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E.Young

Do I Really Need GPS?

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E.Young

I'm a bit lost here - do I really need a GPS collar?

 

I've got a Garmin XC Delta Sport, but my trainer has recommended a GPS-enabled collar instead of a correction-only collar such as the Delta. I've got a decent handheld GPS already. 

 

Is a GPS collar as superfluous as it seems, or will I regret not having one, because you use it all the time? Seems like a new advancement that folks have gone ages without needing, and I'm always in favor of relying on fewer things that are breakable, losable, battery powered, etc. Also, if not obvious, this is my first bird dog. 

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salmontogue

It depends on your dog and where you hunt.

 

If you ever have to search for hours for a lost dog, you will wish you had a GPS collar.

 

I hunt Downeast and Northern Maine along with Montana, Michigan and Wisconsin.  I would not hunt without one.

 

Perk

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Spin
11 minutes ago, salmontogue said:

It depends on your dog and where you hunt.

 

If you ever have to search for hours for a lost dog, you will wish you had a GPS collar.

 

I hunt Downeast and Northern Maine along with Montana, Michigan and Wisconsin.  I would not hunt without one.

 

Perk

I hunt in the main in the UP and Wisconsin. I fought the urge to even buy a beeper but when it came to hunting with a friend it made life a lot simpler and allowed momentary distractions to happen without losing track of the dog if it went on point. It's much the same with a tracking collar only then it extends not only to a lost bird but a lost dog. My own dogs very seldom venture out beyond 150 yrds and for the most part are within half that range but dogs age and hearing and eyesight degrade for them and the collar provides security you may not have without one. Running multiple dogs together is also a reason to use a collar/collars. I still go basic at times and regardless always carry a good old low tech bell but I've bought and used a Romeo tracking collar (actually two collars) and don't regret the purchase at all tho I admit I was a tough nut to crack and a great deal of the time I don't pay much attention to the tracker.

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Cooter Brown

The only time you'll regret not having one is when you really need it.

 

I had a young dog go missing for the better part of a day while hunting.  I got an Astro the next day.  It hasn't happened since but the peace of mind a GPS tracker gives me is well worth the cost.

 

There is a $100 rebate on the Alpha right now.

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Brad Eden

You apparently hunt a pointing dog, so I suppose the answer is yes. If you hunted flushers as I do with Springers my answer would be no, you don't need a GPS collar.

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WAGinVA

I hunted without GPS collars for almost 30 years (most of that time they were not available).  Started hunting out of my home state and lost a dog that normally stayed within 75 yards in northern WI wolf territory.  Luckily I got him back after about 10 hours, but I bought a gps collar before my next out of state trip.  Cooter is right on the money.  I may disagree with Brad a little, even flushers will sometimes just be dogs and may run off after a rabbit, deer, turkey or other game.  It is nice to be able to get them back quickly.

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Urban_Redneck

What is everyones thought in regard to Alpha v. Astro? I have an ecollar already but, I'm not sold on hanging a second heavy collar on the dog.

 

Thanks

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Brad Eden
17 minutes ago, WAGinVA said:

....  I may disagree with Brad a little, even flushers will sometimes just be dogs and may run off after a rabbit, deer, turkey or other game.  It is nice to be able to get them back quickly.

Many do....disagree with me...my whole "thing" is eliminating all the bells & whistles in my Upland hunting. (Although I'm never without a whistle around my neck, like right now) The K.I.S.S methodology. The only time I thought I might need a GPS collar with my spaniels is when Jake went deaf. I was worried about him losing track of me. And maybe on the rare occasion when I was out of state or country hunting an area I didn't know. To each their own, don't want to hijack this thread. I've hunted with a lot of pointing dogs, love it, but never ceases to amaze me how calm their owners are when the dog is way out there. I'm in a panic if my dogs are out of sight for more than a few minutes let alone seconds. 

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E.Young

Interesting info the chew on here. 

