All-in-one collars for locating & training
By Greg McReynolds
Beeper collars are not as charming as bells, and they won’t give you reams of data like GPS collars. But if you have a pointing dog, you should consider a beeper. There is nothing like the simplicity of putting a beeper on a big-running dog and turning it loose in thick cover or rolling country. Better yet, many current beeper collars are integrated with e-collars, allowing correction as well as the ability to control the beepers remotely. This is particularly helpful if you want to run a beeper on silent mode and use a locate feature when you lose sight of your dog.
My friend and fellow mouthfulloffeathers.com contributor Tom Reed and I put four beeper/e-collars through the paces with help from setters Luna, Mabel, Elsie and Clea. We evaluated them on the merits of both the beeper functions and the integrated e-collars.
The Dogtra 2700 T&B is ideal for a one-dog hunter looking for an intuitive, durable setup. This unit was the easiest to use without extensive reading of the manual. The beeper and e-collar are integrated into one unit. Some may not like that the beeper/e-collar rides pointing down, but we found it loud enough and a great size for smaller dogs. The collar pairs to the transmitter and turns on by simply touching the collar to the transmitter. A dedicated locate button eliminates the need to cycle through beeper functions. The 127 stimulation levels—adjustable via a rheostat knob with an LCD readout—may be more than most users need. A second collar cannot be added; instead Dogtra offers the 2702 T&B, which comes with two collars and a toggle switch to alternate between them. The 2700 beeper has three modes: run (double beep every seven seconds and double beep every two seconds for point), point only (double beep every two seconds) and locate. A switch on the transmitter allows for adjusting the volume on the fly. Dogtra lists the collar’s operating range at one mile and the audible range of the beeper at 400 yards. Price: $360.
D.T.’s R.A.P.T. 1450 is a unique transmitter designed to fit comfortably in the hand. A dedicated button for every function alleviates having to program buttons, though the rapid-access button at the top can be programmed if you want a custom setup. The transmitter can control up to three collars via a mechanical dial. Programming collars to the transmitter is easy; simply touch a marked location on the collar to a marked location on the transmitter for a few seconds. The e-collar, beeper and collar are integrated, with the collar functioning as an antenna. We liked the transmitter, though it works best when held and is tricky to grab on the go. The beeper has three run modes: locate (sounding only when the locate button is pushed), point (beeping only when the dog is pointing) and run and point (beeping every five seconds while the dog is moving and every two seconds when the dog is on point). D.T. Systems lists the operating range of the collar at ¾ of a mile and the audible range of the beeper at 450 yards. Price: $290.
Garmin’s Delta Upland XC was the most versatile system in the group and can be expanded to control up to three beeper collars. A dedicated button toggles through collars and displays the current collar on a color-coded LCD screen. There is also a built-in bark limiter. There are three programmable buttons, and the bark functions can be controlled remotely—which makes the learning curve a bit steeper. The transmitter is sturdy, compact and fits well in the hand, and the charger runs off of a USB plug. The beeper has four run modes: silent (sounding only when the dog is on point), single beep every four seconds, double beep every four seconds, and three beeps every four seconds. Or the beeper can be turned off and the locate button used when needed. A beep or hawk scream can be selected for the point alarm. Garmin lists the operating range of the collar at ¾ of a mile and the audible range of the beeper at 450 yards. Price: $300.
The SportDOG Upland Hunter 1875 has a well-built, compact transmitter with analog-style controls that are user friendly. Three LEDs on the back of the transmitter indicate the beeper mode. The correction intensity on the transmitter is easy to adjust and can’t get accidentally changed. A two-position toggle switch makes this a good two- or three-dog system (with the purchase of additional collars). Programmable buttons allow for customizing the transmitter setup but require reading the manual. There is a beeper-mode button as well as a separate locate button. The beeper has three run modes: silent (beeping only when the dog is on point), run with one beep every five seconds, and run with one beep every 10 seconds. The point alarm has nine options, including low and high beeps, hawk screams and bobwhite calls. SportDOG lists the operating range of the collar at one mile and the audible range of the beeper at 500 yards. Price: $385.