Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
Southeast Region

Geo-Family Hunt

Do you like outdoor activities?

Then this could be just what you have been looking for. This can be enjoyed by all. This hunt will stay within the boundaries of Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge.

What is Geo-Caching:

The hunt will use the skills known as geocaching, which is a worldwide game of hiding and seeking a treasure/cache. A typical cache is a small container with a log book and treasure, usually a trinket of little monetary value. However, hiding such a cache on a national wildlife refuge is illegal.

So this will be a Virtual Hunt that involves learning about GPS units so you can navigate a course through the refuge. The “treasures” are specific sites on the refuge, from wading birds, to historical sites to spectacular views. Then you will collect information from the different coordinates (stops) to answer the clue question.

You can use your own GPS or Borrow a GPS unit from the refuge. To reserve a Geo-Family Hunt Backpack, contact Nancy Corona by email at Nancy_Corona@fws.gov or call 321-861-0668.

What you will Need:
Backpack with the following: GPS unit/instruction book, clipboard, clue sheet, quick reference sheet, a pencil or pen to write your answers, binoculars.
 You can pick up everything at the Refuge Visitor’s Center between 9:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. daily. If you borrow a Backpack from the refuge you will need to leave a Credit Card or Driver’s license at the desk for security.

At the conclusion of the Hunt:
Return the backpack, supplies and your answer sheet to the visitor’s center by 4:00 p.m. Don't forget to pick up your credit card. 
Be sure and sign The Family Scavenger Hunt Log Book!
You will have to have your own transportation

Safety and Regulations:
The Refuge is closed to entry from sunset to sunrise. All use is limited to daylight hours, year-round. Portions of the Refuge may be closed from time to time due to NASA’s launch activities.

Feeding, enticing or disturbing alligators, manatees and other wildlife is not permitted.

Littering and dumping are prohibited. Please take your litter off the Refuge and dispose of it properly.

Pets are permitted on the refuge, but must be leashed and under control at all times.

Releasing of any wild or domestic animals onto the Refuge is prohibited.

Collecting of any animals, plants, artifacts, and natural features is prohibited, other than legally taken fish or waterfowl.

Glass beverage containers are prohibited.

Bicycles are prohibited on all foot trails.

          OK, let’s start Virtual Geo-.caching
Get out your clue sheet. We’ll start with a close one, look at number-one.
Go to the Main Menu page and select Mark with your thumb stick (it’s like your mouse).  Highlight the Location field and select it. Enter the new coordinates (N 28°39’.531 W080°45’.293) then select OK.
You may also change the waypoint name in the same fashion if
you want ( a possible name could be (VG1)
Once you have entered the waypoint select Go To.
This will automatically send you to the Navigation page. You can refer to that, but the most helpful page to use to find the location is the Map Page.
Note that the unit makes a straight line from where you are to the waypoint; there are not usually roads there. So use the zoom keys to find roads that will get you from point A to point B.
When on the Map page you can use the first menu button at the top and select Pan Map if needed. To exit panning mode hit the page button.
Once you’ve found the location and completed the task, move onto the next location!

 

Already entered a waypoint and need to go back to it?
Go to the Main Menu page and select Find or press the menu/find button from any page.
Select Waypoints.
Nearest or By Name is fine
Find your waypoint among the list and select it. (This is when naming your waypoint when you originally enter it comes in handy.)                                

Once you’re done clear out your waypoints so the next person will have a fresh start:
Go to the Main Menu page and select Find.
Select Waypoints.
Nearest or By Name in fine.
Find your waypoint among the list and select it.
Select the first menu button at the top and select Delete Waypoint.    Then confirm the delete.

Other helpful hints:
Pressing the page button will get you out of any submenu and back to the last main page you were at.
The battery life is displayed on the Main Menu page, keep an eye on it and always carry spare batteries.
If you want to mark a waypoint at your current location go the Main Menu page and select Mark with your thumb stick. Rename the point if you like and select OK.

 

Clue Sheet (long version) Clue Sheet (short version)

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