Beeper Collar - Buyers Guide

Helping You Get the Most From Your Hunting Dogs

Beeper Collar - Buyers Guide

by Geoffrey English

Tri-tronics Sport Upland G3
Photo by: Author
While many sportsmen love the sound of a traditional dog bell while hunting over their favorite upland dog, few can argue that the latest beeper collar technology has many advantages over a bell when hunting. The largest disadvantage of hunting over a pointing dog wearing a bell is that the bell is silent when your dog is locked in on a bird, making it difficult to locate your dog at this critical time. Beeper collars have addressed this limitation and many others. In this article, I will discuss the features which have made beeper collars become the number one choice while upland bird hunting.

How Beeper Collars Work
In its most basic design, beeper collars consist of two parts - the actual horn (also called the beeper) and a motion sensor. The motion sensor detects the movement of the dog and sends a signal to the horn / beeper collar to change the sound or frequency emitted by the collar. For example, most beeper collars can be operated in one of at least two modes – “run/point mode” or “point mode”. When set to run/point mode the beeper collar will emit a beep every 5-10 seconds (depending on the brand) while your dog is quartering and then beep every second once the dog is locked on point (or stationary). Most collars can also be operated in point mode, where the collar does not beep until the dog is locked on point. As you can see, both modes of operation have a significant advantage over dog bells that become silent when the dog is on point. With the help of a beeper collar you can quickly locate your dog even when on point.

Combo Training / Beeper Collar versus Standard Beeper
When selecting from one of our many beeper collars it is important to look at the type of hunting you do and how you would use the collar in the field. The first thing you might want to consider is whether or not you would like a combination training / beeper collar.

Almost all the manufacturers are now offering a training / beeper collar combination. With this design the collar functions as an electronic dog collar and a beeper collar. The unit is sold with a transmitter that operates the training collar and beeper collar remotely. This combination package is extremely popular as the beeper collar can be turned on and off remotely and the training collar operates as a full functioning electronic dog collar.

Dogtra offers a single dog model (Dogtra 2000 T&B) and a two dog model (Dogtra 2002 T&B). All the Tri-Tronics Field and Pro G2 series training collars can be easily expanded to a training / beeper collar combination by adding the Tri-Tronics Accessory Beeper to your system. You can now turn the accessory beeper on or off by simply setting the intensity dial on the transmitter to the accessory position and pressing the accessory on/off button.

If you are looking for a combo training / beeper collar, I recommend the following models:
Dogtra 2500 T&B Train and Beeper Collar (available in a 1, or 2 dog model)
Tri-Tronics Sport Upland G3 EXP (available in a 1, 2, 3 dog model)
Tri-Tronics Upland Special G3 EXP (available in a 1, 2, 3 dog model)

If you are looking for a stand alone beeper collar, you should consider the following models:

Tri-Tronics Accessory Beeper
SportDog Deluxe Beeper Locator - DSL 400

Beeper Collar Range
Your next consideration would be the range of the beeper collar. If you are a flushing dog owner or own a close working pointer, you might not need a beeper collar that has as great a range. Manufacturers are also creating beeper collars with a Hi and Low volume setting. However, don’t confuse range with volume. While volume does factor into the equation when considering range, keep in mind that the frequency of the tone has a greater bearing on the range of a unit than volume. To make things easier, manufacturers state the maximum range associated with the collar.

Hawk Scream versus Standard Beeper Tone
The latest innovation in beeper collars is the ability of some collars to emit the sound of a hawk scream rather than the standard beeper tone. The Hawk Scream mode is designed to simulate the sound of a shrieking hawk. This sound should be used only when the collar is on point mode to help hold birds tighter while the dog is on point.

The following manufacturers offer models which feature the Hawk Scream tone in addition to the standard tone – Tri-Tronics and SportDog.

Number of Dogs
Many pointing dog owners will run multiple dogs at the same time. In this case, I would suggest choosing a beeper collar that has the ability to change the sound it emits. There are two ways to do this; first most manufacturers offer collars that can be run in a single or double beep modes. The second way is to change the tone selection of the beeper. Either option will work and allow you the ability to tell which dog is which in the field.

On the SportDog DSL-400 you can change from one mode to another by opening the unit setting the operating mode manually.

Ability to Change Beeper Modes
An often overlooked feature of beeper collars is the ease in which you can change the mode of operation. Some beeper collars can change from one mode to another by opening the unit and flipping a switch, others can be changed with a simple push of a button on the collar itself, while still others change their mode of operation from the transmitter. The obvious advantage of being able to change the mode of operation from the transmitter becomes apparent when you switch to open cover and don’t want to listen to beeper while your dog is quartering in front of you. With a beeper collar designed to change its mode of operation from the transmitter you don’t need to stop the dog and fumble with the collar – simply press a button on the transmitter and continue hunting.

I hope you can see the obvious advantage of hunting with a beeper collar. Not only will the beeper collar allow you to know where your dog is at all times it will also help you harvest more birds by allowing you to quickly get into position when your dog pins that big cock pheasant or that covey of quail. Do your homework and make sure you choose the right beeper collar for your hunting conditions and your gundog. If you have any questions regarding the selection of beeper collars, please don’t hesitate to call toll free at 1-866-4GUNDOG.

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