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Tom Avent

Bell or stealth mode?

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Craig Doherty
2 hours ago, Tom Avent said:

Craig, you of all people on the board was exactly who I was trying to get help from.

 

Tom, My memory of people is not that great and I had forgotten our earlier phone conversations.  Many people call me about dogs and I try to give freely and honestly of my time and help them when I can.  My first response was not directed specifically at you nor was I trying to imply that any particular dog was not adequate.  I have been running dogs in the woods for over 30 years and have always run a bell.  As Bob Little said, the bell gives you tons of information that a beeper or GPS does not provide if you are willing to listen and match the bell to the dog.  I think most would be surprised at the size bell I use 95% of the time.  It's the smallest one that Mike Flewelling (Sunkhaze Bells) makes.  Big, loud bells make it hard for the dog to hear you.  I also have run a Garmin GPS unit since the first Astro 220 came out and now never turn a dog loose without a TT 15 mini and my Alpha. 

 

I have never thought that grouse react to the bell unless you are in a cover that is really pounded.  In those covers, I swear, the grouse flush when you close the door of your truck.  

 

Finally, I stand by my statement (maybe not put as diplomatically as I might have) that it's the dog not the bell that causes a lot of grouse to flush.  

 

 

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tut

Them Appalachian Grouse are different then those northern birds for sure.  Most of the time when we are heading into point, they are gone as soon as they hear you heading through to cover.  For me personally I can much easier kill a deer or a turkey in Va as compared to those mountain grouse.  Tough sport and hard on an old mans knees.  Pretty hard on bird dogs when the hills are steep and covered in sharp rocks and bolders.  Dogs end up with ripped or cut pads pretty often.  Ditto for the owners with the various battle scars picked up. 

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ryanr

Bell usually when pheasant hunting the gamelands because there's a few too many knuckleheads in the pheasant fields here in PA. Otherwise I run a Garmin Alpha when we're grouse hunting. I like being able to hunt relatively quiet. The Alpha's hand held unit will beep me and vibrate when my dog's on point. I'll check the yardage and direction and head that way!

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NECarson

I can't stand beepers, about the only thing worse than someone constantly directing their dog. 

 

Bells are slightly better. 

 

I use an Astro. 

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Craig Doherty
9 hours ago, NECarson said:

I can't stand beepers, about the only thing worse than someone constantly directing their dog. 

 

Bells are slightly better. 

 

I use an Astro. 

When I hunt out West my dogs naturally run a lot bigger.  Never hunted Oklahoma but hunted many years in Texas and most recently Kansas plus a couple trips to Montana. In the West, I run the dogs with just the Alpha as the bell becomes moot when you can see the dogs a lot farther then you can hear a bell.

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Backlash
On 12/21/2017 at 7:32 PM, Craig Doherty said:

  Another ran down off the mountain long before we got in position.

The original question was about bells.

Duh.

It most certainly wasn't about dogs or their relative quality.  Jeez.

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NECarson
5 hours ago, Craig Doherty said:

When I hunt out West my dogs naturally run a lot bigger.  Never hunted Oklahoma but hunted many years in Texas and most recently Kansas plus a couple trips to Montana. In the West, I run the dogs with just the Alpha as the bell becomes moot when you can see the dogs a lot farther then you can hear a bell.

A big part of why I abandoned the bell. Most of the places I hunt (western Oklahoma) I loose the bell before a visual. 

 

I quit using it before I got GPS. 

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airmedic1

 

On 12/20/2017 at 11:27 AM, topdog1961 said:

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. 

 

I'm not a grouse hunter other than prairie grouse (because we don't have them here) but I agree with Topdog!  If you hunt pheasant on public ground, the last thing you want to do is slam the truck door, whistle or yell at your dogs or talk while walking through the field.  I have used a bell and a beeper years ago (because I didn't have and couldn't afford an Astro) and have seen Pheasants flush when I used the beeper to locate the dogs.

I don't know about the grouse woods but I know public land in Nebraska and Kansas and stealth is the way to go in the late season!!

 

I run an Astro and am as quiet as I can be, but if I didn't have the Astro I wouldn't run a bell or beeper but would have to limit some of the places I currently hunt.

 

AM

 

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