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      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

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Tom Avent

Bell or stealth mode?

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madduckdog

I am a woodcock hunter so its not about the spookie birds... I do like the sound of bells.... but I am not sure it is good on the dog's hearing. so I went stealth this year. not good on my pocket book

 

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vabirddog

I've been using a bell. I cannot say that it has caused a flush this year.  We have been so dry that I doubt it would matter as there is no stealth possible. If we get rain then the ? becomes how to keep aware of your dog. My dog is young and still learning so I will continue with the bell and hope for the best.

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nobirdshere

Bell and Alpha. I do think stealth might provide a handful of more opportunities on wary birds, but the few unpleasant times I've managed to sneak up on a bear or a wolf have been in point only beeper mode or with just the Alpha. I kind of like hearing the bell anyway (when I can hear it) and like that it may prevent surprising anything else in the woods, including the rarely encountered bow hunter. I certainly don't think the bell is actually affording more cooperative and pointed birds though.

 

As you know, Tommy, I don't have to care about a handful of more potential pointing opportunities and can always just walk another 100 yards to the next bird. Well most seasons besides this one anyway.....

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Don Steese

Years ago I used a bell then graduated to a beeper set on point only then on to a GPS locator I.E. Astro. I can't really hear a bell or a beeper anymore and with a big running dog they're pretty much useless anyhow, however few things sound more lovely than a bell tinkling in the October woods!!  Except maybe the silence when it suddenly stops!!!IMG_0356.thumb.JPG.86e51ce53cc13da87a26765b1c7ab9da.JPG

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Dick Sellers

I kind of hate to admit I've gone "high teck" with a combo collar -  GPS/w beeper/stimulation.  My dogs run pretty big here (sometimes out to half a mile), so I can keep track of them with the GPS, know when they're pointing and call them back with the beeper when necessary .  I use to use a whistle for call back, but prefer the much quieter beeper.

 

Whoops, Don kind of souped me.

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Pomoxis

It is a belief among a group of guides that I hang with that the bell helps keep the wolves away. I personally like the clank of a sunkhaze bell as the dog flies through the woods but I also wonder about possible hearing loss.

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forestdump

Astro. I’ve run bells and beepers will use the beeper on point/locate the rare occasion I’m hunting cornfields for pheasant. I can’t stand the bells anymore too much noise I’d rather enjoy the peace and quiet. Ocassionally checking the Garmin when I need to. 

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OH Grouser

I do run a bell when in the U.P., thinking it may act as wolf repellent.

 

Roger 

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topdog1961

Depends on where and when. Late season in the Dakotas the phez are so skittish you have to gently close the truck door or the field will flush. That was the hardest thing for me to learn on my first trip there. Your dog must be controllable with the trainer tone, no voice commands or whistles. At least that's my experience. Around here on release birds I use a bell. 

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Tom Avent

OK. Decision........NO BELL. Stealth mode for me.

 

#1. No disrespect intended to anyone who uses one, but I hate the sound of beepers in the woods. I prefer bells if there has to be a sound. #2. I ran a bell on my 14 year old setter from the time he was less than a year old and he is deaf as a post now. Not saying the bell caused it, but I'm sure it didn't help. #3. I am lucky enough to enjoy hunting with my pointer and rarely have to yell or say much of anything. I may shout out if she is out on a cast and I change directions. It is damn nice to be quiet, especially in a world of constant contact. If I miss a bird or 2, so be it.

 

 

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Hub

I am a big believer that being completely quiet in the uplands puts more birds in the bag.  I remember trying to use a bell or beeper in point only mode on pheasants.  There is no doubt many were running from or flushing because of the noise.  After a while I didn't even run the beeper in point mode, I would only turn it on remotely when I couldn't find the dog, normally due to cattails.  I can't tell you how many times I put birds to flight by toning the dog with the beeper.  Sure, some birds didn't care a lick about the noise.  I've even grabbed a half dozen live healthy roosters over the years who felt just as long as they buried their head they were invisible.  For all the dummies out there, there are many more sensitive to whistling, human voices, car doors slamming etc.  I think silence is golden on roosters.

Grouse seem quite a bit more tolerant to noise than pheasants, woodcock don't seem to care at all.  Unlike the prairie I could never get away just toning the dog once I had lost him for a while when grouse hunting.  I always ran my beeper in point only mode so it's tough to say how many unproductive points it caused.  I do think that with a stealthy dog wearing an alpha often times the bird doesn't know he is even being pointed.  A number of time this season I have approached points and had the bird run back towards the dog and then flush strait up in what looks to me like a surprised fashion.

 

The only downside of the alpha for grouse is that it makes it hard to take a buddy out and pinch birds effectively.  You are forced to call out points and give directions because they can't just home in on a beeper

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terrym

I run a bell and also set the beeper on my dogtra 2500 T&B to only beep on point. Interesting subject, I will follow this one. 

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RuffChaser

My setters and I prefer stealth. We are like Seal Team 6. In and out and no sign we were there if it weren't for the dead bodies.

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Urban_Redneck

I use bells from France. Pennsylvania birds don't get over there much so they sit tight trying figure what's going on.

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Greg Hartman

After having kinda done it all in this regard, I've come to like complete quiet when I'm hunting.  So, all I use is a point-mode beeper because Joy is pretty big running and I'd never find her on point otherwise.  Can't stand someone screaming at his dog all the time, or constant beeping - wrecks the day for me and I don't think it helps with the birds either.  Bells don't bother me so much, but I don't think the constant noise does the dog's hearing any good; and bells aren't much practical use with a big running pointy dog.

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