tracking collars

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tracking collars

Post by Ahumphers91a » Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:19 pm

Alright guys, I have never trialed and want to bad. I have always hunted with my dogtra tb 2500 collars and rarely used towards the later part of the regualr hunting season. Since you can't use collars except for trackers, what's your experience in using them? Have you used the trackers more or less than u thought? I'm just curious if I will need one. Thanks!

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Re: tracking collars

Post by mudhunter » Thu Jul 07, 2011 7:17 am

I use my Astro alot for grouse hunting, to the point that it stays in my hand (i only shoot at pionted birds so its really not inconvient). That said I used to just listen for the bell and then try to find the dog, the astro makes for a more pleasant hunting expierence in the woods. In training I only put it on the dogs if Im training on new grounds, my main grounds are open and im on a four wheeler so I have little fear of loosing a dog.
I put the collar on the dog in field trials more for peace of mind than anything but rarely need to ask the judge for it (and when I do the dog is usually looking for me when I find him or on point.)

I use the gps collar for trialing less than I thought, the truth is if you need to use it a lot you need to train your dog better. It is great peace of mind though, a big running dog will get lost occaisonally to no fault of his own, and sometimes you ride right past where the dog is on point with out seeing them.

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Re: tracking collars

Post by RayGubernat » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:32 am

Mudhunter -

A lot of it depends on the type of trialing you wish to do, the abilities and tendencies of the dog and the amount of tolerance the handler has for a dog that is out of their eyesight.

If you are interested in cover dog type trialing, it is my understanding that the dogs that do well, operate at the edge of bell range...and them boys use some humongous bells!

In any case, the dog has to keep track of you while maintaining the front, regardless of which trial format you participate in.

I found that I was using the tracker much more than the e-collar on my adult dogs during training. Once I knew where the dog was and where it was headed, I could direct the dogs by voice if necessary.

I have since upgraded to an astro and find it even more useful in training than the tracker.

For younger, less well trained dogs, I typically use the e-collar AND the tracking device so that I can determine not only where the dog is, but also what it is doing and which way it is heading. Knowing all that, I can confidently use the e-collar to enforce verbal commands even when the dog is out of sight.

If your dog does a good job of keeping tabs on you in the woods, you may not need an Astro.

The one drawback I have found with all of these tracking devices, is that I tend to get lazy and inattentive. When I had to go find a lost dog before bells, beeper, trackers, etc. I would watch the SOB like a hawk and i knew right when they dipped out of sight, where they dipped out of sight and where they were headed at that moment. Now I flip open the Astro and locate the dog. keeping tabs on a big running dog and thinking ahead of them is a skill. Any skill not used is a skill that gets lost.

That loss of attentiveness has cost me at a trial because once you go for the are done.


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Re: tracking collars

Post by c.rhea » Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:41 am

If you are only going to use it to trial, then you can probably borrow one from someone at the trial. The trials I have been to are full of people willing to help the new guy. If your dog is a big running dog and goes out of sight during a hunt, then it is great peace of mind and a great tool to locate a dog that has gone over the next ridge and is now on point. I only trial a little bit, but I use mine when hunting chukars, great to locate a dog that has not checked in for a bit.

I don't want to make this a Tracker vs Astro debate, but I have heard numerous complaints about the astro in chukar country here in the west. The complaints have come from owners of AA dogs that lose the signal in the steep hills. Something to keep in mind and look into if you have this type of dog.
Last edited by c.rhea on Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: tracking collars

Post by Ridge-Point » Thu Jul 07, 2011 9:58 am

One thing I like about the tracker collars is the battery life. They last a very long time.

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