Jump to content
REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UPLAND JOURNAL Read more... ×
Virgil Kane

Garmin Alpha stupid question of the day

Recommended Posts

dvmweb

I’ve had mine since almost day one.

 

We hunt silent. No bells, no beepers. Learned that from a farmer in ND.

 

He asked, “Why you got all that stuff on your dog?”

 

I replied, “So I know where he is!”

 

He then said, “Can’t you see him? He’s scaring the birds away.”

 

Open country and the roosters were running from him. Took off the bell and were able to get much closer to the birds.

 

So,

 

Routinely update the handheld and calibrate the compass once in awhile.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Virgil Kane
19 hours ago, dvmweb said:

I’ve had mine since almost day one.

 

We hunt silent. No bells, no beepers. Learned that from a farmer in ND.

 

He asked, “Why you got all that stuff on your dog?”

 

I replied, “So I know where he is!”

 

He then said, “Can’t you see him? He’s scaring the birds away.”

 

Open country and the roosters were running from him. Took off the bell and were able to get much closer to the birds.

 

So,

 

Routinely update the handheld and calibrate the compass once in awhile.

 

I agree that at some point the bell or beeper will scare a few birds.  Hunting the thick grouse woods one looses sight of a dog in a heartbeat, heck sometimes 20 yards out and they disappear.  I use to hunt for years without a dog and I believe I got closer to birds walking silently than with a dog, I'm sure that I walked right by many birds without knowing, heck I walked up to a lot of deer and a couple of bear walking quietly while hunting grouse.  But I also lost quite a few birds I knocked down, once I got a dog I recovered every bird I shot.  It differs for everybody but for me the main reason I got a dog was so I didn't loose downed or crippled grouse/woodcock.  And the main reason I run a bell is for wolf and bear besides being able to instantly know what my dog is doing. I've had some wolf encounters and so far all have had a good outcome with the wolves heading the opposite way when I see them.  Some will say a bell or beeper is a dinner bell for wolf and bear but I'm a firm believer in that it lets wildlife know we are coming.  If I let my dog run silent and he's out of sight I'm sure he would bump not only deer but bear and wolves and I don't want to take that chance.  Now if/when I run my dog on pheasant in the prairie with low vegetation and a long line of sight I too would probably run without a bell/beeper.  YMMV

 

Virgil  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Talon1

I generally re calibrate my compass when I go on a hunt that is more than 2 hours from my home, but if I am within an hour or two from home, I usually don't  re calibrate.

The accuracy can sometimes be less when you get close, but mine will put me in the general direction, so I can usually pick up my dog by sight pretty quick. Pheasant hunting in cattails comes to mind......

Also, sometimes it takes split second for the dog compass to catch up after the unit updates. A dog can cover some ground in 2.5 seconds.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Rogue Hunter
On 8/22/2019 at 9:10 AM, chilly460 said:

Hopefully it's ok to pile on while we're talking Alphas?  

 

Has anyone figured out if there's a way to change the default home screen?  I hate having to touch through a couple screens every time I pull it up.  Sometimes I want dog info when he's on training runs to see how far he's run, when I'm hunting I just want to see the map immediately and not have to click anything.  I've searched but didn't see anything, guessing this may be why guys end up with watches paired so they can easily just see the dog locator.  

 

One thing that might work for you is to lock on to one particular screen...go to the screen you want, then click the on-off bottom on the side of the unit. That will show you another screen. On the lower right of the second screen you'll see a little paddle lock. Press the paddle lock icon. It will return to the screen you were on. To unlock, click the on-off switch again and unlock on the paddle lock icon. Each time you turn unit on, you'll have to re-lock a screen.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
chilly460

Thanks, I'll try that

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ckfowler180
On 8/22/2019 at 10:07 AM, Virgil Kane said:

Thanks guys.  I'll give a longer distance a try.  I didn't have doubts about the Alpha but rather that I was doing something wrong.  Now that I have a setter instead of a close ranging French Britt this Alpha is worth it's weight in gold for the peace of mind it will give me.

 

Thanks again

Virgil

This has been the biggest criticism my friends have for the Garmins they have. Calibrate before each hunt, I never do that with my Tek

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
dogrunner
1 hour ago, ckfowler180 said:

This has been the biggest criticism my friends have for the Garmins they have. Calibrate before each hunt, I never do that with my Tek

I don't do it every hunt, usually only a couple times a season and I rarely have a problem with mine. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
greg jacobs

Mine is always off a little. Points a little to the right I think. None of the above suggestions help mine. I just compensate a little. I use the compass always. Quick and easy at a glance. I never put a dog down without it anymore.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coveyrise64
2 hours ago, greg jacobs said:

Mine is always off a little. Points a little to the right I think. None of the above suggestions help mine. I just compensate a little. I use the compass always. Quick and easy at a glance. I never put a dog down without it anymore.

