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, January 15, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful 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 1950 UTC. Eric was accompanied by his small dog Theo. After a short walk with Theo, 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 2000 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 almost immediately at 2001 UTC, he made a P2P QSO on 30m with KD4O who was activating Peachtree Rock Wildlife Management Area (K-9223) in South Carolina.

Finding himself a frequency to run on 40m, Eric spotted himself and began calling CQ. His first QSO on 40m came at 2006 UTC with his good friend K4SWL in western North Carolina. QSOs came steadily, with Eric's nineteenth QSO on 40m coming at 2023 UTC with KD1CT in New Hampshire. This run included QSOs with operators in North Carolina, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Missouri, Indiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, New York, Tennessee, and Maine.

After the run on 40m, Eric paused to check POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 2025 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 20m AB9CA who was activating Saguaro National Park (K-0060) in Arizona. This was followed at 2028 UTC with a P2P QSO on 20m with N0VRP who was activating Goodnow House State Historic Site (K-9186) in Kansas, and at 2030 UTC with a P2P QSO on 30m with KW5CW who was activating Hagerman National Wildlife Refuge (K-0548) in Texas.

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