Dogs are great companions to have while hunting, and they can also be used as a tool to help you become a more effective hunter with a dog tracking collar.
When dogs start to track an animal they can get separated from you. Worrying might turn your hunt for deer or ducks into hunting for your dog. This is why you should consider a reliable tracking collar, so you know where your dog is at all times. Here are the five best tracking collars according to consumers.
SportDOG Tek Series Pro 2.0
This tracking collar has a 10-mile range and can track up to 21 dogs. It can also notify you when your dog is on point or when it has an animal treed. The actual collar features a rechargeable battery that takes only four hours to completely charge and lasts for 24 hours. The handheld device takes a total of eight hours to charge and can last up to 12 hours. Both devices are waterproof and submersible up to 25 feet. One of its unique features is that it will update maps and features for the life of the device, which means you won’t have to buy a new collar every year. The Tek Series Pro 2.0 uses GPS and GLONASS satellite, which is more reliable than GPS alone, especially in challenging environments. This collar costs about $900 but its durability and lifetime updates make it worth the money.
Unlike many of its competitors, this collar is inexpensive coming in at only around $35. But the initial price does not cover operational costs. A monthly or yearly subscription fee is required to operate the collar. The GPS is located in the collar, but the handheld device is an app on your smartphone, tablet or computer. One limitation to this collar is that the handheld device must be connected to the internet. This means that if you don’t have cell service while you are hunting you can’t track your dog. Conversely, you won’t have any distance limitations as long as you are connected to the internet or cell service. It is 100% waterproof so it can be used in all sorts of weather conditions.
Garmin Astro 430/T 5
This midrange collar costs around $250 and includes the collar and a handheld device. The Astro 430/T 5 can track up to 20 dogs with a range up to five miles. It updates every 2.5 seconds, which means it tracks your dog faster than other devices. This collar also uses GPS and GLONASS satellite to provide more accurate tracking. It comes with preloaded typographical maps and includes a one-year subscription to satellite imagery. The collar provides metrics such as the speed of your dog, distance traveled and the time of field. These metrics allow you to train your dog more effectively.
Dogtra Pathfinder Mini
The Dogtra Pathfinder Mini is another midrange collar at around $460 but it does have some limitations compared to its competitors. This collar only uses GPS and does not have a GLONASS satellite feature. Like the Tractive GPS, the Pathfinder only comes with the collar and you use your smartphone or tablet to track your dog. However, you don’t need cell service because you download the maps to your device. You will need internet or cell services to download the maps before you go hunting. You also don’t need any subscriptions with this collar and you can track up to 21 dogs for up to four miles. The Dogtra Pathfinder is the fastest tracker with a 2.0 update speed, meaning you will get a more accurate location for your dog. This device also features a beacon and LED location. The collar is waterproof, so you can hunt in all different types of weather. The batteries have a rapid charge of 2.5 hours, but the time that the collar lasts can vary.
Garmin TT 15X Dog Device
This collar has the best consumer reviews that are featured in this article, and only costs $350. The TT 15X has by far the best battery life at an astonishing 80 hours. It is also waterproof and is submersible up to 30 feet with a nine-mile range. You can use Garmin Express software to update this device. This collar features LED beacon lights like the Dogtra Pathfinder. One limitation is that you must purchase a separate handheld device. It is compatible with all existing Garmin Alfa and Astro Handheld tracking devices. These devices typically cost about $600. The actual collar is interchangeable with different colors, if so desired. The collar features GPS and GLONASS satellite capabilities just like many of the other tracking collars.
Tracking collars can ensure a better and safer hunting experience for you and your dog. The prices vary from $30 to nearly $900. All of them have different features and capabilities that can be useful based on your budget and hunting needs.