 

I normally don't calibrate the compass unless I move in a direction that is at least a couple hours drive from my last hunt.

 

One thing that could be affecting the accuracy of your compass is the North Reference you have set for your unit. You have two settings: Setup>Heading>North Reference.....Magnetic North and True North.

 

Google True North vs Magnetic North. It will offer more insight about magnetic declination. 

 From Google.....

"On the west coast of the United States, the compass direction lies between 10 and 16 degrees east of true north. In locations on the east coast, the magnetic declination is about 10 degrees west (-10°). "

 

Any game vests that use magnets to keep the pockets closed could be affecting the compass reading also.

 

cr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
greg jacobs
2 hours ago, Coveyrise64 said:

 

I normally don't calibrate the compass unless I move in a direction that is at least a couple hours drive from my last hunt.

 

One thing that could be affecting the accuracy of your compass is the North Reference you have set for your unit. You have two settings: Setup>Heading>North Reference.....Magnetic North and True North.

 

Google True North vs Magnetic North. It will offer more insight about magnetic declination. 

 From Google.....

"On the west coast of the United States, the compass direction lies between 10 and 16 degrees east of true north. In locations on the east coast, the magnetic declination is about 10 degrees west (-10°). "

 

Any game vests that use magnets to keep the pockets closed could be affecting the compass reading also.

 

 

Makes sense. Didn't know you could choose. Seems like we are 7° off if I remember correctly. Although boyscouts was 50 years ago

 

CRS. +14.89 Googled it. Think you've got it pegged.

 

Mine is on true north. Do I want magnetic north?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
greg jacobs

Thanks coveyrise. You nailed it. Changed mine to magnetic north and it was much closer. Played with user and put in 15E and then adusted it to 16E and it's dead on.

Looks like if you want to play with deviation on user mode, if you are positive put it on East

 

Thanks very much

Greg Jacobs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
greg jacobs
On 8/22/2019 at 5:47 AM, Virgil Kane said:

Okay, went out and bought the Garmin Alpha 100TT bundle.  Chose it over the Dogtra Pathfinder although almost twice the price but it's always on and I don't have to unlock it to use it, keeps my phone for emergencies only.  I've got everything set up but noticed that when using the compass and the dog is only 60-80 feet away the needle on the compass sometimes points almost 20-30 degrees off course to where the dog is.  If I can see the dog this is no problem but if the dog gets out 150-200 yards being off 20 degrees doesn't get me close to seeing the dog in the grouse woods.  Do others have the same problem with their Alpha compass?  I have calibrated the compass but is this something I have to do every time I turn on the receiver?

I like the unit for the peace of mind but question the compass.

 

Virgil

There you go Virgil. Worked for me

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Coveyrise64
11 minutes ago, greg jacobs said:

Thanks coveyrise. You nailed it. Changed mine to magnetic north and it was much closer. Played with user and put in 15E and then adusted it to 16E and it's dead on.

Looks like if you want to play with deviation on user mode, if you are positive put it on East

 

Thanks very much

Greg Jacobs

 

Anytime....!

 

cr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
grouse28

I don’t believe that the true north/magnetic north setting should be an issue when looking for your dog. It is a relative system and the GPS corrections made should read true to the dog. The only time you will notice a difference is if you are comparing your unit to a separate magnetic compass if your unit is set to true north.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
DAP
On 8/22/2019 at 8:47 AM, Virgil Kane said:

Okay, went out and bought the Garmin Alpha 100TT bundle.  Chose it over the Dogtra Pathfinder although almost twice the price but it's always on and I don't have to unlock it to use it, keeps my phone for emergencies only.  I've got everything set up but noticed that when using the compass and the dog is only 60-80 feet away the needle on the compass sometimes points almost 20-30 degrees off course to where the dog is.  If I can see the dog this is no problem but if the dog gets out 150-200 yards being off 20 degrees doesn't get me close to seeing the dog in the grouse woods.  Do others have the same problem with their Alpha compass?  I have calibrated the compass but is this something I have to do every time I turn on the receiver?

I like the unit for the peace of mind but question the compass.

 

Virgil

I use the compass screen on my Garmin 220 to find the dogs.   Like you,  I find it to sometimes be considerably off.   What I've found is that though the arrow may be pointing wrong, it still gives the correct direction (ie 36 degrees NE).   I have a compass on my lanyard that points to magnetic north.   I'll look at the direction indicated on the Garmin, but walk in the direction shown on the compass on my lanyard.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now

×