Bell or no bell?

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dandrus1022
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Bell or no bell?

Post by dandrus1022 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 1:30 pm

For grouse and woodcock hunting do you like a bell on your dog or no bell? I run a bell on my Britts but just curious on what other people like

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Sharon » Sat Mar 21, 2020 2:05 pm

I like silence - No bell here.
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by setterpoint » Sat Mar 21, 2020 3:29 pm

I run a bell and a gps the bell keeps me from looking at the gps all the time, the gps is just to locate the dog once the bell is silent

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Max2 » Sat Mar 21, 2020 6:48 pm

A number of years ago I was trying everything. I had tried running my dog with no bell just to see if I put up more grouse. My findings were that the sound of the bell had no effect that I could see. No more birds were flushed while running without a bell. I will always run with a bell. I just love the sound :D

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Irishwhistler » Sat Mar 21, 2020 7:53 pm

I hunt my dogs with bells on.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by averageguy » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:54 am

We run silent with GPS.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by DonF » Sun Mar 22, 2020 9:53 am

Funny thing.got a bell years ago to put on Stormy and Bodie. I couldn't hear the smaller bells so got a larger one. Decided to try it on the boy's and with the bell on they wouldn't even walk! Still have that bell but have never tried it on a dog again. Hangs on the gate going out through the back room. One of the dogs want's out they bump the gate, ring the bell and I let them out!

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by gonehuntin' » Sun Mar 22, 2020 10:44 am

No bells. "A bell stops when you need it the most". GPS only.

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bonasa
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by bonasa » Sun Mar 22, 2020 11:49 am

GPS only no bell.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by polmaise » Sun Mar 22, 2020 1:37 pm

Hmmm . In training and depending on the level of the dog ...and the ground cover /terrain....and what you are actually training for ? ...
Makes sense to some ? (if you hear the bell,the dog is on the move) , Makes sense to some ?(if the bell is not heard ,the dog is on point/or stationary)...I reckon , that's why a bell is used in the first place ? ..you guys state side can keep me right .
....
I wonder what the 'game' that is being hunting makes of all that ringing ? ..No problem if the dog has a bell on and worked where there is No game ....for the handler/trainer ?.....makes you wonder why a bell is required in the first place . ..Probably just thinking out loud over a drink in self isolation after taking the dogs out all day with no human contact . :mrgreen:

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Featherfinder
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:07 pm

I'm with Averageguy. NO bell!
As for the impact on birds of a bell versus no bell, my experience in hunting most all of the wild birds I've hunted including game farm pheasants, is that it's always advantageous to hunt as quietly as you possibly can.
Beyond that I find bells intrusive, often give me a headache, and in many cases my brain subconsciously turns off the intrusion. Before you know it, I can't hear it anymore - the same way your mind would handle any unpalatable, repetitious noise. Or, maybe it's because my hearing isn't what it used to be. 8)
I used to run a bell(s) when I ran cover trials but that is a dynamic unique unto itself.
My old Garmin GPS still serves me/my dog very well to this day. Depending on the terrain/species, I might couple it with my Dogtra 2702, but my fav is just the Garmin.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by fishvik » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:07 am

Bells in thick cover.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by BigTub » Mon Mar 23, 2020 10:37 am

With desert quail, 1/2 of finding them is by sound so no bell. With Mearns as it is so thick, I use a bell.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Urban_Redneck » Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:50 pm

I like a bell in thick cover.

