For many years, dog owners have used their pets to help with hunting. Over time, dogs have been bred and trained in order to perform certain tasks out in the field. Some dogs have been trained to act as pointers and find birds or other animals for the hunter. Sometimes owners train dogs to flush birds out of their hiding spots. Other dogs are trained to simply retrieve the kill.
Hunters have developed different equipment and techniques in order to help better utilize their dogs. Because the dogs can cover a large distance during a hunt, the equipment was designed to inform a hunter where their dog is going and what they are doing. In the past, hunters would use Dog Bells, however modern technology has produced Beeper Collars and Dog Tracking Collars which has made this task even easier.
Dog Bells were the first tool used by hunters to help locate their dogs. They would simply attach a bell to a dog’s collar. When the dog runs, the hunter can hear the bell and know where the dog is going. Once the dog is on point, standing still, the ringing will stop. Dog bells allow an owner to know which direction the dog is going, but they do not help the owner find the dog after the hunt. Many hunters have lost dogs because of this. While a number of hunters still use dog bells, they are not as effective as the more modern equipment.
- Informs hunter which direction the dog is going
- Can only be heard for a limited distance
- Do not help owner locate dog once dog is on point
Beeper Collars are essentially a more modernized, electronic version of the Dog Bell. Beeper Collars use a motion sensor and beeping sounds to inform a hunter what the dog is doing. Many can be adjusted to a run/point mode so that it beeps differently depending on whether the dog is moving or standing still. Some versions only have a point mode, where the collar makes no sound when the dog is moving, but starts making sound when the dog has stopped to point out his location. Some beeper collars even feature a remote control that works in a combination with an electronic training collar. For these collars, a transmitter allows a hunter to turn the beeper on or off as cover changes or as the dog moves out of sight.
There are some important factors to consider when thinking about using a beeper collar. The range of sounds you need is one important factor. The pitch of the beep affects how far away you can hear it. The distance from which it can be heard is also affected by the wind, your hearing, and the terrain. Beepers work the best in flat and open terrain with little cover to block the sound. It is recommended that owners try out different pitches in order to find the tone that works the best for your hearing. Another important factor to consider is the size of the beeper on the collar. When dogs hunt, they often have to wear multiple collars. Some beepers are large and can make it difficult to wear with other collars.
- Informs owner where dog is and what he is doing
- Variety of styles and features to fit the needs of different kinds of hunters
- Beeps can be difficult to hear at long distances
Dog Tracking Collars
Dog Tracking Collars are another designed tool to make hunting easier. The Tracking Collar system is made up of a radio transmitter that the dog wears on a collar and a receiver. The owner has the receiver and it provides specific information about where the dog is and what he or she is doing. Most receivers will use a combination of lights, sound or bar graph with an LCD screen or a needle indicator to help you locate your dog. These systems are different that the Radio Training Collars, because with those systems the owner has the transmitter and the collar is the receiver.
Depending on the type of hunting that you are doing, there are different systems and features available. For someone hunting birds, Bird Dog Collars feature a motion sensor that will inform you if your dog is on point or running. There are Bark Indicators which will tell when the dog is being quiet and when he is barking or baying to help with boar hunts. Collars designed for raccoon hunters sometimes have tree switch indicators which inform a hunter when the dog has treed its prey.
The advantage of Tracking Collars over Dog Bells and some Beeper Collars is that they transmit the location of the dog to the owner. When hunting, dogs can cover a large distance and in the past many have gotten lost. Tracking Collars will help a hunter find his or her dog when they are done, in addition to helping during the hunt itself. While the Dog Bells and the Beeper Collars will make different sounds as dogs move, the Tracking Collars will actually give you a dog’s exact location.
- Informs hunter location and direction of the dog
- Different versions and setting for the different kinds of hunting
- Limited number of channels so the number of different dogs you can use is limited