Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
is County Hunting
Where can I find County
a fixed station, how do I check in?
How do I make a contact?
How do I confirm my contacts?
Is there a QSL bureau for County Hunting?
Where do I get these Mobile Reply Cards (MRC's) you
Where can I find out more information about County Hunting?
There are many aspects within Amateur Radio
and County Hunting is just one of them. The goal of County Hunting
is to make a two way contact with a station in each of the 3077
counties in the United States. CQ Publishing
offers a large certificate and plaque for confirmation of each
of these contacts. The award is also available to Short Wave
Listeners on a heard basis which must also be confirmed.
The Mobile Emergency and County Hunters Net
when operating under normal conditions only runs mobiles and
therefore you do not need to check in. Only mobiles are
required to check in. If you would like to run your county
fixed you may contact the NCS and announce that you would like
to be moved to run your fixed county or you may secure a frequency
and announce your county and frequency on the net.
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County Hunting can occur anywhere on any of
the Amateur Radio frequencies. The majority of County Hunting
takes place on organized nets mainly on the 20 and 40 meter
bands. The 20 meter Mobile Emergency and County Hunters
Net meets on 14.0565 CW and 14.336 SSB 365 days a year
conditions permitting. You will find many of the mobiles
willl QSY (move) to 40 meters, 7.056.5 for CW and 7188 for SSB.
The County Hunter Net is a controlled net and
unless you are a mobile who wishes to run counties on the net
you do not need to check in to the net. The NCS (Net Control
Station) will take check-ins and run each mobile in turn. Normally
each mobile will have 10 minutes to work as many stations as
he can. He will begin by announcing his call and county such
as; "This is KK7X mobile in Kootenai, Idaho - QRZ"
and will begin to listen for calls. If you listen for a few
minutes you will get an idea of how the mobile is working stations
and what kind of reports he is giving. If you are hearing the
mobile a 55 and he is exchanging 59 reports with the stations
he is working, wait a few minutes before giving your callsign.
When you give your callsign, give it one time per QRZ and avoid
the use of phonetics. When the mobile recognizes your callsign
he will normally give you a report first and you will respond
by acknowledging the report that he gave to you (this is a net
requirement) and you will give him a report in return. Unless
you are mobile do not announce your location.
After you have been successful in working a
county you will want to confirm the contact if you are working
towards the USA-CA award. Of course you can exchange QSL cards
with the station for each county but with 3077 counties to confirm
it can become quite expensive. Fortunately there is an easier
way. County Hunters have devised a confirmation called the Mobile
Reply Card, MRC for short. Each card will hold up to 10 contacts
for each station. If you make the majority of your contacts
on the County Hunters Net you will find that the same mobile
run many counties over a period of time. Using this method you
would only send a QSL card for the first contact that you make
with the station and the MRC for all the rest of the contacts.
One important thing to remember is that the mobile is running
the county for your benefit. It can be quite expensive
for gas, food and lodging on one of these County Hunting expeditions.
Therefore an SASE with your MRC or QSL is expected.
You are in luck! There is an active QSL service
for County Hunters. For more information send a #10 SASE with
your Callsign and E-Mail address to:
P.O. Box 1
Oak Run, CA 96069-0001
The major organization for County Hunters is
the Mobile Amateur Radio Awards Club (MARAC). Membership in
MARAC has several advantages. First you are supporting the County
Hunting Effort in a direct way. Second you receive a great monthly
publication called the County Line Road Runner which has up
to date information on the awards that have been issued and
many of the County Hunting activities that take place around
the world. Third you receive a discount off of the awards that
you send to the mobile such as last county awards as well as
the awards that you apply for yourself.
For more information on MARAC visit the
MARAC Web Site and you will find
more information and a MARAC Membership Application on line!
MARAC has a computer program for tracking the
USA-CA Award as well as the many awards offered by MARAC.
More information on Logger can be found here -