One of the great advantages of gps for pointing dogs is the ability to locate all dogs on the ground as you are walking in on a point. Knowing the location of every dog before you shoot on a covey rise is a great way to make sure an unfortunate accident doesn’t happen.
There are many dangers in the life of a pointing dog. Accidental shootings are one of the most horrible.
It’s not that uncommon that we have dogs on point but not every dog on the ground is involved. As we approach the dog on point, we are able to locate every dog using our GPS systems. We can then decide if we need to wait for dogs that are close to come in and back or honor the dog on point – this is generally the safest choice – or if the dogs are far enough away that they are not in danger, then we can flush the birds.
We had a prime example of this on a hunt this week. We had just had a nice point on a covey of quail and we were working singles. “Hank” the GSP started getting birdy and locked up on point. It was on the side of a hill and the birds were up higher than us. Cowboy was on the ground but I could not see him.
This is the kind of situation that can get dangerous. As we are walking up the hill, a bird flushing could easily be higher than you causing your shot to be high. If the other dog on the ground is approaching you from the higher ground without your knowledge, it’s an opportunity for a tragedy.
Any time we walk in on point, we can check to see the location of all dogs and then communicate that information to the other folks. If the dog is close we wait for him to come in and back. If he’s not close, we are safe to flush the birds.
In this situation, CB was already 300 yards out. It was safe on our end.
Without GPS, you won’t always know where every dog is located and if you are completely safe to shoot. It’s one of the many things about GPS systems that make bird hunting safer.