by William Eric McFadden

From the West Virginia Explorer entry:

The 3,655-acre McClintic Wildlife Management Area (WMA) ranges across farmland, brushland, wetland, and mixed hardwood forests in the lowlands of the valley of the Ohio River. Game traditionally hunted in the management area include deer, grouse, mink, squirrel, rabbit, turkey, woodcock, beaver, muskrat, raccoon, mourning dove, and waterfowl. Twenty-six ponds at McClintic accommodate fishing for warmwater species.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Friday, June 19, 2020, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of McClintic Wildlife Management Area in West Virginia as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program. McClintic WMA had been visited only twice before for POTA, and none of the forty-nine QSOs made during previous activation attempts were CW.

On a day that threatened rain but turned out to be beautiful, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, performed the activation adjacent to the WMA's large wetland area while maintaining proper social distancing during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Eric arrived at McClintic WMA about 1500 UTC and explored a bit to find a suitable place to set up. Because of the forecast for rain, Eric decided to set up his station inside the car. Eric deployed his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast which he supported on his drive-on mount. Eric set up his KX3 inside the car and was on the air at 1522 UTC.

Eric discovered he had enough cell-signal to send and receive texts but not enough signal to allow him to self-spot using the POTA Spots website (link).

Eric began operations on 80m and texted his frequency to his good friend K8RAT. Eric made only one QSO on 80m, at 1526 UTC, with K8RAT. Eric could hear VE3LDT calling him but, apparently, VE3LDT couldn't hear Eric. Eric switched to 40m at 1531 UTC, texting his frequency to K8RAT to spot.

Eric's first QSO on 40m came at 1533 UTC with W4AMV in North Carolina. QSOs came at a rapid-fire pace, with Eric's twenty-first QSO on 40m coming at 1551 UTC with KB3WAV. Eric switched to 20m at 1553 UTC, again texting his frequency to K8RAT to spot.

Eric's first QSO on 20m came at 1558 UTC with K4ARQ. QSOs on 20m came steadily, if not as quickly as they had come on 40m, with Eric's fifth QSO on 20m coming at 1605 UTC with N4SAX in Florida. Eric switched to 30m at 1608 UTC, once again texting his frequency to K8RAT to spot.

Eric's first QSO on 30m came at 1611 UTC with N4EX in North Carolina. QSOs on 30m came steadily, with Eric's fifth QSO on 30m coming at 1620 UTC with W1OPR in Maine. Eric shut down operations at 1622 UTC.

Before tearing down his station, Eric explored a bit of the large wetland area and spotted a Great Blue Heron, saw and heard numerous frogs, and saw several varieties of flowers.

In all, Eric made thirty-two QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.