GPS in the Hunt

Hunting Dogs
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Where the Red Fern Grows is the compelling story of a young boy and the close relationship he has with his coon dogs. Though a work of fiction, the book demonstrates the reality of the emotional bond between man and dog. Now GPS technology is allowing man to better care for his best friend, especially in the world of hunting.

Tracking the Hunt
In less than 3 minutes, a hunting dog can be 1,000 yards away from its master, quickly out of sight and out of earshot. With a GPS enabled transmitting collar, hunting dogs can now be tracked by their owners and kept away from roads, houses, and other dangerous areas. A hand-held receiver displays a dog’s location, movements, and speed as a line on a topographic map. The hunter knows the dog’s position at any given time and is better able to keep up with it in the chase.

Keeping the Chase Fair
Some hunting clubs are concerned that the use of GPS tracking collars on hunting dogs may violate the ethics of hunting, the “fair chase,” and diminish the sport of hunting. Some clubs, like the Boone and Crockett Club, named for the legendary hunters Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, do not allow hunters to register as trophies bears and mountain lions that have been cornered by hunting dogs wearing a GPS device. Such restrictions are used to keep hunters responsible for their dogs and the hunt. If a hunter is not paying attention to the hunt because he is relying on GPS data, the consequences can be detrimental and even deadly. Most clubs do encourage the use of tracking collars for coon dogs because of the increase in population of raccoons and the wide range they can travel to escape the hunt.

A good hunting dog can cost on average between $300 and $500 with prices soaring into the thousands for dogs from a specific breed or family line, and many hunters own a pack of them for optimal hunting. There is also the time and energy it takes to get a pack trained. Hunters can now protect their investment with GPS tracking collars. Like the dogs themselves, the collars and receivers average about $500 with prices going up from there depending on the number of collars connected to a single receiver and the range the transmitter covers, even up to 9 miles. If dog is man’s best friend, then GPS may well be the dog’s best friend.

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Hillary Mayfield

One thought on “GPS in the Hunt

  1. Great site,
    Looking for an answer to my hunting party question. Much like a hunter tracks a dog while hunting what if I wanted to know where my parteners were during Elk hunting. Got any ideas?
    Thanks

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