Bird Dogs & Training  |  10/26/2016

Rooster Review: Garmin Dog Tracking & GPS Devices

The wind whipped incessantly across the South Dakota prairie and the field of thigh-high sorghum in a section of the public Game Production Area we were walking was bending with every gust of fresh air. I looked down at my Garmin fÄ“nix 3 GPS watch and saw the dog tracking arrow pitching northeast with the distance reading 30… 45…. 60…
My yellow Lab, “Beau,” was hot on the trail of a running pheasant that was content on straight-lining it to the end of the food plot.  I quickly hit the beeper button on my Garmin Sport Pro telling her to hold up long enough for our group to catch up and get in position for the flush.
What awaited us was a hen, but we’d have been ready if a big rooster exploded from the field edge. Without the help of the Garmin Astro 430 dog tracking system, I never would have known my hard charging lab was about to bust a bird out of range. Even close working flushers are known to disappear in tall stands of cover, and having these tools in my back pocket eliminated a scenario that oftentimes ends with wild public land roosters cackling as they soar over the horizon. 
Back at the truck, the Astro 350 automatically synched with our Garmin DriveTrack 70LMT and the 7.0-inch screen switched from our driving directions to a HuntView map. With this we were able to see the route we took and realized we didn’t even touch a part of the public property nestled over a ridge. With that knowledge we watered the dogs and hard-lined it to what we hoped would be an undisturbed rooster stronghold.
Sometimes it feels like these birds can run circles around you and vanish into thin air. It’s nice to know that with some of the new technology available from Garmin, we can sway the odds more in our favor. At least we tell ourselves that. After all, these are public land roosters we’re talking about.
- Andrew Vavra, Rooster Road Trip 2016
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Photo credit: Logan Hinners