Helpful hints on fox hunting techniques...
Make good use of your first opportunity to get a bearing.
One of the most important parts of a fox hunt is the START, and many hunters
waste this opportunity by getting too excited and eager to jump in
the car and take-off. Fight this temptation. When the Fox announces the start of
the hunt, keep your emotions under control, and take your time making the first reading and plotting your
first bearing on the map. This first bearing is the most important of the hunt.
At the start, you will see those hunters with doppler antennas jump in their cars
and take off down the street. (That's understandable because they need to be moving
to get a reading.) Other hunters will also act more like 'eager beavers' instead of
hunters. Let them go and fight the adrenaline that makes you want to zip away also.
A cool head will help you take an accurate directional reading on the fox, even if it
takes multiple transmissions. Test for multi-path readings. Plot your final bearing on
a your map, and take the time to plan your general route in the direction of the fox. Note the
general direction other hunters are going, but be aware that deception is often the rule of the day.
Often the last hunter to leave the starting site is the ultimate winner of the hunt. In most
hunts, the hunter who travels he shortest distance is the winner. Not the fastest hunter!
Keep a written record of your readings and bearings.
One of the most important techniques of good fox hunting during a hunt is to keep
a continous record of the data you take. I, personally, plot bearings on a local map and
make extra notes as to sequence number, reading location and some kind of signal strength estimate.
More often than not, you will realize during a hunt that you have made a bad reading. Your written
documentation will not only help you realize the mistake, but give you an idea about where
to pick-up again to win the hunt.
Just as natural as it is in the beginning to want to jump in your car and fly away, another temptation
is to skip putting your data on paper toward the end of the hunt. I tend to get sloppy at the end of a
hunt and forget to draw my bearings on the map. Then I make mistakes and loose the race. Remember,
nobody ever remembers the team that came in second, or third.
The written documentation is also very helpful for reviewing the hunt to see where you wasted time. What were the
best readings and why. What went wrong with the bad reading? Multi-path signals from that water tower? Compass reading
wrong because you had to stand next to the car? We learn from every hunt. That's why is is so much fun!