Mine wears the bell at 7-8 o'clock so it doesn't ring when the hound is sneaking around. I look at the GPS when the bell goes silent.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Mar 24, 2020 4:24 pm

Hey Big Tub, I too hunted Mearns and desert birds again this past season! Man do I miss it.
Not sure if you had the same experience but Mearns typically hold like rocks BUT some coveys ran like rats!!! Hope they don't go the way of woodcock. When I started hunting woodcock, you could take pictures of the woodcock your dog pointed. Not anymore....
Huns, sharptail, Bobwhite, prairie chicken, grouse, woodcock, Gambels, scalies, even some Mearns don't like the noise intrusion. Remember, you're in their backyard. They know their sounds - it's about survival!
I've heard many a hunter say, "My dog just doesn't have the nose for grouse (insert species). He keeps crowding/bumping 'em. He's flawless at the game farm though."
Don't know 100% for sure, but I'm guessing there's nothing wrong with the dog's nose. ;)

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by dandrus1022 » Tue Mar 24, 2020 5:53 pm

I have a GPS for my Britts and run bells on them. The bells have different tones but it’s still hard to hear them and what either dog is doing by the ring of there bell. That’s why I’m thinking about ditching the bells. My dogs range 50-120 yards and don’t see them a lot during the hunt only on points. People that don’t run bells and have a GPS with dogs with similar range do you find yourself staring at the gps seeing where your dogs are? I just don’t want to be watching the screen of the GPS the whole hunt

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by averageguy » Tue Mar 24, 2020 6:43 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Sun Mar 22, 2020 2:07 pm
I'm with Averageguy. NO bell!
As for the impact on birds of a bell versus no bell, my experience in hunting most all of the wild birds I've hunted including game farm pheasants, is that it's always advantageous to hunt as quietly as you possibly can.
Beyond that I find bells intrusive, often give me a headache, and in many cases my brain subconsciously turns off the intrusion. Before you know it, I can't hear it anymore - the same way your mind would handle any unpalatable, repetitious noise. Or, maybe it's because my hearing isn't what it used to be. 8)
I used to run a bell(s) when I ran cover trials but that is a dynamic unique unto itself.
My old Garmin GPS still serves me/my dog very well to this day. Depending on the terrain/species, I might couple it with my Dogtra 2702, but my fav is just the Garmin.
Something you never hear people mention but it is easy to imagine how obnoxious it must be for the dog having that bell in its ear all day.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:32 pm

Good idea dandrus….ditch those bells. Once you make the adjustment (it won't take much at all), you'll be SO glad you did.
And, as Averageguy pointed out, so will your dog!

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by dandrus1022 » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:29 am

Featherfinder wrote:
Tue Mar 24, 2020 7:32 pm
Good idea dandrus….ditch those bells. Once you make the adjustment (it won't take much at all), you'll be SO glad you did.
And, as Averageguy pointed out, so will your dog!
thats what im thinking. do you find yourself looking at your GPS alot or no?

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by averageguy » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:44 am

It depends on the cover being hunted how much I look at my transmitter. The watches are nice and much easier to take a quick glance at. More money required of course, but I have never heard of anyone regretting getting one.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by bonasa » Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:49 am

dandrus1022 wrote:
Wed Mar 25, 2020 6:29 am

thats what im thinking. do you find yourself looking at your GPS alot or no?
As a grouse/woodcock hunter, when on foot; no. The dogs stay to the front and handle well. When the GPS “rings” is typically the only time to look at it. Having an intimate knowledge of the cover, it’s easy to know where the dogs are when on point, as verified through GPS.

However, when hunting from a vehicle. In that the dog hunts and handles for the truck. The GPS is in a cradle on the dash and verification that we don’t pass the dogs is monitored more frequently.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by mnaj_springer » Wed Mar 25, 2020 8:25 am

I've tried bells on my pointer and on my springer for ruffed grouse/woodcock and I have a few observations.

I really don't like the sound of the bells. It is irritating to me and takes away from the solace of getting away from it all and getting into the woods.

I've found that with my pointer if I use the GPS to find her on point, and then just pay attention, and listen for the faint sound of footsteps or a twig snapping, I can keep track of her fairly well.

