by William Eric McFadden

From the wildlife area's website:

Oldaker Wildlife Area is a 140-acre state wildlife area located 7 miles west of Hillsboro. The property is in Highland county.



The park sign On Monday, April 10, 2023, one member of the Southeast Ohio Radio Adventure Team performed a successful activation of Fallsville Wildlife Area in Ohio as part of the Parks on the Air (POTA; link) program.

On the way home from a trip to Wilmingon, Ohio, to have 2m repeater cavities aligned, and after performing successful activations at Fallsville Wildlife Area (link) and Fallsville South Wildlife Area (link), Eric McFadden, WD8RIF, stopped at the Oldaker Wildlife Area to perform his activation. Because it was already late-afternoon, and because the drive home would take over two hours, Eric planned to make this a very quick activation.

Eric's station Arriving at Oldaker Wildlife Area's only parking area at about 2115 UTC, Eric first walked his little dog Theo, after which he set up his 28½' wire vertical on his Jackite 31' telescoping fiberglass mast and drive-on mount. Because of his desire to make this a very quick activation, and despite the weather being perfect for an al fresco operation, Eric chose to set up his Elecraft KX3 inside the car. Eric was on the air at 2128 UTC.

Eric was pleased to find that he had good cell-signal at this location and that he would be able to spot himself on POTA Spots (link) and to use POTA Spots to identify possible park-to-park (P2P) QSO opportunities.

Finding himself a clear frequency on 40m, Eric began calling "CQ POTA" and was pleased to be quickly auto-spotted to POTA Spots. His first QSO came at 2130 UTC with KX4YH in Virginia. QSOs came quickly, with Eric's eleventh QSO coming at 2141 UTC with N0QP in Iowa. This run included QSOs with operators located in Virginia (2), Michigan (2), North Carolina, Illinois, North Carolina, Ontario, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Iowa.

Eric finished out his activation by checking POTA Spots for P2P QSO opportunities, and at 2144 UTC he made a P2P QSO on 20m with K4NYM who was performing a two-fer activation of Green Swamp Wilderness Park Reserve (K-5330) and Florida Trail National Scenic Trail (K-4559) in Florida.

In all, Eric made twelve QSOs, including two P2P QSOs, in sixteen minutes of on-air time. All of Eric's QSOs were CW and were made with five watts output.