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anyone running GPS tracking systems??

ive heard so many mixed reviews its not funny...

im running coonhounds and terrain varies ALOT....one nite i can be in some serious hills and thick vegetation...the next rolling hardwoods and the next flat farmland...my hounds can get gone in a hurry...if they dont cross a track they keep goin...the female im running hard used to check in after a half hour or so and wasnt real long range, but the ole light bulb finally came on and she goes huntin...not uncommon for her to blow out of the woodlot and the next and be pretty dang far off if its a bad nite or not many coon around etc...

just wondering if the GPS systems would work for ME...i cant afford to find out the hard way and loose a hound...the 2 i run are worth way to much to "risk"...with the quick track, i might bounce off hills and have to do some extra walkin or driving, but i'll get to the hounds...

any info?? coyote/cat guys? y'all get into some rough country and long tracks...?

a beagle or bird dog or squirrel dog etc the GPS would likely be fine...but the hounds, i still dont know...
 

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I'm a beagle guy and love mine,
I have buddy'd who are Coyote guys and absolutely love this system.
They swear by it.

John L
 

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I run my coonhounds on cats and coon, run coyotes with friends. I will never use a telemetry system again. If I lose signal, pop on the long range antenna and blam, Right back on the screen. I am not sure where you run, but I do my hunting around State College and north of 80 in Sproul. The hills in PA do not get much rougher than where we are.
The best part is you know exactly where your dogs are(down to the foot) and what they are doing. You can also look and see if they are near a road or on the other side of a river. Never get a signal bounce.
I ran my dogs with both until I was comfortable with the GPS, that took about 2 weeks and I have not picked up the wildlife materials again in 2 years...also nice on the beagles.
 

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I wouldn't run without them, but I don't trust them enough to run with gps alone. I haven't got the range out of my system that some guy's do. I get a mile or a little better with standard antenna, one of my collars routinely cuts out around 700 yards in thick brush, other times it works as good as the other. I have tracked dogs over two miles with the long range antenna. In my opinion not as reliable as the old beep.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
annnnnd the same things ive been reading...some love em and wouldnt trade em for the world...others just arent getting the performance...

while miles of tracking capabilities is rarely needed running a coon hound, ive been there before...and being a (part time) competition hunter, i never know where im gunna be, how big the woods are, or what kinda terrain/cover issues i may run into...ive gone to clubs for a hunt in flat farm land and end up driving an hour and a half to nasty mountain and scarce coon...just never know where i'll end up...got a GPS in my truck to get me to the club and/or home...

but i dont think i'll trust em just yet on a dog worth a couple grand easily...i know they are huntin hounds and anything can happen at any time...and my quick track can fail..but, i cant see risking a GPS cutting out when you need it most and not being able to pick it back up...if my dog blows out 2 miles and i loose it, by the time i get that 2 miles, it can easily be another 2+ miles away leaving me with a lost dog coz shooting in the dark trying to pickup the signal isnt likely going to work after the dog had a long headstart on me...

both my hounds are pretty straight right now..but i look long term..what if i got one that likes to run deer or yotes and its ALWAYS blowin outta range...and im in some rough terrain and thick ground..
 

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Funny this got brought up, i was just lookin on ebay and they have garmin astro with collar for $489. Is that a good price? And are they any good?
 

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That is a pretty good price. A year and a half ago I paid $600 and I would do it again. I run cats, coons, coyotes and squirrel and wouldn't let my dogs loose without it.
 

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Everytime we I run with andy I drool over that GPS, its the cats meow

andy we did have to pull out the wildlife materials that one time
 

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oh yeah Cody, I forgot about that...kinda on purpose. LOL
but that was on beagles and they never get too far away.
 

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I have one and I wont ever run hounds without it, nor ever use a telemetry system again.......I rarely lose signal and I am hunting deep timber, lots of steep river hills, thick cover big ravines......if you do lose signal just pop on the long rnge antenna and right back up again......

The best part is you know exactly where your dogs are(down to the foot) and what they are doing. You can also look and see if they are near a road or on the other side of a river. Never get a signal bounce.
This is the biggest advantage of this system.....
 

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I have four units that I run on the bird dogs and have never had a problem. Range is not my issue but have had a need for them a few times when a young dog would loose its bearings in big country up north and panic or when the hunter himself was not sure were he had gotten too. I suspect that if you get one, you'll never not have one. Well worth the investment of knowing where the dog is and having the piece of mind where you can find them. Makes hunting a lot more enjoyable knowing you can find your dog again if you need too.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
thats the thing...if i wanted to run both collars, id have to buy a quick track collar and the GPS system....i dont own the quick track but my buddy does...which is another problem...if im out of town or out of state in a competition and noone in my cast has a quick track that will pickup my collar, and my GPS is out of range, i got a problem...

i actually got atleast a year or 2 before i need to worry about it...was just wondering what everyone here thought of them...still hoping they work the bugs out...i know Tracker is supposed to be coming out with one that is supposedly going to make the garmin look like a toy from what ive heard thus far...

as long as you got a good radio track, the collar is on the dog, and the magnet was taken out, you shouldnt have much trouble finding that dog after its out of hearing...

but if i a dog gets out of hearing for me, it can also be out of GPS range before i even know it...competition hunts you cant keep an eye on your GPS to make sure your not loosing the signal or anything...cant use it till timeout is called...then you only got an hour to find your dog and be back to that spot...

it'll be a close to 2 years before i might be running my own hounds...so hopefully the bugs are worked out or something better comes out...id love the features of the GPS unit..but hard to get over the trust factor...

hunting at home and borrowing my buddies collar could get me to trust it...but coon are pretty thick and our dogs rarely get too far...99% of the time they are within earshot...rare night when we need a tracker hunting around home...
 

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from what i heard you will have to pay for service on your tracker i have been usein a garmin for almost 2 years had dogs split up over 3 miles (my buddies young walker decided to chase a coyote but they all make mistakes) any way never lost signal new where every body was at. Try to replace a good dog for the price of a garmin can't be done, money well spent
 

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Andy Purnell said:
do not hold your breath waiting for Tracker's. They are not even in the ballpark yet...
I agree. I'm pretty sure when it comes to GPS... Tracker and other telemetry companies don't have the income that Garmin has to sink into GPS for dogs. Not to even mention technology advantage. I think Garmin was at $278.4 million 4th quarter net income. I don't forsee any non GPS based company being a threat to Garmin for years. Not to mention Telemetry sales are pretty much in the bucket. I almost had to give mine away.

One of the issues Garmin has had is with collar size for smaller dogs. The biggest hold up is Battery technology. The board for the collars is very small the Battery is another issue. So, they have 2 choices use a smaller battery (which means less hrs it can run) or do what they are doing till battery technology catches up.

Kudos to Garmin for making what use to be a "wished they made a" item into reality.
 

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GPS Collars for me for sure I was one of the first people around my area to buy one. Garmin should give me one free for all the advertisement I did for them.

By the way: I have a friend that sunk a grand into his marshall with collars and he wants to sell it for 500$ if anyone is interested PM me. 2 collars I believe come with it and a case.
 
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