This page will be a place for reports of various member activities by the members themselves.

Bunny Hunt - 4/15/2017 - by F. Dalzell KI7BCL

I've always wanted to go Bunny Hunting (aka Fox Hunting, aka Transmitter Hunting) but recent opportunities always seemed to conflict with some other obligation of mine. Not this one. Finally I was going to be able to participate in a hunt.

Speaking of hunt, Dale Hunt is the primary organizer in our neck of the woods (pavement?) and when he emails that an event will happen, the event is placed on the club calendar and the info is also published on the club website News page. I emailed him to let him know I would be participating so I could be notified in case it got postponed.

We met next to the train at the Keizer Station at a little before 10am on the 15th. I met several others there (unfortunately I don't remember all of the names) and determined how we would be hunting. Dale would be taking myself and 2 others (Bryce and ?) while Bryant would take 3 of his associates. A third vehicle had at least 2 others. Dale explained that he had hidden 2 transmitters and that Bryant had hidden 2 more, all on different frequencies. They would transmit for either 30 seconds or 1 minute then be off the same. Initially, I would be riding shotgun with the others in the back. We would rotate after each find.

A little after 10am, we started by trying to get a base direction for all of the transmitters. Initially, we had 3 that appeared to be north of us and 1 south. We then headed north to the overpass near Volcanoes stadium and took more bearings. Wait, what, they're all south of us now! Looks like we were getting reflections from something that made them appear to be from a different direction.

After checking several times, we determined an approximate sequence to tackle the bunnies. I'm not going to say the specific locations in this report in case they want to be used again. However, I will explain as best I remember the process we went through.

On a drive-around hunt, it is essential that at least 2 people be in a vehicle. It is really impossible to obtain bearings while driving by yourself. Dale emphasized repeatedly (we were a little thick-headed at times) that we needed to always turn the antenna all the way around to ensure that we were getting an accurate bearing and not a reflection.

Anyway, off to the first transmitter. I should note that the objective was to find a stake with a flag at the top and the frequency marked on it, not the actually transmitter. This would avoid the potential for the transmitters being nabbed by a non-ham. The first transmitter was interesting as, while we headed in the correct direction, taking bearings on the run led to some incorrect turns on to roads that usually paralleled the one where it was hidden.

We finally got on the correct road and the stake was spotted just before passing it. A quick turn around and we went to a clear area to track the next one. This one led us close to the river downtown. Taking the roads slowly (as traffic would allow) permitted us to spot it quickly across a field. We got out and verified that it was the flag and got back into the car for the next one.

I don't remember the next one (too much fun) but it lead us on a small chase before eyeing its flag.

The final one had us somewhat perplexed. While downtown, it seemed to have a bearing back toward the river, but it had not been that direction earlier. We finally turned the antenna around and found that we had been seeing reflection and that it was located south of town. We headed east to attempt to triangulate and found it to be still well south. We kept heading south and finally got a westerly bearing near Kuebler, almost 8 miles from our starting point. A little driving hither and yon (that wrong turn problem) and we got on a road that had us headed in the right direction. We pulled over to take another bearing and Dale persuaded us to rotate the antenna and we found a very strong signal right behind us. And it was - about 25 feet behind us.

Since we were the last to claim this transmitter, we picked it up (Dale had set it) and headed back to Keizer Station. All told, about 2 hours of hunting once we got started.

We wished each other well and headed our separate ways. I'm looking forward to the next one!!

Hope to see some of you next time!
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