Using a bell is a personal decission, I have friends and clients who use them even with their beeper collars. Most young Grouse which is really the birds most Grouse hunters get to shoot,
are seldom spooked by a bell, older mature Grouse are a completley different matter. Some men love the sound of the bell in the Grouse woods, I gave up on the bell years ago, when the T&B collars became dependable and worked properly. Training and hunting with a master initiated
T&B collar is fantastic, no noise unless the master initiates the beeper, as a locator. The master/owner then understands he has control of his companion at a much greater distance. There is no worry as to how big a Grouse dog then works. We use the beeper as a command and locator tool, different beeps initiated by the master mean different commands to the dog, the most important being the recall command. Gun dogs are very smart, they learn very quickly the different commands using the T&B collar. When an owner talkes to me about range I advise him that range is not a determining factor with a good Grouse dog, bidability is the key, unless the dog has no pray drive and works to close. You want the dog to work for you
and find the Grouse no matter what range the Grouse happens to be from the master. A good Grouse dog will find and set the Grouse for his masters gunning, a great Grouse dog will
do a walking point without spooking the Grouse, until the Grouse finally sets up, many times this happens out of bell hearing range, especially on a windy day. Thechnology has made bells today, to a serious Grouse hunter, an obsolete tool, however it sure is nice to hear one in the woods from time to time. The simple fact is this, the less noise you make in the woods the more Grouse you will put in your game bag, rookie Grouse hunters have no way of understanding this fact, they simply lack the actual experience in the Grouse woods. Good T&B Collars cost serious money, especially if you want a dual set for running two dogs at the same time. We recommend the older 2000 and before, Dogtra T&B Collars, they are very high quality and work dependably for many years. The newer DT H2O T&B collars work well also. Both these
collars have the beeper units on top of the dogs neck, behind the dogs ears, and the shock unit under the dogs neck, balancing the collar on the dog, and allowing the beeper to be heard for a great distance in the Grouse woods.
Hope I have helped you a might.
You can see the Beeper portion clearly in this picture of Daisy as she delivers the Grouse to hand, on a Grouse hunt in NH. You can also see the shock portion of the collar on Penny in the back ground. Notice I have no bell on either dog.