by William Eric McFadden

From the wildlife area's website:

Abundant native game species include the gray squirrel, wild turkey, and white-tailed deer. Lesser numbers of fox squirrel and ruffed grouse are found on the area. Cottontail rabbits occur in small numbers in the reverting fields. All of the furbearers common to southeastern Ohio are found on the area. Approximately 80 species of birds can be seen or heard on the area in a year’s time. Included are cedar waxwing, white-eyed vireo, red-eyed vireo, blue-winged warbler, prairie warbler, yellow warbler, hooded warbler, indigo bunting, Northern mockingbird, wood thrush, Acadian flycatcher, mourning dove, and red-tailed hawk.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Saturday, August 7, 2021, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful impromptu activation of Waterloo Wildlife Area in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric had spent most of Saturday morning helping with Athens County Amateur Radio support of the inaugural "Run Baileys" fifteen-mile trail run. Finishing earlier than he had expected to, and the weather being nice, Eric decided it was a good day to do some POTA activations and started at Waterloo Wildlife Area. Eric was joined by his wife, Vickie, and their two small dogs, Mindy and Theo.

The cell-signal at this location allowed Eric to use the POTA Spots website (link) to spot himself and to look for possible park-to-park (P2P) QSOs.

Little dogs Mindy and Theo -- click to enlarge Eric began operations by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 1735 UTC made a P2P QSO on 20m with K0BWR who was activating Tallgrass Prairie Preserve National Conservation Area (K-3673) in Kansas.

Finding his own frequency on 40m, Eric's first QSO there came at 1740 with K8RAT. Subsequent QSOs came more guickly than Eric had expected, with Eric's eleventh QSO on 40m coming at 1753 UTC.

Checking POTA Spots again for P2P QSO opportunities, at 1755 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 20m with N4CD who was activating Spring Creek Forest State Preserve (K-4423) in Texas.

In all, Eric made thirteen QSOs, including two P2P QSOs. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.