If you are a bird hunter the GPS age has arrived with the new Gamin Astro 220 GPS dog tracking System. Now days most bird hunters have moved from using bells to beeper collars to keep track of their bird dogs. Whether you are hunting head high CRP chasing roosters or in dog hair aspen looking for timber doodles and grouse, knowing where your dog is and what it is doing is key to a successful day of bird hunting. The new beeper collars with their ability to keep you informed as to where your dog is but also when it is on point. There biggest drawback is the sound of the beeper. Some hunters especially those with hearing problems from a lifetime of shooting simply cannot hear the beeper well enough to locate their dogs. In addition some dog owners have become concerned about the possibility of damaging the dogs hearing from the loud sound of the beeper. These concerns have become mute if you use the new Garmin GPS dog tracking system.
The Garmin GPS dog tracking system comes in two parts. The collar unit is called a DC 20 VHF transmitter, it is slightly larger than an electronic training collar, but it can be attached to regular collar or it can be mounted on the dogs back using a harness. The unit has a small antenna that must remain relatively upright to assure good communication with the handheld GPS unit. Once the unit picks up the VHF and GPS signals it begins to tell you where your dog is on the compass page. This page displays a compass rose that show the direction and distance to your dog. Just like a beeper collar it tells you if your dog is hunting, on point or sitting but unlike the beeper collar there is no sound to irritate you and the dog. However, a good technique used by grouse hunters is to us a beeper collar set to only sound off when the dog is on point. This has two benefits first of which the sound of a hawk scream will freeze the bird and second when the GPS unit sounds the on point alarm it allows the hunter to holster his or her GPS unit and move in for the shot with both hands on his or her shotgun while know exactly where the dog is.
The Garmin GPS dog tracking system unit is really a modified standard Garmin model 60CSx. This allows the unit to act as an ordinary GPS mapping unit. This will allow you to basically focus on hunting your dog not worry where you are going. In addition if you are hunting a large piece of habitat the unit will tell you what part of the habitat you and your dog have and have not covered. The unit also allows you to set way points for your favorite bird covers, flushes or dog hazards. The unit also supports the Garmin topographical maps to help you plan your hunts. Included is an electronic compass and barometer/altimeter feature. It also supports standard SD data cards for loading additional mapping options. This new Garmin GPS dog tracking system has it all.