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 under a completely overcast sky -- click to enlarge On Sunday, 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.

Following a visit to the SCARF Hamfest at its new location in Shade, Ohio, Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, returned to Waterloo Wildlife Area on a cold, gray, mid-January morning, arriving at 1553 UTC and quickly 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 1600 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 1601 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 40m with WI2X who was activating Fort Tilden National Historic Site (K-8085) in New York.

Finding himself a frequency to run on 40m, Eric spotted himself and began calling CQ. His first QSO in this run came at 1606 UTC with his good friend K4SWL in western North Carolina. QSOs came very quickly, with Eric validating his activation with his tenth QSO in only thirteen minutes. Eric's twenty-second QSO in this run came at 1628 UTC with WJ5K in Mississippi.

Overlooking a small pond through the site of a controlled-burn -- click to enlarge After the run on 40m, Eric again checked POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities and at 1634 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 40m with WY1U who was activating Wharton Brook State Park (K-1728) in Connecticut, and at 1641 UTC he made a second P2P QSO on 40m with WI2X who had by then moved locations and was performing a two-fer activation of Breezy Point Tip State Recreation Area (K-8084) and Gateway National Recreation Area (K-0680) in New York.

In all, Eric made twenty-five QSOs in forty-two minutes, all on 40m. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made at the 5-watt level.