Matt- were you running a vertical half rhombic? I used to do a fair field expedient ground plane, and if I had bamboo, WD-1 and some 550 cord could whip up a cubical quad. Left the Yagis to the flag waver types.
Due in part to the ease of MIJI with most radio commo, I stepped back 100 yrs or so for my commo needs around the home bunker. Back in the early days of rural, party line phone service, there were very few phone lines in rural areas. But there were phones in the farms, and they worked. Use the upper and middle strands of barbed wire fencing (cedar fence posts) as your phone lines. Simple loop circuit works, even if cut in one place (feeds from other end)
Back when the military was first going digital on land line commo, a bunch of TA-1s and TA 312s hit the surplus market REALLY cheap. Yes, can be tapped. But if you are tapping, you are in range!