When it comes to choosing an e-collar you must consider several key factors before deciding which unit is ideal for you.
First, consider your canine hunting companion. Is your dog close working, or a “horizon chaser”? Second, what is your primary hunting specie? For example, are you a hunter who likes to pursue birds in a large landscape, such as prairie grouse or chukar? If so, you will likely benefit from a unit that can track a dog at long distances, and also pinpoint where you are at all times. The unit I believe has everything you need is the SportDOG Brand® TEK 2.0 GPS Tracking + E-Collar. I field tested the unit prior to its release to the market and have learned a few ways to maximizing its use. Below are 5 tips for using the TEK 2.0.
Read the manual.
This may seem obvious, but some people may want to skip this step and try to learn as they go. The user manual is 60 pages and may seem daunting to someone who just wants to put the collar on the dog and start hunting, but remember the TEK 2.0 is an advanced unit that has many useful features, all outlined in the manual.
Program and customize the stimulation levels for each of your dogs.
The TEK 2.0 has a wide range of options like rising, momentary, and continuous stimulation levels that allow the user to program the buttons to correspond to each of his or her dog’s needs.
Chronicle your hunts.
For hunters who like to keep track of the areas they hunted and number of birds they bagged, the “Journal” feature is a very useful tool. The Journal will keep track of your path by utilizing “breadcrumbs,” store any waypoints you mark, and allow the user to add notes after the hunt about the number of birds bagged, or in my case, opportunities missed! At the end of the season you can recall every hunt you took, which can help plan the next year’s hunts.
Know your direction.
The compass can be a very useful feature that sometimes gets overlooked. Typically, with GPS units, we use the map tracking feature, which shows the map and has arrows for the location of the dogs. The compass page is very useful if you are hunting in thick forested areas and you want a very quick way to see the direction of the dogs. The compass page has arrows for each dog and points toward the direction of the dog from your location. It will also indicate if the dog is on point or moving. At a quick glance you know exactly which direction your dog is.
Charge the transmitter and collar after every use. The unit has many advanced features and uses a fair amount of battery power. There are certain settings you can change to increase the battery life, such as lowering the update rate and the screen backlight time and brightness. But, for me, I like the screen as bright as possible and I want the update rate as frequent as possible. The tradeoff is I have to charge the system more frequently. I’ve made the mistake of not checking the battery life after a day of hunting to find out the next day that my unit was nearly dead. The upper right hand side of the screen shows how much battery is remaining, so if you plan on a long day of hunting, make sure to charge the unit the night before, as it can take as much as 8 hours to charge completely.
In conclusion the TEK 2.0 is the most customizable e-collar in the SportDOG Brand arsenal, and can be used in every scenario from hunting to yard training. The unit is simple to use if you take the time to learn about its capabilities.