I did try it with my springer to see if it helped in thick cover. It was obnoxious and I ditched it really quickly.
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Thu Mar 26, 2020 6:21 am

mnaj_springer, I see it the same way. It can be exciting to see/hear what goes on that would otherwise be drowned out or alters wildlife behavior in general, because of that pinging bell. The upside is that some folk have added a bell to ward off bears, etc. In-other-words, it's pretty hard to say they don't make a difference, in general.
Without the bell, your outings/hunts take on a broader spectrum as opposed to being driven by listening to/for the bell....unless you're in bear country.
:!:

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by mnaj_springer » Thu Mar 26, 2020 11:45 am

FF, well there are some black bears where I'm at in MN, but I don't see those much in the fall. I do happen to see a wolf or two each fall.
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by dandrus1022 » Thu Mar 26, 2020 5:35 pm

Next time I take the dogs out I’m going to run them with out the bells and see how I like it. The bells are nice in some spots I hunt have other hunters and walkers. I mean once the bell stops I have to look down and see how far and general location of the dog/dogs. Other thing is on a running bird it’s nice to hear the bell when the dog is relocating.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:09 am

Give it a shot Dandrus (no bell). I think you can expect a transition period but once you make the leap, it is unlikely you will ever go back.
I'm just curious though. I'm not sure about the "relocating with a bell" thing? I'm not arguing your intent - I'm asking how that better serves you, please?
Thank you Dandrus and keep well y'all!
Yes, we have wolves, yotes, etc. too. It's just how it is, I guess? My dogs are rarely THAT far that if we have encounter, it could be that critter's last one. :wink:

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by dandrus1022 » Fri Mar 27, 2020 10:57 am

Featherfinder wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:09 am
Give it a shot Dandrus (no bell). I think you can expect a transition period but once you make the leap, it is unlikely you will ever go back.
I'm just curious though. I'm not sure about the "relocating with a bell" thing? I'm not arguing your intent - I'm asking how that better serves you, please?
Thank you Dandrus and keep well y'all!
Yes, we have wolves, yotes, etc. too. It's just how it is, I guess? My dogs are rarely THAT far that if we have encounter, it could be that critter's last one. :wink:
yeah im thinking i will like it without the bell. dogs will be able to hear me better and not having the clanking of the bell in there ear all hunt. with the relocating exp: last fall my female went on point 80 yards out on a grouse. bird had or started to walk off once she established point. "i let my dogs self relocate if the scent is fading but the cant bump the bird". when i was walking in to her i could hear her bell start ringing slowly allowing me know she was moving again to re establish point. i was still 50 yards or so from her so i could see her. without the bell i wouldnt know she was moving but im sure i will get used to that.

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Featherfinder
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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Mar 27, 2020 11:50 am

Self-relocating is - for me - a wonderful, productive, asset in a pointing dog.
I'm with you Dandrus. Relocating is great, as long as a premature flush doesn't occur. That said, I like to keep things simple for my dogs. He/she can do whatever produces birds but if a bird goes up, regardless of the situation/wind/twitchy birds, etc. , I treat it as my dog having made a mistake....period. This way, in the long run, it becomes transparently clear to them therefore it's actually easier for them too. No maybes, no if's, no yeah buts, no excuses, no B.S.!
Now, how I react when the bump might have been out of their control is another thing.
As much as I like to keep the verbiage to a minimum, I sometimes recall the dog, then ask sternly, "What did you do?!?" It isn't the question in-of-itself. It's the fact that they know you are unhappy and all hunting CEASES until the dog is reminded of the expectation. That can be quite disciplinary to an eager bird dog that just wants to go find another bird! Too bad! Let's make sure it doesn't happen again.
The more black-and-white I keep the expectations, the better. At least, it's what I have gleaned from dogs to date.
....still learnin' though.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by cjhills » Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:49 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:09 am
Give it a shot Dandrus (no bell). I think you can expect a transition period but once you make the leap, it is unlikely you will ever go back.
I'm just curious though. I'm not sure about the "relocating with a bell" thing? I'm not arguing your intent - I'm asking how that better serves you, please?
Thank you Dandrus and keep well y'all!
Yes, we have wolves, yotes, etc. too. It's just how it is, I guess? My dogs are rarely THAT far that if we have encounter, it could be that critter's last one. :wink:
FF
I Have no idea here you live, you will have very little chance of encountering wolf even in Mn,Wisc or Michigan. If you do and hoot it you very likely will have shot your last critter for awhile......Cj

