Amateur Radio "Fox Hunting" is a fun activity for groups of amateurs around the world. The objective is to find the "fox", a low-powered radio transmitter that has stashed away in a secret hiding place somewhere in York Region.
The hunters use directional antennas and other equipment to determine the location of the fox. This friendly competition to be the quickest at finding the fox's transmitter earns bragging rights for the winner. All participants are generally able to find it within a couple of hours.
The foxhunting games are played for fun - and we do have fun - but they also polish our skills in the art and science of radio-direction finding. Using those skills we can identify the sources of radio interference, illegal transmissions, or or other problems affecting the airwaves.
If you are interested in joining us we can teach you what to do, and even lend you equipment to do it. The events are VERY relaxed, and it is strangely true that many of the winners of our games have been first-timers!
York Region Amateur Radio Club Annual Fox Hunts
The York Region Amateur Radio Club organizes two fox hunts each year.
The hunts are free and open to all amateurs regardless of club affiliation or previous experience.
The hunts run between 09h30 and 11h30, with foxes transmitting on 2 meter or 70 centimeter FM, and they are located within York Region.
If you’re new to foxhunting, all you need to get started is an FM radio capable of receiving 2 meters or 70 centimeters. Fox hunting is challenging and fun, and we can help you get going.
For more information, contact the club vice-president, Mike VE3BWV.
Tips and Tricks
York Region has a lot of hills and valleys which can play havoc with signals as well as the Aurora ridge blocking signals as well.
A past winner had an R6 Scanner radio with a tape measure beam, and the previous winner used a 4 element Quad through the sunroof on the Radio Van.
1. Attenuation is important as one nears the fox as well as getting a good bearing
2. Quads may be preferred to yagis due to the antenna lobe pattern to ensure a good bearing up front
3. A radio with a proper or expanded S-meter is highly useful….3 segment S meters are useless
4. Remember, to take two bearings before heading towards the beacon as you get closer.
York Region Amateur Radio Club Forum
There is a topic in the forum dedicated to fox hunting https://www.yrarc.org/forum/fox-hunt-direction-finding
It includes Construction, Events and Resources discussions related to fox hunting. Join the club and add to the discussion!
Updates for Covid-19
During the pandemic we will follow the guidance of the local health authorities. If York Region is in Grey – Lockdown or Red – Control during the month of the event, then it will be delayed and will be re-evaluated the following month.
We will not organize pre or post event gatherings, registration, breakfasts, BBQs etc.
We will not organize teams. Individuals may form teams from within their own social bubble if desired. Fox hunting is a great family activity!
If multiple hunters reach a fox at the same time, they are required to observe standard COVID-19 protocols. Clear the area as soon as possible, maintain social distancing etc.
There is lots of gear you can build for fox hunting:
Directional antennas to point to the target.
Attenuators to help once you get close to the fox.
Fox controllers and foxes to give something to hide.
Pseudo-doppler arrays and controllers.
Software Defined Radio direction finding software.
Link to Schematic and Sketch
Come Out and enjoy the fun