by William Eric McFadden

From the wildlife area's website:

The wildlife area includes rolling hills, woods, open fields, and two water areas. Situated among wooded hillsides is 48-acre Fox Lake. A small pond is on the northeast corner of the area. More than half of the area is wooded. Oak and hickory are the most common tree species, with lesser numbers of beech and maple. Fifteen percent of the area is brushland, primarily sassafras and sumac. Another 25 percent is openland.



Eric's station -- click to enlarge On Friday, February 11, 2022, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Fox Lake Wildlife Area in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, visited Fox Lake Wildlife Area on an unseasonably warm winter morning, arriving at the northern parking area at about 1545 UTC. Eric set up his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount and set up his KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 1557 UTC.

As at his prior activations of this park, Eric had good cell-signal at this location and he was able to spot himself on POTA Spots (link) and to use POTA Spots to identify possible park-to-park (P2P) QSO opportunities.

Eric began his operation by using POTA Spots to identify possible P2P QSO opportunities and at 1600 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 20m with WC1N who was activating Lily Bay State Park (K-2394) in Maine. (Bob later told Eric via email that he has performed at least one POTA activation everyday since June, 2021. Here's his POTA website:

Eric found himself a frequency to run on 40m and began calling "CQ POTA". Eric's first QSO in this run came at 1603 UTC with stalwart POTA Hunter N4EX in North Carolina. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's twenty-seventh QSO in this run coming at 1628 UTC with K4ISW in Virginia. This run included a P2P QSO with K2SCH who was activating Hopatcong State Park (K-1620) in New Jersey and QSOs with operators in North Carolina (2), Pennsylvania (2), Ohio (6), Illinois (2), Georgia, Wisconsin (2), New Jersey (2), Minnesota, Tennessee (2), New York, Michigan, Virginia (2), and Indiana.

Checking POTA Spots for additional P2P QSO opportunities, at 1630 UTC Eric made a P2P QSO on 40m with AA9OM who was activating J. E. Roush Lake State Fish and Wildlife Area (K-4208) in Indiana, and at 1637 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 20m with AA5AD who was performing a two-fer activation of Jenkins Ferry State Park (K-1087) and Civil War Trail State Trail (K-7435) in Arkansas.

In all, Eric made thirty QSOs, including five P2P QSOs, in forty-one minutes. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output.