Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
is County Hunting
Where can I find County
I am a fixed station,
how do I check in?
do I make a contact?
do I confirm my contacts?
there a QSL bureau for County Hunting?
do I get these Mobile Reply Cards (MRC's) you talk about?
can I find out more information about County
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
Cheap QSL MRC's
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 -