Guidelines For Foxes

 

This is a guide for people who will be operating foxes for the Tour of the County hidden transmitters.


Safety

Safety is paramount in all fox hunts and here are a few tips for keeping things safe.

  1. 1. Do not hide in a high or dangerous traffic area. This would include major highways or locations where the road is narrow such there is insufficient room for the hunters to pull off to the side. Urban areas such as busy shopping areas or playgrounds or school grounds where children might run in front of a vehicle.

  2. 2. Don’t arouse suspicion. If you a hide an unmanned fox like the one pictured above and a neighbour or hiker discovers it, it may arouse suspicion. Add a small sign with a brief explanation and contact information such as the club website or telephone number. It may also be useful notify the OPP.

  3. 3.Public property. Always hide the fox on publicly accessible property which does not require a fee for access. Even if you have permission from the property owner the hound does not know which owners may have given permission.



Operating

  1. 1. The foxes can be located anywhere in Prince Edward County. Over the years we have learned that hounds can hunt at an average speed of about 30 Km/h so the foxes should be spread out such that the total distance driven by a reasonably good hunter will be 50 - 100 Km. Parks, conservation areas and quiet country roads are good locations. The hiding spot should be accessible by an ordinary family sedan, i.e. the foxes should not be on rough country roads that require a 4 wheel drive vehicle to access.

  2. 2. The first transmission is at 12:00 noon, the second at 12:01 pm, the third at 12:02 pm and so on. The table at the bottom of the page shows how many minutes past the hour each transmitter should begin transmitting. It is fairly important the transmitters start within a few seconds of the correct time. A GPS, cell phone, or calibrated watch are good ways to determine the time within a few seconds. Occasionally the transmitters lose their synchronization and the table can be used to restart them at the correct time. The last transmission is at 2:59 pm.

  3. 3.Once the transmission cycle begins the operator should verify the proper operation by monitoring with a second radio or scanner. If a handheld radio is available walk several yards away and verify the signal can be heard. Check periodically to verify correct timing and proper transmission.

  4. 4.Usually a power level of 1 - 10 watts is sufficient. The radios should not be operated on their highest power setting or they will become very hot after 3 hrs of operation. If the radio power is insufficient try a better antenna or higher location.

  5. 5. Any 2M antenna such as a mag mount or twin lead JPole will work. Most of the automated transmitters are equipped with power pole 12V power connectors. If the automated fox fails for any reason you can always give voice transmissions at the correct times according to the table below. Most of the automated foxes use the Byonics PicCon controller. Visit the web page here if you would like to get more information or download the manual if you want details on how to program or operate the controller.

  6. 6. Each transmitter should have a coloured pencil or other marker the hounds can use to mark their score sheet.


Logging

There is no requirement for the foxes to record anything, e.g. an unmanned fox. However it is always nice to have a few photos of the hounds and a record of the arrival time and mileage.