fox Hunt was held on Saturday morning, October 26th. The starting location was the parking lot of the Xerox Research building W128 in Webster, New York. Although the day started damp, the weather improved significantly by the 10am start time and it remained dry for the entire
duration of the hunt. Huntmasters Judy Stonehill (N2KXS) and Fred Miller (WO2P) reviewed the standard rules and introduced a new "tag method" of confirming that the fox had been located. Under this new scheme, 2"x 3"
individually labeled and waterproofed tags with numbers 1 through 10 were attached to the fox. When a hunter located the fox, he was to silently remove the lowest numbered tag and proceed to a predetermined location for confirmation with the huntmasters. This method would hopefully
eliminate the problem seen in past hunts where the first hunter finding the fox would call in (via a repeater) and while verifying the location, would disclose the fox location to other nearby hunters.
It took slightly over 32 minutes for the first place team to locate the fox. "Local knowledge" was a plus here since two of the three first place team hunters were somewhat familiar with the area. The fox was located in Casey Park in the town of Ontario about 12 miles due east of the Webster starting point. It was hidden on the North rim of a very large dirt
bank that was excavated and created back in the 1880's when the area was strip mined for iron ore. The resulting 1/2 mile long 100 foot wide "lake" and rough terrain, coupled with various hiking trails, provided numerous ways to
"make a bad decision". The extremely high iron content of the surrounding hills also resulted in many spots where the fox signal seemed to be reflected or to be seriously attenuated.
At the post hunt lunch, held at "Tom's Original", it was the consensus of the assembled hunters that the new "tag method" method worked out quite well. It added a new dimension to the hunt as various "devious"
methods of guise and deception could be used to throw another team off track. Individual awards were presented to all the hunters and stories of "I would have", "I should have", and "I almost" were shared and enjoyed by all.
The only down side of event was the untimely demise of Pete Fornia's HT that, while performing it duties flawlessly, was inadvertently dropped over the side of a bridge and on to an electronics-eating rock. Pete was fine, the HT did not recover (moment of silence here)...
Well, tradition dictates that the first place team organizes the
following year's hunt. During the latter part of the lunch, I could already see Fred, Brian, and Rick with their heads together, scheming to try to perplex us on the next hunt. We look forward to what looks to be a challenging and spirited hunt.
Fred Miller WO2P Huntmaster
1st place team: Fred Donahue W3MUD
Brian Donovan K2AS
Rick LaDonna N2IJI
2nd place team: Ned KC2FLM
Greg (Ned's son)
3rd place team: Pete Fournier W2SKY
4th place team: Bob Karz K2OID
5th place team: Jon Dickason N2JAC