You might want to recruit the help of your local Game Warden. There might even be a program to help you wth an educational project. Certinly this falls under the heading of "Don't reinvent the Wheel" Go to the people that track animals.
When I was n Virginia, I saw a pickup with a yagi on the roof and inside was a motor home TV antenna style turn handle. There was a coax dropping down from the center with a BNC connector on it. It took me a minute to realize I was in 'coon huntin' country.
Contact a hunting club in your state and ask about radio tracking.