I am the custodian for CQ Magazine's USA-CA Award program.   This is the basic all states county award which has been offered since the early 1960's.  At the present time, just over 1230 amateurs have worked all 3077 USA counties since the first award was presented to K9EAB in 1965. 

If you are new to county hunting, go to 14.336 anytime the bands are generally open to the USA.  Listen around, get the feel for it, and then dive right in.  The emphasis there is on mobile operations.  CW operations may usually be found on 10.114 or 14.056.5.   During the year, most states have QSO PARTIES where the county is part of the exchange.  This is a great place to work MANY, if not ALL counties in some states without having to wait on one of the fixed frequencies. 

Two web sites devoted to County Hunting: 

1. K3IMC runs this one and the "forum" is a message board where you can ask just about any question about county hunting, and get at least 6 differing opinions:


2. KK7X runs this website, and it is also full of good information about county hunting:


Applying for the USA-CA Award - describes the 4 ways you may apply:

How to apply for USA-CA - A guide

A wealth of County Hunter information may be found on the following Internet sites:

Current rules for the USA-CA program.

Independent Cities (Virginia, Nevada and District of Columbia.)  

Tools for determining the County:

County maps thanks to the US Census Bureau. These are all in PDF format and each fills an 8 1/2 X 11 inch sheet with a great county outline of each single state.  You can color them in as you confirm them.  (Tks tip of WB9CIF).  5/2005

A utility to find county from known postal code:

Another useful program that can be used to determine county from the Zip Code:  3/2009

Lists of USA Counties: 

List of all 3077 USA Counties on

XLS worksheet with all counties entered - Provided by Luis, XE1L.  All the typing has been done for you. This uses the standard MS EXCEL 2003 program and can be modified to act as your official entry.  

Alaskan Judicial Districts -  how to determine them: 

Article by KL7J describing the relationship between Alaskan "boroughs" and "Judicial Districts".  It includes a fairly good map.

The Alaskan Court System website which has a PDF map showing the relationship between the Judicial Districts and principal cities and towns in Alaska.  (Revised 5/2015)

Another neat utility is suggested by VE7IG.  This is "Map-Stats", a  US Federal Government online service which seems to be quick and easy to use.  Try this one:     (Added 7/2005)



Application Form which may be printed locally and used for any level of the award.

PDF version of Application form which may be printed locally and used for any level of the award.  (Tks W0MU 10/11)

Ghost Counties! 
In almost every state, there have been counties that, for one reason or another, have been discontinued. Many became financially insolvent; others were divided into smaller counties. Whatever the reason, these counties were home to families and communities. Once disbanded, they are generally forgotten. Here's a link to a fascinating list and brief history of these "Ghost Counties".