On the evening of Saturday, January 23, 2016, the moon was not an everyday moon. It was a full moon, but it was also not an average full moon either: it was a “Wolf Moon”, thus called because during winter months, and more particularly in January, as food grows scarce, wolves tend to get closer to human camps, which explains why their howling calls are heard louder and more frequently during the month of January.
After sunset, on Saturday, as the white winter glow of the landscape outside the window of the shack slowly turned into a magic hue of blue, I saw the orange disk of the Wolf Moon rise above the horizon, behind the branches of the Maples in the yard:
Did I hear the howling? You bet! But it was not any wolf… it was my own voice as I howled into the microphone trying to make SSB contacts with stations in one of the rarest states in my log, one that on Saturday was having its annual “QSO Party”: elusive Montana.
I was so determined to make contacts with Montana stations that I made two concessions to my usual mode of operation: I was using power beyond the limits of QRP and was also using the internet (dxwatch.com) to spot stations calling “CQ MTQP”. For whatever reason, Montana has been one of the states that I’ve had more difficulty contacting from my QTH and also one of the very few with no QSO confirmed in eQSL.cc.
Or so it was until a few hours after the QSO Party, when one of the Montana stations confirmed the contact in eQSL!
A big howl is in order!