SEARC Member Puts Together Winter Fox Hunt

Join the Exciting World of Amateur Radio Fox Hunts!

Have you ever heard of an amateur radio fox hunt? It’s not what you might initially think; there are no real foxes involved, rather it’s an energizing combination of orienteering, problem-solving, and radio expertise. A Sioux Empire Amateur Radio club member recently hosted one, and it was an absolute blast!

An amateur radio fox hunt, also known as a transmitter hunt, is a competitive event in which participants, using radio direction-finding techniques, search for a hidden transmitter (the “fox”) within a designated area. Think of it as a high-tech game of hide-and-seek that tests your radio skills to the fullest. The “fox” is usually a low-power transmitter that emits a signal for the hunters to track. Armed with a portable receiver, antennas, and a good dose of strategic thinking, the hunters embark on a thrilling chase.

The recent event by the Sioux Empire Amateur Radio club, held on January 21st, was run by club member Justin (KF0DQH), who operated at 5 watts on a 2M frequency from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. local time. Participants had five hours to locate the elusive “fox” using only their radio equipment and their wits. The event ended with two successful finds.

Two club members successfully located the hidden fox: Chad (KF0CZD) with the first find at 11:42 am, mastering the hunt in only 1 hour and 42 minutes, and Steve (KB0WSV), who secured a commendable second find at 12:29 pm, after 2 hours and 29 minutes of searching. Steve was able to hone the use of his Kracken SDR direction finding system, pictured below. These are the kind of electrifying experiences that showcase the camaraderie and the thrill inherent in amateur radio fox hunts.

We hope everyone enjoyed the experience and we’re eager to hear your thoughts on how to make the next event even more captivating. One idea on the table is to offer the first person who finds the “fox” the chance to hide it the next time.

Did you miss out on the action? Interested in the clever game of radio hide-and-seek? Keep an eye on our upcoming events, discord channel, Facebook page and don’t hesitate to join in. Whether you’re seasoned in radio navigation or just curious about ham radio, everyone is welcome. Sharpen your directional antennas, and let’s hunt!