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 Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 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.

On a cold but sunny January afternoon, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, returned to Waterloo Wildlife Area, arriving at about 1915 UTC. Eric was accompanied by the small dogs Theo and Mindy. After a short walk with the dogs, Eric deployed his 28½' wire antenna on his 31' Jackite telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on base and set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1915 UTC.

As at previous visits to this location, Eric was pleased to find he had sufficient cell-signal at this location to use the POTA Spots website (link) to spot himself and to look for possible park-to-park (P2P) QSOs.

Eric began operations by looking for P2P QSO opportunities and at 1928 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 20m with AB9CA who was activating Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (K-0173) in Arizona. This was followed at 1833 UTC with a P2P QSO on 20m with K8RLE who was activating De Soto National Memorial (K-0772) in Florida.

Finding himself a frequency to run on 40m, Eric spotted himself and began calling CQ. His first QSO on 40m came at 1936 UTC with N3RT in Delaware. QSOs came so fast on 40m that Eric was unable to keep up with the logging—he was forced to just make sure his CW-copy paper was legible and complete. Eric's thirty-first QSO on 40m came at 2002 UTC with WA4RCW in Tennessee. This run included QSOs with Eric's friends K4SWL in western North Carolina and K8RAT in central Ohio, and included QSOs with operators in Delaware, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin, Indiana, Florida, Virginia, Alabama, Quebec, Michigan, Missouri, and Tennessee.

After the brisk run on 40m, Eric paused to check POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 2011 UTC he made a P2P QSO with KD8IE who was activating Cooperrider-Kent Bog State Nature Preserve (K-9401) in Ohio.

In all, Eric made thirty-four QSOs in forty-seven minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.