Please note this article first appeared in the September 1997 issue of THE MINUTEMAN which is the news letter of the Minuteman Repeater Association, Inc.
An Anecdote....from Bill Northup, N1QPR
A number of people that I hunt with wanted me to write up this little story about the first time that I went hunting for the clubs (then) new fox box. The fox box is a transmitter, voice recorder, timer, and battery in an ammo box that has a real nice paint job for anyone wanting to hide in a jungle. Well the paint job also makes it real nice to hide almost anywhere.
For gear at the time I had a couple of HT's (HTX202 & HTX404) for 2 meters and 440. I also had yagi's for both bands and a handi-finder. I had been hunting for a while so I was not totally green, but I was still in the learning curve. I had been hunting alone and after what seemed like days, but was actually about 3 hours I started getting a signal on my HT without an antenna near a local grocery store. Just about the time I was finding out that the signal was full scale behind the store without an antenna, when another hunter (Dave) called me to see how I was doing. Dave had hunted and found the box a day earlier.
While Dave and I were talking another hunter (who we will call SAM but is not his real name) joined in telling me he and good signal a couple of miles away. His signals were not as strong as the ones I had so he decided that it would be better to come and hunt with me.
We there was a narrow road behind the store along this big brick building. Then there was woods for about 1/8 of a mile and a steep bank to some rail road tracks. Well to keep the story short we were getting all kinds of reflection from the building and the bank and just kept going in circles. While doing this SAM decided that he wanted to try body fading and it just wouldn't work for him. After numerous tries he kept saying that it wasn't working -SO I told him that the problem must be that he didn't have enough body and that he needed something to block the signal better and that he should go into the store and buy some aluminum foil and wrap himself in it. So SAM goes off into the store and I can get back to hunting. Well be had been there a long time now and it was getting dark. About 20 minutes later SAM is back and has himself wrapped in the aluminum foil and wanders back into the woods doing body fades trying to find the box. By now it is dark enough that we both need flashlights to see.
The store manager decides to take a break and go out back to have a smoke. What does he see but a couple of guys wandering around the back of his store and in the woods with flashlights. That is strange enough...but one of the guys is wrapped in aluminum foil. He calls the local police. I ended up having a rather LONG talk with the officer that showed up telling him how we were there looking for a hidden transmitter (I was told that there were no FOX in the area when I first said that we were fox hunting). Well if you think it is hard to explain what hidden transmitter hunting is, and that you are not someone out with evil intent - you should try it when the guy that you are with is wrapped in aluminum foil (and doesn't know enough to unwrap himself). Well I never did find the box that time because there was no way that I was going to go back the next day. I wonder if SAM still has that box of aluminum foil in his car ?
That was the first time that I got a chance to talk to the local police about our fox hunting, but not the last. I have gotten much better at it, but I still won't hunt with any hunter that display strange habits - they are to hard to explain. Editor's note: We have a number of this type of anecdotes; we'll publish them from time to time.