 

The RoamEO looks pretty palatable. Part of the struggle is owning a nice GPS and a decent e-collar already, and paying double on both for an Alpha or Astro just gives me heartburn. If the RoamEO lives up to their claims, it cuts a lot of the duplicity out of things at a price that is respective of as much. How's your experience been?

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E.Young
19 minutes ago, Brad Eden said:

Many do....disagree with me...my whole "thing" is eliminating all the bells & whistles in my Upland hunting. (Although I'm never without a whistle around my neck, like right now) The K.I.S.S methodology. The only time I thought I might need a GPS collar with my spaniels is when Jake went deaf. I was worried about him losing track of me. And maybe on the rare occasion when I was out of state or country hunting an area I didn't know. To each their own, don't want to hijack this thread. I've hunted with a lot of pointing dogs, love it, but never ceases to amaze me how calm their owners are when the dog is way out there. I'm in a panic if my dogs are out of sight for more than a few minutes let alone seconds. 

 

Not meaning to double post, but this is generally the tack I take. I would love to go with just the bell, but I bumped into the Delta at the Orvis outlet for $55 and couldn't say no. But then again, I'd probably also get panicky if the dog was up and over the next ridge and out of sight for long. Of course, this is a thought experiment at this point - dog's still with the trainer for another couple weeks anyway. 

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TJK68

I never used one.... until I lost a female pup for about 5 hours. We got lucky and my buddy found her, if not she would have died. I crossed a creek, she was unsure of crossing, I had walked on down thinking she would follow. I took my eyes off her for a second and when I looked back she was gone. I walked back, yelling for her but nothing, looked all around and still nothing. Long story short, she had ran down the creek, I guess trying to find a better way across, which she did. She started up the opposite bank in some Rhododendron, she got a branch stuck in her collar going one way. I guess she tried to back up and got another stuck going the opposite way, she was trapped, standing on two small roots above a small creek. A bad snow storm was supposed to hit that night, dumping a couple feet of snow, she would have eventually fell in the creek, probably freezing to death and being covered by 2 feet of snow. although she was within 150 to 200 yards from me I never would have found her. My hunting buddy Mark Stella was helping me look and saw a little bit of her hot pink collar she was wearing through the thick brush, he walked over and  there she was stuck and scared. He found her with about 10 minutes of daylight left, 5 hours after losing her. If I would have had a GPS collar I would have located her in minutes. Elkie would have died had it not been for good luck and Mark. I ordered collars the next day and have not regretted it one bit.

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gunsrus
1 hour ago, Urban_Redneck said:

What is everyones thought in regard to Alpha v. Astro? I have an ecollar already but, I'm not sold on hanging a second heavy collar on the dog.

 

Thanks

Buy the Alpha and be done with two collars . For years I hated to put two collars on my dogs (Astro and Dogtra) . Now just one . 

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gunsrus

To the OP , I run Setters and some really like to get out there but it doesn't matter . I've had dogs lost before for even the shortest period of time and my heart just sinks . Everytime , I fear the worse . Just the peace of mind the GPS brings is well worth the money. 

I know of one instance where a dog was lost and another hunter was taking it home with no intention of returning said dog . 

You never know . 

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WAGinVA

On the topic of multiple collars:

I hated putting multiple collars on my dogs until one put her head in a five gallon baited bucket with a conibear 220 in the front of the bucket.  The dog was within 50 yards and I heard the trap go off and got to her immediately.  She was wearing a gps collar, a sonic beeper collar, and an ID collar.  I am convinced all that hardware gave her some protection form the initial impact of the trap and probably saved her.  If I had not bee close she would have probably died anyway.  Just one more thing to think about.

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NECarson

No way I'd run a pointing dog without GPS. 

 

I don't like the Alpha. Separate handhelds is more comfortable for me, training and correction are more comfortable with separate handhelds for me, and there are times I want correction but don't need a GPS, and I can't run an ecollar in trials.

 

2 collars isn't many. We regularly run with 4. GPS, ID/leash attachment, and neck & flank ecollars. 

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