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:06 pm

I hunt near Thesalon, ON and Iroqouis Falls, ON for grouse, sharptail and woodcock.
Hey...I think I just got tricked?!?!?
No, wait...I hunt in Toronto, ON...yeah....that's it.
Well, CJ, if a wolf or yote or whatever chases down one of my dogs, I'm reaching for a "special load".
I won't be posting pics here either.
If you're recommending I check the regs while my dogs are under attack.... :lol:

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by shags » Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:12 pm

3S...shoot, shovel, shut up.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by oldbeek » Sat Mar 28, 2020 1:18 am

I hunted quail in heavy cover with a Britt. It would drive me nuts wondering where they were. Always calling and hacking begging them to check in. It was the only way to keep my sanity, was to run a bell. BUT,< today get a GPS even if you have to sell your shotgun. Best tool ever. Let that dog run and range out and follow its nose. If I don't see her for a while I will check the GPS. Sometimes I will see her marker moving in a straight line into the wind. better get up there, as there are birds ahead. Love that buzz! ON POINT!

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Sat Mar 28, 2020 6:11 am

Gotta remember that Shags. 3s...good one!
oldbeek, I'm guessing you have more opportunities now too...many more. Good call.
Yes, I once had a yote chase my female setter to within 30 yards. Good old Emma sure could boogey! Still miss her. :cry:

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by cjhills » Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:30 am

My dogs have killed several coyotes while hunting in Montana. I never liked that because of the disease possibilities. Coyotes don't have any fight they roll over on their back and snap their teeth.
Safety in numbers is and advantage of hunting with multiple dogs......Cj

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:37 am

"Advantageous"...for your Vet, perhaps?

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by dandrus1022 » Sat Mar 28, 2020 5:10 pm

Ran the dogs this evening without bells and I really like it! Definitely going to have to get used to it but I’m liking it so far. Dogs ran good and were quick to respond to my recall.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by Featherfinder » Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:46 am

Dandrus, you touched on yet another attribute of the bell-less dog! As I said, my mind used to shut off the intrusion of a pinging bell after a period of time. It's true! I saw my dog cross a two-track in front but not far from me and wondered if he had lost his bell? I said to my buddy, "Did he lose that bell?"
He looked at me kinda strange and said, "What....can't you hear it?!?" :?:
Can you imagine a dog trying to respond to some direction from you while it has that pinging emanating in close proximity to his ears for extended periods of time!?!
And here is but one result, "Dang that dog....I'll show him...be BETTER listen!" ( …poor dog.)
A dog uses his eyes to see, his ears to hear and his nose to scent birds. Take away or compromise any aspect of these and you have....less dog.

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by dandrus1022 » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:24 pm

Featherfinder wrote:
Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:46 am
Dandrus, you touched on yet another attribute of the bell-less dog! As I said, my mind used to shut off the intrusion of a pinging bell after a period of time. It's true! I saw my dog cross a two-track in front but not far from me and wondered if he had lost his bell? I said to my buddy, "Did he lose that bell?"
He looked at me kinda strange and said, "What....can't you hear it?!?" :?:
Can you imagine a dog trying to respond to some direction from you while it has that pinging emanating in close proximity to his ears for extended periods of time!?!
And here is but one result, "Dang that dog....I'll show him...be BETTER listen!" ( …poor dog.)
A dog uses his eyes to see, his ears to hear and his nose to scent birds. Take away or compromise any aspect of these and you have....less dog.
I completely agree! My dogs responded so much better I didn’t even realize how bad it was with the bells.... I don’t have to yell at all for them to hear me

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Re: Bell or no bell?

Post by averageguy » Sun Mar 29, 2020 4:38 pm

I have also noticed many times my dogs bounding in heavy CRP cover towards where a crippled rooster fell, stop and listening for the running bird,then running to the rustling sound of the escaping bird before beginning their nose work. Just like any successful predator they use the whole package.

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