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Unread 11-23-2018, 02:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Rick Losey View Post
as with so much of this - this is my opinion only, but I do not think e give enough thought to what a shotgun fired over their heads for several seasons does to their sensitive hearing - i expect more damage is done that way than by beepers -
Rick has a great point. Not only does shooting harm the dog's hearing, but how many of us "experienced" hunters also have some hearing loss? And we are not experiencing the muzzle blast that the dog frequently does. Come to think of it, I used to shoot a lot more over the two dogs I mentioned that went deaf. There were more birds then, and I tried to take more than I do now.

Rick's story of his dog that knew where the warm clubhouse was reminds me of the dogs that I hunted with bells. I know this is hard to believe, but when they went on point and I could not locate them, I would toot the whistle and they would jingle the bell (without breaking point) so I could find them. I know this sounds like a tall tale, but my wife can attest to it.

I'm sure that all of my dogs have been smarter than I. They just couldn't drive themselves to the field...thank goodness! Otherwise, they would probably have left me at home.
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Unread 11-23-2018, 02:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Garry L Gordon View Post
Rick's story of his dog that knew where the warm clubhouse was reminds me of the dogs that I hunted with bells. I know this is hard to believe, but when they went on point and I could not locate them, I would toot the whistle and they would jingle the bell (without breaking point) so I could find them. I know this sounds like a tall tale, but my wife can attest to it.

I have heard and read that before, and it was from other bird hunters than yourself.






.
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"I'm a Setter man.
Not because I think they're better than the other breeds,
but because I'm a romantic - stuck on tradition - and to me,
a Setter just "belongs" in the grouse picture."

George King, "That's Ruff", 2010 - a timeless classic.
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Unread 11-23-2018, 03:24 PM   #13
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All my dog training experience has been with flushers and retrievers, so I am singularly unqualified to talk about pointing dogs but...
It seems to me that the Beeper collars have taught the grouse to run. Although I have never had an electric collar on any of my dogs, if I was to put one on a pointing dog it would run in silent mode all the time and have the pointing notification vibrate on my GPS. I like things quiet in the woods.
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Unread 11-23-2018, 05:23 PM   #14
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I use a bell on all our Setters. Help keep track of them in cover. I use locater collars w/o the run/rpoint turned on. If I need to locate a dog in the thick stuff I just hit a button. If I want them to come back I just hit a button. Not a big deal as they don't get out far, I keep them inside of 50 yards.
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Unread 11-23-2018, 05:27 PM   #15
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I run bells all the time and rather loud ones at that. I have not had a dog go deaf prior to old age. I also use a gps collar. I can hear the bells and can tell what the dog is up to just by the cadence of the bell. However, my hearing does not allow me to tell direction very well. So, when the bells go quiet out comes the gps for a quick check on location. It works very well for me. I just enjoy listening to bells traversing the cover.

As for bells spooking birds, I do not think so and I hunt pressured birds. The dog has to stay off the birds.
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Unread 11-23-2018, 08:39 PM   #16
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I hunted chukars for years and lost my first Britt for up to 20 minutes at a time when she was on point. I would generally find her when we heard or saw the birds flush. I finally went to a beeper collar and could then find her fairly quickly if the wind wasn't too bad. For those of you that haven't hunted real wild, not planted, chuckars in steep, rugged canyon country you have missed one of hunting's real challenges. I've spent up to a hour slowly climbing up a canyon wall only to have the birds flush and fly back down to where we started. It's been said you hunt chuckars the first time for sport after that it is for revenge. I'm going to look for a picture of our chukar hunting spot and will post it if I find one.
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Unread 11-23-2018, 09:42 PM   #17
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Bell it is, I've always liked the bell, our boy is tone trained with his collar so a beeper collar is useless. I think the next dog we'll catch up with the 21st century!
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Unread 11-24-2018, 08:07 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Mike Koneski View Post
I use a bell on all our Setters. Help keep track of them in cover. I use locater collars w/o the run/rpoint turned on. If I need to locate a dog in the thick stuff I just hit a button. If I want them to come back I just hit a button. Not a big deal as they don't get out far, I keep them inside of 50 yards.
I saw you mentioned this other day when talking about training your dog and meant to commend you on it. I think this is the best use of employing a beeping collar I have ever heard put into practice. I don't like listening to beeping collars all time. However, train a dog to hear that noise combined with a whistle trill like used with a retrievers would be a great way to hunt with a rangey dog or hunting in tight hilly cover. I think whistle helps them locate you quicker.

I like using the bell on dogs. It is a great way to locate them as they move and you can tell how they are moving in real time by action of the bell. For years that is all that we used was a bell. If we did not hear the bell we would start looking for the point in last direction we heard the bell. Later on we had a dog that was really good and was quite deliberate and stealthy when he scented birds way off and that bell might not hardly make a noise. Started using a hawk call on the caller for when he would go on point. Wild birds that hear a hawk call will freeze up and maybe hold a little tighter.
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Unread 11-24-2018, 11:16 PM   #19
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I have used a small Swiss bell from the beginning with my Springer. Primarily a pheasant specialist. The cover we hunt it's typically either woods thick with green briar and multiflora Rose or switch grass that's often higher than your head. I use the bell on an E collar that allows me to either tone or stimulate. I can't hear the low tone the collar emits beyound 25 feet or so, but he can. And he is trained that when toned that means for him to check in with me. He is verbally Hup ( stop and sit in Spaniel speak) trained, as well as whistle trained to Hup, turn, and come.
The bell helps me keep track of his location, as most of the time I can't see him. Fairly regularly we get out with another friend that also hunts a Springer and he runs a bell of a different tone. If it's not too windy I can hear the bell out to about 30 yards. If I can't hear it I know I need to bring rein him in. I don't think it's effected his hearing yet because he can hear a cheese wrapper from 50' over a blaring TV program.
On the Setter pup I run a different set up of an E collar that beeps which has multiple modes, but I set it to only beep if I push a button. It has a high and low volume switch, and I run it in low. It also offers a huge range for levels stimulation. I again run a Swiss bell on this dog for keeping him located primarily, but also because where we hunt grouse and woodcock there are a lot ( read too damned many) wolves. Their are some of the opinion that bells or a running beeper may help with wolves. And also some folks think bells spook grouse. I don't doubt that they do, especially birds that have been pressured, but I'll take the chance to miss opportunities on a few each day, to know where my dog is all day.

In addition I use the Garmin Alpha 100 while the GPS is important the data collection for distance and pace along with perimeter alarms have helped me with training and training decisions.
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Unread 11-25-2018, 09:06 AM   #20
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I have always used a bell and for the last 10-15 years included a beeper collar set on point mode. My hearing is worse than my shooting these days and the bell is hard to hear. The E collar has a locate function but that can be hard to hear as well. As others have mentioned picking the direction of the bell, beeper, or locate function can be problematic.

My grouse hunting is in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and is both big country and wolf country. I think by keeping your dog as close as possible and the combination of the bell and a locate function it might keep the wolf at a distance.

In another post I mentioned a perfect storm of failures. My hearing aid batteries died, the E collar died and it was snowing and very windy. Ike who was just a year old at the time disappeared for a couple of hours and horrible things went through my head. At that given moment I'd have given $1000 for a GPS collar to know where he was.

I hunted him on a pheasant preserve where I could keep him in sight more and didn't use the bell. He hunted closer and was more attentive. Did the absence of the bell allow him to hear me better? I don't know.

I'm not a tech person but I'm going to look for a KISS (keep it simple stupid) GPS collar.
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