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#18056309 01/25/23
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I have beagles and two GSP pointers. I bought a new Garmin Alpha 100 with 2 mini collars. Bought it before I retired ( 2 years ago) and mainly for the beagles if they took a deer in a bigger swamp bottom.

I keep some quail under a permit from Dept of Conservation. Mainly dog training and a bit of "put and take" hunting for family. I have a double Dogtra collar set and an older Dogtra single collar set. Both work great.

I have made the decision to get out of beagles. I have never even had the Alpha out of the box other than to charge. I just never hunted in a situation where it was needed.

My question is if I ever make it out west to hunt pheasants would the Alpha ever be needed? My dogs hunt close and mind well with minor correction. But I fear they could go on point in a big field and get away from me in the wind etc.

For those who have hunted there is a GPS collar system needed? I honestly don't know how to work it...lol.

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I've never needed a GPS collar upland bird hunting "out west". Hank isn't a huge ranging dog and often the cover allows one to keep decent tabs on the dog. That said, if I had them I would use them.

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I've hunted western Kansas all my life and added South Dakota recently. I've never had a GPS collar. My shorthairs generally stay in fairly close. There have been times they've came up missing for a few moments, but nothing that was overly concerning.

That said, having hunted with several with GPS collars, I think I'm going to add a Garmin Pro 550+ and a watch to link it to. Just for added peace of mind.

What I did notice, the guys I hunt with with a GPS, spent as much time looking at the handhold remote as they did looking around and actually 'hunting'. I just want it for a quick glance if I haven't seen my dog in the last few minutes, not to know exactly how far they are out every 5 seconds.

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I thought about the 550 plus system also. A simple arrow pointing to dogs position and distance from you.

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Mine flushed a Bird in the edge of a big corn field and then all you heard was Birds getting up. Half hour later he showed up. A friend was hunting a huge waist high CRP field. An hour later he was found on a section line road a quarter mile away.

Both of us had a GPS the next year.


laissez les bons temps rouler
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Battue that is what I was talking about. I hope to make it to dukxdogs place someday and was wondering what cover folks encountered. I don't mind selling the Alpha system if it's overkill for my needs and or trading down to something more useful to me.

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If you have it and want to use it, go for it.

I haven’t felt it necessary on my shorthairs.

A landowner chip in the GPS will be pretty useful however.

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You have it, you worry about losing your dogs, and it seems the use of it will ease your mind so the obvious answer is to keep the Garmin. It is what I recommend and would do in a similar situation.

Despite having some big running dogs, I have not seen a need for a GPS collar so far. Being a technology Neanderthal has been a significant factor in my reluctance but even with dogs that have reached out a quarter mile in open country or even a hundred yards or so in thick cover I have not seen a need for one.

I do use a relatively loud beeper collar with adjustable tone that allows me to hear it from a distance. This helps mitigate some concerns and training with a dash of luck has covered the rest for many years. My ears are suffering the ravages of age so there may come a time I'll have to revise my opinion on a GPS collar. When that time nears, I'll have to make a jump from the Prehistoric Age all the way to the Dark Ages.

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One time while hunting in waist high sagebrush, I lost sight of my dog who had been ranging all over the place. Even though he was wearing a blaze orange vest, I still lost him .
Finally checking my GPS, it showed him to be seventy yards behind me. Walking over that way, I found him in a rock hard point.
Patiently waiting for me.


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There are several virtues of having a GPS tracking collar on a dog. I like knowing exactly what is happening with my two dogs in the field, all the time. Many of you say your dog is fine without one but wait till something happens and you cannot find the dog! A trap, a deep hole, ran after a deer you didn't see. Heck they can wander off and in a few minutes be gone! Ever loose a pair of dogs for three days? It will tear you up. Luckily I found mine and immediately purchased a GSP tracking system. I even put it on the dogs when I take them fishing. One could fall in and it could be difficult to locate when swimming a few hundred yards away.

When hunting two dogs in thicker cover and one goes on point I check to see where the other one is so I don't accidentally shoot in his direction. If a dog is out of sight without a collar what is he doing? If a hunter has a training/shock/buzzer/vibrate collar he might hit the button to get the dog back, and it turns out the dog is on point!

A gps tracking collar will tell you what the dog is doing and how far away.

That dog is around here somewhere! ( mearns country ):
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]
Or open country I just saw him.....
[Linked Image from imagizer.imageshack.com]

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Lots of good points made for having and using GPS collars. I'll second the comments about finding your dog fast when it gets caught in a trap, and time is super critical when your dog gets catch in a snare. If that happens they can't vocalize so you won't be able to locate your dog by the sound of their barking.

Plus, I'll comment that you don't have to have a 'big running' dog to find a GPS collar useful. My Drahthaars aren't big running dogs compared to most E-setters, or Pointers or GSPs, but at times I've lost track of my Drahts on point because their dark coats bend in very well in tall thick stands of CRP or even in relatively open Mearns country. I've been standing in the bright sunshine in AZ Mearns country while one of my DDs has been solidly on point in the grasses under the dark shadows of oak trees, and I couldn't see the dog. My Garmin indicated 'dog on point' with the distance and direction, and from 40-50 yards away I just couldn't see my motionless Draht until I got closer.


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I don’t hunt like you guys, and this is my first dog, but for me the gps collar was an insurance policy. Now that he’s trained I know I don’t need it but I’m glad I got it. I definitely do not use it to its full potential, and honestly typically only use the vibrate function. But my Brit works far ahead of me and I don’t run him with a high vis vest, so it’s nice for me to glance at the compass whej I need to. I don’t mess around with it often, just when needed. It’s also kind of cool to see what he did after, distance wise. I find it easy to use and it was worth the the investment for me.

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Gonna sell the Alpha 100 transmitter. $450 shipped. Never even turned on. Blaze orange case and charging accessories. Gonna buy a Garmin 550 plus transmitter and keep my 2 tt15 mini collars. 573-243-1947.


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