Thursday, January 31, 2008

Satellite dogs

I broke down and purchased a Garmin Astro. A global positioning system for dogs. My curiosity got the better of me, and it arrived on Tuesday in the mail. I had to go out for AA batteries.

I used to bell my dogs, but years of shooting and getting a bit older has made my hearing less acute. People have suggested beeper collars, but I don't like the idea of a bird dog that sounds like a garbage truck backing up.

The other side of the story... 

I admit that I am a 'traditionalist' in things sporting.  Old side by side shotguns, big running setters, cane fly rods and leather boots with stitch down soles. Wool shirts and ball caps. Stuff like that. 

But I am not a Luddite. I will probably use the Astro for Jesse and Tommy. Jesse has always required me to pay strict attention when he is on the ground. As the day gets longer, so does he. About the time I am ready to head back to the truck, he is likely to be half a mile away. Always been like that. Tommy is showing early signs of extended range too. 

So I now have an eye in the sky. 


Gary Kirkpatrick said...

I'll be interested to see what you think of it after you use it a bit.
I've been wanting to get one also.

roysetters said...

Mike, I hunt the some of the same places you do, also with setters. I bought the Astro with 2 transmitters before hunting season started. IMO, the Astro will revolutionize dog handling in much the same way e-collars have. Don't forget to secure the antenna with loc-tite (in an emergency I used superglue in the field) since several users have reported lost antennas. I lost one myself before the superglue. If your dog puts a ridge between you and him, you'll have to climb a bit to reacquire a signal. I plan to buy 2 more transmitters before next season, I like them that much (and I have a lot of dogs). Roy

Dale Hernden said...

I'll be interested in how you like it as well. Not sure how well it would work in our heavy grouse cover though. Dale Hernden