Bunny Hunting

Radio direction finding is the process of systematically tracking down a radio signal to the source of the transmissions. The source of any radio transmission can be located since the point of strongest signal will always be the radio transmitter itself. Radio direction finding in Strathcona County goes by the name of Bunny Hunting. It is also known as Fox Hunting, Fox and Hounds, etc.

Bunny Hunting started locally on citizen band radios about 1975 and has continued every Saturday night since. The hunt starts in Sherwood Park Mall's parking lot, at midnight. No special equipment is needed to track the bunny. A CB radio with RF gain, and an antenna located on the vehicle to provide a directionally biased radiation pattern are all that are used. By driving in a tight circle, the direction of greatest signal strength can be determined. Keeping track of signal strength and bearing to the source, the hunters close in on the bunny. The bunny usually camoflages the transmitter (which can be either a vehicle or just the person themself) so as to make final detection as difficult as possible. Either the first person to tag, or if the bunny is able to evade detection for two hours gets to hide the next week.

In 1990, members of the club began to obtain their amateur radio licenses. Now 2 meter hunts are held on the first saturday of the month, starting from the Edmonton Space Sciences Center parking lot at 1:00 pm. Small hand-held beam antennas, direction finding antennas, and doppler units are used on these hunts. The same techniques are used to track the hidden transmitter, except that the smaller antennas allow directionals to be taken on the fly without having to turn the whole vehicle around.

Forward questions / comments to James Ewen.

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