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GPS hunting collars. Anyone?

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I think my new dog is ready for serious field work.  He's collar conditioned. Ive been working him using my old Dogtra ecollar in a large enclosed area, and it's time to take him afield.

 

Big running Brittany, and I think a GPS tracking collar will give me peace of mind. 

A lot of options out there. Garmin, Dogtra and Sport dog. 

 

Anyone have experience?

The Sultan of Sluggo

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As much as it pains me to say it Garmin is the way to go.  You pay a premium but they truly are the best performing product.  The other brands work but they just aren't at the same level as the Garmin.  Garmin's business model is to acquire the best platform in the market and put their name on the device. 

 

I had been using a Garmin pro 550 (non GPS) on my Brittany. However, without the GPS tracking I would often lose where she was on point in heavy thick cover particularly in the early season.   I was going to upgrade to the Pro 550 plus model but stumbled into a great deal on a hardly used Alpha 100.  The alpha has some cool features such as mapping and the ability to see the dog's travelled distance.  These additional features while "cool" aren't really all that relevant to hunting stocked birds on known WMA's.  These features would be userfull If you were hunting unknown wilderness areas like out west or up in Northern Maine.  My training partner uses the Pro 550 plus and it tracks the dogs just as well and gives you direction and distance to when their on point.  Its a much simpler platform.

 

In a nutshell they both perform the same but the Alpha series is hunting focused where the Pro 550 plus is more training centric.   

Edited by deepsushi
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Hey Bob,

I second the Garmin as well... I have been running the ALPHA on my Pointer for years and for the same reasons you have mentioned. My guy can run pretty big as well and has great recall but there is something to be said about being able to get to him quickly when needed, especially with the way these bird don't stay stationary for very long (Grouse/Woodcock). I also have a Garmin Phoenix watch that pairs with my hand held so I do not have to keep looking at the Hand Held unit to see where he is (Couple Pics Below).... Obviously not necessary but pretty nice feature!

 

With the newer mode recently out you can probably find a used unit for a decent price. I would reach out to "The Collar Clinic" in MI, I have worked with him for years and he has both New, Used and Refurbished units. 

 

Garim 1.jpg

GArmin2.jpg

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On 4/18/2024 at 12:35 PM, Blurple928 said:

Hey Bob,

I second the Garmin as well... I have been running the ALPHA on my Pointer for years and for the same reasons you have mentioned. My guy can run pretty big as well and has great recall but there is something to be said about being able to get to him quickly when needed, especially with the way these bird don't stay stationary for very long (Grouse/Woodcock). I also have a Garmin Phoenix watch that pairs with my hand held so I do not have to keep looking at the Hand Held unit to see where he is (Couple Pics Below).... Obviously not necessary but pretty nice feature!

 

With the newer mode recently out you can probably find a used unit for a decent price. I would reach out to "The Collar Clinic" in MI, I have worked with him for years and he has both New, Used and Refurbished units. 

 

Garim 1.jpg

GArmin2.jpg

 

Companies and their damn proprietary communications. I've got the Alpha 100 for my setter, and a new Galaxy watch. You'd think there'd be an app to at minimum display distance/direction info to the watch and vibrate when on point. Nope, gotta have a Garmin watch for that.  :banghd:

 

Only thing I wish they would fix on the Alpha is when you lock out the touchscreen, it still feels the need to beep and tell you the screen is locked anytime you accidently hit it. I know, that's why I locked it! No need to continuously inform me. 

I'll have mine on the rocks.

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4 mins ago, Eagles Dare said:

 

Companies and their damn proprietary communications. I've got the Alpha 100 for my setter, and a new Galaxy watch. You'd think there'd be an app to at minimum display distance/direction info to the watch and vibrate when on point. Nope, gotta have a Garmin watch for that.  :banghd:

 

Only thing I wish they would fix on the Alpha is when you lock out the touchscreen, it still feels the need to beep and tell you the screen is locked anytime you accidently hit it. I know, that's why I locked it! No need to continuously inform me. 

And as we both know, Garmin practically gives those units away.:rolleyes:

The Sultan of Sluggo

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1 min ago, bob_G said:

And as we both know, Garmin practically gives those units away.:rolleyes:

 

Yeah, the watch features I can live without. It'd be handy to stow the Alpha unit in a pocket or pack and interact via the wrist but not necessary.

 

The Alpha unit with TT15 collar is a little pricey. But knowing where the dog is at all times is priceless.  

I'll have mine on the rocks.

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5 mins ago, Eagles Dare said:

 

Yeah, the watch features I can live without. It'd be handy to stow the Alpha unit in a pocket or pack and interact via the wrist but not necessary.

 

The Alpha unit with TT15 collar is a little pricey. But knowing where the dog is at all times is priceless.  

That's the only reason I'm switching to a GPS.  I've been training him on my ancient Dogtra ecollar. He's doing  fine, most days I forget to turn the unit on. Almost 20 years ago, works great.  But no gps function.

 

My new guy looks to be a big runner. Which is fine. But if he's on point 200 yards away, I need to be able to find him.

The Sultan of Sluggo

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We use an Fi Collar for the GPS function and distance tracking. But best not be relied on for restraint as the snap comes apart easily though ours is a several years old and it may have been improved. We use this in conjunction with a training color.

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Bite the bullet and get a Garmin Alpha. Go used or refurbished from ODS or Double U if you want to save a few hundred bucks. 

 

Get the TT15 mini collar for a Brittany. The regular TT15 is pretty big on a small dog.  

I'll have mine on the rocks.

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I've looked at those, but none seem to come with a receiver/screen.  What am I missing?

 

It's kind of between a Garmin and a Sportdog tek1.5.   Both have a pile of features I'll never use.  I just want to see where my dog is, what direction he's running and if he's on point.  All the rest seems to be drama.   Am I missing something?

The Sultan of Sluggo

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The Alpha 100 or 200 is the receiver/screen/handheld. The TT15 mini collar will work with either. It's a combo tracking & training collar. You can tone, vibrate, or zap the little sob as well as see his location on a map or compass direction & distance as well as when he's on point. 

 

For both if you're lucky you can find either refurbished or "used - excellent condition" for $700 - $800

 

Sell that watch and put the proceeds to good use.  

I'll have mine on the rocks.

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